C.R.A.F.T. # 76: How to Replace a Broken/ Cracked iPhone Screen

UPDATE: Here is the tutorial about how to fix a shattered iPad screen.


I cracked my I Phone glass… twice. The first time I shattered it…the phone was unusable. The second time, it was at least still usable…see below. Both times, the BF came to the rescue! He is kind of a pro now :) It takes 20 minutes (depending on crack severity), a few tools, a 10$ I Phone replacement glass, and patience!

how to replace an iphone screen
Two things before we start:
1: We buy the replacement glass from Amazon:
Here is a repair kit for an iPhone 3Gand here is a Iphone 3GS repair kit. Andy says not to spend more than $10 and read the reviews and make sure most people have good things to say about the company.
2: The glass repair kits are model specific (i.e. if you have an I-Phone 3G you will buy a different screen than if you have an I-Phone 3GS)
*BF says the mini magnetic screwdriver is a MUST and he uses a kitchen towel so the tiny screws don’t roll around and fall off of the table.
The damage:
1: Remove 2 screws at the bottom of the phone
2: Use suction cup to lift the glass out of the phone body
3: There are 3 wires that attach the glass to the phone. You need to detach all of them. –WATCH you tube VIDEO at the bottom of post for more info!
4: Remove the 6 tiny screws on the sides of the phone…
5: Remove the glass from the touch screen…
This is the phone without the glass or touch screen parts… kind of neat, huh :)
Here is the old glass
6: Heat up the old glass to melt the glue…You have to remove the metal frame from the glass
Still heating up :)
7: Remove broken glass from metal frame

8: Remove the goo. We attempted some vlogging…don’t laugh!

9: Use supplied 3M adhesive to attach new glass to metal frame!
One more vlogging attempt :)

10: Repeat steps 1-7 in reverse order :)  Easy Peasy!

This is the original You Tube video the BF watched to learn how to do it–super helpful!

While I hope that you never need this tutorial…
But, just know that it is here and is EASY and CHEAP to fix :)


  1. You have a VERY brave (and talented!) boyfriend!

    • Marcie Morgan says:

      Can I borrow your bf to fix my ipod? My daughter dropped it and shattered the glass.

    • For all you DO IT YOURSELFERS!! You can MAGNETIZE your little screwdriver yourself, by getting a magnet (as strong as you can get, or even a small fridge magnet will do), and put it on the end of the screwdriver overnight………..it will magnetize your screwdriver generally in just a few hours!!! And, its FREE. We did this a lot when I worked in Construction………EASY!

  2. They're excellent skills for water damage too. While warranties are voided, opening it and letting it completely dry out on it's side can totally bring a phone back to life! (Not tested on iPhones, just old LGs and several Blackberries) :)

  3. Terrifying!

    Kudos to you and your boyfriend for taking on the challenge! 😉

  4. SO COOL!!! This happened to me when my 2 yr old daughter threw my phone in a bit of a fit in the middle of the fabric store. I had to walk around for weeks with a cracked iPhone that still worked. We ended up swapping it for a new one, but I am keeping this tutorial on hand! I think I might still have that cracked phone stored away, so this might really come in handy! So glad you have a handy friend :)

  5. It looks like quite the project here! Thanks for being the testers for the rest of us!!

  6. we love do it yourself repairs around here, too!

  7. Perfect timing to find this one! Thanks for sharing and for helping us save our dollars!

  8. I've had this happen too! My husband is super techy and did the same. Way better than throwing money away on a new one!!!

  9. Congrads. This was the most viewed link last week at the Whatever Goes Wednesday party. I am highlighting it today!

  10. AMAZING! I'm wondering if this might work to help my iPhone 4 that did about 15 minutes in the washer. I've had it drying in what we call the "rice coffin" for over a week and it does turn on and functions (with the exception of the speaker) but still is acting funny. Maybe a little open breathing time might do the trick!

