Samsung Galaxy S4 Cracked Front Glass Replacement

Member-Contributed Guide

Member-Contributed Guide

An awesome member of our community made this guide. It is not managed by iFixit staff.

Replace your broken glass and restore your Samsung S4 back to normal again

  • Author: Patrick Lee
  • Time required: 1-2 Hours
  • Difficulty: Difficult

Dropped and cracked the screen on your Galaxy S4? No problem, follow this guide instead of needing to replace the entire display assembly.

Relevant Parts
Image #1

Edit Step 1 Cracked Front Glass  ¶ 

  • Your broken S4, may or may not be as damaged as the one shown in the photo.

  • I probably shouldn't have taken some of these photos in portrait, so my apologies but I'm forced to crop it.

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Remove the back plate, you can simply do this with your fingernail or a spudger.

Image #1

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Simply remove the battery using your fingernail or spudger. No cables are attached so it is basic.

  • If you have a SIM card in the phone, push it inwards then release to eject it.

Image #1

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Heat up the glass for 3-5 minutes. I chose to do it for 4 minutes.

  • You only need to use your heatgun on the lowest setting. I wouldn't recommend using a hair drier as it doesn't get very hot.

  • You must be careful when using the heat gun on this device. If the device is heated up too much then it may melt the digitizer and cause discoloration. If you start to see any discoloration then shut off the gun immediately.

  • This procedure softens the adhesive that holds the glass to the screen assembly.

Image #1

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • After you've used the heatgun, you want to start by separating the edges of the glass from the rest of the phone, starting from the top.

  • I used a metal spudger initially, if you're going to use a metal spudger as well you want to be careful to not damage anything.

Image #1

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Work your way around the edges with plastic picks.

  • Take your time otherwise the glass will shatter (see second image).

    • If your screen is overly cracked (looks like spiderwebs) you will want to put several layers of packing tape over your screen to try to keep it in one piece and do everything in your power (go slowly and don't be shy with the heat) to prevent it from shattering more.

  • Caution: If your glass happens to shatter you might want to consider wearing safety glasses.

  • Plastic razor blades you find in a hardware store are great for intricate cleanup like this. Also won't scratch the digitizer.

Image #1

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Re-heat the glass frequently. If you find that the glass isn't coming off easily you will want to apply more heat and then continue.

Image #1

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • I never got any photos, but when taking the glass off be very careful near the two touch keys at the bottom of the phone as it can be easy to damage them. They are stuck to the glass and need to be taken off before lifting off the glass.

  • With the glass removed, you'll end up like your phone looking like this, with the adhesive residue leftover on the digitizer.

Image #1

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Clean up the digitizer with lint free wipes or a clean microfiber towel. I used some lens cleaner on a microfiber cloth to clean mine up.

  • I probably did a terrible job of removing the glass and the digitizer appears scratched. If yours does look like this as well it's no problem, when the screen is turned on it's not noticeable.

Image #1

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Place the new adhesive around the edges of the phone. If the screen you purchased didn't come with any you can use 3M 2mm strips.

  • Peel off the blue bit on the top of the adhesive.

Image #1

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Prepare your new glass. If yours is covered both sides like mine then only remove the under side for now.

  • Do not touch the underside or get any other dust or marks on it, if you do clean it off first.

Image #1

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Put the new glass on the phone.

  • Peel off the top plastic cover on the glass.

Image #1

Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Place the battery (and SIM card) back in.

Image #1

Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Put the back plate back on and turn your phone on! :)

Enjoy your S4 without the cracked screen!

For more information, check out the Samsung Galaxy S4 device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Metal Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Heat Gun

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

Tried it, wrecked the LCD, had to buy a new front assembly :(

Tim, · Reply

That's unfortunate, sometimes in some unlucky cases the LCD or digitiser tries to come up with the glass which probably means it needs to be heated up for longer with the heatgun.

Patrick Lee,

Same here. The glass was spiderwebbed and it was frustrating work. About 2 hrs in I must have gotten a little careless because a little extra force and boom...LCD broken.

If your glass has more than a few cracks in it I would say it's not worth the effort-replace the whole display or take it to a professional.

Logan Kennedy,

Can I put on the complete adhesive ? Or must I leave holes ?

florianholtgen, · Reply

You'll need to leave holes otherwise you may cover the sensors or other components to the phone.

