If you’ve broken the display on an iPhone 5s and you didn’t opt for AppleCare+, you can always DIY repair it yourself if you feel up to the challenge. Whether you’ve cracked the glass or your LCD isn’t functioning correctly, replacing the entire front assembly on the iPhone 5s will knock out both problems and get you back in working order in no time. The good news is, if you’ve replaced the screen on an iPhone 5 before, the iPhone 5s isn’t too much different.
So if you’re not covered by AppleCare, follow along and we’ll get your iPhone 5s looking brand new again in no time.
What you need to DIY repair a broken screen on an iPhone 5s
You’ll need some tools and parts in order to repair your iPhone 5s, including the replacement assembly. If you’re in the United States or Canada, we highly recommend checking out eTech Parts as we’ve had lots of good experiences with them and know their customer service is out of this world. All the links below will route you to the direct item on eTech’s site.
- Replacement iPhone 5s screen – Buy black screen now, Buy white screen now
- Suction cup – Buy now
- 5-point security screwdriver – Buy now
- Standard #000 Phillips screwdriver – Buy now
- Spudger tool – Buy now
- Razor blade – Buy Now
- iSesamo Opening tool (not necessary but awesome for prying up cables and getting under adhesive) – Buy Now
Power off your iPhone 5s
Before performing any repair on any device, always remember to power it off. Simply hold down on the Power button until you see Slide to Power off. One you’re sure your iPhone 5s is turned off, proceed to the next section.
Remove the two security screws on both sides of the dock connector
There are two security screws that secure the screen to the frame and they sit on each side of the dock connector. Use your 5-point security screwdriver to remove them. They are both the same size so it’s okay if you mix them up.
Remove the broken display assembly
Note: We used the suction cup method here but note that if the screen is extremely spidered, you may not be able to get a firm grip with a section cup. If that’s the case, carefully work your way around the bottom of the phone between the frame and display assembly with a razor blade until you can gently pry up using the flat end of your spudger tool instead. We recommend using plastic razor blades if you can find them since they won’t cause damage to the finish of the iPhone’s frame.
Transfer components from the old display to the new one
If you’ve ever replaced a display on an iPhone 5, you’re probably already aware that screen replacement assemblies come pretty much barebones. This means you’ll need to transfer the components and shields from the old assembly to the new one.
Transfer the Touch ID sensor and the Home button assembly
Transfer the earpiece, front facing camera, and heat shield to the new display
Re-assemble your iPhone 5s
Now that you’ve gotten everything transferred over from the old broken display to the new one, simply follow the steps in the Remove the broken display section in reverse order to attach the new display.
Take note that there are small clips that run along the top of the display that you’ll need to line up in order for it to snap down correctly. You can clearly see them in the photo above. Don’t force the display if it isn’t snapping into the brackets along the side. Make sure you’re lining up the top correctly and try again. If the top doesn’t want to sit correctly, make sure the earpiece bracket is sitting correctly as it the clips on the side aren’t completely flush, it will cause issues with seating the screen properly. Make sure you check all these points before pushing down on the display.
Replace the security screws on each side of the dock connector
Now that the display is back in place, use your security screwdriver in order to replace the two screws on either side of the dock connector.
It’s now safe to turn your iPhone 5s back on. If all went well, you should see an Apple logo. Once the iPhone 5s finishes booting up completely, make sure you check the following functions since the components involved were transferred and moved around:
- Make sure the new display doesn’t have any dead pixels or ghosting issues.
- Check touch sensitivity to make sure the new digitizer doesn’t have any dead spots. I do this by pulling up a keyboard and typing every letter on it.
- Place a test call and make sure the proximity sensor and earpiece are working okay.
- Launch the Camera app and flip the camera around to test the front-facing camera.
- Lastly, test Touch ID and make sure it seems to be working okay. It’s a good idea to pop into settings and add a new fingerprint just to make sure the reader is doing what it should do.
If all of the above checked out okay, you’re good to go!
- How to replace a cracked display on an iPhone 5
- iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch DIY repair: Ultimate guide to replacing broken screens
- All DIY repairs
Apple’s current flagship iPhone with a 4-inch in-cell display, LTE 4G, and BT 4.0 LE. New features include:
- Touch ID fingerprint sensor
- A7 64-bit processor
- M7 motion coprocessor
- iSight 120fps video
- iOS 7 software
Complete review >
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