DIY iPhone Screen Replacement

DIY iPhone Screen Replacement

DIY iPhone Screen Replacement

Hello $wanigans! Welcome back. If you are part of the FIRE community or believe in a frugal life, then you no doubt are ready to pick up a hammer and a screwdriver to a do a little DIY when the situation calls for it. But what if the screwdriver is so tiny you can hardly tell if it is a Phillips or a Torx (star shaped)? That was the case for me when I most recently tried my hand at a DIY project: replacing my cracked iPhone 6 screen!

You might think I’m a bit crazy for trying my hand at such a cautionary DIY project, but just like most other DIY projects, there were good YouTube videos available to walk me through the project and other good step-by-step guides online. I read a lot about the process and felt comfortable with the risks, so I figured why not?!


Let me first give a little background. No, I do not believe in phone cases, but I’m starting to come around to the idea. I mean what is the purpose of having a skinny and pretty looking phone if you throw a big, fat ugly case on it, right? I guess the answer is because the manufacturers make them in a way they are super fragile and breakable…I mean is glass a necessity? How about a durable plastic screen or something?!

Anyway, even though I’ve never had a case in the last 5+ years of owning a smart phone, I also have never had a problem until 2016. What happened in 2016? My son is now a perfect age where he has learned to throw things…including my cell phone when I place it within his reach!  ‘Nuf said.


So what solution do I have but to go to the repair shop down my street to get a replacement screen? As a matter of fact, that is just what I did back in April when the first accident happened. Cost…~$120 for the replacement and I talked them into a free tempered glass shield (huge win for me, I know…not).

Now that I still haven’t learned my lesson after the first incident, I now need a second replacement screen. This broken screen wasn’t as bad as the first, see pic below. But I figured I might as well replace it now since I’m going to at some point anyway (prior to a trade in or re-sale).

DIY iPhone Screen ReplacementAt some point along the way I heard or read about someone replacing the screen themselves so I looked into it more myself. After all, I don’t need the repair shop to get to know me by name. The solution…Amazon and YouTube!

Surprise surprise, replacing my own screen is doable. I found my iphone screen replacement for about $30 which offers significant savings over the local repair store. Although nerve wracking at times, I was successful! I followed YouTube videos very closely, took my time, I had Lucy watch over my shoulder for help and encouragement, and took pictures every step along the way (with her iPhone…) in case I needed to revert back.

DIY iPhone Screen Replacement

After about 20 minutes and sweating through my shirt, I came out victorious! But allow me to give fair warning and some very key and must read advice that I found while researching this process before you try this yourself…


First, unless the screen replacement product you buy says it is manufactured by Apple or an OEM, then it is not going to be exactly the same. You may notice a slight yellowish tinge to the image, or so I’ve read. I didn’t notice anything with mine.

Second, be very meticulous in knowing which screws go where. Even if they look the same, do not interchange them. For example, there are five screws you need to take out of this part…

DIY iPhone Screen Replacement

The two at the bottom are the same length, the one in the middle and upper left are ever so slightly longer, and the upper right is noticeably longer yet. A common mistake is replacing the bottom short screws with any of the longer screws and incurring what is known as “long screw damage” which can mess up the backlight and required a $100+ in incremental damage to the phone.DIY iPhone Screen Replacement


So while this is definitely a doable DIY project and saves a meaningful amount of money, it isn’t without risks. Having done it once though, I do feel more comfortable and confident if I ever need to do it again…

Future Solution

What will I do if it happens again? Well, if my wife doesn’t kill me, I think I’ll be forced to just scrap the phone and go with a cheaper alternative smart phone. At that point, I will be force to admit that I am not responsible enough to have one :).

Perhaps I research less popular smart phone brands like Blue or Sky? Are they compatible with Verizon? What about group text messaging which is big for me? Many group messages are with other iPhone owners and so they are imessages. Is there an app that allows a non-iPhone user to seamlessly interact on group imessages? I know this had been an issue historically for Samsung users.

I’m definitely sick and tired of expensive Apple or Samsung phones where it seems like most of what you are buying is the brand name. Based on limited research, I think there are quality alternative options (Sky, Blu, etc.) to these expensive brands. One of these may be my next smart phone…

Have you ever tried replacing your own screen? Any tips or words of wisdom before I drop Apple for Sky or Blu? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for taking a look!

The Green Swan

Work Harder, Work Smarter, Retire Earlier and Find Your Beach








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  1. Wow, good job replacing your iphone screen! I would characterize myself as a strong DIY’er, but I would not tackle this project. I’m better with a hammer than with small screws. My daughter cracked her iphone screen just two weeks ago and I briefly looked into replacing it myself. After reading a few cautions and warning online, I just paid the $130 at the Apple store and had the experts take care of it. It wasn’t worth the grief from my daughter if it wasn’t 100% perfect! Anyone with a high-school aged daughter will understand.

    Great job and maybe it could be a new side-hustle for you? Green Swan screen replacements? You can charge $100 for the screen replacement and give them personal financial advice for FREE with every purchase!

  2. I don’t let the kids (17 and 20) turn on their new phones until they have a good case on them. The rule is if they break it – they pay to fix it, and we have never had a cracked screen or broken phone in the last 6 years. My son’s past girlfriend went through 4 screens one year – because she wouldn’t put a case on the phone. And since her parents enabled the behavior – why bother? One thing I’ve preached is that a phone is a tool – not an “accessory” to who they are as a person. They both have nice iPhones too. I love that you DIY’d the replacement part! I still have my crappy $40 smart phone (with a case) and I’m glad I did when I had to toss it off a bus when I had to work with a struggling student the other day. No new phone here until my temporary job is over. I have never had an iPhone and am only in one group and my phone has some trouble with the imessaging. I’ll be interested to hear what others say. There are Verizon MNVO’s out there – my kids are both on Straight Talk (Verizon towers) for $43 a month – unlimited everything.

