iPhone 1st Generation Battery Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

  • Author: iRobot
  • Difficulty: Very difficult

Battery not lasting long? Swap it out (requires soldering).

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Edit Step 1 SIM Card  ¶ 

  • Insert a SIM card eject tool or paper clip into the hole next to the headphone jack.

  • Press down on the paper clip until the SIM card tray pops out.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Grasp the SIM card tray and slide it out of the iPhone.

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Edit Step 3 Antenna Cover  ¶ 

  • This image shows the two tabs and two catches located on the underside of the antenna cover. The two tabs at the top of the image must be pushed towards the black cover to release them.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Be sure to slide the metal spudger between the dock connector and the antenna cover, and not into the dock connector itself.

  • Insert a metal spudger into the slot between the dock connector and the antenna cover. Gently pry up near the two tabs to create a small gap between the antenna cover and the silver front bezel.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Insert an iPod opening tool in the gap between the antenna cover and the front bezel. The wedge of the tool should be pointing towards the antenna cover. Slide the tool around the corner and up until you reach the metal backing.

  • Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the dock connector.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Grasp the antenna cover on either side and slide it up and away from the iPhone. This requires some force. If it does not come free, ensure that the antenna cover is lifted up enough to free the catches.

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Edit Step 7 Case  ¶ 

  • Remove the three Phillips #00 screws securing the rear panel to the iPhone.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Getting the iPhone open is a challenging feat, so don't get discouraged. Take a deep breath and make sure you have plenty of time to get the job done.

  • The small square hole is the location to insert the dental pick in the next step.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Start removing the rear panel on the side with the buttons.

  • Slide the dental pick completely into the square hole. You may need to wiggle the tool and apply a good amount of force to get it to go all the way.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Pry up the rear panel by pulling the dental pick counterclockwise in a quick motion. Apply force perpendicular to the plane of the display assembly. You may be afraid to go fast, but going slowly is more likely to bend the case.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger to free the rear panel from the iPhone along the corner and top.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Repeat the same procedure on the other side of the iPhone. Slide the dental pick completely into the square hole. You may need to wiggle the tool and apply a good amount of force to get it to go all the way.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Pry up the rear panel by pulling the dental pick clockwise in a quick motion. Apply force perpendicular to the plane of the display assembly. You may be afraid to go fast, but going slowly is more likely to bend the case.

  • The rear panel is still attached to the iPhone by the headphone jack cable, so don't entirely remove the rear panel from the iPhone just yet.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Make sure the phone is off before disconnecting the headphone jack cable.

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the headphone jack cable from the logic board.

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Edit Step 15 Battery  ¶ 

  • Use the tip of a spudger to remove the cloudy white glue covering the battery contacts.

  • To reduce the risk of shorting the red battery lead to the metal shield, you can first remove the glue from the black and white battery leads. After desoldering the black and white leads, then remove the glue and desolder the red lead.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Working from the edge opposite the battery connectors, insert a spudger between the battery and the plastic frame and pry up. The battery is attached to the casing with an adhesive, but should slowly come free.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • If you have never soldered before, we have a guide that makes it easy to learn. We suggest brushing up before proceeding.

  • We're now ready to begin the soldering process. You'll need a soldering iron, solder, and desoldering wick. You should be able to find these items at a Radio Shack if you don't already have them.

  • Clean the solding iron by melting a small amount of solder directly onto the soldering iron's tip and then wiping the tip of the soldering iron on a damp sponge.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • Place the desoldering wick on top of the existing solder ball.

  • Place the soldering iron on top of wick above the existing solder ball.

  • Hold the soldering iron in place until the solder melts into the wick.

  • Repeat the same procedure on the remaining two connectors.

  • Lift the old battery out of the iPhone. Be sure that all the solder has been removed before pulling the wires away from the board. The wires should come free with little to no resistance.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • We recommend that you clean the exposed surface of the board with a soft cloth or sponge and a small amount of rubbing alcohol.

  • Melt a small solder bead directly onto the metal connector on the board by placing the soldering iron onto the metal connector and then pressing solder against the tip and the board.

  • Once a small amount of solder has melted onto the board, lift the solder away first and then the soldering iron.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • The solder bead should look like a small dome or hemisphere. If it is flat or jagged, simply place the soldering iron back on the solder to re-melt it and then pull the soldering iron away. It may require a little more solder if this does not work.