    • Danielle,
      I was just reading through this and I know it has almost been a year but did you ever get your iphone to work again.. we did the rice thing, but when I called verizon they told me to maybe take mine to a apple store because the battery may have got schocked and we may just need to replace the battery?? My daughter dropped hers in the toilet for a half a second… Any thoughts?????? Thanks

  11. Wow thanks for sharing. I will have to pass this on to my sister. She has had her glass replaced twice at $60 a pop plus shipping. Now she has cracked it again and she was holding off on fixing it because she didn't want to spend another $60

  12. Amazing!! I just got a new one because mine shattered like a firework was spread across it! I don't know if this would've fixed it or if it was too far shattered, but for $10 it's worth a shot! I ended up with a new, better iphone for cheaper than to replace my old one so I was happy, but now that I used up my upgrade, I'll be keeping this for future reference!

  13. I just got my iPhone, and the thought of the glass breaking makes me break out in a sweat…but thank you so much for providing such a thorough tutorial in case it happens!

  14. I just pinned this this morning and this afternoon my 23 month-old actually broke the glass on my phone!! so frustrating but amazing timing :S
    Thanks for the demo! wish me luck

  15. Very handy and helpful! Found this tip on Pinterest :)

  16. Visiting from Pinterest…Marry that BF, it doesn't get any better than that!

  17. Found on pinterest my daughter has broken hers twice and is gutted at the cost of a repair I have looked at doing this

  18. I was just going to say the same thing as Laura, marry the BF!

  19. Found this on Pinterest and pinned. Also have a friend that just cracked her new iPHone 4s, so shared with her. I know that it works because a local techy friend actually was telling us how to fix ours if it happens. And actually our U-Verse installer dude last year was telling us how it can be done as well! Great tut! Thanks for sharing the knowledge and solution. :)

  20. thanks for sharing this!! i will have to refer back to it if i am ever in need!


  21. Has he ever fixed an Ipod touch? Looking at the step by step directions, I dont see any actual screws on the thing we have. Any ideas?

  22. Hmmm. Wonder if this would work with my mom's touch screen android phone?

  23. Would this work for an iPad? My boyfriend has now cracked his TWICE, and the first time he spent $400 to replace the thing, even though it still worked–the factory just didn't want to go to the trouble when it was easier and more expensive just to send out a new one! iPads are just bigger iPhones, right…? This will need some looking into…

  24. Erin, I have not tried this with an IPAD… I would look for a you tube video :) I am SURE that is can be done !

  25. You sure can do replace the screen on an iPad! I work for iFixit (our goal is to teach everyone how to repair everything, for free), and I do all of our repair tutorials. Here's the video for the iPad screen swap: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnGZy74xMOY But, whenever you're performing a repair, I'd always recommend following the actual guide, which can be found on our website. Hope that helps!

  26. My husband swapped the screens out on bg's ipod this morning. He said all the tutorials he looked up didn't completely explain how they come apart. He ended up cracking the glass in two places. But the digitized screen was cracked to begin with, so no biggie. We stuck it in an otterbox, and she has been playing with it for an hour. :)

  27. I wonder if this would work on a flip camera? I dropped mine and it cracked the face of the camera.

  28. Thank you so much for this! I just replaced my iPhone screen and it works like new!

    Note: place suction cup at bottom of phone near home button to avoid accidentally pulling out wires at top of phone. Also, when removing broken glass, be wary around the home button and light sensors (at top of phone), you don't want to break the pegs holding the home button, or gouge the sensors.

    Thank you for inspiring me to fix my phone… for $11 (including shipping)!

  29. you're welcome! i'm happy it worked so well for you and thanks for the tips!

  30. Put some bleach on a Q-Tip to make the red water damage spot white again!! No more proof of water damage :)

    • DanielleDCH says:

      Seriously Katie?! I went to the apple store because my iPhone 4S was giving me a hard time syncing to my phone and when I got there the charging port was a bit dirty/dusty and had a little rust on the prongs! She said I had water damage and it has never had water damage! I was so annoyed because it charges fine and all it was just iTunes giving me a bit of a problem! The bleach does not ruin anything?? Thanks!!

  31. Working on this as we speak…but I think my glass may be too shattered to get a good seal on the suction cup. No luck getting the glass up. Ugh. Any tips?