  3. Good job on fixing it yourself! We’ve had a phone case on our phones since the day we got them, and they’ve been fine since then.

    Whatsapp and Viber are great – we use them with our HTCs. Try looking at them. 🙂


  4. LOL, funny about kids and how they change one’s stance on things, isn’t it? My oldest daughter got me a cell phone case and screen protector for Christmas last year and I LOVE it!!! My kids are out of the “throwing things” stage, but I find myself dropping my phone occasionally and now it’s protected from my own stupid mistakes. Well worth the money!

  5. Mrs AE has had a few mishaps with the IPhone screen – you should have seen the pile of broken screens this place had going – they must be making a fortune.

    We paid to fix the first one, she toughed out the second break for a long time until we upgraded

    We just put glass inserts over our screens – but based on your experience they may not prevent everything?

    I am with ya on the cases, but have reluctantly started using them

    1. I did have a screen protector on mine and it didn’t help this situation. I am moving closer to reluctantly getting a case too…

      Thanks Mr AE.

  6. I’ve always had a case for my phone and haven’t had a cracked screen ever – until now since I’ve jinxed it. 🙂 I did get the parts to replace my charging port on my last Samsung – just a little soldering and some screws and a $2 replacement piece. Then the OS got into a circle of death and I barely got to transfer my pics off of it before it gave up the ghost, so I never attempted the port change.

    However, I do have an ipad mini sitting around with a car wreck of a shattered screen on it that I could attempt this on. That happened while it was in a case though, so they’re not foolproof… If I screw it up, I don’t lose anything, but if i fix it I “gain” another ipad, lol.

    I just avoided it before because the reviews on successfully changing them out were pretty mixed and the response for the finger to screen seemed to be buggy on some of them. But i’ve got nothing to lose at this point, so why not. Thanks for the confidence boost!

    1. Best of luck on the replacement and let me know how it goes! As you said, you’ve got nothing to lose. I’m sure you’ll do well. Thanks Mr SSC.

  7. GS, God that looks like a lot of work. I recently changed the tempered glass protective shield over my iPhone 6 screen. It not only protects the original screen from scratches and breaking from accidental falls, it took me all of 60 seconds to remove the old glass shield and replace with new one. Paid $3 for this, fastest DIY job in my memory. My iPhone6 is good to go for another year.

    1. Unfortunately I learned that the tempered glass does protect from all falls… But I put it on my phone again. Hopefully yours holds up!

      But yes, a decent amount of work and some risk, but I did save $80+! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, TFR.

  8. My husband has replaced several iPhone screens. It has actually been how we ended up with devices for our kids to play with. When people find out you can fix iPhones, they will often give them to you for free or very cheap! As you said, it is not simple, but it is not rocket science, especially with YouTube to help.

  9. I know you hate it, but you gotta just buy a case GS. I originally went with a really super thin Caudabe case. It basically had no drop protection and only protected from scratches. But it kept the original look of the phone.

    Well, I was walking my pup one day and she pulled too hard and phone went flying out of my hand. Cracked my screen. Add in cost of replacing phone screens into the cost of dog ownership!

    Needless to say, after that mishap, I gave up and just got a real case, also from Caudabe. No cracks since, and I’ve had some major drops.

    1. Yeah no kidding! With smart phones factored in, kids and dogs just got more expensive! 🙂

      I’m close to pulling the trigger on a durable case. Thanks for the sharing, FP.

  10. Glad to hear you were able to fix it. So far we’ve had an iPad screen Crack a screen, which honestly since it’s an outdated model we still use it as a noise maker for the younger child to sleep when we travel. I watched the videos for screen replacement and ultimately decided It wasn’t worth the risk, I know I’m not good with small delicate things. The iPad was old enough it wasn’t worth paying for screen replacement either. I purposely buy cheap phones as I know I’m rough on them. Cheers, I wish I could pull it off.

    1. At least you can still get some use for the iPad.

      Yeah phones can just be too expensive, I’ll probably stay buying cheaper phones in the future.

      Thanks for stopping by, FTF.

  11. Nice work Green Swan. I recently went through a similar self-discussion when my iPhone battery needed replacing. Do I pay someone 100-bucks to do it or have a go myself and risk destroying the phone. Bugger it! Let’s go for it.

    I found a battery kit, including tools, on ebay for $12, and after watching a couple of YouTube videos, changed the battery in about 10 minutes and a lot of sweat. Saved myself nearly $90!!

    1. Nice Martin! After having opened up my phone and dissecting it thoroughly I now know where the battery is and how to take it out. I’d be comfortable doing that now as well, no problem.

      And that’s actually a really good idea since it’s the battery that usually goes first with these phones. That might be a cheap way for me to extend the life of my phone!

      Thanks for sharing.

  12. I did a DIY with changing the battery on the iPhone. Why do they make it so complicated?! The parts are so tiny and for some reason I had a tough time getting it to close properly. I think the screen replacement would be more complicated which is understandable, but I think changing a battery should be easier like it is on most other phones.

    1. Yeah the battery change is easier, but the parts are tiny and require good dexterity nonetheless. I wish it was as easy as other phones too!

      Thanks for the comment, Andrew!

    1. Ha thanks! I’d definitely recommend watching a couple YouTube videos first so you know what you’re getting into. Thanks for the comment!

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