Our iPads are expensive, delicate devices that we try to protect at all costs. Unfortunately, accidents do happen sometimes. Though our iPad may sport a broken screen, this article will get you through an iPad screen replacement at home.
Do-it-yourself is now the new thing. It can save you a lot of money, plus you will really learn from the experience.
But opting to do it yourself is a very risky game. Especially when you don’t have the technical experience, you might end up damaging your iPad.
Admittedly, the DIY iPad screen replacement takes more time, effort and tools to complete. But thankfully, the internet is full of tutorials that you can follow.
This article is inspired by iMore’s fixing iPad screen – DIY style!
iPad Screen Replacement Steps
Replacing a broken iPad screen by yourself can be a daunting task. It involves a series of steps that require attention to detail. With one false move, you might damage your iPad and render it useless.
And not to mention, damaging your device can and will void your Apple warranty. But if you are confident enough, then by all means, do it yourself!
Before you get started, you will have to remember a few things:
- A neat workspace where you can work freely is key. Keep the workspace organized. Some of the iPad components you will be working on will be small.
- Find a workspace that is well-lit.
- Ready your tools and components before you start. This way you can save time and work continuously.
After securing a space to work at, you will need to gather up your tools and components. We recommend that you only use high-quality materials and tools.
But what do you really need in order to get started? Here is everything you’ll need:
- Brand new iPad screen replacement
- Hard dryer or heat gun
- iPad screen kit (usually this kit includes some of the repair tools)
- Phillips screwdriver
- Razor blade
- Spudger tool
- Opening tool (good for prying up cables, adhesive tapes, and other narrow areas)
Part 1: Consider The Caution Areas
Before getting your hands on your iPad, there are a few areas of your iPad that you need to take note of. These areas are very delicate and can easily be damaged.
These areas can be found underneath the digitizer, it has sensitive cables and other components. You must familiarize yourself with these areas to avoid them. Also, extra caution is very much advised.
1. Cellular Antennas
The cellular antennas can be located on the top most part of the iPad. It is situated beside the front camera (in the center). These antennas can easily stick on the adhesive tape at the back of the digitizer.
Upon pulling the digitizer, this can come out with it easily. To avoid this, you need to pry up the adhesive before pulling it out.
2. Wi-Fi Antenna
On newer iPad models, Wi-Fi antenna are located at the bottom just beside the home button. Just like the cellular antennas, it can easily get caught with the digitizer adhesive.
3. Digitizer Cable
The digitizer cable is located at the bottom left-corner of the iPad about two inches up. Be careful not to push it too hard when replacing it because it might damage the LCD.
Part 2: Remove The Cracked Screen
This part of the process is the hardest and the most risky part. You will need to apply extra extra caution in order to avoid damage.
Also, this is a tedious process. So, most of the time will be for this process.
1. Heat up the iPad sides in order to melt the adhesive off using the heating gun or hair dryer. Move in circular motions about an inch up from the surface to avoid overheating the iPad.
2. When you feel that the adhesive has softened up, pry open the screen using a tool. Wiggle your way until you are able to insert the tool. After being able to insert the tool inside, rock it back and forth to break the adhesive around the screen.
3. When you finally open a section of your iPad screen, stick a plastic pry tool underneath to hold it up. Continue this process around the screen of the iPad.
Continue heating up the sides of the iPad where the adhesive has not softened up. Sometimes the iPad screen glass breaks depending on how bad the cracks are, and that’s okay. Just be careful not to break it in the direction of the LCD to avoid damaging it.
4. Carefully lift the screen open and bring it to the left side. Once the digitizer is totally separated from the frame, cut the digitizer cable with a pair of scissors and remove it from the iPad.
Part 3: Remove The LCD Assembly
1. First, you just need to remove the LCD and get it out of the way. Remove the four screws on each side of the iPad using your Phillips screwdriver.
2. Pry open the LCD and carefully lift it up. But be careful not to lift it all the way up as the cable will still be connected of the LCD.
3. Use a pry tool to peel the tape holding the LCD in place. Then, lift up the clasp that holds the LCD out of its sockets.
After, place the LCD somewhere safe making sure that it won’t be damaged.
Part 4: Clean The iPad Frame
After taking out the LCD there might be some broken glass left over. Clean it out! Sometimes you will have to use the pry tool to remove everything.
If you ever have to use the heat gun to soften up the residue of adhesive, go ahead. That way, it’s easy to peel it off.
Proceed only after the frame has been completely cleaned off.
Part 5: Install New Assembly
1. Ready the parts to your new assembly. Lay it all on the table close to you so you can reach it and you can work simultaneously. Also, many of the assembly kits already come with a home button, its bracket and the camera hold. But just in case, remove them on the iPad using a pry tool.
Note: Be careful not damage these components while removing them!
2. Start by putting the home button on the new assembly. Make sure to align it correctly so you will not have problems when putting everything together. You can also flip the new assembly from time to time to check if the home button is aligned properly.
3. Then put the bracket on top of the home button to hold it down in place. Use a strong double-sided adhesive for additional support.
Again, just make sure that the home button bracket is properly aligned. Test the home button by pressing it, if it feels okay then you have done it correctly.
4. Install the camera hold on the new assembly. We recommend that you use a new adhesive to hold down the camera hold. From time to time, flip the assembly to check if the camera hold is properly aligned.
Part 6: Apply Adhesive To The iPad Frame
Apply the adhesive to the whole iPad frame. Start with the corners by cutting out strips fit for each side. Be careful not to cover up any components and cable wires as you apply the adhesive.
Part 7: Attach New Digitizer Cable Assembly
1. Insert the new iPad assembly digitizer to where you cut off the old one. If you see white lines on the digitizer, carefully insert it past the white lines in order for the screen to respond and work.
2. Use a pry tool to snap the clasp back in place.
3. Remember the adhesive you cut when you removed the digitizer cable? You need to replace it with a new adhesive.
4. Then, place the digitizer cable back to its place to secure the new assembly.
Part 8: Place The LCD Back
Now that you’ve securely fastened the new digitizer assembly, you can now place the LCD back in its place. Screw the four screws back using the Phillips screwdriver.
Part 9: Test The New Assembly
Before peeling off the back of the adhesive on the iPad frame, test the new assembly out first! You can flip it and test out if the components are placed and aligned properly.
This is the last time where you can check out everything before putting it all together. Make sure that the home button has indeed been placed correctly. The camera hold should have not blocked the front camera and if it had, you can adjust it immediately.
Part 10: Remove Backing of Adhesive of iPad Frame
1. Finally, when everything is properly placed on the assembly you can peel off the backing of the adhesive of the iPad frame. Then, flip the new iPad screen to its place to secure it.
Continue checking if the camera has been blocked and if the home button still works while placing the digitizer. Gently and firmly press the sides to secure it in place.
The bottom left corner where the digitizer cable is placed may need extra pressure to make sure that is securely clasped to its place.
2. Once you are done, use the heating gun to heat up the corners of the iPad for the last time.
3. Lastly, use a cleaning cloth and work your way around the iPad screen. Gently press the sides in place. We recommend that you heat up portion by portion and press it using the cloth (so you don’t burn your fingers) for 30 seconds up to a minute.
iPad Screen Replacement – Good As New
And voilà, your iPad is good as new! But we do recommend that you research everything first before replacing your own iPad screen.
If you ever buy an iPad screen kit, is usually comes with a guide to help you with installing it by yourself.
And our guide for iPad screen replacement has also got you covered!
Did you find this article helpful? Have you replaced your own iPad screen? How did it go? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below!