How to replace a cracked screen on an iPhone 5

How to replace a cracked screen on an iPhone 5

Have an iPhone 5 with a busted screen? We understand the pain of picking up your iPhone off the ground only to find pieces of glass falling out of it. Unfortunately, broken screens aren't covered under the standard AppleCare warranty, and if you didn't opt for AppleCare+, a replacement iPhone 5 can cost a few hundred dollars. However, a replacement screen itself isn't that expensive and luckily the repair itself is one of the easier ones to perform. So if you're up for the task, follow along and we'll walk you through step by step!

Discounted tools and parts

There are lots of parts suppliers out there but not all of them are created equal, especially fly by night Amazon and eBay resellers. That's why we recommend always using a supplier that specializes in iPhone parts and offers a warranty of some kind. We highly recommend eTech Parts whose customer service and part quality just can't be matched. eTech offers shipping to many countries throughout the world.

30% off high quality parts and tools

eTech has been kind enough to offer up a coupon code for all the iMore DIY'ers in tons of countries throughout the world that will give you 30% off your entire order. Just use the following coupon code when checking out:

  • eTech coupon code: iMore

Here's a complete list of parts and tools we recommend for this particular repair. Clicking any of the buy links will take you directly to that item on eTech's site.

Note: Some folks have trouble getting the screen off with a suction cup if the screen is extremely spidered. This why we recommend picking up a razor blade as well in case you run into this problem. We can show you an alternate way of removing the display.

Video walkthrough

Our video will walk you through disassembly to reassembly. Even though it's possible to perform this repair using only the video, we highly suggest reading the written walkthrough and viewing the high quality images below. Both guides are meant to compliment each other so we suggest reading and watching both before actually performing the repair.

Power off your iPhone 5

Before performing any repair, you should always turn your iPhone completely off by holding down the Power Button and using the Slide to power off feature. Once the iPhone has completely turned off, you can move on to the next step.

Remove the two security screws in the dock connector

There are two security screws on either side of the Lightning connector port. Use your security screwdriver to remove them.

Remove the damaged display

There are two methods for removing the display. If you've cracked the bottom pretty badly you may find it hard to get a seal with a suction cup. We'll walk you through both ways of removing the display.

Suction cup method

This is the method we recommend and the one you should use if you can get a seal. If not, use the straight edge razor method below.

  1. Position your suction cup firmly above the Home button.
  2. Gently pull upwards while holding the phone down with your other hand.
  3. The display is in there pretty good so you'll have to apply quite a bit of strength to pull it out. Just make sure you keep your hand over the top of the iPhone as you don't want to completely pull the display off. There are still cables attached underneath.
  4. Once the display has dislodged from the device, swing it upwards to expose the cables connecting it underneath.
  5. Move on to the next section.

Straight edge razor blade method

If the bottom of your iPhone 5 screen has shattered badly, it'll be next to impossible to get a good enough seal to pry it up. You'll need a straight edged razor blade for this method. Be careful and work slowly not only so you don't damage the iPhone but more importantly, so you don't cut or hurt yourself.

  1. Start at either side of the Home button and carefully work the razor blade between the frame and the glass.
  2. Slowly pry upwards until you get an edge freed enough that you can slip a pry tool or spudger in between.
  3. Now set the razor blade aside and continue to work around the bottom and bottom edges until you free the display from the frame.
  4. Do not pull it straight upwards but instead, swing it upwards as there are still cables attached at the top we need to remove.

Remove the iPhone 5 display panel

  1. There's a silver shield covering the LCD and digitizer cables. Remove the three screws holding the shield in place with your #00 Phillips screwdriver.
  2. Gently lift the shield out of the iPhone 5.
  3. Now you have a clear view of the cables holding the display assembly to the logic board. Use your spudger or pry tool to carefully pry all three cables from the logic board.

You can now lift the front digitizer and LCD assembly off the device.

Ready the new iPhone 5 display

Odds are your new replacement display will come stripped down to nothing but the display assembly. We'll need to remove some pieces off the old cracked display to place on the new display before laying the new assembly in place.

