Replace your iPhone 7 Screen Like a Boss!
Replacing the screen on an iPhone 7 or iPhone 8 is not something I would advise a novice to do. Unlike the iPhone 5 series and even the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8 has a static home button. This means that if it is broken, your home button stops working entirely. On the iPhone 5 series and iPhone 6’s you could at least replace the home button and it would still work mechanically. The touch ID would be lost, but at least you could still activate the screen and minimize applications. That is not the case on the iPhone 7’s and iPhone 8’s. DO NOT BREAK THE HOME BUTTON!!!1111!!.
Let’s get my generic disclaimer out of the way before we go any further.
Neither I, nor Hotshot Repair is responsible for any damage that you do to your iPhone by attempting this repair. I advise you to leave this repair up to the professionals, like myself. Void where prohibited, some exclusions may apply. Not available in all states. Prices subject to change without notice.
Let Me Walk You Through It
So, if you want to replace the screen on your iPhone 7, here is what you gotta do.
Get a screen
Don’t use a cheap eBay or Amazon screen for this. Those screens are crap, and you will regret it later. I promise. Get a screen from a reputable supplier, like MobileSentrix. Their screens have a lifetime manufacturer warranty, and they are really good quality. If you want to step up a notch, get a screen from their Prime selection. These screens use original LCDs and touchscreens, so they will look and feel the most like your original screen.
Get yourself some tools:
- Pentalobe #2 Screwdriver
- Phillips #000 Screwdriver
- Triwing Y000 Screwdiver
- Metal Spudger
- Hot Air Gun or Blow Dryer
- iPhone Opening Tool (Optional)
Look, the iPhone opening tool is optional. I use a metal spudger, and it works. The iPhone opening tools don’t work for shit on cracked screens, unless you put packing tape on it. It is a hassle and I don’t put up with it.
Anyway, let’s get busy!
- You are going to start by removing the 2 pentalobe screws from the bottom of the iPhone 7. Set these suckers aside or on your magnetic screw mat. Look at how small those suckers are. Decide now if you are comfortable dealing with screws this small, because there is going to be a whole lot more of them.
- OK, lets move on. I use a metal spudger to pry the bottom of the screen out of the frame. Buy yourself a little bit of room, and then slide the spudger down the sides of the screen to separate the adhesive. After you get the bottom of the screen free, use the metal spudger to separate the top part of the screen. I do this by inserting the spudger between the screen and the frame, to the left of the ear speaker hole. Put the spudger in there, and give it a twist.
- With the top of the screen free, you want to tilt it up, toward the right hand side of the screen. Think of it like opening a book from the back. Open that sucker up, and hold the screen at a 90 degree angle while you remove the next set of screws.
- On the iPhone 7 there are four (4) Triwing Y000 screws holding on the LCD connector cover. Remove these and set them aside. Keep these suckers organized and in order, because you really don’t want to mix them up. After you remove these screws, you can remove the LCD connector cover and set it aside with the screws. After that you want to unplug the battery cable, the LCD cable, and the home button cable. You can use a plastic spudger to do this, or you can use your finger nail. Do NOT use a flat edge screw driver or other metal tool. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- Then we move up to the front camera cable cover. On this iPhone 7 there were two (2) Phillips #000 screws holding it down but I swear I have seen some iPhone 7’s with Y000 screws in there. I don’t know why, maybe Apple changed the design or maybe the person putting it together used different screws. Don’t use this guide as Gospel, if the Phillips doesn’t work, don’t strip the hell out of it, switch to a Triwing and give that a try. Anyway remove those 2 screws and set them aside. They are the same size so it won’t kill you if they get swapped around, but try to maintain some best practices here, and keep them organized. After you get those screws out, I like to pull the cable off the logicboard. The cover will come with it, and then you can remove the cover and set it aside. I don’t know why I do it this way, it is just easier then trying to use tweezers to get the cover off of there.
After the front camera cable is free from the logicboard you can set the frame aside. We are going to focus on getting all the guts off of your old screen and on to the new one.
Like a Surgeon, Hey!
Like a transplant, we are going to be taking all the good stuff off of your old screen, and putting it on to a new screen. The front camera, the ear speaker, the home button, and in some cases even the back plate, all get moved over.
I like to start at the top of the screen.
- Here we find six (6) Phillips #000 screens holding the ear speaker bracket in place. Remove these and set them aside. Keep this in order because they are all different lengths and you don’t want to mix them up. After you remove the screws, you can remove the bracket, and set it aside with them.
- Then I fold the front camera back, and remove the ear speaker. I like to leave the front camera cable attached to the screen because it is held on with adhesive, that I use a heat gun to remove so I wait until later for that.
- Move down the the bottom of the screen and remove the four (4) Y000 screws from the home button bracket. Set these aside. You don’t need to be finicky here, they are all the same size. After I remove the home button bracket, I use a pair of tweezers to unplug the home button flex cable from the bridge cable. Be very careful not to nick or cut the home button cable here.
- Next, I move on to the LCD backplate. There are six (6) Y000 screws securing this in place. Remove them and set them aside. They are all the same size. Again maintain best practices here, and keep them organized. After you remove the screws, leave the LCD backplate in place. There is adhesive at the bottom of it that we are going to use a hot air gun to loosen.
Let’s Blow Some Hot Air
I like to start at the top of the screen here as well. All hot air guns are going to be different, so I can’t give you temps and times and all of that, so use caution here.
- I heat up the top of the screen, and gently pull up on the front camera cable. After the cable releases from the screen, use a bit more heat on the proximity sensor that tends to stay behind. Gently pull up on it until it lets go. I have had bad luck with prying it up with tweezers in the past, so I avoid that if possible.
- Next I move down to the home button. I heat this area for a bit. I can’t tell you how long or how hot, it is just a matter of experience. After this area is hot, I pry up on the flex cable with my metal spudger. You better be very careful here not to damage this cable. Once the cable is free from the frame, you can press the home button from behind the screen and it will come out the front.
- Lastly I heat the bottom of the screen, and try to loosen the metal plate from its adhesive. A little bit of heat usually does it, and it will come off without much fuss.
Let’s Talk About Reassembly?
It is basically just following these steps in reverse. Also, I already wrote like a million words, and don’t feel like writing more. I will add one note. I usually install the backplate first, then the home button, and then the front camera, when reassembling the screen. In some cases you may not need to move the backplate over at all. I have ordered some screens from MobileSentrix, and the back plate came preinstalled. I think they may be getting away from that because there have been issues with screens that had a preinstalled backplate, so your mileage may vary.
Let Me Do The Heavy Lifting
If all of this is too much for you, or you don’t want to risk damaging your iPhone 7, maybe you should give me a call. I can repair your iPhone 7 in about 15 minutes, while you wait. You can even come back to my shop and watch your repair in progress. It will be fun and we can bullshit while I fix your iPhone. For real though, I don’t know of another shop in Columbia that will be like “hey, wanna come back and watch this.” Maybe they don’t want you to see all the screws they are losing. I don’t know. I do know that I have awesome low prices, and probably the best customer service you will ever find.