If you've got a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4 and the On/Off button seems to be recessed or no longer pushes down when pressed, a DIY repair can alleviate the issue. While this isn't the easiest repair to perform, it's a lot cheaper than an out of warranty replacement through Apple. So if you aren't eligible for an upgrade and are out of warranty, it may be worth a try.
Follow along and we'll walk you through the process step by step.
Disclaimer: As with any repair, iMore can not 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.
Note: While this repair will fix the On/Off button, if you're having issues with the noise canceling mic, proximity sensor, or ambient light sensor, it will also take care of those issues as well. This is the right guide if you're experiencing any of these issues as well.
What you need for a Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4 On/Off button repair
iMore 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. You will find links to the specific parts you'll need for this repair in the list below.
- Replacement power button flex cable - Buy now
- 5-point security screwdriver - Buy now
- Standard #000 Phillips screwdriver - Buy now
- Spudger tool - Buy now
- Razor blade - Buy Now
- iSesamo Opening tool (not necessary but awesome for prying up cables and getting under adhesive) - Buy Now
Power off your iPhone 4
Before performing any repair, always power off your device before removing any screws or parts.
Remove the back
- First remove the bottom 2 dock connector screws in your iPhone 4. For all CDMA iPhone models you'll need to use the 5 point security screwdriver.
- To remove the back simply slide the back upwards and lift it off gently.
- Set the back and 2 dock connector screws aside.
Organize your screws
It's very important to make sure you remember where you are pulling screws from, so place them in an arrangement that you'll understand and remember. I normally lay them out the same way every time I disassemble a device so I remember where they came from and how they go back in. They're all different sizes so trying to figure out where they go if you get them mixed up probably won't be fun.
Remove the battery
- To remove the battery you'll need to remove the #00 screw holding the battery clip in place. Remove this screw located to the bottom left of the battery.
- The metal clip on the battery is what clips the battery to the logic board. You'll need to pop this clip up with your plastic pry tool. Simply stick the end of your pry tool underneath the clip and gently pull upwards until it unfastens from the logic board.
- To remove the battery, I do not recommend using the plastic pull tab. There is quite a bit of adhesive underneath the battery and the tab will normally just rip off or you can bend the battery. Instead, run your pry tool along the right side of the battery and break the adhesive that way. Once the battery is free from the adhesive, you can pull the battery out of the phone. There are no other connectors holding it in.
- I typically fold the plastic tab over while working on the iPhone 4 to keep it out of the way while I'm disassembling parts. It's not necessary but convenient.
Remove the grounding clip
To the left of where you disconnected the battery you'll see another screw holding in a grounding clip over the antenna. We'll need to remove it.
- Unscrew the one screw holding the grounding clip in place with your #00 Phillips screwdriver.
- Gently lift the grounding clip out of the device. It's very tiny as you can see above. Take care not to misplace it or lose it.
Remove the Dock connector shield and disconnect the cable
- There is a shield held on with two screws covering the dock connector cable. Remove the two screws holding it in place and set the shield and screws aside, remembering where they came from.
- Next, use your pry tool to pry up the actual dock connector cable. Be careful as there is adhesive holding the cable in place as well. Peel back the adhesive gently to free the cable.
Remove the top logic board shield
- There are 5 screws holding the logic board shield in place as labeled in the photo above. Remove the 5 screws holding it in place plus screw number 6 off to the right (we'll get to this one in a second). Just be sure to remember which holes they came out of as the screws are different sizes. I keep them arranged in the shape they came out of the logic board with the shield next to it. I find this to be the easiest way to keep them in order.
- Next you'll need to remove the shield. There is a tiny clip built into the shield holding it in place. (Refer to the photo above.) Grab the shield by the top where the top screw came out and gently lift up and push down. The bottom notch will come out and you should be able to gently lift the shield out of the device.
Remove wifi antenna grounding clip
- The number 6 screw we removed previously we're now returning to. There is a clip underneath it. Gently use your pry tool to remove it.
- You'll find a cross head screw underneath it. We'll get back to that in just a minute.
Disconnect 7 cables from the logic board
- Pop up all the cables labeled in the pictures above by gently lifting them with your pry tool or spudger..
- Next gently lift the camera out of the device. You'll notice there is a tiny tab that is seated underneath the LCD and digitizer cables to the right.
- Play close attention to the direction in which the cables pop up. The cable furthest to the right will pop up in the opposite direction of the others.