    • Try applying an adhesive screen protector to your cracked screen. It may stick to the cracked glass in enough areas, that the suction cup will work when you put it on the screen protector.

  32. Hmmm my son cracked his ipad about a month after he got it. It still works fine and he has been living with it since the cost of fixing it was close to buying a new one. I might just have to see if he and dad are up for a project!!

  33. too much work, that's why I bought the warranty! also, if your phone is under a year old all warranties are void when you mess with the phone. Of course, if money is not an object – who cares?

    • Agreed. A lot of people don’t realize that by tampering with it- any other issues you ever have with the phone will void out the warranty- regardless of whether or not you spent the money on the Apple Care extension plan. NOT a good idea if you plan on being able to use the Genius Bar for any other issues.

    • We thought the same and have paid for the warranty for over two years without using it, My husbands screen cracks and they tell us its $199 copay to fix it. Not worth paying the warranty through AT&T all that time so we cancelled the warranty. I never knew this was even a possibility , just ordered the kit today.

  34. What did you find out? My son just stood on my iPad and cracked the screen all to crap. uggh. It's going to cost me anywhere from $79 to $279 (best buy and apple care) to fix, and my darling husband didn't buy the blacktie insurance. GAH!!! So—did you replace the glass yourself or what??
    And seriously, you would think that they would make it PLEXI glass, not actual glass. idiots!!
    feel free to email me!

  35. Yes you can fix an iPad! Check out the comment from lifewithabean (2 below this one)Here is the link she left: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnGZy74xMOY

  36. And you will void your warranty and pay full price for any serious repairs you (god forbid) might need.

    • I did not have warranty on my phone, so it was perfect! If you have the warranty, it’s free to get your screen fixed!

      • lindsey says:

        How is it free? Do you send it in or take it to your wireless carrier? Mine isn’t broken, but is scratched and driving me crazy :(

  37. nicolette says:

    whoa! you’re an aggie! whoop (saw the ring…..hopefully)

  38. maureen says:

    will this work for an I pod touch?

  39. Will this work for an iPod touch??

  40. Heather says:

    I wish I would have known this when I broke my iPhone!! ):
    I was so heartbroken when it happened.

  41. Lee Gillis says:

    The best way is to replace the I phone with a Samsung android phone with Gorilla glass face and not have to worry about it I’ve dropped mine several times and it’s still fine

  42. I have the iPhone 4 and the back of it shattered. Can that too be fixed? Right now it works, but little glass pieces keep coming out so I have it covered with a rubber cover to hopefully keep it together until the iPhone 5 comes out…soon I hope!

    • Did you ever find out the answer to this question? I just dropped my phone today and the back is shattered and little bits of glass are chipping out. I too thought I would buy a case that encloses the back to keep it together.
      (currently have a “bumper”.

  43. Thanks so much for sharing…Can this apply in like with cracked Laptop Screens? HP wants $385… ouch

    • I am not sure if it would work on a laptop… i would google it or look for a you tube video!!!

    • Phyllis M says:

      I replaced my hp laptop screen with one I bought on ebay for only $90 including s&h. It was not hard to do just taking out screws and attaching a few wires.

  44. Will this work with the Touch screen? Anyone have instructions?

  45. Will this work for an ipod touch? My daughter smashed hers :(

  46. Will this work with iPod screens too?

  47. Can you do this with iPod touch??

  48. it costs a bit more, but it’s alot easier process to just order the screen assembly that comes with a new LCD screen and replace them both as well. I have replaced several of these for my self and for others and I have found that it can be frustrating when trying to separate the lcd screen from the digitizer glass. It’s also possible to unintentionally break the lcd in the process. That’s why I find it a lot less stress full to just buy the whole assembly and replace that instead. Just a thought! :)

  49. Felicia says:

    We must have done something wrong, cannot power the phone back on, any suggestions?

