How to Open the Battery Cover of an iPhone

By Jess Kroll

Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, Apple has gradually become more accepting of allowing users internal access to their own products. The original iPhone came with numerous warnings to discourage people from opening the back panel or removing the battery, and it was a difficult process to attempt. The most recent iPhone 4 allows easier access to its insides, but retains the warnings against battery removal. The procedure and tools needed to remove the back cover differ depending on which model iPhone is being opened.

Things You'll Need

  • iPhone (original or 4)
  • Needle or paper clip
  • Spudger
  • Small Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Piece of cloth or magnet (optional)

Original iPhone

Step 1

Insert a needle or the end of a paper clip into the small hole at the top of the iPhone to release the SIM card tray.

Step 2

Use a spudger to release the tabs between the dock connector and the plastic base. Be careful, as the edge of the spudger is sharp. When released, pry slightly at one end of the dock connector.

Step 3

Slide the spudger under and along the edge of the plastic cover. Be aware that this will likely result in minor cosmetic damage to the plastic. Once the plastic base has been pried, pop it up.

Step 4

Use the screwdriver to push down the tabs connecting the plastic to the metal back cover. These may be difficult to see.

Step 5

Remove the three tiny screws holding the cover in place. Do not remove the screws along the side. Place the screws in a place they will not be lost, such as on a piece of cloth or magnet.

Step 6

Very gently, pry the metal casing up just enough to fit the spudger underneath the case. This can be very difficult and may result in bending the cover. Once one side is open, do the same on the other. It will be easier with one side open.

Step 7

Carefully open the metal back while watching for the ribbon connecting the case to the phone.

Step 8

Use your spudger, screwdriver, or fingernail to remove the ribbon base from the phone. The back cover of the phone can now be removed.

iPhone 4

Step 1

Remove the two screws from the bottom of the phone. Place the screws in a place where they will not be lost, such as on a piece of cloth or magnet.

Step 2

Slide the back cover up with your thumbs a little bit, as much as 1/8th of an inch.

Step 3

Lift the cover up and remove it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Opening the original iPhone is a very delicate process and will likely result in minor cosmetic damage. It also voids all warranties, but given the age of the original model, it's likely those are already lapsed. All iPhones must be opened with caution as there is a chance of ruining the device.