Patrick Lee,

I do the s3's this way all the time. I did break the first one I ever did. The s4 is very different from the s3. I just tried it and broke the LCD. The LCD was pulling up with the glass, didn't realize I had my pick UNDER the LCD as well. Never had that issue with the S3. Also the glue seems stronger than the glue on the S3, its melting point has to be different in my opinion.

cmantlo, · Reply

Just finished up, and everything worked out just as planned. Had some trouble keeping the cracks from cracking even further, but the LCD is undamaged and there isn't any discoloration. The only issue I have is from the original adhesive. There are parts where it still shows through, even with the screen on, so make sure when going through this to COMPLETELY clean off any leftover residue from the original screen. Other than that, a very easy fix. Took about an hour.

Xerilyn, · Reply

As one person has already commented, the front glass is much more difficult to replace on this phone than it is on the Galaxy S3. Didn't realize when I was doing it that I had lifted up the LCD with the pick, meaning i had to replace the full display assembly. I would be tempted to have another ago, just make sure you apply plenty of heat and are very careful.

Adam, · Reply

Have repaired a few and part of the process is to replace the adhesive with a liquid one that is poured on the amoled panel and cured after the glass is carefully placed. Any UV light, like for nails, or sunlight will cure the LOCA (Liquid Optically Clear Adhesive). To avoid getting this adhesive on anything in the s4 you should remove everything from the inside: parts, boards, rubber gaskets, etc. also use double-sided tape for the edges around the display to help the liquid adhesive stay away from where the camera, proximity sensor and ear speaker will go. the entire process can take about 2hrs but can be as short as 45 min if you have quicker heating methods than a heat gun like a hot plate. The durability of the device is affected but the adhesives holding the lens in place and not replacing them will make the glass easier to break later on.

Stephen Napoleon, · Reply

While this suggestion is more professional, it requires more time and resources that aren't completely necessary, or maybe not for your average repairer. Of all the S4 screens I've replaced I use the basic adhesive that comes with the glass from my supplier and that has enough strength to hold the glass in place when it is applied correctly. This was interesting though, thanks!

Patrick Lee,

I don't know if the S4 is the same in this aspect, but not using LOCA also can cause freezes if the screen is 'pressed' too hard on the S3. That said, the only time I've tried to do the LOCA on an S3, the adhesive got EVERYWHERE. Eventually the touchscreen stopped working and I had to buy a new front housing/LCD/digitizer. I assume I used too much glue, but I also felt the LOCA didn't spread properly, as the top corner of the phone received no LOCA and the bottom seemed to get the majority of it despite using the same technique as many guides I saw. I managed to push and spread the glue to the corner but pushing it in that fashion really helped glue up everything. The screen looked much better with the LOCA instead of just the adhesive along the side, though.

TL;DR: LOCA makes things look and work a lot better, but if done wrong it can really screw things up

Nick Hughes,

A friend told me that when my glass is broken then this may affect the device memory that after a month it will melt and the whole device will broke . Is this true?? I mean is that possible to happen?? What should I do ??

Muhammad, · Reply

Your friend is lying to you and doesn't know anything he is saying either, you probably should believe everything people say.

Patrick Lee,

Mmm he said that the wires that is linked to "emmc" ,which have something to do with inner memory, may melt because of heat which these wires moved a bit because of damage .anyway he said that this may cuz sudden death ....any suggestions . And thx a lot

Muhammad, · Reply

I just broke the screen on my S4 Active? Is the process the same as it is with the regular S4. I can't find a step by step guide to removing the glass.

Miranda, · Reply

You are supposed to put clear box tape over the glass before heating it. This will suck all of the glass into the tape and prevent damage. This step by step is alright but you want little to none scratches, dents or smears on the digitizer.

elideville, · Reply

I've just managed this no problem. If you are having problems cleaning the digitiser properly you can use a bit of surgical spirit on a lint free cloth to clear the remnants off better

Stephen Wilkinson, · Reply

I had no real problems with this. It was more time consuming than difficult. Taking the glass off and cleaning the digitizer took about 45 minutes, but after that it was easy.

Andrew, · Reply

how do you take the buttons off?

sinead, · Reply

I've just replaced the screen on my s4. But when I turn the phone back on, there is sound but the screen remains black. I thought the digitiser had broken but when I press down on the screen things are still happening. I just can't see why I'm doing. Anybody have any idea.

Luke green, · Reply

you very likely broke something in the LCD assembly... It's a $200 replacement but it's not as difficult a repair.

Doug Bishop,

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