IBM Thinkpad T20/T21/T22 Keyboard Replacement Instructions

Via Triangle Laptops:
Keyboard FRU 02K4970

1. Turn the IBM Thinkpad T series notebook computer over and remove the battery. Be sure the adapter is unplugged also.

2. Look for two screws on the underside with a little picture that looks like a chip next to them. Remove those two screws.

3. Now, you can open your laptop and begin pressing the keyboard out by pushing on it through the small hole in the battery compartment.

4. Slipping a finger underneath the scroll-button and mouse buttons, continue to pull it up and away from the computer, maintaining pressure in the middle of the keyboard (not pulling it up from the right and left edges). There are a couple of small tabs on the edges that lock the keyboard in place, and when the keyboard flexes as you’re pulling it free, it will be released from these tabs. You may pull the edges outward as the keyboard comes out, helping to free it from the tabs.

5. When the keyboard pops free from both edges, pull it toward you at an angle, releasing the rear of the keyboard from the laptop.

6. The plastic cover surrounding the power and volume buttons can be removed if necessary. The cover basically needs to be lifted free from the rear of the keyboard, swung toward the front until it is clear of the buttons, and then lifted free. To do this, however, it is necessary to first free the top left and right corners respectively. To do this, you simply apply pressure to the cover near the corner, pushing it parallel to the keyboard toward the space bar. It should move a millimeter or two, and once it has, then you can lift the corner away from the keyboard slightly. Do this to both corners until they’re free, and then pop the center of the panel cover free (no need to move this one before it can come free).

7. Replacing the keyboard is the opposite, remembering to press firmly on the center of the keyboard (around the trackpoint) to ensure the connector is seated properly. You will probably need to flex the keyboard again and possible pull the keyboard bezel edges outward slightly, bending the center upward as you press down on both edges to get them under their locking tabs before pressing the connector into place.

  • Viral Patel

    Hi… Do you know how to remove the keyboard of a Thinkpad R51… I want to clean it… I spilled some Coke and the keys are sticky…
    Thank you for your help!

  • Viral Patel

    Hi… Do you know how to remove the keyboard of a Thinkpad R51… I want to clean it… I spilled some Coke and the keys are sticky…
    Thank you for your help!

  • For the Thinkpad R51, check this out. That should fix all your issues.

  • For the Thinkpad R51, check this out. That should fix all your issues.