Remove the display shield, earpiece shield, and earpiece assembly

  1. There are a total of eight screws holding the display and earpiece shield in place. They are outlined in the picture below. Remove all eight screws using your #00 Phillips screwdriver.
  2. Now use your pry tool or spudger to carefully lift up the display shield off the back of the display. The best way is to slip your pry tool beneath the shield at the bottom on either side of the Home button. The shield will easily lift off.
  3. Now remove the earpiece shield at the top by lifting it off and setting it aside.
  4. The actual earpiece assembly sits directly below the shield and will easily lift off as well. Set it aside.

Remove the front-facing camera and sensor cable

  1. The front-facing camera and sensor cable sits to the left of where the earpiece assembly was and lines the top of the device. We need to remove it.
  2. Carefully lift it up but notice the kink in the cable underneath the front-facing camera. The noise canceling mic is pushed into the display assembly. Pop it out carefully.
  3. The rest of the cable is only held in with a tiny bit of adhesive. Carefully peel it back to finish removing the cable from the display assembly.

Remove the Home button assembly

  1. Remove the two screws on either side of the Home button assembly using your #00 Phillips screwdriver.
  2. Start lifting the Home button shield starting on the left side but don't pull completely up yet.
  3. On the right hand side you'll see a contact that's stuck to the display assembly that runs on the Home button shield. Use your finger or pry tool to carefully break the adhesive.
  4. Set the Home button shield aside.
  5. Now we've just got to remove the actual Home button. Simply push the Home button up from the front of the assembly and use your pry tool or a metal spatula to loosen the gasket on the back side. The Home button should come free pretty easily.

Transfer the removed components to the new iPhone 5 display assembly

Now that we've removed everything from the old assembly, we can transfer it to the new, unbroken assembly. In order to do this, just follow the above directions in reverse order or refer to our video where we'll walk you through readying the new assembly.

Once you've finished readying the new assembly, continue on.

Replace the iPhone 5 display assembly

  1. Start by securing the three cables back to the logic board.
  2. Replace the logic board shield cover over the cables and secure it with the three screws we originally removed using your #00 Phillips screwdriver.
  3. There are plastic clips that run along the top of the display assembly like you can see below. These need to sit underneath the inside of the frame.
  4. Starting from the top make sure you slide the clips in place and carefully work your way around the edges of the display applying even pressure to snap the display into place.

Replace the dock connector screws

Use your security screwdriver to replace the two screws on either side of the Lightning connector port.

And ...done!

Now that you've finished reassembling your iPhone 5 you can go ahead and turn it back on by pressing and holding down the power button until you see the Apple logo.

If all went well, your iPhone should boot up just fine. Make sure to test the new replacement for dead spots and check the display quality to make sure there are no dead pixels or discoloration. Since you did have to transfer components that control brightness, sound, and the proximity sensor - it's always a good idea to test those functions too so you know you transferred all the components over correctly.

Want to know how to perform another type of iPhone repair or modification? Send me suggestions to

Additional resources:

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

How to replace a cracked screen on an iPhone 5


or just pay the 100$ and some change(for tax) for the apple care plus. alot easier, no questions asked. and if you sell your phone (like i did my 4s) you get a refund on the un used apple care if the other buyer dont want it.

I've never heard of Apple refunding AppleCare+.

A hundred plus a 50$ deductible is more expensive than the part and doing it yourself. You can, of course, make whatever decision you'd like but there are several people out there who'd rather do it themselves than pay for the insurance.

Thank you for the very helpful and easy to follow tutorial. Can you please post a link to the iPhone 5 LCD and digitizer assembly?

believe me i understand the dyi thing i did it before too. but the lack of good parts for cheap, has pushed me to getting apple care. i fixed android phones for people .cracked screens and all . most digitzers were ok but a few would come and constanly activate when not touched. and the iphone 5 is brand new, and if you have a problem other than you can dyi, apple wolnt touch it with someone elses parts in it. and they do refund if you sell your device you have to call the agreement admin department.
heres a snip it of my email they sent me the other day

Dear Apple Customer,

Your refund request is now complete. You will receive a refund for your
AppleCare Protection Plan:

- Refund Amount 57.59
- Credit Memo Number 75437

and with apple care, its cheaper than paying the whatever your carrier charges for assurion also.

I never said they didn't. I was just stating I'd never heard of that.

As far as faulty parts, that happens with knock-offs. We don't recommend knock-offs nor will we ever link to them.

