iPod Touch 3rd Generation Battery Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

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

Replace your iPod Touch 3rd Generation's battery.

Use this guide to replace your iPod Touch's battery. Replacing the battery requires a soldering iron and knowledge of surface mount soldering.

Before you start, first back up your iPod by sync-ing it with iTunes. It may come back up in a state where it needs resetting and restoring.

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Edit Step 1 Front Panel  ¶ 

  • The glass front panel on the third generation Touch has a plastic frame glued both to its outer edge and also under the wide black strips at the top and bottom of the device.

  • The picture at left (front panel already removed) shows the locations of the metal clips (shown in red) that snap on to the plastic frame. In the next few steps, try to pry the front panel up from the gaps between these clips.

  • Also, be mindful of the very thin and delicate touch screen ribbon cable (connector location shown in green) attaching the front panel to the upper left corner of the Touch.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Gently insert an iPod opening tool between the glass front panel and its plastic surround near the volume adjust buttons.

  • Rotate the tool away from the Touch to pry up on the glass panel.

  • The key is to work slowly and gently to avoid breaking internal components.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Insert the iPod opening tool between the front panel and its plastic surround and pry up at several points along the left edge of the Touch.

  • Do not insert the tool and run it down the edge of the front panel, as it will damage the front panel itself and the rubber strip along the plastic surround. It is best to work at one point, pry up, then remove the tool and reinsert it at the next spot to be pryed up.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Continue prying up the left edge until the top and bottom edges start to lift out of the Touch.

  • Once the top and bottom edges have lifted slightly out of the Touch, use the opening tool to assure the plastic surround is detached from the clips along the inside of the Touch.

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Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Continue the prying procedure, now focusing on detaching the plastic surround from the internal metal clips.

  • Pry along the top edge of the Touch to further separate the front panel from the rest of the device.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Pry up the front panel along the right edge using the method described in previous steps.

  • Eventually work around the entire perimeter of the front panel until it is lifted slightly from the rear panel.

  • Also, ensure that the plastic surround is separated from the clips in the rear panel.

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Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • Lift the front panel out of the rear case minding the cable still attaching it near the upper left corner of the Touch.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger (or an opening tool) to very carefully pry the touch screen cable connector up off the upper logic board.

  • The touch screen ribbon cable is extremely fragile! Be very gentle in disconnecting this cable to prevent tearing the ribbon cable.

  • Now that the front panel is out, check it for damage. If the plastic surround is not flush with the front face of the glass panel, gently peel it off and stick it down.

  • Be careful not to scratch the front panel on the underside of the black portions, as the scratches will be visible once the device is reassembled.

  • Be sure to clean both the face of the display and the inner surface of the front panel, as any dust or fingerprints will be trapped inside the Touch once it is fully reassembled.

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Edit Step 9 Display  ¶ 

  • Insert a small iPod opening tool with the edge angled up toward the underside of the display between the white plastic backlight and the metal shield beneath it.

  • Pry up along the lower edge of the display enough to grab it with your fingers, being careful to not flex the screen.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Lift the display up from its lower edge and rotate it toward the top of the Touch.

  • The next few steps require removal of components under where the display normally sits. Be sure to hold the display to avoid putting tension on the delicate display ribbon cable.

  • Remove the seven Phillips screws securing the metal display tray to the rear panel. They may be very tight; watch carefully to make sure you don't strip them.

  • The two darker screws belong in the two holes in the tray nearest the bottom edge of the Touch.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Lay the display back down into its tray.

  • Remove the final Phillips screw securing the metal tray to the rear panel.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • Lift the display out of the metal tray and rotate it toward the top edge of the Touch.

  • Use an iPod opening tool to lift the metal display tray and rotate it up toward the top edge of the Touch.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • Use the edge of an iPod opening tool to peel the copper tape off the top edge of the display.

  • Leave the copper tape attached to the metal display tray.

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Edit Step 14  ¶ 

  • Use the edge of an iPod opening tool to remove the piece of tape covering the display data cable.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Use an iPod opening tool to pry the display data cable connector up off its socket on the logic board.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Peel the display data cable off the adhesive securing it to the rear panel.

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Lift the metal display tray slightly (the battery is attached to its underside) and remove the display from the Touch, minding its delicate cable that may get caught.

  • The display ribbon cable is routed under the metal display tray.

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Edit Step 18 Battery  ¶ 

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry the battery off the adhesive securing it to the metal display tray.

