iPod Touch 1st Generation Front Panel Replacement

This guide shows how to replace the front panel on the 1st Generation iPod Touch.

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Tools
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Edit Step 1 Case  ¶ 

  • Opening the case is a tough and potentially dangerous task. A good amount of force is required to wedge the plastic opening tool in between the case seams. The case may be damaged if this step is not done properly. Make sure not to hurt yourself while opening your iPod.

  • Insert the small plastic opening tool into the seam in between plastic display panel and the metal back panel. The angled edge should point towards the metal back panel.

  • Hold the tool in place once it is wedged inside and the two panels are separated.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • There are seven interlocking retaining clips on each side of the iPod. The large plastic opening tool will be used to separate the front panel from the metal back of the iPod.

  • Insert the large opening tool into the right side of the iPod, with the edge of the tool pointing towards the metal back.

  • Gently enlarge the existing crevice by wiggling the large opening tool and moving it to the right.

  • Continue doing so until the right side of the iPod is loose.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Switch to the other side of the iPod.

  • Follow the same procedure as in the previous step to release the seven clips holding the panels in place.

  • Once the panels are separated on this side, the back panel can be separated from the rest of the iPod.

Image #1

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Gently lift the rear panel using your fingers.

  • The front and back of the iPod should now be completely separated.

  • The gold antenna (third picture) can easily fall out from its housing. Make sure that the antenna is securely in place before closing the iPod.

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Edit Step 5 Logic Board  ¶ 

  • The battery is glued to the iPod's display, but no screws hold it in place.

  • Flip the iPod 180 degrees so it matches the orientation in the picture.

  • Carefully insert the spudger in between the battery and the display. There are routing cables underneath, so make sure you slowly pry the battery loose.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Use a spudger (or your fingernails) to remove the gold antenna. The antenna bends easily, so make sure not to apply too much pressure. When re-assembling, put the gold antenna in place before inserting the antenna circuit boards.

  • Use the spudger to remove the connector on the left side.

  • Remove two Phillips screws.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • The antenna loop board needs to be pried up (it is glued down). Gently use a plastic opening tool or spudger, to dislodge the antenna loop board. The board is connected to the antenna electronics by a small ribbon cable. This two-board assembly is very frail.

  • The two small antenna circuit boards can now be lifted up together, and their orange cable can be peeled from the display.

Image #1

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use the spudger to remove the black masking tape. This will reveal the top two screws in the picture.

  • Unscrew the four Phillips screws.

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the black connector.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Use the spudger to loosen the logic board from multiple sides. It is held in place by glue and the four screws that were removed in the previous step.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Be careful when flipping up the logic board. The headphone jack and docking port are attached to the board.

  • Gently lift the logic board (and attached components) upward.

  • The smaller portion of the logic board that resides underneath is very bendable and frail. Make sure not to pull the spudger upward when using it to detach the small board. Use only side-to-side movement.

  • Slide the spudger under the small portion of the logic board. The board should come loose once the spudger has slid almost all the way to the other side.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • The logic board and battery can now be fully separated from the rest of the iPod.

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Edit Step 12 Display  ¶ 

  • Peel the orange tape up covering the sixteen Phillips screws on the back of the display.

  • Use a #00 Phillips screwdriver to remove the sixteen screws.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Separate the display from the front panel by gently lifting it.

  • The display and the front panel should now be completely separated.

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Edit Step 14 Front Panel  ¶ 

  • The front panel is held in place by a heat-sensitive glue that bonds the panel to the frame on all four sides.

  • Use a hair dryer or heat gun to loosen the glue around the perimeter of the front panel.

Image #1

Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • The front panel will be hot! Use a cloth or rag to avoid burning yourself while holding it.

  • Wedge the spudger in between the frame and front display in the upper left corner of the iPod, as shown in the first picture.

  • This action should separate the frame from the front display a bit (as illustrated in the second picture), and allow you to insert the spudger in between display and frame (next step).

Image #1

Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Gently insert the spudger in between the frame and front display.

  • Carefully work around the edge of the front panel to separate the upper portion of the front panel from the black metal framework.

Image #1

Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Rotate the iPod 180 degrees and re-heat the exposed side with hair dryer/heat gun.

  • The area around the Home button contains a lot of adhesive. It will require you to use the spudger on both sides of the button in order to completely separate the frame from the front display.

  • Continue using the spudger along the edge of the display to completely loosen it on all sides.

  • The front panel should now be separated from the metal framework.

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

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

Required Tools

Spudger

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Phillips #00 Screwdriver

$5.95 · 50+ In stock

Heat Gun

$24.95 · 50+ In stock

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

I found the little plastic tools to be useless. I finally got the case apart using jeweler's screwdrivers, guitar picks, and believe it or not, a wood chisel to split the sides of the case open. And believe it or not, I got back together again - not quite as good as new, but good enough.

I'd REALLY love to know how Apple technicians get this little beast apart without damaging or nicking the case.

phinegan, · Reply

Quote from phinegan:

I'd REALLY love to know how Apple technicians get this little beast apart without damaging or nicking the case.