Remove the logic board
- There are 5 screws you'll need to remove in order to remove the logic board. Three need to be removed with a flat blade screwdriver (flathead) while the other two will be removed with your #00 Phillips screwdriver.
- Remove the screws numbered 1-3 in the image above using your flat blade screw driver. Make sure you remember which ones go where as the heads are a bit different.
- Now remove screws 4 and 5 with your #00 screwdriver. Notice that the screw labeled number 5 will have a tiny gold grounding clip for the camera underneath it. Make sure you don't lose this and save it for re-assembly.
- You should now be able to remove your logic board. Holding it at the bottom, gently pull it upwards. I use my other hand to lift up at the top where the rear facing camera used to be.
- Take note that there is a small rubber piece that sits at the top of the logic board. You will need this for re-assembly so make sure it doesn't fall off. If you lose this, you could experience wifi or reception issues.
Remove the earpiece assembly
- Carefully use your pry tool to pull up the earpiece assembly from the midframe. It is held in with a foam type of adhesive.
- Once you've remove the earpiece assembly, set it aside for reassembly.
Remove the 2 screws in the power button bracket
The power button is held in by a bracket that runs along the top inside of the mid-frame There are 2 screws holding it in place. You may need to use your free hand to hold back the digitizer and LCD cables when removing the screw on the right side. Remove the two screws outlined in the picture above and set them aside.
Partially remove the power button bracket
- Use your pry tool to gently lift the power button bracket out of the iPhone but don't pull it up too high as it is still attached to the main assembly.
- The bracket and cable are wrapped around once. Gently unwrap it so yours looks like the image below.
- Leave the power button bracket as it is for now and continue on to the next step.
Remove the power button
More than likely, the power button will start to come out of the iPhone as there is nothing holding it in place. Just remove it from the assembly and set it aside for reassembly as a precaution so it doesn't fall out and get lost.
Remove the power button flex cable and bracket from your iPhone
The power button sensor cable is the only sensor cable you'll see attached to the midframe that is an orange/brown color. This is the cable we will be removing. The power button bracket will also come off with it.
There is a bit of adhesive that is holding the cable down underneath where the earpiece speaker sat. Be careful when pulling this part up that you do not tear any cables. Once the cable is free gently remove it from the iPhone being cautious of any other cables it may get caught up on.
Replace the old power sensor cable with the new one
- First, start by removing the bracket off the old cable and placing it on the new one paying attention to which direction it goes on. The cable is held the the bracket with a tiny bit of adhesive but it isn't difficult to pull it off.
- Starting with the lower portion of the cable, gently start laying it back into place. There should be some adhesive on the back of the new cable that'll hold it down the frame while you work on positioning the upper portion.
- Once you've gotten the cable positioned where it should be, wind the power button cable back into place and move onto the next step.
Replace the power button
Now place the actual power button back into the assembly and use the edge of your pry tool or tweezers to make sure it is all the way into the opening before proceeding. The side of the power button that has a moveable hinge should be facing downwards.
Secure the power button bracket back into place
- Place the power button bracket back into place. You will know it is lined up correctly if you look inside the screw holes and they are lined up correctly.
- Use one hand to hold the bracket in place with one finger holding back the LCD and digitizer cables so they are out of the way. Use your other hand to replace the screws on both sides of the power button bracket.
- Once the bracket is screwed in, hold the iPhone in your hand and make sure the power button is now functioning correctly by pushing it down. You should feel it depress and click just like a functioning button would. This means you've installed the cable correctly. Give yourself a high five and move on to the next step. You're done with the hardest part!
Reassemble the rest of your iPhone 4
Once you know the On/Off button on your Verizon or Sprint iPhone 4 is depressing correctly and you feel confident the cable is lined up correctly, it's time to reassemble the rest of your phone.
You can do one of 2 things to complete reassembly so choose the one you're most comfortable with. You can follow these directions in reverse order starting with replacing the logic board or you can watch the video directly above starting from around the 4:40 mark. The reassembly video covers a complete reassembly from removing the screen so you'll only need to watch from that point on in order to finish up.
Once you're done with reassembly and have everything put back together you can go ahead and attempt to power on your iPhone 4. If all went well, you should see the Apple logo which means your On/Off button replacement was a success!
Want to know how to perform another type of iPhone repair or modification? Send me suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.