How to remove Aluminium Heatsink Case

Hi Everyone,

I have seen plenty of tutorials to add the Heatsink Case. However, there is no instruction to safely remove it. I was thinking about using dental floss or temporarily heating up the heatsink and its thermal tape, but they sound like bad ideas. Do you have any other ideas?

Thank you!

We’ve not found the thermal pads to be that sticky - does the top of the case not just peel off with a bit of wiggling?

1 Like

Hi Hel,

Yes. You are right that the thermal pad is quite easy to remove this time.

My pi had some heatsink already applied. It was a challenge for me to remove it. I am not sure if my old thermal pad made differently or if the thermal pad became stickier after a certain period of time. My old heatsink is just a small square metal, I twisted it and I could check if the CPU and other components were not moving. However, this heatsink case is much bigger, there is much less room for wiggling and I cannot see the inside.

I could be overthinking about this, it could explain why there is no instruction to remove heatsink case. However, I am quite worried if it could be easily removed in the future. It would be great if you can comment on this.


I personally prefer thermal paste something like artic fox far easier to remove as well as better thermal conductivity

Thanks for the suggestion. I will order some from Amazon.

Be careful with the past, that you don’t apply too much. I’d watch a video or two on how to use it before applying it. Some types are very conductive and can cause electrical shorts.

I use dental floss to remove stubborn heat sinks. I put it between the heatsink and SOC, then use a back and forth motion to cut the thermal pad in half. Like those wire saws. it won’t damage anything. You still have some clean up to do after but no broken components to deal with.

1 Like