While a screen repair isn't the easiest repair to perform, it's definitely doable with the right parts and tools. And we'll walk you through it every step of the way.
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.
What you'll need to DIY replace a broken iPhone 4S screen
iMore recommends using only quality and genuine parts from a reputable supplier like iFixYouri. They have quality parts, tools, and much more for all your repair needs.
- iPhone 4S (any variant)
- Replacement digitizer and LCD assembly
- 5-point security screwdriver
- Standard #000 Phillips screwdriver
- Spudger tool
- Razor blade
- iSesamo Opening tool (not necessary but awesome for prying up cables and getting under adhesive)
Power off your iPhone 4S
Before performing any repair you should always power off your device before opening it up.
Remove the back plate
- Using your security screwdriver, remove the 2 screws on either side of the dock connector port.
- Set them aside. They are both the exact same size and length so it does not matter if you mix them up. They are interchangeable.
- Gently slide up the back plate by applying a bit of pressure along the bottom with your thumbs and sliding upwards.
- Now lift off the back plate and set it aside.
Remove the battery and grounding clip
- Using your #00 Phillips screwdriver, remove the two screws holding the battery in place.
- These screws are different lengths so make sure you remember which one goes where. The one that is slightly larger is the bottom screw.
- There is a tiny grounding clip underneath the battery clip where the first screw is located. Use your spudger tool or finger to remove it before prying the clip up. Many times it can go flying if you don't remove it first and then you'll have difficulty locating it so it's best to remove it first.
- Now use your spudger tool and at the bottom of the battery clip, gently pry upwards so the clip pops up.
- Move to the edge of the iPhone where the volume buttons are located and use your spudger tool to carefully pry up the battery. It is stuck down with a good amount of adhesive so be careful when prying upwards that you don't bend the battery. This is why I do not use the plastic tab that is provided. It typically rips or bends the battery. If one part is resistant move your pry tool a little further down and gently start prying it up in different places taking care not to come too close to the volume button cables towards the top.
- Once you've gotten the battery pulled out of the iPhone 4S we can move on to inserting the replacement battery.
Remove the top logic board shields
- Using your #00 Phillips screwdriver, remove the four screws that hold the top silver shield in place and the one screw that holds the small black shield in place.
- Now use your spudger or pry tool to gently lift the silver shield out of the iPhone.
- Use your spudger or pry tool to lift the black shield out of the iPhone.
- Set both shields aside and make sure your screws are organized for reassembly later.
Unclip the top logic board cables & remove the rear-facing camera
Using your spudger or pry tool carefully disconnect all the cables at the top of the logic board. There are seven cables total. One of the cables lies underneath the bottom most cable so you'll need to disconnect the cable over it before folding it back and revealing the shorter cable underneath.
Once you unclip the seven cables, you can lift the rear-facing camera directly out of the iPhone. It was only connected by one cable.
Disconnect the dock connector
- Using your #00 Phillips screwdriver remove the shield that is covering the dock connector cable towards the middle left of the iPhone. Remember which screw came from where as they are different sizes. Gently lift the shield out of the iPhone and set it aside.
- Take your spudger tool and gently pry up the dock connector cable and peel it back as shown below. Perform this step with caution as there is adhesive on the underside of the cable. Take care not to rip the cable by pulling up to quickly.
- Leave the cable in this position and move on to the next section.
Pry up the cellular antenna
- Using your spudger toolcarefully pry up the round connection for the cellular antenna. It should come up easily so pry up gently.
- You'll notice that it is wrapped around a metal clip. Gently unwrap it so it's sticking upwards and leave it in this position.
Remove the SIM card and tray
Using a SIM removal tool or a bent paper clip, eject the SIM tray and set it, and the SIM card aside.
Remove the logic board
- Remove the three #00 Phillips screws at the top, middle, and bottom left of the logic board with your #00 Phillips screwdriver. The top screw has a piece of tape over it you'll need to peel back. After removing it you'll also notice a gold grounding clip underneath it. Make sure you don't lose it as you'll need it for reassembly.
- There are two more screws holding the logic board in place and you'll need to remove them with your flat head screwdriver. They are located at the top right and bottom of the logic board.
- Now you should be able to lift the logic board out of the iPhone. Use the area that the rear-facing camera was located and the bottom of the logic board to lift it straight out.
Remove the loud speaker assembly
- The loud speaker is held in with two screws that are located on both sides of the assembly. Use your #00 Phillips screwdriver to remove them.
- The screw on the left hand side of the assembly has a black triangular spacer underneath it. Make sure you don't lose it and set it aside for reassembly.
- After the two screws are removed you can gently lift the speaker assembly out of the iPhone.
Remove the vibrator assembly
The vibrator assembly is only held down with a bit of adhesive. Use your pry tool or metal spatula tool in order to loosen the adhesive and remove the vibrator assembly. Just make sure you are careful not to bend it.
Remove the digitizer and LCD assembly
For this section, we highly recommend watching the teardown video above as it will show you the technique for removing the display that will best compliment the written steps much better than pictures can.
- Hold the iPhone so the screen is facing you and insert your pry tool or metal spatula into the top left corner and slowly start breaking the adhesive underneath the display by moving your tool gently back and forth.
