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iPhone 5s Front Panel Replacement

Introduction

Use this guide to replace the cracked or broken screen on your iPhone 5s by swapping out the front panel.

The front panel does not include the home button, front camera assembly, earpiece speaker, or the LCD shield plate. If the part you purchased includes those parts, follow this guide to replace the display assembly instead.

In either case, it's important to transfer the original home button onto the new display in order for Touch ID (fingerprint scanning) to function.

You can also use this guide to replace the following parts:

Front Panel Assembly Cable Bracket

LCD Shield Plate

If your display glass is cracked, keep further breakage contained and prevent bodily harm during your repair by taping the glass.

Lay overlapping strips of clear packing tape over the iPhone's display until the whole face is covered.

This will keep glass shards contained and provide structural integrity when prying and lifting the display

Before you proceed, discharge your iPhone battery below 25%. A charged lithium-ion battery can catch fire and/or explode if accidentally punctured.

Power off your iPhone before beginning disassembly.

Remove the two 3.9 mm Pentalobe screws from either side of Lightning connector.

In the following steps you will be pulling the display up out of the phone body. The display is composed of a glass screen and a plastic bezel with metal clips.

Regardless of the tool you use, you need to be sure you pull up the entire display.

If the glass begins to separate from the plastic, as shown in the first image, slide a plastic opening tool between the plastic frame and the metal phone body to pry the metal clips out of the case.

If you are reassembling a phone with a separated display bezel, you may want to place a thin strip of adhesive between the plastic bezel and the glass to keep the phone closed

The next two steps demonstrate using the iSclack, a great tool for safely opening the iPhone 5s that we recommend for anyone doing more than one repair. If you aren't using the iSclack, skip to Step 6.

Close the handle on the iSclack, opening the suction-cup jaws.

Place the bottom of your iPhone in between the suction cups, against the plastic depth gauge.

The top suction cup should rest just above the home button.

Open the handles to close the jaws of the iSclack. Center the suction cups and press them firmly onto the top and bottom of the iPhone.

Hold onto your iPhone securely and close the handle of the iSclack to separate the suction cups, pulling the front panel up from the rear case.

The iSclack is designed to safely open your iPhone just enough to separate the pieces, but not enough to damage the home button cable.

Peel the two suction cups off your iPhone.

If you don't have an iSclack, use a single suction cup to lift the front panel:

Press a suction cup onto the screen, just above the home button.

Be sure the cup is completely on the screen to get a tight seal.

The front panel is attached with clips, and there are several ribbon cables connecting it to the rest of the phone. Your goal here is to release the clips and open the phone only enough to disconnect the cables. Go slowly and carefully to avoid damage.

Make sure the suction cup is firmly attached to the front panel assembly near the home button.

While holding the iPhone down with one hand, pull up on the suction cup to slightly separate the home button end of the front panel from the rear case.

With a plastic opening tool, gently pry the edges of the rear case down, away from the front panel assembly, while you pull up with the suction cup.

Take your time and apply firm, constant force. The 5s front panel assembly is a much tighter fit than most devices.

Do not try to completely remove the front panel assembly from the rear case, as there are several delicate ribbon cables connecting them.

Pull the plastic nub to release the vacuum seal on the suction cup.

Remove the suction cup from the display assembly.

Open the phone just enough to reveal the metal bracket covering the home button cable.

Do not open the phone too far or you risk damaging the home button cable, or the socket it plugs into. Keep the cable loose—if it is stretched taut, that's too far.

Only the phone's original home button assembly will be capable of using the Touch ID functionality. If you rip the cable, installing a new home button will only restore ordinary home button functions, not the Touch ID features.

Use the tip of a spudger to push the bracket free and remove it with tweezers.

The next two steps apply to reassembly. Skip them and continue to Step 12 until reassembly.

During reassembly, you will need to reinstall the Touch ID cable bracket. The top of the bracket needs to slide between the battery and Touch ID cable connector, and the front must latch down over the connector.

Slide the top of the bracket over the Touch ID cable connector from left to right.

Use the flat end of a spudger to snap the front portion of the Touch ID cable bracket down over the cable connector.

If the bracket does not snap down flush, you may need to remove the bracket and slide it over the cable connector again for a better fit.

Use the tip of a spudger to pry the home button cable connector up out of its socket.

Be sure you're separating the cable connector from its socket, and not prying the entire socket up. The socket is on its own glued-down cable that can be pried up if you aren't careful.

Once the connector has been released, pull the home button end of the assembly away from the rear case, using the top of the phone as a hinge.

Open the display to about a 90º angle, and lean it against something to keep it propped up while you're working on the phone.

Add a rubber band to keep the display securely in place while you work. This prevents undue strain on the display cables.

In a pinch, you can use an unopened canned beverage to hold the display.

Remove the two 1.6 mm Phillips #000 screws securing the metal battery connector bracket to the logic board.

Fine pointed Tweezer Remove the metal battery connector bracket from the iPhone

Use the flat end of a spudger to gently pry the battery connector up from its socket on the logic board.

Be very careful to only pry up on the battery connector itself and not the socket on the logic board. If you pry up on the logic board socket, you may break the connector entirely.