Who's betting the actually replace the back with a brand-spanker - if they repair them at all!

marc draco, · Reply

They do replace it with a new back, thats why they said that if you have words on the back (engraved) by someone other then apple, your going to lose those but if there done by apple then they'll do it again (when replaceing the battery they say that)

Quote from marc draco:

Who's betting the actually replace the back with a brand-spanker - if they repair them at all!

shadowfox00101, · Reply

I replaced my battery in my 1st gen iPod and it still doesn't hold a charge for more then 5 min. Any ideas?

ae86keidori, · Reply

Quote from ae86keidori:

I replaced my battery in my 1st gen iPod and it still doesn't hold a charge for more then 5 min. Any ideas?

mine has the same problem. My 1st gen iPod touch dropped in water. after that It still works but can't hold a charge for more than 5 mins. I changed the battery and still the same.

One of my friend give me some advices, I simply clean the whole logic board with some non water alcohol, and it works. It works perfect now. You can have a try.

Liku, · Reply

I found a method that worked for me in opening the case. I started at the top, and used a sewing needle. I'm sure a straight pin world work also. Using some padding between the back of the needle and my hand, I worked the point of the needle between the casing and the metal back. Don't push straight into the gap, push on the edge of the gap down toward the back of the iPod. Once you feel the needle slip in, use it as a guide to get your prying tool in there.

Paul Jones, · Reply

Quote from ae86keidori:

I replaced my battery in my 1st gen iPod and it still doesn't hold a charge for more then 5 min. Any ideas?

you guys possibly ruined the logicboard

Nick, · Reply

Quote from Liku:

mine has the same problem. My 1st gen iPod touch dropped in water. after that It still works but can't hold a charge for more than 5 mins. I changed the battery and still the same.

One of my friend give me some advices, I simply clean the whole logic board with some non water alcohol, and it works. It works perfect now. You can have a try.

must be a bad logicboard

Nick, · Reply

Hey, I made it, it's open! My opener tool was useless. A swiss army knife and lots of brute force is your friend. My tool broke apart not resisting such force that is necessary.

http, · Reply

lol i dropped my iPod this fixedit because it had no back

elais, · Reply

Count get past step 1 :( began seperating the back but the metal back sooner bent than the clips letting loose. I heard something chip then the ipod started getting very hot so I think I punctured the battery :( its going to live outside for a while before I throw it out.

Mike, · Reply

Could I possibly just cut the battery cables in this step and solder them to the wires on the new battery??

DUSTmurph, · Reply

On reassembly before putting the two screws back in, make sure to slide the top part of the board opposite the screws under the small black plastic notch.

barlowdo, · Reply

In step five I was very careful with the spudger at getting the battery loose from the LCD screen but now after reassembly I have white bleed through all around three sides of the LCD screen. It shows up easily on light colored screen backgrounds like the Set up screen. It looks like the spudger some how damaged the back side of the LCD screen during disassembly. Is this glue heat sensitive or is there an alternative to using the spudger that a user can suggest?

barlowdo, · Reply

Quote from DUSTmurph:

Could I possibly just cut the battery cables in this step and solder them to the wires on the new battery??

I am thinking about trying this myself - It seems a lot less labor intensive than desoldering in that very tight location. I guess the big concern is if there is room for insulation on the spliced wires when the unit gets closed up.

barlowdo, · Reply

Quote from barlowdo:

I am thinking about trying this myself - It seems a lot less labor intensive than desoldering in that very tight location. I guess the big concern is if there is room for insulation on the spliced wires when the unit gets closed up.

I will add that there is really not a lot of wire length to do a splice on and it may be as difficult to do as soldering to the circuit board.

barlowdo, · Reply

These two screws are short.

NoH2O, · Reply

There is a gold spring coil on the side of the board near the left side. BE VERY CAREFUL! It extremely brittle metal and if smashed down, won't connect with the power switch. Once smashed down, attempting to stretch it back out will break it. I found out the hard way and the only way to fix it is to replace the logic board.

LukeInDC, · Reply

Are these really Phillips 00 screws? My supposedly 00 screwdriver is way too big. Maybe they are really Phillips 000. The screws in my device were set with blue locktight (grr). I was able to unscrew three of the six with very small straight edge screwdriver but had to sand off the heads of three more with a Dremel tool. This is dangerous. During the process I barely nicked a component near where the antenna cable connects to the logic board. Now I have a new battery and no WiFi.

anonymous 6952, · Reply

Left screw is very short. Right screw is long. Top screws same as bottom ones.

NoH2O, · Reply

Also, right top one appears bronze/gold colored while left top one is silver, like the bottom ones. Don't know if this is important. (Also, couldn't figure out how to add to previous comment!)

NoH2O, · Reply

Actually you can skip all this taking apart sequence - just remove older battery, clean the soldering holes and solder wires back from top. just put some thin plastic film under logic board where the soldering points are while soldering wires in. I replaced god knows how many batteries like this and they all are fine. that way you can replace battery in 5minutes!

DigiHead, · Reply

Right, this is what I did. Although it took me more than 5 minutes just to get the case open.

