12.5 C
New York
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
Home How to How to fix a broken iPad screen

How to fix a broken iPad screen

Jackie Dove/Digital Trends

No matter what we do to protect our sensitive devices, accidents still manage to happen. Of those accidents, a cracked screen is one of the most common. But, what can you do to fix your iPad if this happens to you?

Whether you choose to go through the manufacturer, a third-party repair center, or you make the repairs yourself, we’ll walk you through your different options if you break your iPad’s screen.

Working out which iPad components are broken

The iPad features several levels of components, some or all of which can get damaged in a drop: A glass panel, digitizer (or touchscreen), and an LCD. The glass panel is the top layer, the digitizer touchscreen sits right underneath it, while the LCD is beneath the digitizer. When you drop your iPad, the top glass may crack sending a spider web pattern of sharp little shards covering the front of your device. Underneath the glass, the digitizer or touchscreen, which is fused to the top layer of glass, holds an electrical force that responds to tap and swipe gestures you use to control the screen. The underlying LCD displays the images and content on the screen. If you drop your iPad but are still able to operate it, view content, and use the touchscreen, chances are that only the top glass was damaged. If you are unable to use gestures or see content, then the touchscreen and LCD are also damaged.

Here are some options for fixing damage to your iPad screen.

Call on Apple

The first thing to do when you’re faced with a cracked or broken iPad screen is to find out what Apple can do and how much it will cost for the iPad maker to fix its product. Even if your iPad is still under the original one-year limited warranty, accidental damage from your cat nudging it off the kitchen table onto your stone floor at precisely the wrong angle is not covered. Apple — which markets some of the most expensive devices on the planet — also charges an arm and a leg to fix them.

Just how expensive depends on the model –unless you were prescient enough to purchase an extended AppleCare Plus warranty for $99, which covers accidental iPad screen damage among many other things for two years.

This is Apple’s cost breakdown for repairing a broken iPad screen without the extended warranty:

  • iPad mini, iPad mini 2: $199
  • iPad, iPad 2, iPad Air, iPad 5th generation: $249
  • iPad 3rd generation, iPad 4th generation, iPad mini 3, iPad mini 4, iPad mini (5th generation), iPad Air 2: $299
  • iPad Pro 9.7-inch, iPad Air (3rd generation): $379
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch: $449
  • iPad Pro 11-inch: $499
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch, iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation): $599
  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation): $649


The cost of such an accident under an AppleCare+ policy, by contrast, is $49 per incident, with a limit of two incidents. That extra $99 doesn’t seem so bad, right about now. You can order a temporary replacement iPad with Apple’s Express Replacement Service, even before you turn over your cracked device to Apple.

When you send your damaged tablet to Apple to fix, it could take the company three to five business days to send you a temporary replacement. If you have to mail it to Apple, then add a $6.95 shipping fee — or you can tote it to the nearest Apple Store and drop it off for free. You will also be responsible for any applicable taxes.

If you want Apple to fix your broken tablet, you can start a repair request directly from the Apple website. Apple notes that, “If the issue with your iPad was caused by severe damage from an accident or from abuse, you might have to pay the full replacement value.” Despite all that, having Apple fix your broken iPad screen, or replace it, is probably the best option if you can afford it because your fixed iPad is guaranteed to be new or equal to new.  

While Apple’s automatic one-year limited warranty doesn’t cover accidental damage, some tiny cracks on the screen could be judged as flaws or defects in some cases. It can’t hurt to pop over to a local Apple store to find out if that’s covered. While, ideally, your iPad should be in perfect condition, if the cracks are small enough, you may not have to do anything about them. If Apple won’t cover them under warranty, you could just continue to use your device rather than shell out for an expensive screen repair. In the meantime, you could invest in a protective case or screen protector to prevent further damage.

Third-party repairs

Having a non-Apple employee lay a paw on your cracked screen automatically voids your warranty. However, if your iPad is past warranty already, there are other possibly less expensive options to consider from third-party vendors, many of which are quite reputable. Also consider the nationwide network of Apple Authorized Service Providers, which may be able to give you a price break for an iPad screen fix. But they’re often not cheap either.

