iPhone 4S Rear Panel Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

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

Replace a cracked rear panel on your iPhone 4S.

  • Author: Walter Galan
  • Time required: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy

Remove the rear panel to access the internal components of your iPhone.

Relevant Parts
Buy these parts and tools
Image #1

Edit Step 1 Rear Panel  ¶ 

  • Before disassembling your iPhone, be sure it is powered off.

  • Remove the two 3.6 mm Pentalobe screws next to the dock connector.

  • During reassembly, we recommend you replace the 5-point screws with equivalent Phillips screws. Our Liberation Kit provides the tools and screws needed to replace the Pentalobe screws with Phillips screws.

  • The 5-Point Screwdriver should only be used once, as it has the potential to strip the screws.

Image #1

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Push the rear panel toward the top edge of the iPhone.

  • The panel will move about 2 mm.

Image #1

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Pull the rear panel away from the back of the iPhone, being careful not to damage the plastic clips attached to the rear panel.

  • Remove the rear panel from the iPhone.

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

For more information, check out the iPhone 4S device page.

Related Products

iPhone 4S Revelation Kit

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

iPhone 4S Revelation Kit

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Comments Comments are onturn off

If you have trouble removing the back after sliding it, do not force or pry it. You didn't push it far enough. Gently push it further and it will come off easily!

Stephen Foskett, · Reply

On the iPhone 4S Mirrored Rear Panel there was a clear plastic covering on the INSIDE side of the Panel that covers a jagged black area. There is also a small plastic covering over the camera lens, also on the inside side of the Panel. The iFixIt step-by-step instructions do not include any information about whether to remove these or leave them. I chose to peel them off and it appears everything works okay. But there probably should have been a mention about what to do with these "stickers."

jlinder1, · Reply

Thanks! I didn't notice the scuff covers until we noticed the poor quality of the photos. After I took the back off and removed the film covers, the photos are back to the original quality. Thanks again for your comment. The covers should have an obvious tab on them for easy removal

David Bergum,


li ma, · Reply

there are many kinds of iphone 4s rear panel from this site:


li ma, · Reply

I had problems with the fit of the mirrored back . Some of the tabs on the new back did not align with the 4 S - so rather shipping back the part I tried to make it fit - cut of 3 of the tabs that did not align and then it fitted and works . It is slightly thicker than the old one and the external body-glove cover fit is a bit of a squeeze but make do .

Seems that some of these generic part are made for a few models ans do not exactly fit . Knowing this now I probably would have gone for the real apple back than the generic one . I would also have expected that ifixit should have mentioned it .

Now for the hard drive replacement in my Mac Mini - hope that one goes easier :-)

Carel, · Reply

There is plastic covering the camera lens on the inside. After finding my pictures cloudy I removed the back and carefully removed the thin plastic covering. The pictures now look great again.

ljkhansen, · Reply

I have completely disassembled a iPhone 4S that was dropped in a puddle. So I am very familiar the phone. But today I tried to replace a cracked back with a iPhone 4S Revelation Kit. The original cracked back would slide on and off with no issues. In an effort to get the new back to fit in the phone I broke one of the screw tabs. I could never get the top of the back to fit flush with the phone. I am ordering a new one, but is there any trick to get the replacement back to fit? I ordered a 4S kit, but what i got was 4/4S kit. Is there any difference between the 4 and the 4S back?

ershler, · Reply

The Liberation Kit just stripped the screw. Now what.

nimpsy, · Reply

Had local iPhone repair shop remove the screw. Repair complete!


I left the battery in and everything above the middle, using a pen knife to flex the logic board, I had plenty of room to else the old out and the new in.

Worked well and saved a lot of time.

Keith M, · Reply

After reviewing the steps I decided to follow this guy's advice and left the battery in.....one less item to possibly foul up. I don't know if it made it any faster (first time to open my phone, so nothing to compare it to) but I can say that my phone is charging for the first time in 6 months :D



1) This is doable but not easy, quick or without risk.

2) If this is your 1st time, the whole process can take >2 hours (half of it reading this fixit manual and notes, which I highly recommend!)

3) I highly recommend placing a large, thin clean white cloth on the table. This prevents screws from rolling around and you will clearly see anything falling out.

4) If you have them, use tight surgical (latex) gloves. This prevents you from greasing up contacts.

5) Have e.g. a big old egg box ready, so you can place the screws in order (and maybe write step/screw size on the side).

6) I bought my display from "Generic" on Amazon ($20.36). Screen works fine and tools were ok but not great (screw drivers do not withstand force needed to unscrew some).

7) I had my own 2mm Phillips screw driver and a 2.4mm flat (for the big screws).

8) Have a nice cold beer by your side! Good luck!

superedu111, · Reply

how can i take out the screw if it is stripped

Manny Chaidez, · Reply

with a small driller, but I guess it is very difficult. Never attempted that myself on an iPhone.


There is no screw in Step 2?

Is the screw stripped or the head stripped?

I have used superglue on the screwdriver to remove a stripped screw, it would turn but not come out, with superglue I could turn and pull the screw out. May also work on a stripped head.


If you are careful, use a Dremel tool and a micro drill bit (sold where Dremel tools are purchased) to drill it out. Last resort kind of thing, good luck.

Jack, · Reply

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