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • Attach the red lead first, followed by the white lead, and finish with the black lead.

  • Place the wire from the new battery onto the new solder bead.

  • Press the tip of the soldering iron onto the solder bead until it melts.

  • Slide the wire lead into the liquid solder until it is in the center of the bead, then remove the soldering iron.

  • Continue with the other two connections the same way, taking special care not to solder two of the connectors together.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the iPhone 1st Generation device page.

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Metal Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Soldering Station

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Probe and Pick Set

$6.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

To remove the SIM, insert the end of a SIM eject tool or a small thin paper clip into the hole on the SIM tray. Press firmly and push the tool straight in until the tray pops out.

http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1438

duanekdunn, · Reply

YOU NEED TO PUT THE OPENER TOOL BETWEEN THE ANTENNA COVER AND THE DOCK CONNECTOR FIRST, THEN YOU WILL HAVE SPACE TO OPEN IT.. MY 2 CENTS

riversde, · Reply

Very hard to remove and the plastic is very fragile

Take care when removing

miguelvillela, · Reply

When you get stuck follow this guy guide

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYHnr89HM...

miguelb, · Reply

Great Guide.

My dad banged his iPhone in a table after arguing with someone and got the aluminum cover next to the volume control bent in such a way as it got the volume control stuck in the max position. I used this guide to remove all parts out of the way so I can get the shape of that region and corrected it the "Han Solo" Way. It was an excellent opportunity to get the phone cleaned up as well

The biggest problem I had was screwing some of the screws back. The screwdriver that I had was not magnetized, so I used a little bit of superglue to bind the screw and the screwdriver until I had it screwed tightly.

The second biggest problem I had was that I lost a screw twice, but was lucky enough to find it quickly on the floor next to me.

I am very happy as I waited more than a month to get the confidence to get this iPhone repaired.

lantinian, · Reply

how do i know what part is in my phone? There are 2...

Ivanfrost, · Reply

Quote from Ivanfrost:

how do i know what part is in my phone? There are 2...

Once you have the phone apart and have gently unplugged the power ribbon, read the part number on the ribbon. If it's in the 821- family, you can safely use corresponding 821 headphone assembly. If it is the other part number, use the newer replacement. Many sites list both parts and let you order the appropriately numbered part. Otherwise (if you order the wrong part) it won't work or you'll have to [unnecessarily] hack the part to get it to work.

Steve, · Reply

Quote from Steve:

Once you have the phone apart and have gently unplugged the power ribbon, read the part number on the ribbon. If it's in the 821- family, you can safely use corresponding 821 headphone assembly. If it is the other part number, use the newer replacement. Many sites list both parts and let you order the appropriately numbered part. Otherwise (if you order the wrong part) it won't work or you'll have to [unnecessarily] hack the part to get it to work.

I bought the wrong one.... how do I hack it?

Rune Smistad, · Reply

My iPhone is very first model. It doesn't have any of the four tabs shown.

gameplayer2, · Reply

The very first model does not have the four tabs. To open this version, use a plastic opener tool and push it into the middle of the tiny space between the rectangular dock connector and the antenna cover. Move the tool to the side and push it in a little deeper. A small gap should open up at the bottom of the antenna cover, where it meets the metal. Continue using the plastic opener tool in there, pushing it in and forcing it around the edge so that the antenna cover further separates. Then repeat this on the other side. To me it seems like a very brittle piece of plastic, so be careful. But now that it's loose at the bottom you can lift it with your fingers and work it off.

Alexander Ljungberg, · Reply

Take heed to the note about getting the spudger between the dock connector and the cover. The dock connector is black plastic, as is the antenna cover, so it's difficult to see any gap between them. Putting the spudger between the metal shielding of the connector and the plastic is incorrect.

Michael Lance, · Reply

It was released very hard on my iPhone 2G but the problem comes when i have to put it back.

It remains a little more space between the dock and the Antena cover and maybe that's because the two tabs between the mic and the speaker are not entered under the gold board?

If someone knows please tell me how to put it back.

Thanks

infomihai, · Reply

There is a very easy way to remove the cover by simply sticking duct tape on it and pulling the tape away of the phone.

It will leave no marks and it didn't damage my antenna cover as much(my "chinese" repair tools were to weak).

rens, · Reply

Thanks, using the tape was quick and easy, no damage at all.