  • Remove the metal display tray and set it aside.

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Edit Step 19  ¶ 

  • Flip your battery over and lay it down in the rear panel as shown.

  • Use a pair of tweezers to remove the small strip of tape covering the end of the battery cable (shown in red).

  • When finished installing your new battery, it is essential to cover the bare battery leads with tape to avoid electrical shorts.

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Edit Step 20  ¶ 

  • The battery on the third generation Touch is attached via solder pads with small holes that go through the battery ribbon cable and attach to flat pads on the face of the logic board. In this step, you will heat each solder pad individually while using a metal spudger to pry it up from the logic board.

  • DO NOT bridge the connection between the solder pads both on the board and on the ribbon cable with your spudger. Shorts have the potential to ruin the logic board.

  • Beware of overheating the board and the cable. Only hold the tip of the iron against the pad long enough to let the solder melt. Excess heat buildup has the potential to ruin the logic board or melt the ribbon cable.

  • Start working from one side of the battery ribbon cable. In our case, we started on the left. Heat the leftmost solder pad while gently prying up from under the ribbon cable to free it from the board. Repeat this process for each of the two remaining pads, working either right to left or left to right.

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Edit Step 21  ¶ 

  • At this point, the battery should be free from the logic board.

  • Lift the old battery out of the Touch and set it aside.

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Edit Step 22  ¶ 

  • Next, use the tip of a soldering iron to flatten out the solder on the logic board solder pads. The pictures show a 'before' and 'after' shot.

  • Remember not to heat up the pads too much.

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Edit Step 23  ¶ 

  • Place your battery in the rear panel, with the cable side down, and use two small strips of electrical tape to hold the cable against the solder pads.

  • Installing the battery upside down (with the cable facing up) will destroy the logic board.

  • Place a strip of tape over the end of the battery ribbon cable to both cover two of the solder pads and hold the contacts down against the logic board.

  • Heat the rightmost contact until the solder below melts and apply a small amount of solder to the contact, allowing it to flow through the two holes in the cable and down to the logic board.

  • Do not apply too much solder. The amount required for a proper bond is miniscule.

  • As soon as the solder has flowed into the joint, remove both the solder and the iron.

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Edit Step 24  ¶ 

  • Remove the piece of tape covering the remaining two leads. If you are satisfied with the position of the cable relative to the pads on the board, proceed. If not, de-solder the first connection and try again.

  • Solder the two remaining pads to the logic board, being mindful of overheating the cable or board.

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Edit Step 25  ¶ 

  • Don't forget to reapply the piece of tape over the solder pads to prevent any shorts.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order. Don't forget to clean both the display and the inside of the screen before final reassembly. You can use spectacle cleaning spray and a lint-free cloth for this. Clean the screen horizontally and the display vertically, and have a test look. The direction will tell you where the smudges are.

For more information, check out the iPod Touch 3rd 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

Lead-Free Solder

$4.95 · 50+ In stock

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Comments Comments are onturn off

wher can you buy the battery

gerardo, · Reply

They can be found here in our store.

Andrew Bookholt,

I've done the battery change and went through the whole process without too much hassle. Once it was done, I turned my iPod on and it worked. However, when I came to charge it, it just wouldn't work (the battery won't charge at all). So my iPod just depleted itself till the new battery went empty, and now it just won't boot anymore. I think I've done the job pretty well (or at least the iPod worked for a little while after the battery change) so I don't know what's the real reason for this not to work. Now my iPod is stuck on this screen http://km.support.apple.com/library/APPL.... Sucks to be me.

djules, · Reply

at least u didnt fix it, boot it so it worked, then assemble it and have it broken.

Daniel Powers,

- Rubber ring damaged? Check!

- Dirt inside the screen? Check!

- Blue plastic tools busted? Check!

- Battery replaced? Check!

- Unit working? Check!

I recommend having blue nitrile gloves on your hands to minimize grease transfer.

I'd also recommend enhancing the instructions on how to release the side catches with more technique photos. That was the hardest part for me.

Job complete. Check!

johnvoth, · Reply

-tools broken? Check!

-able to proceed? Nope!

