Got an iPad with a broken screen? The DIY iPad screen repair guide prepared by Simply Fixable’s professionals will help you complete the repair at a lower cost.
The iPad is a large handheld device, and its massive size means that it can easily slip out of grip. The iPad screen is fragile and breaks easily, leaving us with many iPad with broken screens.
iPad screen consists of the top digitizer glass and an LCD panel beneath it. If you are aware of iPad screen repair costs, then you would most probably like to fix your iPad by yourself if the damage is not serious enough. Our iPad screen repair guide will cover the repair method for the screen digitizer and the LCD panel. So, without further ado, here’s the step-by-step guide you need to follow.
What you will need to complete the repair?
- A new screen digitizer
- A new LCD screen (if broken)
- Heatgun (if not available, can be replaced with a hair dryer)
- Precision Phillips head screwdriver
- Plastic opening picks
- Suction cup
- Metal pry bar
- Plastic pry bar
- Electronic tweezer
- Adhesive double-sided tape
The iPad screen repair can be completed without some of these tools. However, having the complete tool kit will make the repair much easier and less time-consuming. Some of the tools can be bought in bundles, so if it is your first buying them, consider bundles.
DIY iPad Screen Replacement Guide - Stepwise Explained
Note: Before you attempt the repair, spare at least 2-4 hours of your time. The iPad screen repair is time-consuming and requires patience and focus.
Step 1: Prepare the iPad for Screen Repair
- Turn off the iPad and remove any cables or accessories attached to the iPad.
- Remove any protective cover you have put on the iPad. If your iPad supports a GSM connection, make sure to remove the SIM before proceeding with the repair.
Step 2: Use a heat gun or hair dryer to soften the adhesive around the Screen
- Use the heat gun or hairdryer around the edges of the iPad screen. Make sure you are not directing heat at the center of the screen.
Step 3: Use a suction cup to slightly lift the display
- Place the suction cup near the edge of the display and press down to make good contact with the screen.
- Use the heat gun around the edge where the suction cup is placed to soften the adhesive. Gently pull on the suction cup.
- After 2-3 passes with the heat gun, the screen should lift up slightly. Place an opening pick between the slight opening of the screen, so it stays put.
- Repeat this process for the remaining three sides of the iPad.
Step 4: Pry away the adhesive with a Pry bar
- With the screen slightly open, wedge the pry bar between the frame and the screen.
- Run the pry bar along the edge of the screen to remove the adhesive.
- Once the screen is free from the adhesive, place an opening pick between the screen and the frame. You might need to change the location of the opening pick depending on which side of the iPad you are working on.
- Keep the tool you use along the edge of the screen. If it goes too deep, it can damage the LCD.
- The LCD screen cables that connect the iPad to the motherboard are on the right side of the device. So, only go halfway from the top on the right side of the device with your pry bar. If you go further, it can damage the display cables.
Step 5: Gently lift up the Digitizer away from the LCD
- After prying all the adhesives, lift up the digitizer screen. The screen should open like a book with the display and the home button cables still attached.
- If the screen seems stuck, use a heat gun while gently lifting up the display.
Step 6: Unscrew the four Phillips head screws holding the LCD in place
- The LCD is attached to the iPad with four Phillips head screws at each corner of the device.
- Unscrew the Phillips head screws.
Step 7: Remove the LCD
- After removing the four Phillips head screws, slide an opening pick under the LCD at one corner.
- Use another opening pick and slide it under the other corner of the LCD to free it from the housing.
- Gently lift up the LCD
Step 8: Remove the LCD Ribbon Cable
- The LCD ribbon cable is underneath the L-shaped metal plate held in three Phillips head screws.
- Pull the LCD ribbon cable to remove it. Ensure not to use excessive force as it can damage the ribbon cable.
Step 9: Remove the Digitizer Cables
- To remove the two digitizer cables, lift up the metal connector using a fingernail or a pry bar.
Step 10: Remove the Home Button Cable
- Locate the home button cable and follow it to its connector.
- To remove the home button cable, lift up the plastic piece of the connector using a pry bar. Make sure to lift up the plastic from the opposite side to where the cable is attached to the connector.
- Pull the cable away from the connector.
Step 11: Remove the Home Button from the Digitizer
- Once the digitizer is free from the frame, we need to remove the home button.
- To remove the home button, gently pull the home button cable away from the digitizer. The cable is held by adhesive. Therefore, excessive force can bend or break the ribbon cable.
Step 12: Prepare the iPad for a New Screen Install
- Before installing the new display, get the iPad prepared. Clean off any loose glass along the edge of the iPad.
- Clean the edges with isopropyl alcohol so the new display can create a good seal with the frame.
Step 13: Install the Home Button in the New Digitizer
- Clean the home button removed from the broken digitizer. Make sure no glass or residue is left on it.
- Install the Home Button on the new Digitizer screen and route the home button cable flush against the digitizer screen.
Step 14: Attach the Home Button Cable to the motherboard
- To attach the home button cable to the motherboard, lift up the plastic piece on the connector.
- Using an electronic tweezer, align the cable with the connector and guide it in.
- Once the cable is in the connector, close the plastic on the connector.
Step 15: Attach the Ribbon Cables of the Digitizer to the Motherboard
- Attach the two ribbon cables of the digitizer to the motherboard.
- Line up the cable with the connector and press down until you hear a snap.
- Repeat the process for the other cable.
Step 16: Attach the LCD to the Motherboard
- Line up the LCD panel with four screw holes at each side.
- Before screwing it down, attach the LCD ribbon cable to the motherboard.
- After the ribbon cable is connected, re-install the metal plate covering the LCD and the digitizer ribbon cables.
- Gently reseat the LCD in its housing. Give it a little wiggle to make sure it is correctly held in place.
- Screw the four Phillips head screws to secure the LCD panel to the motherboard.
Step 17: Test the new Digitizer and LCD
- Before securing the Digitizer to the frame, make sure everything works.
- Turn on the iPad and see if the LCD panel and the digitizer screen work.
- If the LCD panel is glitching, turn off the iPad, let it rest for 5 minutes, and turn it on again.
Step 18: Apply adhesive tape along the edges of the iPad
- If the digitizer screen does not come with adhesive tape, the adhesive tape will need to be self-applied along the edges of the iPad.
- Apply an even layer so the digitizer screen can sit flush with the frame.
Step 19: Peel the Protective Film on the Digitizer Screen before placing it on the iPad
- Before placing the Digitizer Screen, peel off the protective film.
Step 20: Put the Digitizer Screen back on the iPad
- Align the Digitizer screen properly, taking into account all four corners of the iPad.
- Once the screen is properly aligned, place the Digitizer screen on the iPad frame and gently push on all the corners.
- Place the iPad between a heavy object - ideally between two books. This will allow the screen to sit flush with the frame.
How to know if you need the Digitizer or screen replaced?
If the iPad is working and turning on after screen damage, it indicates a broken Digitizer that needs to be replaced. However, if the iPad is not turning on or the screen has become pixelated, the LCD is broken and needs to be replaced.
iPad home button not working after screen repair
Most of the time, the iPad home button is not working after screen repair because it is not set properly. To set the home button properly, make sure the black dot on the home button circuit aligns with the small circular metal on the connector.
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