How to Repair a Shattered Screen on an iPhone 4

By Robert Kingsley

You just broke the screen on your iPhone 4. Your expensive phone is now a useless lump of circuitry and you don't have the money to replace it or to have it professionally repaired. That's quite a predicament. Though a lot of risk is involved, this repair can be done at home. Of course, this should only be attempted as a last resort as any warranty you may have had will certainly be voided. If you're brave enough to give this a shot, you can get the replacement parts online.

Things You'll Need

  • SIM card removal tool
  • Mini Phillips head screwdriver
  • Small plastic prying tool

Step 1

Turn off your iPhone and use the SIM removal tool to pop your SIM card out of the right side of your device. This tool can be purchased online.

Step 2

Remove the two small Phillips head screws from the bottom of the phone to free the back panel. Slide the back panel toward the top of the phone and pull it straight up and off. Set the back panel aside.

Step 3

Use the screwdriver to remove the screw that holds the battery connector to the iPhone motherboard. Pop the connector up and remove the battery by pulling on the clear tab on the left side of the phone.

Step 4

Remove the black shield on the top of the phone by removing the five screws that hold it in place. Be aware that two tabs on the shield work like hinges. You will need to pull the top up first and then slide the tabs out on the bottom.

Step 5

Remove the small black shield from the left side of the battery compartment by removing the two screws that hold it in place. The small shield will pop right off revealing a connector on the motherboard. Use the plastic prying tool to pop the connector loose.

Step 6

Remove the small vibrator from the top right corner of the iPhone. Remove the two screws that secure it to the circuit board and pull the device out.

Step 7

Unplug the five circuit board connectors from the top of the iPhone using your prying tool. The three smaller connectors must be pulled up from the top, while the two larger connectors on the left must be pulled up from the bottom.

Step 8

Remove the iPhone's camera assembly by unseating the connector from the mainboard and pulling the device out.

Step 9

Pull the ribbon cable on the right side of the phone up as far as it will go. This will reveal a screw that secures the speakers in place. Remove this screw as well as the screw at the left of the speaking housing. Carefully pull the speaker assembly up to reveal a wire connector on the motherboard. Unplug this connector and set the speaker assembly aside.

Step 10

Remove the screw on the right side of the phone next to the black moisture sensor as well as the screw holding the circuit board in place near the top of the phone. Pull the motherboard out of the phone and set it aside.

Step 11

Remove the 10 screws that secure the iPhone screen to the case. Three are on the side panels and one in each corner. Pry the screen out from the front of the device using your prying tool. Replace with your new screen and reverse these instructions to reassemble your iPhone.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use an anti-static wrist strap to avoid static discharge while working on your iPhone. A shock can damage sensitive components.