Roeland,

Brilliant. Works perfectly. 20 seconds of work.

koenatclaes,

Be sure to use the square hole, more to the inside, not the one between the outer shell and the little piece of metal. The Outer shell is attached to the metal.

ordody, · Reply

You guys show this is vanilla dessert. And it's more difficult than building a DIY space shuttle. I wonder why Apple did the iPhone so problematic to disassemble. It's just the battery!

Sebastian Di Mateo, · Reply

I've seen some instructions recommending using a knife to open up a space between the back cover and trim. Using the dental pick as shown here, it is very easy to break off the screw attachment near the edge of the cover.

Bill Parquet, · Reply

Agree with Bill, I did break off one of the screw attachments. In retrospect, using a small putty knife between the cover and battery (which I'm replacing anyways) to apply force against the cover while prying at the hole would have helped.

Michael Lance,

ugh. i totally mangled my case. snapped off the 2 outer screw brackets... broke my dental pick, too. and my small screwdriver. thank goodness for craftsman tools! ;)

i was pretty disheartened by the whole thing, but i keep it in a hard shell anyway so it's not that noticeable.

umopapisdn, · Reply

Like others - this is where I am stuck. No dental pick, so I search for alternatives. Good the get reminded - if I mangle the case too, hey, my speck cover will hide the scars!

Spikey2, · Reply

What material is that dental pick made of? Adamantium?

Sebastian Di Mateo, · Reply

I could NOT get this method to work. I tried three different picks and all bent when I tried to lever them this way. I did break one of the frame screws off in the process as well. I ended up going back to my old standby... The Exacto Knife and a 1/8 inch flat head screw driver... I used the exacto to get the flat head started, then worked my way up one side toward the top of the phone slowly and carefully wiggling the screw driver until it popped open on that side. Then I did the same to the other. That worked well for me. These plastic openers and dental picks just bent and broke on me. GOOD LUCK. My Advice: Get a 3G or 3GS, I can break one down in under a minute!

Adam Susong, · Reply

I didn't have a dental pick. I used a narrow, flexible hobby putty knife. The button side edge popped right off. The blank side required me to slowly wiggle along, continually pushing the putty knife up to 2" to detach each of the clips.

dennishodge, · Reply

wich dental pick should I use? I´d bought some but they twist or didn´t fit on the scare... thx in advance and really good guide!!

Chad720, · Reply

I know this is old, but I've had some success. Rather than the dental pick, which I bent too, I ground down a very small "L" bend hex wrench. Worked like a champ. Also: If you have an iPhone 4 and are looking to use the microSIM in your 1st gen iPhone with the use of a microSIM adaptor... DO NOT put the empty adaptor in the SIM slot. That's what I did and had to dismantle the phone to get it repair the SIM contacts.

tthomashardie,

Actually, the "button" side released fairly easily and I was able to loosen the top end with a plastic spudger. However, the remaining side was a @#!@! and the process of popping it off caused the protruding screw lug to break off the internal guide, which itself came off seconds later. Oof! While the side guide was easily glued back in, the lug ultimately became a casualty since it was too small and unweildy to SuperGlue™ back on. But, as Meat Loaf wisely sings, "two out of three ain't bad." The 'phone can live w/o one screw and possibly two if the center lug remains.

turkeyneck, · Reply

I didn't have a dental pick so i used a very small high quality allen key which worked perfectly. The back cover is interference fit to the front bezel and i found with the correct lever action it separated easily.

Bigkarkus, · Reply

I've seen some guides that recommend a technique for prying up on the center of the case. if you do so, it is easy to accidentally damage the battery if you pry in the wrong direction.

Bill Parquet, · Reply

You need to stick the end in, and it detaches if you push it upwards.

ordody, · Reply

A picture of what the dental pick is poking at would be useful inside the back case. If you get on the wrong side of the frame rail you can break the ear where the screw goes pretty easily with that pick (yes it appears to be titanium). Guess that is why only the plastic pick was part of the toolset, but used a metal one as depicted and ran into this. As you say this is challenging, and more pictures are better.

edl, · Reply

they seem to use lead-free solder in the original construction process. goody for the environment, but it made it really hard to get the original battery loose. i added a little bit of regular solder to what was already there and then was able to wick away the original.

umopapisdn, · Reply

Beware not to apply to much force on the battery !! In my case it broke and started to smoke ... surely not to healthy..

