Fixing the latch on my iBook: Case closed?
November 23, 2006 8:41 PM   Subscribe

How can I get the latch on my 14" ibook working again?

I have a 1ghz ibook 14" (the white, rectangularish model) that I've owned for a little over a year now, bought used. It's in great condition, only now the latch does not automatically flip out as I lower the latch. So when I close the ibook, the latch doesn't keep it closed. I generally have to tap it a few times and then the latch pops down and holds. But I'm worried it will go downhill from here.

I don't have any kind of AppleCare coverage (or if I do, I don't know the number for it because I bought the computer off of someone else). I'm wondering if anyone knows any quick fixes before I resort to paying someone to repair it.

I have googled ibook and latch, but with so many variants of the problem (and so many different ibooks throughout the years) I haven't found anyone with my particular problem -- the latch seems 100% intact, not broken. It just doesn't automagically swing open as the laptop swings shut anymore.

This may be coincidence, but it generally doesn't have a problem doing this when it's plugged in, only when it's running off the battery.
posted by Deathalicious to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
I bought my 14" G4 iBook new and the latch has similar issues. Just hold it down for a little bit, and it will generally find purchase.
posted by sindark at 8:49 PM on November 23, 2006

Best answer: Go to, on the right side there is a place you can type in the serial number and see if you have any remaining coverage on the iBook.
posted by lovejones at 9:43 PM on November 23, 2006

hit the little slot with some canned air? maybe there's gunk in it.
posted by mrg at 10:15 PM on November 23, 2006

Best answer: The magic 'tis magnetism. If the top thing gets misaligned, it'll be too far away to bond to the bottom thing. Apple fixed mine (via applecare), after unsuccessful tries on my part to jimmy it. But they did it as a "bonus" -- I sent the machine in for a different fix. This leads me to think it may be an easy fix for your local Apple Store -- try bringing it in, and see if they'll do you a solid and fix it for free, or at least for cheap. They'll know what you're talking about -- it happens to all iBooks eventually.
posted by turducken at 11:49 PM on November 23, 2006

Best answer: It's an easy repair to switch out the latch, but seeing as you have to remove the bottom case, bottom shield, top case, top shield, display panel assembly and rear display housing you should be prepared to pay for at least an hour's worth of labour for the replacement of of a $4 part (that they'll charge $10).

Take it to an Apple specialist or store; they'll know if it's just the hook or it's something more serious like the alignment of the screen or a fractured display bezel.
I Second going to and seeing about any coverage. Your serial number is right under the keyboard, just push the two spring loaded tabs on the keyboard back and lift up. Be careful when putting the keyboard back in, as there are little tabs that need to fit in small slots just so.
posted by now i'm piste at 7:05 AM on November 24, 2006

Best answer: (Your serial number is also viewable in the application System Profiler. A quick way to get to it is to do About This Mac from the Apple Menu and then hit More Info.)
posted by bcwinters at 7:22 AM on November 24, 2006

Response by poster: Well, thanks for the tips everyone! It looks like my ibook was never registered, so I somehow doubt that I have coverage. :-)

I will call a local Apple repair person. It's worth it to me to have a working laptop and if it is an easy fix it shouldn't cost much, right? :-7
posted by Deathalicious at 8:31 AM on November 24, 2006

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