Water damage always depends on what gets damaged and whether board level repair has to be performed. We are always honest with customers and if the cost of the repair exceeds a replacement device, we let them know that. We give them all their options, not just our options. If it's cheaper or a better option for them to go to Apple, we send them right over to Apple.

Great tutorial with details, where can I get the replacement part for my iphone 5 white broken glass. Please let me know . Thanks

and if you happen to be prone to water damage you can always get the liquipel its under 100$ for the version without the skins in the iphone 5

I don't understand where people are getting the idea that this is Gorilla Glass. GG is a product by Corning. All they have stated that the glass is very durable. How do we make that connection to Gorilla Glass by Corning? I just don't get it.

This is based on a job creation page and hearsay? Gorilla Glass is a sold product of Corning. If Apple were in fact using their product, Corning wouldn't keep it a secret. Not does Apple's display share the same fracture properties as other phones using real Gorilla Glass. Look at reports of people dropping other phones. GG shatters differently compared to every other shatter of an iPhone screen. I have broken both. Both very hard displays. Possibly Apple shares a tempering process with Corning. But that doesn't make it Gorilla Glass, which would explain Cornings reluctance to say that Apple uses it. I'm sorry ... but I don't work on hearsay. And I don't think a professional blogger should either.

Hmmm... I don't think I ever stated they did? In the video my words are "even though they are supposedly using gorilla glass" - again, i never said "Apple is using gorilla glass" - I gave you a link to where i got my assumptions that they are. I also never once said in the article that the screen was 100% definite made of gorilla glass. Most news about apple is "hearsay" as apple is extremely secretive. Nothing is 100% unless apple states it. I'd figure since you obviously read an apple-centric site, you would have surely realized that?

Great video and write up. Im sure at some point soon I will be replacing one of these for a friend or coworker who dropped there's. And I have also learned my lesson about using cheap parts from eBay. Unfortunately it was with an iPad the worse thing to take apart ever. Finally got the cracked screen out and replaced and two days later the digitizer went bad in the new one..ugh

Any recommendations for replacing JUST the glass? I notice the parts are cheaper and I find that my digitizer appears to be fine and the capacitive touch is working just as it always did... the $299 that eTech wants for the full part is steep compared with the Apple Store wanting $229 to replace the whole phone.

I've pulled apart and repaired many an iPhone and iPod in my time, but ANY tips, walkthroughs or links, etc. would be appreciated and advice is always taken :)

Yes, I too just dropped my phone and the glass panel shattered. I found the replacements on ebay for under $10, but have read that the LCD and the digitizer are fused together so one cannot be replaced without the other. Is this true? If not, how do you remove the digitizer from the LCD?

I've researched since then and it appears that trying to remove the glass from the LCD does one of two things: 1) renders the iPhone useless, OR 2) makes a huge mess...

I'll look for the full display and stick with that, thanks ;)

I clicked on the link at the beginning to buy the black LCD w/digitizer. Cost shows at $290. What?? Apple charges $229 for a replacement (w/o Applecare). Why would anyone go through all this trouble if the cost of the parts is more than just going to the Apple store? If the replacement parts were $100 it would be worth it. Ugh.

Adam, has the iPhone 5 LCD and digitizer complete assembly with the power button already setup and ready to go. We got ours for less than most others and it was a quality Factory part shipped for free. And it was at our door in three days.

My son totally shattered the screen on his iphone 5. The walk tutorial was perfect, both the video and photo's were extremely helpful. Got 'er done, and works perfect. Thanks much!

Allyson, I just finished replacing the screen on my iPhone 5 with a $40 screen and toolkit I got off eBay. I could not have done it without this walk-through. Your tips on how to gently remove and replace each part were critical to keeping my gorilla fingers from trashing these VERY sensitive parts. You did a great job! Thanks so much for posting this - saved me lots of $$ doing it myself!

You have done a great service sir. The viddy was right on point. I've watched so many different videos and your video was definitely one of the easiest to follow. My fix didn't work out as smoothly as I would have liked so i sent it to for my repair.


I followed this tutorial, and replaced my screen successfully. There were a few things that were different which may help other people.

1. The ring which held the camera and rectangle which held the light sensor were not on the replacement screen I bought so I had to relocate these from the original screen as well. I uses the tweezers and a spudger to do this.

2. The large shield was not so easy to remove as it was glued down. I had to carefully work aorund the edge to free this.

Other than that - great tutorial. Thanks.

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