If you've got an iPad 2 with a broken or cracked screen, AppleCare or insurance won't help, and you're interested in saving some money and fixing it yourself, we can help walk you through a DIY repair. iPad repairs aren't easy, but they aren't impossible either. So if you didn't opt for AppleCare+ and an outright replacement isn't an option, replacing the screen yourself may be worth considering.
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 performing any kind of repair on any device you should always power it off first.
Underneath the digitizer of the iPad are a few caution areas you want to watch out for. These areas have either sensitive cables or components that can be damaged very easily. So memorize where these areas are and move extremely carefully when working around them.
You'll only need to worry about the cellular antenna if you've got a 3G model. If you've got a Wi-Fi only model, this isn't a caution area for you.
Along the top you will find the cellular antenna. It runs along both sides of the front facing camera. It can easily become attached to the adhesive on the underside of the digitizer and pull up with it. To avoid this from happening you'll want to use a pry tool to hold them down when prying around it. This ensures that it doesn't come up with the screen.
The power cable sits at the top right of the iPad 2 and can easily be knicked with a pry tool or iPad opening tool. You'll want to work very cautiously around it to prevent tearing it. You can see in the image how thin it really is. Taking care around it will prevent issues with the power button after reassembly.
The Wi-Fi antenna in the iPad 2 is located along the bottom directly to the right of the Home button. Just like the cellular antenna, it can get caught on the adhesive and be pryed up with the digitizer when you're removing it. Make sure when you're working around this area that you are extra cautious not to tear it.
The digitizer cable is located towards the bottom left corner of the iPad about 2 inches up. Even though you'll be removing it and replacing it, still take care not to push it too hard as it can push into the LCD and damage it or pull up on components underneath the LCD. It's best to work around it.
This is the most difficult part of performing an iPad 2 or new iPad screen replacement as the screen is held in with nothing but adhesive. We are going to have to heat it up to soften the adhesive and slowly remove it with our iPad opening tool. Make sure you perform this step extremely carefully and take your time.
Make sure you have made a good mental note of the caution areas mentioned above.
This is the longest process and the most tedious. Take your time and make sure each area is heated thoroughly before you move to another section or attempt to remove the digitizer.
Once you think you've gotten all or almost all of the adhesive broke we can pry up the digitizer.
Before we proceed any further into cleaning out the frame, we want to get the completely exposed LCD out of the way and place it somewhere safe.
Before moving on you'll most likely have a lot of glass and left over adhesive in the frame. You will need to remove all of it before placing in a new assembly.
If you need to, use your heat gun in order to heat up any left over adhesive on the frame to make it easier to peel off. There's really no nice and tidy way to do this. Use a pry tool or metal spatula to whittle away the excess broken glass and adhesive.
Once you are positive that the entire frame is free of old adhesive and broken glass, we can move on.
You'll only need to use this step if the new digitizer assembly you ordered did not come with the Home button and camera hold pre-assembled onto the new one. If it did, skip this step and move on. If it didn't, continue reading this section.
Remove the following items with your pry tool off the old digitizer assembly taking care not to bend them.
To put the camera hold on the new assembly, apply new adhesive to the back of it if necessary (again, it's recommended). Use the top of the frame to make sure it's lined up correctly and push down firmly.
To make sure it's in correctly, you can always lay it down carefully in the iPad frame and make sure the top lines up without getting caught up on anything around the camera hold.
If you have ordered a new iPad digitizer that already has the adhesive applied, you can skip this step.
Before peeling off the backing to the adhesive, now is a perfect time to test the assembly instead of waiting until you've stuck down the screen with adhesive before realizing it's defective.
Gently flip over the digitizer and power on the iPad. Once the slide to unlock screen comes up, go ahead and slide your finger to unlock to make sure the screen responds to touch. Tab through the Home screens for a minute to make sure everything is working like normal.
If everything is in good shape, go ahead and hold down the power button and slide to power off again.
If you had issues, double-check the digitizer cable again making absolutely sure it's all the way in place and secured. If you still have no touch capability, you may have a defective unit and need to send it back. This is very uncommon if you've used a good supplier that offers quality parts. It does happen from time to time though. If this is the case, place your iPad somewhere safe until the supplier sends you a new replacement digitizer assembly.
This part can be a bit tricky as well so make sure you're careful and that you lay the digitizer down very carefully.
Once you've made sure the digitizer is secure you can go ahead and power on your iPad 2. If all was done correctly, you should now have a working iPad 2 again without a shattered screen.
This ranks as one of the hardest most ninja level iOS device DIY repairs so if you succeeded, give yourself a huge pat on the back. The good news is, if you performed this repair with great results, you shouldn't have any issue performing any other iPhone or iPod touch repair in the future.
If you run into issues with this repair or need additional input or help, our mod and DIY repair forums are a great place to start.
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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