How to replace a broken front panel on your iPad 2 or iPad 3

Breaking the glass on your iPad may not stop it from working, but can make it difficult and unsafe to use. Here's a step-by-step guide to fixing a broken front panel on your iPad 2 or iPad 3.

4. Install the Home button and camera plate on the new front panel

Using the pre-cut adhesive strips or double-sided tape, attach the camera plate to the new panel. Do the same for the Home button and the button bracket. Then reattach the Home button contact with the screwdriver.

Credit: Bill Detwiler/CNET

5. Install the new front panel

Before reconnecting the panel, you should remove any pieces of adhesive or broken glass that are still stuck to the metal case.

With the case prepared, reconnect the new panel's digitizer cable to the main board connector and flip down the locking levers. Reconnect the LCD and secure it to the frame with its screws. Fold the front cover over into place, being extremely careful not to damage its cable.

Credit: Bill Detwiler/CNET

At this point, we're just testing the panel's fit and functionality so we've haven't applied any of the adhesive strips. Turn the iPad on and verify everything works. If it does, turn the unit off, lift open the panel and apply the adhesive strips.

Before closing the panel for the last time, carefully inspect the LCD and inside of the panel for dust. If you see any, gently remove it using a microfiber cloth or puff of air. Avoid touching the inside of the panel's viewing area or the LCD with your fingers or anything else that might damage these surfaces. Once you're sure both surfaces are clean, fold the front panel back onto the metal case and press firmly, but gently along the edges. After removing the panel's protective film (if it has one), your fix is complete.

Credit: Bill Detwiler/CNET

This is a tough fix. But when done successfully, it can breath new life into a broken iPad.

About Bill Detwiler

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

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