When scouting around for a third-party repair company — whether Apple authorized or independent — make sure you have all the information you need before turning over your device, such as cost, time schedule, warranty, and the source of replacement parts. Always check local reviews to ensure you’re dealing with a reputable outfit.

Do it yourself

This option is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re the adventurous type, mechanically inclined, or simply short on cash, some do-it-yourself kits for screen repair are available from iFixIt or on Amazon, and have earned some good reviews from users. Be sure you’re up to the challenge before you start taking your tablet apart. Here are a couple of pointers:

  • If you buy an off-the-shelf screen repair kit, make sure it is designed for the device you are repairing. One size does not fit all and not all devices have repair kits available.
  • Determine whether you cracked the top layer of glass or whether you damaged the touch mechanism or LCD as well. Those are separate categories of damage.
  • Protect your eyes by wearing safety goggles as you work.

Let’s take a look at a few example DIY kits.


As one of the premier vendors for Apple repair, iFixit offers specific repair kits for 16 categories of iPads, which you can identify by model number. The site features a vast variety of teardown and repair videos, replacement kits, tools, and customer support Q&A. For example, the iPad 2 Wi-Fi EMC 2415 Front Panel Replacement, consisting of an iPad Wi-Fi front panel assembly replacement, has a rating of Difficult: It involves 40 steps, takes 1-2 hours, and costs $40. iFixit outlines each step in vast detail, and users can comment and offer advice at each step.


You’ll find lots of kits at Amazon and the prices are low, but the quality of the parts and instructions can vary greatly, so do your homework and check the reviews carefully. Here are a couple of examples:

Touch Screen Digitizer for 2017 iPad 9.7 ($25)

This complete replacement kit for cracked, unresponsive, and non-functioning screens is specifically designed for the 2017 iPad 9.7 inch (model numbers A1822 & A1823). The package includes one touchscreen with digitizer, a tool kit, and instructions. It comes with all the necessary tools, as well as a clickable home button. The replacement button does not support Touch ID, so you should use the original home button if possible to retain Touch ID.

Prokit for New Black iPad 2 Digitizer Touch Screen Front Glass Assembly ($15)

Made specifically for the iPad 2, this screen replacement kit comes with a plastic iPad 2 bezel frame and tools. The digitizer includes adhesive and home button assembly. 

Prepare your iPad

Regardless of where you go for repairs — or if you decide to do the job yourself — be sure to first back up your iPad. You may also consider factory resetting your iPad before handing it over to a third-party to protect your privacy, just be sure to back up first. Any replacement device you get from Apple will be clean, so you can easily restore the data from your backup in order to use the replacement device while you await your repair. And if you decide to completely replace your damaged iPad, it will be easy to get up and running again with your backup.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series announced for August 21

Samsung on Wednesday announced its its latest phones, the Galaxy Note 20 and Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Scheduled for wide release on August 21, the pre-orders kick off on August 6.As one might expect, the new phones boast cutting-edge hardware features and run the latest version of Android. And, as we’ve seen with each iteration of the series, the Note 20 models gain new smarts and capabilities.The two phones closely resemble each other in many of the specifications; however, the Ultra version dials things up a little bit in select spots.The Galaxy Note 20 line feature 120Hz refresh rates, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865+ processor, 25W fast charging, 15W wireless charging, and support for 5G.Samsung Galaxy Note 206.7-inch flat Infinity-O Display FHD+ Super AMOLED+Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor8GB RAM128GB internal storageRear 64-megapixel telephoto, 12-megapixel wide-angle, and 12-megapixel ultra-wide camerasFront-facing 10-megapixel camera4300mAh battery with 25W chargingSamsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra6.9-inch edge Infinity-O Display Quad HD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2XQualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor12GB RAM128GB/512GB internal storageRear 108-megapixel wide-angle, 12-megapixel telephoto, and 12-megapixel ultra-wide camerasFront-facing 10-megapixel camera4500mAh battery with 25W chargingSpecifications and bullet points are only part of the story as the real details and features aren’t quite as easily expressed. As such, the new phones gain an overhauled Samsung Notes experience with free cloud sync, PDF annotation, nested folder structure, personalized handwriting cleanup, sound recordings time-synced with notes, and sync capabilities for OneNote and Outlook.Further, the S Pen supports five new gestures, allowing general Android navigation using accessory as a remote control.On the camera front, the Note 20 series include 8K video capture, multi-track audio including remote mics, manual controls, variable-speed zoom, and the ability to use the new Galaxy Buds Live earbuds as microphones.AvailabilityYou won’t have to look too hard to find the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 as pretty much all major carriers will offer the phone. Moreover, they’ll be offered at retail outlets like Best Buy, Amazon, and others. Pre-orders start on August 6 with wide availability slated for August 21.The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 ($999.99) will be sold in Bronze, Mystic Green, and Mystic Gray while the Samsung Galaxy Note Ultra ($1,299.99) will have Mystic Bronze, Mystic Black, and Mystic White colors.All pre-orders include a Samsung Credit to spend with on accessories, and also come with four months of YouTube Premium, six months of Spotify Premium, and discounts for Galaxy Buds Live and Galaxy Watch 3.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7 arrives, marking its first 5G-ready tablets