Furthermore be aware that below the battery there is a flex cable which is easily destroyed.

Dominik, · Reply

What work for me very well was to leave the original wires at the pads on the system board, cut them at an appropriate length and soldered the new battery to them. Of course you have to insultate them with tape or glue. There is enough space and you avoid any risk of messing up the system board.

danielfca, · Reply

Dito. Cut the wires and spliced with the new battery wires. Had to peal away some of the white tape on the new battery to get enough wire to work with. Used some of the kapton tape from the old battery to insulate the splices (electrical tape too thick).

Michael Lance,

It is probably much easier to remove the solder with the wick, so be sure to get some. I did it without and it took forever.

ordody, · Reply

when you preform this step de-solder the black wire first then the white and then the Red, do not de-solder the red first or it may short the device out

Chris, · Reply

Using the desoldering wick is a good idea. I thought I could heat up the existing solder and pull the wire out but it is very easy to rip off the solder pad if you get the connection too hot.

Bill Parquet, · Reply

much better to detach the 3 cables (white, red and black) from the battery rather than from the chassis.

Andrea perinti, · Reply

It's very important to clean and prep the terminals before attaching the new leads. Get rid of as much glue as possible and any stray solder that might be left from the un-soldering process. Make sure all three terminals are electrically isolated from their neighbors! Like the instructions tell you, leave no more than a nice little pinhead-sized dome of shiny solder on each terminal and no 'cold' solder connections, which have the characteristic DULL GRAY lustre. If you must--do them over or risk having to pop the dang thing open all over again!

turkeyneck, · Reply

What do I do if the red connector to the mother board comes off? Is there any other point I could solder to?

mortenskogly, · Reply

If you accidentally ruin the negative (the black wire) soldering bead like I did. Then the big metal plate is an alternative for a negative connection. Just solder it directly onto this plate and it should work perfectly.

XereX, · Reply

Quote from XereX:

If you accidentally ruin the negative (the black wire) soldering bead like I did. Then the big metal plate is an alternative for a negative connection. Just solder it directly onto this plate and it should work perfectly.

Um.. im not sure if exactly this happened to me... so the small squre piece came off with the black wire :( where should I solder it now? On that black little spot or somewhere else? Thanks for any help!

ascent, · Reply

Try to experiment with the temperature of the soldering iron if you can adjust it. If it's too hot for the solder you have, it'll melt it away in a small, spectacular boil and evaporation sequence.

ordody, · Reply

When you get the battery and get it ready for installation leave the red wire in the heat shrink plastic wrap until you solder it to the board, and here's a tip... when you go to solder the battery to the board solder the black wire first and then the White but leave the plastic wrap on the red wire on until last... when you start soldering do it in this order and it will limit the chance of shorting out the device (black, white, red)

Chris, · Reply

Hi Chris, do you know anything about the question I asked in Step 20? I tore off a little square piece where the black wire was soldered. Should I try soldering it on the same spot or I should put it somewhere else? Thanks!

ascent, · Reply

Quote from ascent:

Hi Chris, do you know anything about the question I asked in Step 20? I tore off a little square piece where the black wire was soldered. Should I try soldering it on the same spot or I should put it somewhere else? Thanks!

I have the same problem, but a litle different, tore off the little square where the white wire was soldered. Same question, should I try to solder on the same spot, or somewhere else ?

artur, · Reply

Hmm.. I would really appreciate some comments from people who know a little bit more than me :( please help!

ascent, · Reply

Quote from ascent:

Hmm.. I would really appreciate some comments from people who know a little bit more than me :( please help!

You should be able to solder to either the big metal shield there or GENTLY (VERY GENTLY) remove a bit of the PCB top where the pad was to reveal the copper below it. I stress GENTLY, like barely scraping a razor over it with no pressure. If you do it too aggressively you'll go through the layer.

shawncl, · Reply

First of all: thanks for the fantastic manual! I successfully fixed a broken solder bead, but due to a very raw, non-precise soldering iron, the solder bead of the black connection also touches the silvery metal plate (the one that can be seen in the top part of the step 20 image).

Any problem with that? It is working fine for one day now.

Flo, · Reply

wow, I just saw, that "ascent" used the same procedure to fix the black connection.

@ascent: is your phone still OK? not broken due to excessive heat or something like that?

Thanks and good luck!

Flo, · Reply

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