If you've got a 4th generation iPod touch with a cracked screen or broken LCD, a DIY repair isn't impossible if you've got a bit of patience and some technical know-how. If getting a replacement from Apple is out of your price range and you'd prefer to just fix it yourself, follow along and we'll show you how.
Disclaimer: As with any repair, neither iMore nor PXLFIX can be held responsible for any damage you may do to your device. It’s also worth considering that opening up your device to perform any repair or modification can and will void your Apple warranty. If you don’t feel comfortable opening your device, don’t. Use extreme care and caution when performing a repair on any device.
PXLFIX recommends using only quality and genuine parts from a reputable supplier like eTech Parts. They have quality parts, tools, and much more for all your repair needs.
Before attempting to open your iPod touch or perform and kind of repair, always power it off first. Just hold down the power button until the Slide to power off message appears on the screen. Slide with your finger and wait for the device to completely power down before continuing.
While other devices such as the iPhone and older iPod touches are held together with either screws or clips, the iPod touch and it's larger iPad sibling hold the display in with a strong adhesive. We'll need to soften it by heating it up before we can remove it.
There are a few areas you'll need to be careful of when attempting to pry off the iPod touch front assembly. Notice in the picture below where these areas are and use your pry tool and metal spatula with caution when moving around these areas so you don't tear any cables.
Once you've taken a mental note of the areas above and where they're located under the screen, proceed to the next step.
Before replacing the assembly or disassembling your iPod touch any further, now is a good time to clear out the frame from all the old ashesive and any broken glass pieces that may be stuck on the interior of the frame.
If you don't make sure all dust, debris, and glass is removed before placing in the new screen, it will not fit in correctly and you'll have to go back and re-clean it. In other words, make absolutely sure that you are removing all of the debris and glass before continuing. Feel free to use air duster to blow out any excess debris if needed.
Towards the top of the iPod touch is a retainer clip that holds the rear camera in place. Use your pry tool or metal spatula in order to pop it up and remove it. Set it aside for reassembly.
Underneath the camera retainer clip is a tiny piece of copper tape that's connected to the underside of the logic board shield. Use your metal spatula and your fingers to gently peel the tape back.
Do not completely remove it but just pry the part that is covering the rear facing camera off.
The logic board shield is also held down with a bit of adhesive that we will have to break but first we need to remove some screws.
We don't need to completely remove the rear facing camera but prying it up will allow us to lift up the logic board a bit more and make attaching the digitizer cable a bit easier.
Use your pry tool to gently lift the rear facing camera out of its opening and move on to the next step.
Even though we won't be removing the logic board, we will need to get underneath it in order to attach the digitizer cable for the new digitizer and LCD assembly.
Use your #00 Phillips screwdriver to remove the screw screws labeled below making sure to place them in and order you'll remember for reassembly.
Now that you've removed the 3 screws along the top of the logic board we can continue on to prying up part of the logic board.
You do not want to remove the entire logic board but only pry up the top portion. Be extremely careful with this step as the logic board is fragile and can break easily.
There is a piece of copper tape wrapped around the digitizer cable that you'll need to remove in order to pry off the digitizer cable. Use your pry tool and/or metal spatula to pry up and edge of the tape. Then move along the other side and find the edge of the copper tape and peel it back.
Once you've gotten the tape removed from the front of the cable area, you can move on to removing the cable as the tape will come off with it.
While holding the logic board up with one hand, use the pry tool in your other hand to gently push down on the top of the cable until it pops off the bottom of the logic board.
Once the cable has popped off the underside of the logic board you can gently slide it out.
Peel off the copper tape that remains on the old digitizer cable piece. We will place it on the new one in a later step.
You will only need to perform this step if the replacement LCD and digitizer assembly you have does not have a Home button and camera shield pre-assembled. If it does not, use this step to transfer the Home button and camera shield to the new assembly.
This is the trickiest part of performing a DIY iPod touch screen replacement on newer iPods as the cable has to be fastened on the underside of the logic board. It may take a few tries so be patient and work slowly and you'll get it.
This step is the hardest part and don't get frustrated if you don't get it on the first try. Just feel around for the connector and gently keep trying to push upwards until the cable snaps into place. Once you've got it, move on to the next step.
Slide the copper tape you previously removed off the old digitizer cable underneath the new cable that is now securely in place. Double check to make sure you don't have it upside down. Now secure it around the cable with your fingers.
Once you've got the digitizer cable securely in place you can go ahead and gently push the logic board down and back into place and re-secure the rear facing camera.
Check around the frame to make sure all the screw holes are lined up correctly. It also doesn't hurt to push down on top of the digitizer cable firmly to make sure it's snapped completely into place.
Replace the 3 screws you removed earlier that run along the top of the logic board.
Once you've gotten the top 3 screws in place you can replace the logic board shield as well. Lay it into place and screw it back down with the 8 screws you removed previously. Once you've gotten it screwed back into place you can go ahead and push back down the copper tab at the top right as well.
Put the camera retainer clip back into place over the copper tape you just pushed back down and snap it into place.
Now is a good time to test the digitizer before applying any adhesive. Simply snap down the LCD cable on the top of the logic board that runs off the new assembly and then gently folder over the assembly.
Now hit the power button to make sure it powers up. Once the slide to unlock screen comes up, slide your finger and make sure the touch screen is responsive.
Once you've finished testing it just turn the iPod back off by holding down the power button and sliding to power off again. Flip the assembly back over and use your pry tool to remove the LCD cable.
If the touch screen is not responsive, remove the 3 screws at the top of the logic board again and make sure the cable underneath the logic board is completely secure.
If the LCD does not come on and you know the cable is secure, you may have a faulty assembly. Disconnect it and request a replacement one from who you ordered it from.
Before placing adhesive onto the assembly double check to make sure you have removed any leftover adhesive from before and that there is no glass or debris left in the frame.
If you have purchased a pre-cut adhesive kit, position the adhesive onto the assembly taking care to not get adheasive on the digitizer or LCD cables.
If you're cutting your own adhesive just make sure that you completely line the frame and have removed all the old adhesive. Use the picture below as a guide for where to place adhesive.
It's always a good idea to run a heat gun over the iPod touch one last time and push down the edges to make sure they are secure. I typically heat it up and hold down each edge for 30 seconds and repeat until all four edges and the top and the bottom have been held in for 30 seconds each. This will ensure a tight bond with the adhesive and prevent light leak or the frame coming up over time.
Now that you've got your new digitizer and LCD assembly in place you can power up your iPod touch and enjoy it again. Then, give yourself a pat on the back for completing a ninja level DIY repair.
Want to know how to perform another type of iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch repair or modification? Send me suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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