The worst day of the year for any Apple fan is when they drop their phone, and it cracks. The second worst day of the year is when their AppleCare plan expires. That means that instead of paying $29 to get their cracked iPhone screen replaced by Apple, they have to pay hundreds at a third-party repair shop.
Fortunately, there are plenty of repair options that won’t put a dent in your savings. Here’s how to handle a cracked iPhone screen so you don’t have to miss any of those sweet, sweet notifications.
Test the Screen
Before visiting Google’s directory of repair stores, give your phone a thorough inspection. It’s best to do this in a well-lit environment so you can get a good look at the cracks. A sunny office or a kitchen with large windows is the perfect spot.
Turn your iPhone around to see how bad the cracks are and whether it’s worth fixing. Also, test if the screen is working at all.
If there aren’t any dead pixels and touching the iPhone still works as normal, perhaps repairing your cracked screen isn’t necessary just yet. But if you notice any pesky black spots or get glass stuck in your fingers, take it to a local gadget repair shop.
Trade Your Device
If you’re not interested in fixing your phone, you can get rid of it and earn some money at the same time. Most stores will give you some cash back for their damaged devices. Just know that the payout may not even cover lunch for the week, let alone splurging on the latest iPhone model.
It’s possible to get a better deal elsewhere if the device is still functional enough to run apps and make calls. After all, iPhones are still the most popular smartphones in 2023. There might be someone on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace who’s willing to make you a generous offer.
DIY iPhone Screen Repair
If you’re planning on doing an iPhone cracked screen repair yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind.
First, safety is key! Make sure the battery is dead before attempting any repairs so no fires or explosions occur during the process.
Second, be mindful that trying to repair your phone yourself will void any warranty you have on the product.
For those who aren’t tech-savvy, there’s also a tremendous risk that you’ll ruin your phone. Maybe you’ll misplace a screw or accidentally break the screen when you try to pry it off.
If you’re feeling adventurous and trust your inner McGyver, give this screen repair method a whirl.
You obviously need a screwdriver, but the Phillips head in your dad’s toolbox won’t cut it. You need something as small and precise as a surgeon’s scalpel, like a micro screwdriver. These are usually in phone repair kits.
A proper screen repair also requires:
- Replacement waterproof seals
- Suction handles
- Heating tools (blow dryer or heat pen)
- Phone screen adhesive
- Guitar pick
Having a repair kit can be incredibly helpful, as it usually comes with the basics. You’ll still need to buy tape, sealant, and adhesive separately.
How to Fix a Cracked iPhone Screen
The first step is to remove the SIM card from your phone. Not only will this make the repair easier to do, but it will also save your SIM from any potential damage.
Apply tape to the entire screen. This will catch the miniature pieces of glass that you’ll otherwise miss.
Place the suction cup on the freshly taped screen and make sure it’s secure.
From there, you can pull out your blow dryer to melt the glue keeping the screen in place. Keep the dryer on its lowest setting. That way, you won’t overheat your phone’s mechanics.
When the screen feels a little loose, gently pry it off using a guitar pick or something similar. Just make sure you don’t damage any wires or sensors.
Remove any leftover glass with tweezers. Take care not to touch anything else inside your device. The sharp end of the tweezers might slice through some of the delicate pieces inside your phone.
Disconnect the cables between your phone and the screen before moving on.
All that’s left is to connect the wires to your new screen. Then, add some adhesive and press your new screen into place. Make sure it’s properly aligned so it doesn’t interfere with camera functions.
Of course, going through all these steps yourself isn’t ideal. A professional iPhone repair would strip the phone of its battery, logic board, and other internal components before adding the new screen. This method leaves no gap between the screen and the phone’s body.
How to Find a Repair Shop
Besides friendly service and honesty, the biggest thing to consider is distance. Local stores offer the advantage of being able to drop off your phone and pick it up later in the day. You might even be able to get your device back in less than an hour if you wait in the store.
But stores in your area won’t always have the right tools to repair your device. They might have to order a new screen or need a special adhesive. In that case, shipping your phone to experts with the correct parts can cut down on the wait time.
When you’ve settled on a shop, make sure you have a clear understanding of what they charge. You should be able to get an estimate over the phone. It’s a good idea to ask if any charges aren’t included in their quote (ex. sales tax).
What to Do When Your Smartphone Gets Damaged
A cracked iPhone screen is an unfortunate reality for many people. If you’re lucky, your screen will only crack with no other damage to your device. But if the crack leads to more serious issues, head to our tech section for more repair tips.