Remove the following screws securing the front panel assembly cable bracket to the logic board:

One 1.7 mm Phillips #000 screw

One 1.2 mm Phillips #000 screw

One 1.3 mm Phillips #000 screw

One more 1.7 mm Phillips #000 screw

This 1.7 mm screw tends to not be attracted to a magnetized screwdriver. Take care not to lose it when removing.

It is especially important to keep track of your screws in this step for reassembly. Accidentally using the 1.3 mm screw or one of the 1.7 mm screws in the bottom right hole will result in significant damage to the logic board causing the phone to no longer boot properly.

Be careful not to over-tighten the screws, and don't force them. If they don't fit easily when you are securing them, they may be the wrong size.

Remove the front panel assembly cable bracket from the logic board

Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the front-facing camera and sensor cable.

While still supporting the front panel, disconnect the LCD cable connector.

When reassembling your phone, the LCD cable may pop off the connector. This can result in white lines or a blank screen when powering your phone back on. If that happens, simply reconnect the cable and power cycle your phone. The best way to power cycle your phone is to disconnect and reconnect the battery.

Finally, disconnect the digitizer cable connector

Remove the front panel assembly from the rear case.

Remove the two screws securing the upper component bracket:

4.0 mm Phillips #000

2.3 mm Phillips #000

It is imperative that the right screws are inserted into their respective holes. Otherwise it may cause severe damage to the LCD during reassembly.

Orient the phone as shown, with the home button on top and the earpiece speaker on bottom.

Gently dislodge the clip, near the bottom left corner of the earpiece speaker bracket, outwards from its recess on the front panel assembly.

Do not pry with excessive force, as the earpiece speaker bracket is fragile and malleable.

With a set of tweezers, shift the bracket to the left to unclip it.

Remove the bracket from the display.

Remove the earpiece speaker with a set of tweezers.

If you use your fingers, be very careful not to touch the gold contacts on the front panel. Finger oil can prevent good contact

To replace the earpiece speaker, it is easiest to install the speaker and bracket together:

Place the earpiece speaker bracket over the speaker so that it fits snugly in its housing.

Slide the left hook of the bracket into the notch above the top left corner of the front facing camera.

Rotate the bracket so it lays flat on the rear case, aligning the two screw holes. Press the bracket into place, ensuring the hook on the right side of the metal bracket latches onto the display.

This step requires removing the front facing camera and sensor cable from your front panel assembly.

The front facing camera and sensor cable is adhered to the display assembly with mild adhesive.

Using an iOpener to soften the adhesive will help safely remove it. Follow our iOpener instructions to use it.

Using the edge of a set of tweezers or a metal spudger, gently pry the earpiece speaker contact cable up, to separate this portion of the camera and sensor cable from the adhesive below.

Only pry directly under the earpiece speaker contacts—there are sensors and microchips that can be damaged by prying elsewhere

Use the point of a spudger to lift the ambient light sensor and proximity sensor out of their recess in the display assembly.

There is a small, square plastic and metal holder for the proximity sensor. This holder is essential for the proximity sensor to function correctly.

If replacing the proximity sensor make sure that the holder remains adhered to the back of the display. If it comes off with the old proximity sensor, remove it from the old sensor and use a tiny bit of adhesive to re-attach it to the back of the display.

Use the flat end of a spudger to gently peel the front-facing camera portion of the cable away from the display assembly.


If you are reattaching the same shield plate to a new display, there is no need to peel the cable assembly off the LCD shield plate. Skip this step.

Carefully peel the cable assembly off of the LCD shield plate to remove it from the display.

Be careful not to grab the digitizer cable while peeling up the front facing camera and sensor assembly cable.

Unscrew the single captive Phillips #000 screw securing the home button cable.

The captive screw is fastened to the home button cable by a spring contact backing. During reassembly, ensure the contact is in the correct orientation—on the side of the screw nearest the LCD.

If your replacement part does not have this captive screw and spring contact, you will need to transfer them to the new cable.

Fold the home button cable down, out of the way of the home button bracket.

Remove the two 1.4 mm Phillips #000 screws from the home button bracket.

Remove the home button bracket from the display assembly.

Wedge the the tip of a spudger underneath the home button cable assembly.

The home button cable is affixed by mild adhesive.

Gently work the spudger underneath the cable to separate the home button cable from the front panel assembly.

Do not remove the home button yet, as it is still attached to the front panel assembly.

If necessary, remove the tape over the home button on the front side of your cracked front panel assembly.

Gently push the top left corner of the home button up away from the front panel.

Do not push the home button all the way through—you only need to get a corner free, so that you can pry it free with a spudger.

This membrane is very thin. If you feel like you're going to tear the button, apply heat and try again.



Peel the home button the rest of the way off of the display by prying gently with a spudger.

Remove the home button assembly from the front panel.

Remove the 2.7 mm Phillips #000 screw from the back of the display assembly.

Remove two 1.2 mm Phillips screws from each side of the LCD frame (four total).

To avoid stripping the final screw, it may be helpful to first slightly loosen all four screws before removing any.

Remove the LCD shield plate from the display assembly.

Front panel remains.