Samsung, at its Unpacked event, announced a whole array of new products, including the flagship level Galaxy Note 20 series. Also making its introduction was the Galaxy Tab 7 series of tablets.Offered in two versions, the Galaxy Tab 7 and Galaxy Tab 7 Plus are Samsung’s first tablets to feature 5G connectivity. The two will be sold later this fall with pricing starting at $650 and $850, respectively.The Galaxy Tab line has evolved from being a standard tablet experience into one that potentially rivals a PC or laptop in terms of performance. Moreover, they’re far more versatile than in previous years.Features in the Galaxy Tab S7 and S7 Plus include 120Hz refresh rates, come with Samsung’s S Pen, and support optional keyboard cases.The main difference between the two units will be the size and type of display. The Galaxy Tab S7 has an 11-inch LCD while the Galaxy Tab S7 Plus comes in larger at 12.4-inches with an OLED panel under the glass. 1 of 4 Also noteworthy and related, the Tab S7 Plus has an in-screen fingerprint scanner while the Tad S7 has its built into the power button. Batteries, as one might suspect, are also different with 8,000mAh and 10,000mAh power sources.The Galaxy Tab 7 series tablets have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 Plus processor and come with either 6GB or 8GB RAM, and up to 256GB internal storage. A microSD expansion card slot allows for external media (up to 1TB).In terms of software, the Galaxy Tab 7 run Android 10 with Samsung’s OneUI on top. Additionally, they support Samsung’s DeX interface for a more PC-like experience.Both models will be offered in Wi-Fi and cellular (5G) versions with millimeter-wave and sub-6 5G connectivity. Rounding out the specifications are Type-C charging, quad speakers with Dolby Atmos, and super fast (45W) charging.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 officially slated to arrive in September

Samsung on Wednesday began uncovering the preliminary details for its next-gen premium foldable smartphone, the Galaxy Z Fold 2.With pre-orders set to kick off on September 1, there’s still plenty of features to be uncovered. However, Samsung does give us a sense of what to expect.For starters, both screens have been made larger as compared to its predecessor. The exterior display is 6.2-inches while the flexible interior one has been bumped up to 7.6-inches.SEE ALSOSamsung Galaxy Tab 7 arrives, marking its first 5G-ready tabletsSamsung Galaxy Note 20 series announced for August 21Similar to its Galaxy Z Flip, Samsung will employ its Ultra Thin Glass in the Galaxy Z Fold 2. This will help keep the screen more safely protected.Samsung has also re-engineered the hinge, using more than 60 precision parts all while retaining a similar appearance.Other specifications include punch hole cameras in both displays and a 4,500mAh battery. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 will be sold in Mystic Black and Mystic Bronze colors. A limited run Thom Browne Edition will also be sold.Pricing and exact availability is unclear, but we do know that Verizon and T-Mobile have already pledged to carry the phone. Look for the full picture to be revealed as we approach the September 1 pre-order date.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 vs. Galaxy Note 10: A noteworthy upgrade?

With an improved S Pen and camera, is the Note 20 worth the upgrade over the Note 10? We compare the two.