iPod Touch 3rd Generation Front Panel Replacement

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

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

Front panel replacement.

Remove the glass front panel to access your Touch's internals.

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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.

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

For more information, check out the iPod Touch 3rd Generation device page.

Required Tools

Plastic Opening Tools

$2.95 · 50+ In stock

Related Products

Comments Comments are onturn off

When prying up - make sure that you lift the black plastic frame. I got trouble because on side I managed to lift the glass of the plastic frame on one side, and lifted the plastic frame out of the clips on the other sides, making it very hard to get the panel out. When I at last succeeded it was because the plastic frame broke in the lower right corner – when I had lifted the panel off the right side of the plastic frame was still attached (it needed to break at the top too before I could lift of the panel completely).

Michael Villebeck, · Reply

will i because to put the panel back on easily?

Celeste Morley, · Reply

Patience and a can of compressed air are mandatory. The inside of my iPod Touch was pretty dusty after two years in my pocket. Before putting on the new digitizer, everything needs to be clean.

Also, I used my spudger to pry half the broken frame out of the left gutter (see Michael above). Doing that without damaging the screen was the hardest part.

reichman, · 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..


Cheers, Rob

rledwa2, · Reply

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