Brandon,

People u need a metal tool to easily remove the front glass a plastic spudger won't do it very well as it needs to be flat and pushed in between the clips and the metal retainers and gently lifted. Also if you must use tape to hold the battery ribbon cable down use heat resistant tape made for the job because if you melt the tape it will mix with the solder and contaminate it. Use IPA and a lint free cloth to wipe down the screen right before replacing the front. The correct way to prep the contacts before soldering is to use solder wick to remove any old solder that remains. Also be carefull of static. If you have trouble getting digitiser cable to fit back on the board and you are getting annoyed walk away for a few mins and clear your head I bet it'll go on first time when you got back to it.

One last thing warm the plate with a hair dryer to get the old battery off it will soften the glue make things much much easier and you don't risk bending the battery and causing yourself disaster.

annualuk72, · Reply

I installed the battery, and double checked one of the battery connectors before closing it up. Once I got it all together, I plugged it in and it showed the REALLY low red battery with the lightning logo. So I waited, and read a couple comments, and people were turning on their iPods right away, but mine wouldn't give me anything but the REALLY low battery. I started to get worried, and looked up a couple other answers. After about 5 minutes, the silver Apple logo popped up and I was relieved.

Just remember to have a little patience.

Trevor Bugera, · Reply

I had a problem with mine after the battery was replaced. I would turn it on and just get the sliver of red for the battery, and it would not boot. It would work fine until I pressed the LCD assembly down into the housing, and then the battery went dead. What I observed was that the LCD ribbon cable that runs under the battery to its socket was quite stuck to the back of the case when I tried to remove it. This left a bit of the insulation from the cable stuck to the back of the housing. After replacing the battery it would work fine till I pressed the LCD down, and then it would short out. So I lifted the LCD assembly again, lifted up the LCD ribbon cable and put a inch and a half piece of black tape down underneath between the cable and the housing. After reassembly it worked fine.

karlehlert, · Reply

Also, just a tip that worked for me..instead of trying to remove the old battery with the solder tip trying hard not to short or bridge the terminals, I just snipped the old battery ribbon cable back about an inch or so from the solder joints with scissors. Then with a grip on the leftover piece of ribbon I just quickly applied the tip to all three solder joints and lifted it off easy. (I am sure this is not what is standard practice, but with the battery snipped off and out of the way, I didn't see the a problem with bridging the terminals all at once, since there was no battery voltage to worry about.) Anyway, it worked!

karlehlert, · Reply

After I finished, had to reset the iPod to get anything to show up other than a blank white screen: press and hold power and home button at same time. After they are released, the Apple logo will show up for a minute or two. Then it should come back to life, but settings may be lost. Fortunately, I had a manual backup of the pod I had done before starting the battery replacement.

lauryshark, · Reply

The first thing to do before any work on the hardware is to synchronize the iPod with iTunes. It may come up in a state which needs resetting and restoring from the latest backup. I agree with the comment saying more photos and better instructions are needed at steps 2-6. This is the hardest part and it is also a step where you can do serious physical damage. I also agree that a metal tool is needed for this step, although to be used very carefully. The plastic one provided is not strong enough and flexes too much in the first stage. Solder wick is definitely the answer to the desoldering step, and if you're a competent solderer with a good iron you don't need the masking tape at steps 23-4. The other hard part is reattaching the cable removed in step 8. If your big round button doesn't work on reassembly, this is why. You need tweezers, or sensitive fingers, for this step, and patience. The hints about cleaning should be given at the end, not at the beginning.

Esmond Pitt, · Reply

I had a real challenge getting the ribbon cable connected; after 20 minutes of trying while carefully balancing the front panel and trying not to rip the ribbon, I grabbed the old screen, ripped off the connector and practiced getting it on.

I had another challenge of the connector staying on...I had noticed a little piece of rubber had come off when I took the old screen off. That piece of rubber was EXACTLY the same size as the connector; I'd guess it is meant to hold the connector in place when the panel is put back on...So, I put it on top of the connector and closed it up..

Perfect!

Cheers, Rob

rledwa2, · Reply

The center battery connector is more fragile, it does not go thru the board and came off. I was able to connect it to the spot just above and it seems to work.

Other than that I did have trouble with the clips on the right side and damaged the rubber a bit, but it is servicable. The technique and angle for uncliping is still not clear but probably hard to explain - it is a skill.

However, thanks for the best instructions I could find!

Cory, · Reply

Step 21

It seems the connectors are very fragile! I had to glue the left one back and connect it to the round contacts on the logic board with a tyni wire (solding). Be very careful to put enough heat on the solder pads before levering the connector cable off (but do not overheat)

mattkupfer, · Reply

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