  50. Awesome tutorial, found it on Pinterest. Wish Pinterest was around when I cracked my 3G screen back in the day :) Any plans to do a 4 or 4s tutorial? Would it be the same as the 3G/3GS, does anyone know?? I haven’t cracked the glass yet and hope never too but hey…things happen LOL

    • I have not looked into the 4x tutorial… but I have that iphone and its bound to crack! (knock on wood) I’ll defineitly diy it when if it happens!

  51. BRizzle says:

    Thanks so much for posting this….you gave me the courage to replace my own Droid Bionic glass! Just got the kit in and followed a similar method I was able to look up on you tube. It works great! And I’m a GIRL who did it all by herself lol!

  52. Would love to give this a try! …but what are you using to heat up the screen so you can pull the glass off?

    I’ve never used/seen something like that. Thanks again!

  53. J,

    the link you sent for the replacement glass from Amazon, is it the “real thing” or a chinese rip-off? How reliable is the quality? Also what about about replacing the back of the phone if that gets cracked?
    Huge help thanks

  54. MacKenzie says:

    i can’t get my screen off because there is so much cracking the suction cup won’t stick… what do i do?

  55. just want to say thank you. i broke my screen on my iphone (3Gs) a couple weeks ago and went in to the apple store to see about having it fixed. they said it would cost me $100.00. i followed your link to amazon and ordered the new screen with the tool kit…a total of $7.27. the videos were very helpful. i panicked when you said to do the 7 steps in reverse to put it back together but then i realized that the last video showed step by step how-to. my iphone is as good as new…:) thank you so much for sharing this information.

  56. I broke my iPod screen and I have to wait until my bday to replace it sooooo….

  57. have apple care insurance–it was free of charge.

    P.S. My glass screen was so shattered there was no way a “suction cup” could have removed it!! However, it worked perfectly well shattered in side of a ziplock baggy!!

  58. Now if you could just show me how to replace the glass on an iPhone 4!!! I was told they can’t so I had to buy a new phone

  59. Now buy a Zagg protector screen. Those things are amazing.

  60. I just dropped my iPod touch and I started to panic but remembered this tutorial. I noticed you did it with the iPhone ( which has screws) so how do you do it with by iPod?

  61. Now someone know if there is a similar fix for my little Palm Pre?
    Thanks for all your great inputs.

  62. Does this work for the Itouch as well? Can you buy that cover for the Itouch from Amazon and follow the same instructions as above? Thanks so much!

  63. Where could I find the kit and glass for an iPhone 4S ??

  64. Will this work if I dropped the phone and the light still goes on but nothing else shows up?

  65. where do you buy the replacement screen? thank you so much!

  66. Mike & SHATTEREDi says:

    Hello all it always is cheaper to fix your device then replace it with a new one! That’s what I have been doing for the last 4 years. Take a look at my Facebook page you can look it up just search – SHATTEREDi we can fix and replace. We cover all parts and labor with a 90 day warranty. If you are not near us you can ship it to us most repairs are a fast turn around! Take a look share the page.

  67. uhm im 16, and my iphone 3g fell onto concrete face first cause of some idiot boy. the entire screen is basically shattered. im terrified so i wont tell my parents. there really isnt anywhere for me to put a suction cup on t cause theres pieces of broke n glass everywhere. i put tape all over the screen though so no piece fall out. the phone works fie, i just need to change the screen. i dont no what to do help? :(

  68. HI, That’s great! Can it be done for an iPod Touch, or even for another kind of cell phone?

  69. Thank you! It worked!!!!!!!

  70. Beth Wagner says:

    My boyfriend is a manager at a place called Mobile Genius and they do any iPhone repair including water damage. Check them out at FiMyiPhone.com

  71. Christina says:

    Samsung Galaxy S3 Repair?? Glad to see a fellow Longhorn :) Hook em Horns!!

  72. Wooow am I glad I found you lot. Now wish me luck as I hope to try to replace my screen OMG :)

  73. Coooool thanks man!

  74. Question. I’m having the hardest time figuring out which kit to buy for the iPhone 5s. Anyway you could point me in the right direction? I love your site. Used your directions on how to replace an iPad screen and it worked like a charm!

  75. Do you know how to replace shattered glass on an iPad?


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