The iPhone 5 release date is expected to be announced on September 12, so you may be thinking about how to replace iPhone 4 screen in anticipation of selling it. We’ve told you before about how easy it is to sell an old iPhone, and earn the extra cash you need to get the latest model. There are a handful of great sites out there who will pay more than you might expect for your old iPhone. But if your screen is broken, you’re going to get much less for it. Here’s how to replace your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S screen in a jiffy.
How to: Replace iPhone 4 Screen
I should start by telling you that taking apart your iPhone will void its warranty, and likely any third-party iPhone 4S insurance you have, too. Do not do this unless you plan never to take your iPhone into The Apple Store or your cell phone service provider for warranty coverage again. Of course, voiding your warranty is your choice, so there’s nothing immoral about doing this, per se. I just want you to be clear that your warranty coverage will end if you do.
Unfortunately, the process involved when it comes to replace iPhone 4 screen involves more work than you might expect. That said, it’s not impossible. Many have done it.
**At the bottom of this post is a quick video we found on YouTube detailing how to replace iPhone 4 screen. I’ve been careful to write the instructions here so they appear in the same order as those in the video, which should make it easier to follow along.
What You’ll Need
- mini Phillips screwdriver
- mini slotted screwdriver
- guitar pick or case opener tool
Replace iPhone 4 Screen: Step 1
Get a new iPhone 4 glass screen
You’ll have to get a new iPhone screen before you start this process, otherwise you’re going to have a bunch of iPhone parts lying around waiting to get lost. A few members of the PerkStreet staff have done this with iPhones of their own, and they’ve all gotten the new parts on either Amazon or eBay for fairly low prices. Right now, you can get a complete aftermarket front screen for about $25.
Replace iPhone 4 Screen: Step 2
Remove the SIM Tray and the 2 Screws on the Bottom
You can remove your SIM tray and SIM cards using your SIM card removal tool, which came with your phone. Set these two things aside. Next, remove the two Philips head screws from the bottom of your iPhone. Set them aside, too. Make sure you keep all your screws separate so you know what goes where when you put it back together! I like to use an ice cube tray for this.
Replace iPhone 4 Screen: Step 3
Remove the Battery from Your iPhone
Again, you’ll need the mini Phillips screw driver here. Remove the screw holding the battery in place. Remove the battery connector from the motherboard and pull the battery tab up to pull the battery out.
Replace iPhone 4 Screen: Step 4
Remove the Shield at the Top of Your iPhone
Here you’ll need to remove 5 Phillips screws from the shield up near the camera — at the top of the phone. After you pull those screws, carefully remove the shield. It hooks under the parts it’s covering so be careful not to pull it out forcefully.
Replace iPhone 4 Screen: Step 5
Remove the Shield on the Left Side of your iPhone
Again, you’ll pull 2 Phillips screws out of the shield on the left side of the phone, remove the shield and pop the connector up under it with either a guitar pick or your case opener tool.
Replace iPhone 4 Screen: Step 6
Remove the Vibrating Motor from Your iPhone
This thing is tiny. There are two screws holding the vibrating motor in place. This is located at the top right corner of your iPhone. Remove the screws and the motor.
Replace iPhone 4 Screen: Step 7
Disconnect the 5 Connectors from the Motherboard
Again, grab your pick or case opener tool and carefully lift the 5 connectors at the top of the phone, which are plugged into the motherboard. These can be lifted in any order, but pay attention to the direction in which they lift off. The three on the right lift toward the bottom of the phone. The two on the left lift toward the top.
Replace iPhone 4 Screen: Step 8
Remove the Camera from Your iPhone
No screws on this step. You’re getting pretty deep into your phone now. Just lift the connector below the camera up. After it’s disconnected, you’ll be able to remove the camera.
Replace iPhone 4 Screen: Step 9
Remove the Speaker at the Bottom of Your iPhone
This is a tricky step so be careful. Remember that first connector we pulled up? That’s connected to a ribbon cable. Peel it back (toward the bottom of the phone) very carefully. This will expose a Phillips head screw. Remove that and the other screw over on the right to disconnect the speaker from the phone. Don’t pull it out yet. There’s still a wire connecting the speaker to the phone. Using a slotted screwdriver, pop that up carefully. Now you can remove the speaker.
Replace iPhone 4 Screen: Step 10
Remove the Last 2 Screws Holding the Motherboard in
There are two screws left to remove. You’re almost done. One is a Phillips head, and it will be on the left side of the phone, under the water sensor. The other is a slotted screw. It’s located near where the vibrator motor was. Remove these two and lift out the motherboard.
Replace iPhone 4 Screen: Step 11
Remove the Last 10 Screws Holding the Front Glass in Place
There are 10 screws holding the screen in place. They’re all Phillips head screws. Four small ones connect the screen to the housing in each corner. And three on each side of the screen connect tabs on the glass to the inside edge of the housing. Once these are pulled, you’ll be able to carefully pry the glass away from the housing from the front of the phone. Be careful of broken glass. Feed the cable through the housing of the phone as you pull the screen away.
Congratulations! Your glass screen is removed. You can work backwards to install the new screen and then re-install each part inside the phone.
Have you ever had to replace iPhone 4 screen? Share any tips you have for avoiding catastrophe below.