Madelaine Gogol,

i reinstalled the lcd and digitizer. only the top works. the bottom of the screen will not respond to touch. help please !!!

Nemowuner, · Reply

When removing the smaller board, while sliding the spudger, I dislodged a white circular plastic disc stuck to the board which is some kind of buffer to the front side button and the board. It's a little sticky, hopefully I'll be able to put it back the right way.

NoH2O, · Reply

I've managed to strip a screw. Be careful of that!

brittanica101, · Reply

I believe the white adhesive disc is the contact for power button, so try replacing the same way it came off. The dotted lines on the white should wrap around the edges of circuit board slightly and the board should hold it in place.

swips, · Reply

You don't actually need to remove the smaller portion of the logic board to remove the display. Just lift the larger portion up and out of the way, as illustrated.

Mo Oishi, · Reply

When I did this, the headphone jack cable sheared completely. The headphone jack was still down and the board flipped up. There was almost no resistance to indicate something was tearing. Luckily, installing a new headphone jack is pretty easy if you have a fine tip soldering iron. But it was a big delay as I had to order the part.

jonathan, · Reply

Quote from jonathan:

When I did this, the headphone jack cable sheared completely. The headphone jack was still down and the board flipped up. There was almost no resistance to indicate something was tearing. Luckily, installing a new headphone jack is pretty easy if you have a fine tip soldering iron. But it was a big delay as I had to order the part.

Ryan Lacy, · Reply

Quote from Ryan:

Do you have any specific info or guide on how to replace the headphone jack? I agreed to help a friend with their iPod and it turns out a new headphone jack is in order. I have never done a repair on an iPod requiring soldering. I think myself and many others would be grateful for a tutorial.

Ryan Lacy, · Reply

Quote from Ryan Lacy:

Do you have any specific info or guide on how to replace the headphone jack? I agreed to help a friend with their iPod and it turns out a new headphone jack is in order. I have never done a repair on an iPod requiring soldering. I think myself and many others would be grateful for a tutorial.

Well what worked for me was keeping the old connector on the soldered part. The new ribbon has two holes on each solder connecting point. If the ribbon isn't already ripped, go ahead and rip/cut it. Then simply place the new ribbon on top of the existing end with the solder blobs on it. Press down with the heated tip from on top of the solder pads and the heat should be enough to melt the solder beneath. It should flow right up through the holes with the pressure and voila.

jonathan, · Reply

Jonathan did you post any photos or a video of your soldering the new headphone jack to the logic board? I did as you did and broke the small ribbon or cable connecting the headphone jack to the logic board. This is my first attempt at repairing an electronic device, and it ended very badly.

Lucy, · Reply

I can't believe the number of screws in this step, and the yellow tape over top. Seems excessive.

jonathan, · Reply

hi,

after you take the display unit out. You have to separate the display from the al. backing plate. it is held on with glue so gentle prying with the spudger tools will do it for you. i started from one of the loose corners and used the opening tool to enable the spudger to get in.

fantastic teardown,keep up the good work

jigs

jigalinb, · Reply

Once you have re-assembled the iPod, the screen will not work unless you restart it by holding down the power button and the Home button down for a few seconds until you see the Apple logo.

soulSnax, · Reply

Some questions on re-assembly. I took mine apart because it got wet, so stopped after Step 13--I don't see a reason to take the front panel off--altho I may hit it w/the hair dryer just to ensure everything is dry. I'm also gently scrubbing the connectors and boards to remove built-up dust and crap. Any other suggestions?

My Q's: do you re-use the various pieces of tape that were removed during dis-assembly? what about the glue--just stick things back on whatever glue is left or should I apply some anew? If so, what kind of glue do I use?

I'm optimistic I'll be able to put it back together, thanks to this great site! Hopefully it will work as good as new.

NoH2O, · Reply

Be careful when heating around the home button. It will melt if youre not.

fgibson, · Reply

well, that was fun, thanks apple, nothing can be easy, can it?

Chris Green, · Reply

My old screen broke while taking it off, which was fine because I was replacing it. However, I did not get a Spudger tool and I think when taking the back cover off that is why all the tabs on one side were broken, Now the case won't completely close. What a PITA!

But, Screen not cracked and Ipod works. THanks

Greg687, · Reply

I'm replacing mine because it broke and I expect that's why most are changing out. Be sure you get ALL flakes of broken glass out of the glue or the new screen will not go in. I needed tweezers and a magnifying glass.

Parker, · Reply

I had the screen break and come out in a few different pieces, but overall this install went very well. I just finished up and the iPod is sitting there charging. The wifi still works, as do the home and sleep buttons, and touch screen. Thanks iFixit!

brittanica101, · Reply

Clear instructions. I am a total novice, yet was able to disassemble the iPod and install the new touchscreen (the original had shattered) in under 2 hours. I did have to put in new adhesive, as the old one refused to hold the new screen, even after re-heating. I used the kind of adhesive used for rear-view mirrors to the inside of a car's windshield. The iPod is fully working and looks fine.

Jorge, · Reply

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