- Once the top left is free, move over to the top right corner and repeat.
- After the top of the assembly is free, move towards the bottom on either side of the Home button and repeat the same process.
- Once all the adhesive is broken, carefully pull the front assembly off the iPhone taking care to make sure the digitizer and LCD cables don't get caught up in the frame.
Transfer the Home button, speaker mesh, & camera hold to the new digitizer & LCD assembly
If the assembly you ordered did not come with a Home button, camera hold, or speaker assembly already attached, you'll need to remove those pieces and place them onto the new assembly.
The Home button is only held on with a rubber gasket with a bit of adhesive. Carefully pry it up and transfer it. The camera hold and speaker mesh are the same and can easily be transferred as well. Use a bit of double sided adhesive if you need to.
Reassemble your iPhone 4S
To reassemble your iPhone 4S, you can either follow all these directions in exact reverse order or view our reassembly video guide above which will walk you through how to reassemble it from screen to turning it back on and testing it.
Now that you've completely reassembled your iPhone 4S you can go ahead and hold down the power button in order to turn it back on. After it boots up, test the new assembly by dialing some numbers, using the keyboard, and looking for dead pixels. Then place a test call, check vibrator functionality, and do an all-around test to make sure all of the components you had to remove and replace are in good working order.
If everything is back in working order, pat yourself on the back. This isn't an easy repair to perform and if you were successful, you've now unlocked the ninja DIY'er achievement!
○ Fix a broken iPhone 7 or 7 Plus
○ Fix a broken iPhone 6s or 6s Plus
○ Fix a broken iPhone SE
○ Fix a broken iPhone 6 or 6 Plus
○ Fix a broken iPhone 5c
○ Fix a broken iPhone 5s
○ Fix a broken iPhone 5
○ Fix a broken iPhone 4s
○ Fix a broken iPhone 4 (GSM)
○ Fix a broken iPhone 4 (CDMA)
○ Fix a broken iPhone 3GS or 3G
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Getting "No Service/Searching" after two 4S screen repairs. No problems when replacing regular 4 screens :(
didnt think of the massive steps just for a broken screen. worth trying though.
didnt expect the massive steps just for a broken screen. worth trying though.
There seems have something wrong with the digitizer and LCD assembly link. Just found it from another place http://www.etradesupply.com/iphone-4s-lcd-screen-and-digitizer-assembly-...
I did everything perfectly and now My phone touch is working but my screen is black...
But one small gold piece which looks like it goes around a screw fell out and didn't know where it went? Could you please help me, and how would I know if I bought an uneffective LCD digitizer
Just joined. I had the same problem with the small gold bit, a guy a the shop said it was something to do with the camera?? but I cant find where it goes ! since I repaired my fone the Wifi doesn't work as good with the signal in and out could this gold bit be something to do with that?? Help!!
Followed this through to replace my broken screen and it worked perfectly. Very clear instructions and made it far less daunting than I imagined. Thank you !
WTF you think that is a guide-
are you kidding me -
where's the instructions on getting the old screen off the Digitizer bit- I had a phone with a cracked screen- but it worked- now my phone is ruined and i don't even know what parts to order- You should be ashamed to make such a half baked attempt at this walkthrough
You dont removed the "old screen off the digitizer bit" this comes off as ONE part (if you only ordered the LCD screen, you got ripped off, with the best will in the world, its an impossible fix). You can not separate them LCD from digitizer. You need the LCD + digitizer + frame replacment unit.. The point of a tear down is to replace the digitizer + lcd display unit. This is standard for replacing LCD screens. Its not a simple process and everything you need is above. If you order the digitizer + lcd + frame ( and then follow the above steps), you could probably fix your phone for next to nothing. http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?ff3=4&pub=5575095911&t...
this worked great for my first 4s repair, but when i fixed my girlfriends, the screen just wouldn't turn on right. I ended up taking it to this shop because i couldn't get the job done myself. The screen was flashing really weird and over heating. The Device shop did a good job though, i have no complaints. http://thedeviceshop.com/
Hoping to attempt this on my iPhone 4S in a week or two. The disassembly audio is very helpful but the camera work is pathetic. Half the time the phone is mostly or completely off screen. I can't imagine what the camera operator was thinking.
Your quality control sucks. The side prongs were offset by 1/8" meaning it WOULD NOT, COULD NOT seat properly. Disappointing because I laid everything out and was careful in the complete disassembly. Now all I have are pieces of a iPhone 4S puzzle. Useless for me now. Signed Frustrated.
Followed your instructions to replace my cracked screen on my iPhone 4s. It did work for me. Thanks very much. I got the screen replacement from http://www.hcqs.cc/iPhone-4s-lcd/iPhone-4s-lcd-4.html
This is a TERRIBLE video !!!! Most of the time you a focussing the table instead of the Iphone !! Who in the **** did this **** video ??
Did it all as described, I thought initially that it had all gone to plan, until it can to charge the phone. It took forever and also there is no recognition when plugged into a pc. The first time I tried to charge the phone overnight managed 50% charge, I have discovered that if I turn the phone off it will charge fully. Any ideas?
Everything was great until you skipped the step to unscrew the LCD first!!!!!!!
4 corner screws and 6 side screws with washers!!!!
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