iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch DIY repair: Ultimate guide to replacing broken screens

iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch DIY repair: Ultimate guide to replacing broken screens

Everything you need to know to do-it-yourself (DIY) replace a broken screen on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

The most common DIY repair anyone will ever have to do on their iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch is a screen replacement. Most likely, you've cracked the screen accidentally and you need to just replace it with a new, unbroken one. While some iDevice screens are extremely easy to change out, others aren't quite that simple.

Regardless, iMore is here to help and we can walk you through screen repairs on almost all models of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Not only that, we'll give you links to the parts and tools you need from suppliers we trust. From start to finish and component to component, this is your go-to guide for everything screen repair.

How to replace a cracked or broken screen on an iPhone 5s

How to replace a cracked or broken screen on an iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s was released in September 2013 and features Apple's first fingerprint sensor, Touch ID. Other than that physical difference, it's pretty much identical in form factor to its predecessor, the iPhone 5. There are some internal differences when it comes to a screen repair though. Regardless whether you've repaired an iPhone 5 screen before or not, the iPhone 5s isn't terribly difficult and if you don't have insurance of any kind or an Apple Store near you, it's a doable repair if you've got a bit of DIY background.

This repair will take care of a dead or pixelated LCD as well.

How to replace a cracked or broken screen on an iPhone 5c

How to replace a cracked or broken screen on an iPhone 5c

The iPhone 5c is the direct predecessor of the iPhone 5 and comes in 5 bright and bold colors including white, blue, pink, yellow, and green. Regardless which color you've got, the screens are all the same and break just as easy. If you've managed to break your iPhone 5c screen, we can walk you through where to get your replacement parts and how to replace it. If you've ever replaced an iPhone 5 screen before, this isn't much different. This should take care of a discolored or dead LCD as well.

How to replace a cracked screen on an iPhone 5

While the iPhone 5 hasn't been out for that long, there are folks out there already breaking them. Hey, accidents happen. Luckily, an iPhone 5 screen repair is one of the easier screen repairs to perform on your own. While the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S require the entire phone to be disassembled in order to replace the screen, the iPhone 5 opens from the front, making it much easier to replace a cracked screen with less room for error.

We broke one in the name of science just so we could show you how to fix it. So if you've got moderate ninja DIY skills, you should be able to tackle this one on your own.

How to replace a cracked screen on an iPhone 4S

The iPhone 4S features some design revisions that improved the quality over the iPhone 4. Unfortunately, that design revision didn't make it much easier to fix in terms of screen repair. Nonetheless, it isn't an impossible repair and it'll cost you a heck of a lot less than paying for an out-of-warranty replacement from Apple.

To help you along, we've got videos and lots of pictures to guide you through the process. Due to the construction of the iPhone 4S' retina display, you'll need to replace both the glass and LCD. They're bonded together and the replacement screen will come with both. Take your time, breathe, and we're confident you'll come out with an iPhone 4S that looks brand new again.

How to replace a cracked screen on an iPhone 4

The iPhone 4 comes in two flavors, GSM and CDMA. AT&T, Rogers, and most international users will have the GSM variant of the iPhone 4 while Verizon and Sprint customers that are state-side will have the CDMA version. We have guides for both variants and can assist you with a screen repair on your iPhone 4 regardless of your carrier. Just remember that the guides are different as are the internal differences between the models.

Just like the iPhone 4S, the iPhone 4 screen assembly is fused together and contains both the glass digitizer and the LCD. You'll need to replace both regardless of whether or not the LCD is discolored or broken. Either way, a replacement screen and some tools will still net you a lot more savings than an out-of-warranty replacement.

How to replace a cracked screen on an iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS

The iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS feature the same front opening assembly as the iPhone 5. This means a screen repair is super simple. Given the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS are now considered older devices, many users don't want to put in too much effort when it comes to DIY repair. We don't blame you. Luckily the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS are super simple to fix when it comes to broken screens and can be done so on the cheap.

Even if you've already upgraded to a newer model iPhone, a 3G or 3GS can still make a great backup phone or a good iPod touch substitute for a younger child in the house. If you're up to it, follow along with our guide and we'll get it back to brand new condition in no time.

How to replace a cracked screen on a 4th generation iPod touch

iPod touches by their very nature love to slip out of children's hands. The screens are also very susceptible to breaking. It's also common that the LCD gets damaged when the screen breaks more often than it does on iPhone models. The good news is that a screen repair really isn't that difficult and it'll replace both the glass and the LCD. Just like its siblings, the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S, the glass and LCD are bonded together. Replacing the screen can take care of issues with either.

This repair will also cost you a lot less than a brand new iPod.

How to replace a cracked screen on an iPad 2 or iPad 3

The iPad 2 is where Apple's fascination with adhesive really started. Every iPad since then and even additional devices have contained screens that are held in with a super strong adhesive. While fixing an iPad 2 or iPad 3 is not an easy feat, it is possible and costs less than replacing it.

Our guide covers a screen replacement for an iPad 3rd generation but most iPad 2 users will be able to follow it just fine as well. The only difference will be the connector placement for the LCD and digitizer. As long as you're careful lifting up the LCD, you'll be just fine. The hardest part is getting the broken glass panel off, after that, you're pretty much good to go.

Note: Some drops cause the aluminum corners of the iPad to bend in towards the screen. This will make it impossible to lay a flat piece of glass down without bending these corners out properly again. Sometimes this can even require power tools. If that scares you, we here at iMore recommend using a professional service such as The Pod Drop who can perform the repair for you as a walk-in or mail-in. This will also cost less than a replacement but will come with a warranty and the peace of mind that your device is in good hands.

If you feel comfortable repairing your iPad on your own or you don't have any bent corners, we've got the guide to help you do just.

Even more DIY help

Run into an issue with a DIY repair or need more help? Our DIY and mod forums are a good place to start. We've got lots of members that are willing to lend a hand in the form of advice. Hey, many of them may have been in your exact same situation at some point.

Looking for more repairs that aren't covered in this guide? Check out our guides below as this is only a small portion of what we've already covered. If you still can't find the answers you're looking for or want us to cover a guide we haven't yet, you can email us directly and we'll try and help however we can.

Additional resources:

Allyson Kazmucha

Editor for iMore, Potter pundit, and the ninja in your iOS

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There are 3 comments. Add yours.

Quennie Faye Noreen Dolor says:

Nothing is more fulfilling than having to successfully fix your most loved possession all by yourself. Iphone, ipad, and ipod touch are such a precious items to own and if there’s anyone to lay a hand on its most fragile parts, it’s none other than the owners themselves only. Replacing Apple iphone parts is challenging for DIY-ers, yet the process is fulfilling, and it is also another way of ensuring that your Apple product is still in good hands even in its worst state.

PlatinumRepairs says:

Ally, it's amazing how your photos turn a repair guide into a work of art!

For those in South Africa - we can either supply the parts and tools needed to repair your iPad, or we can do the repair for you. www.platinumrepairs.co.za/ipad-repairs