How to Replace a Cracked iPad Screen

If you own an electronic device, especially a touch screen device, you know that anxiety you feel every time it gets dropped, that hope that it doesn’t scratch, bend, or shatter. So many New Jersey people have felt that, only to find out that their screen has been cracked, and there’s nothing that can undo it. The only way to fix it, is to replace the screen. Replacing a screen, on let’s say an iPad, is extremely complicated, and should only be done by those with ample training, and the tools to get the job done.

The Take Down

The first part of replacing an iPad Screen is of course having a broken iPad. Just because the front glass is cracked and needs to be replaced, doesn’t mean the iPad is unusable. Commonly, the Digitizer still works and the iPad is still capable of taking commands from your hands. If it has stopped responding to touch, you will need to replace the Digitizer for sure. You can tell if the LCD screen itself still works, if it displays its graphics with all of its pixels at the correct time. If not, the LCD needs replaced also.

The most important thing when fixing an iPad screen, is having the correct tools and parts to do it. It can be done with just any old tools or any old parts. The replacement screen should be new or refurbished, and probably not from Craigslist in New Jersey. Your tools should come from a good source too, like Apple or iFixit. You will need: 5-6 guitar picks, a heatable pad like iOpener, Phillips #00 screwdriver, and plastic opening tools to keep from damaging the glass.

There is an adhesive strip that runs around the exterior of the glass. It can only be released by heat. Put your iOpener in the microwave for 1 minute. Then place it on the right side of the screen so that it is centered over the bezel. Leave it there for about 2 minutes. When the adhesive starts to release, you will be able to put a pick between the bezel and the front glass, to space them apart and prevent its reattachment with the adhesive. There are gaps in the adhesive about 2 inches from the top, which is the best place to put your plastic opening tool. When you have lifted the glass a little, and made a gap, put the guitar pick underneath it .5 inches, about halfway. Reheat the iOpener and place on the bottom edge of the screen, and then place it on the right hand side again. With the adhesive on both sides loosened, but another guitar pick in next to the first and slide it down towards the bottom, between the glass and the bezel.

When both picks are in place, put the iOpener on the bottom again to make sure the adhesive is still separable. Use the plastic opener tool to pry up the glass on the right hand corner of the bottom. When it is pulled up enough, put a guitar pick in there as well. It is important that you don’t pry on the bottom edge about an inch in from the corner. The Wifi antenna is there, and is very susceptible to harm. If the adhesive is still warm, go ahead and slide the guitar pick the length of the bottom. Be sure to pull the pick out a bit when you get to the home button, to make sure it isn’t damaged either. Leave the pick in the bottom left side and reheat your iOpener. The cable that connects the glass is on the left side, so it is opened last. Put the newly heated iOpener on the top and repeat the prying and spacing process. Place a pick on the left edge of the top. Place the iOpener on the left side to heat up the adhesive. Start prying near the top, and put the pick in there. Slide the pick down until it reaches 3 inches from the bottom. The connecting cable is there, and shouldn’t be ruptured. Leave the pick there as a spacer. When all the sides have had the glass separated from the bezel, use the pick to gently pry up the lower right-hand corner. When it starts to come up, use two hands to grip the top and the bottom while flipping it over to the left, like opening a book cover. Your iPad is now open, and ready to work on.

Replacing Parts

To replace the LCD screen, unscrew the 4 Phillip’s-head screws holding it to the back, and flip it over on top of the glass. Use the plastic opening tools to pry up the two digitizer ribbon cables and disconnect them. Put the replacement LCD where the first was, and reconnect the cables. If the glass has to be replaced, disconnect the cables securing it, with the plastic opener tool, and reconnect the cables for the new one.


Put back the 4 screws that held the LCD in. Turn over the front glass and make sure it’s centered over the bezel. Push it down firmly. Reheat your iOpener, and place it on each of the sides. Leave it there for 3-5 minutes to make sure the adhesive rebonds to the front glass. Presto! You now have an iPad, like new.

There’s not a whole lot of things more enjoyable than getting back something that was broken. iPad’s are a great tool and a lot of fun. If yours breaks in New Jersey, this is how to fix it.

by David Molnar