iPad

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 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...

11 comments
rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

I recently replaced an iPad glass. Overall, it went pretty smoothly. However, now the iPad has trouble connecting to the AT&T 3G service. WiFi works perfectly, but 3G service always shows a very weak signal, and then says it is unable to connect. I'm guessing I must've somehow damaged something affecting the 3G antenna, which is separate from the WiFi antenna, but I can't see what is wrong. Any thoughts or suggestions? Rick

angloruss
angloruss

I am curious, was the iPad damaged intentionally, just for the sake of this video?

Regulus
Regulus

Bill, I realize that your editor does this to you, but I really, really, really need a "View-as-one-Page" option on this and similar articles. Regardless, keep up the good work!

randysmith
randysmith

Phil, most here ARE professionals, and some might even be competent! Having instructions from Bill is a great help to those that want to try their own repairs. I replaced a phone screen a couple years ago after one of my kids dropped the device, and while tedious, was certainly gratifying when the device continued to work until obsolete. Kudos to Bill for publishing this!

phil_swift
phil_swift

Hi, this should not of been posted as..... 1. There are health and safety issues here, the shards of glass can be miniscule and almost invisible ones can enter the eye from a finger or elsewhere. 2. If you leave just one minute piece of glass in the seating area of the new glass, when you press down the glass can easily break. 3. The heat gun method is also a health and safety issue and plastic and metal components can reach very high temperatures and hold the heat. 4. Ribbon cables are very easily damaged and need great care. If you damage one you will probably make the repair not cost-effective. Phil at Tecorum Ltd

pauls71
pauls71

Will this same procedure work with the first version of the iPad?

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Just don't rush the removal process or pry too hard. If you insert your prying tool (metal blade, plastic tool, etc.) too far into the iPad or push too hard down against one of the internal components you can break them. If you go slowly, properly heat the glue, and don't apply too much pressure, you should be ok. Just don't rush it.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

It's extremely easy to damage the connectors where the Ribbon Cables join the M'Board. The push on Connectors are not much of an issue but the Push In & Lock Connector is extremely easy to damage. I've even seen a case where no pressure was applied to that Particular Cable but the connector that it goes into was broken even though the pins in it where not bent and the socket was still locked. That particular phone still worked when reassembled after replacing the broken Front Glass, Digitizer and LED Screen but it worried the hell out of me reassembling it. Personally I believe that the connector was broken before the phone flew out of a car window onto the road as the screen or digitized had most defiantly not moved and it was more of a problem to separate than usual. ;) Sorry but as I've never dismantled a iPad I'm not sure just how fragile that the connection in it are. Col

sipeki
sipeki

How careful do you have to be when removing the screen not to damage the attached components? In other words how easy it to damage the mentioned components.

Al_nyc
Al_nyc

Figure out where the antenna is and then open up the unit again. Then you can see where the damage was done and decide if you need to repair or replace the antenna.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Much more likely that it was dropped or otherwise damaged by accident. Way too many of these devices get broken like this and it's far too easy to do it as well. Col