iPhone 4S: Ultimate DIY repair guide
Everything you need to know to do-it-yourself (DIY) repair your iPhone 4S. Whether you're out of warranty or your iPhone 4S has suffered accidental damage, we've got you covered!
If you've got an iPhone 4S that's starting to show its age or you've accidentally damaged it, there's still hope for it. Whether you're not eligible for an upgrade yet or just want to hold out for the next round of Apple's latest and greatest, we can help get every ounce of life you possibly can out of your iPhone 4S. Even after you decide to upgrade your iPhone, your old one always makes a great hand me down for a child or relative that doesn't always need the latest model.
iMore will help you get the longest life possible out of your iPhone 4S, and walk you step by step through all the major repairs, with detailed instructions, photographs, and links to high quality parts from suppliers we trust.
Click on any of the guides below in order to be taken to a description of that guide explaining common symptoms, diagnostics pertaining to each repair, and a link to each full guide. Remember to bookmark this page as we'll be adding more as we add new guides.
- How to replace the battery in an iPhone 4s
- How to replace a cracked screen on an iPhone 4S
- How to fix an unresponsive Home button in an iPhone 4S
- How to DIY repair a broke or recessed power button in an iPhone 4S
- How to replace the dock connector in an iPhone 4S
- How to fix sound issues in an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S
- How to replace the cellular antenna in an iPhone 4S
- How to replace the vibrator assembly in an iPhone 4S
- How to replace the rear facing camera in an iPhone 4S
- How to replace the front facing FaceTime camera in an iPhone 4S
- How to fix a blown or distorted earpiece in an iPhone 4S
- How to replace the volume buttons in an iPhone 4S
- How to replace the loud speaker assembly in an iPhone 4S
Now that the iPhone 4S is more than a year old, many users may want to change their battery if their charge cycles aren't what they used to be. A bad battery can also cause your iPhone 4S not to boot at all. So if your iPhone doesn't want to turn on at all, the battery is a good place to start.
This one doesn't need any introduction and is one of the most common DIY repairs for any clumsy iPhone user. If you've shattered your screen, you've come to the right place.
This guide will also work to replace the LCD since they're one piece. Whether your touch screen isn't working, you've cracked your glass, or you have a distorted or non-functional LCD, this is the guide you'll want.
The Home button is a common problem for all iPhone owners, and the iPhone 4S is no exception. If your iPhone is misreading double, triple, and single taps, the Home button flex cable is probably going bad. In some cases, your Home button can stop responding altogether.
If this sounds like a problem you're experience, we've got you covered from start to finish.
The power button has been a common issue since the iPhone 4 made its appearance. The iPhone 4S isn't immune to the same issues either. Symptoms can include a recessed power button. Sometimes the power button will still function but you'll have to push down extremely hard in order to get it to register. In severe cases, pressing it is futile and results in no response.
A DIY repair can remedy the issue but be aware this is a ninja level repair as the components and cable you have to replace are very small. If you're up for it, hit the link directly below to find out how to fix a recessed or unresponsive power button.
The dock connector assembly in the iPhone 4S controls quite a few key components in your phone. The most important one being the ability to charge your iPhone. If your iPhone 4S won't register a charge or doesn't show up when plugged into your computer, the dock connector could very likely be the culprit.
There is also a mic located on the dock connector that can affect sound issues. If any of these issues sound like something you're experiencing, make sure you check out our guide to see if it's the right one. If not, keep reading.
While most sound in the iPhone 4S may be dictated by the loud speaker assembly or earpiece, they're not the only components that have to do with sound. Actually, the dock connector and a few other cables can cause you to have sound issues.
The iPhone 4S is known to have sound issues where system sounds seem to work when you preview them but they don't actually ring or system sounds altogether don't work but music will play. Sound weird? It is. But there's a fix for it.
If you're experiencing issues with cellular reception on your iPhone 4S, the cellular antenna could be defective. Luckily, it's one of the easier DIY repairs when it comes to the iPhone 4S variant. If everything else on your iPhone is working perfectly, a replacement antenna will cost you a lot less than a brand new phone.
The vibrator assembly is a super essential function and necessary if you want to be notified you have a call or a message coming in when you can't have sound activated. If and when it goes out, it can be terribly inconvenient.
While it isn't the easiest DIY repair when it comes to the iPhone 4S, it's not impossible and it'll cost you tons less than a new iPhone.
While most people use their iPhone to communicate, one of the iPhone 4S' best features is arguably its camera. It makes everything from photographing first steps to family events to sending videos straight to YouTube super simple and crystal clear. So when it goes out, it's a huge problem.
While it isn't common, it can happen from time to time. But never fear, it's actually a very easy repair to perform on your own. Most will be able to do it and everyone will be able to afford it.
While the rear facing camera is great for capturing the memories around you, the front facing camera is a great way to communicate with relatives via FaceTime and capture self portraits. If you frequently use your front facing camera and it has decided to stop working on you, we can get it up and running again.
Symptoms of a bad front facing camera typically amount to the shutter never opening no matter how many times you restore the phone or reboot it. In rare instances you can also see lots of distortion or lines through the screen only when the front facing camera is open.
The earpiece is another common repair we get a lot of questions about. A bad earpiece can present itself in multiple ways. The most common being garbled, echoing, or unpleasant audio. In some instances you may not even hear any audio unless you've got the caller on speakerphone.
Luckily, an earpiece replacement is on the cheap side and isn't terribly hard to perform on your own. If you aren't ready to upgrade just yet, a DIY repair for an earpiece is a realistic option for many users.
If you've dropped your iPhone 4S, you may have noticed that the steel frame around edges can become quite sharp. If one of the volume buttons has become ridged or jagged, it could potentially be a safety issue.
Replacing them will require some patience but we're pretty sure your fingers will thank you.
A bad loud speaker can cause all kinds of issues with the iPhone 4S. Music, ringtones, and text tones will most likely not play unless you have headphones plugged in.
While it's unusual for the actual loud speaker assembly to go bad, it isn't unheard of. In our experience it's normally the dock connector or earpiece that are the culprit but that doesn't mean the loud speaker never decides to be unruly. If you have absolutely no sounds through the loud speaker portion of your iPhone 4S but everything works completely normal through headphones, then odds are your loud speaker assembly has in fact went out.
If a combination of sounds work through the loud speaker, we'd suggest looking at our other guides concerning sound instead of assuming it's the loud speaker.
More DIY guides and help
While this guide covers the iPhone 4S specifically, we've got tons more DIY repair guides to cover everything from older iPhones to iPod touches and iPads. If these aren't the guides you're looking for, fret not! You can find more at the links below.
If you've run into issues performing a repair on your own or have questions in general, our mod and DIY forums are a great place to start. If you still can't find answers to your questions, you can also email us and we'll try and answer whatever questions you may have.