Skip to main content

Introduction

Opening your Apple Watch will destroy the adhesive that keeps it together. Finish every repair by replacing the adhesive and following the reassembly guide shown here.

  1. Use a plastic opening tool to scrape adhesive off the back of the screen. Use a plastic opening tool to scrape adhesive off the back of the screen.
    • Use a plastic opening tool to scrape adhesive off the back of the screen.

    I had to do a lot of scraping with an exacto knife to remove the old adhesive from the crystal face. Plastic tool did not remove any.

    David Elmore - Reply

  2. You may be able to peel up the adhesive with tweezers. Once you have all of the pieces of adhesive removed, you may want to use an alcohol soaked q-tip to clean any residue off the back of the screen.
    • You may be able to peel up the adhesive with tweezers.

    • Once you have all of the pieces of adhesive removed, you may want to use an alcohol soaked q-tip to clean any residue off the back of the screen.

  3. Use tweezers to peel the outer ring off of one of the adhesive strip pads.
    • Use tweezers to peel the outer ring off of one of the adhesive strip pads.

    • Be sure to get both the double-sided adhesive and the brown backing paper.

    • Be very careful not to fold, bend, or stretch the adhesive tape, as this will make it too thick to seal the screen without a ridge between the screen and the case.

    Where do I get the adhesive

    Bret Moor - Reply

    It comes with the "Force Touch" parts kit, so you have to buy that to get the adhesive.

    Christopher Bess - Reply

    It’s really hard to take the ring off! Any tips?

    Emma Katherine - Reply

    Indeed, it was very difficult to peel off one side in particular, not the brown one, i hope that someone knows the correct technique

    Sherko Zaza -

    it is really immposible to take it off …. it is really $@$* … i lost 15€ (item 1 + shipping) … i thing that iFixit is able to make better solution like this cheap without any specific manual …. This manual is not too precise to understand how it works in real life

    Peter CHOVAN - Reply

    I appreciate that this guide / company exists, but you basically have to be a surgeon to do all this without ruining your watch. The adhesive has been “updated” but is still a complete pain and there are no instructions for how to peel / apply the new style of adhesive. I wasted $50 and about two hours of my time.

    Kristin - Reply

  4. Lay the backed adhesive tape down on the Force Touch sensor, around the edge of the case where the screen rests. Start in a corner with the tape as close to the corner wall as possible. Press on the brown backing paper with a plastic opening tool to secure the adhesive around the entire perimeter.
    • Lay the backed adhesive tape down on the Force Touch sensor, around the edge of the case where the screen rests.

    • Start in a corner with the tape as close to the corner wall as possible.

    • Press on the brown backing paper with a plastic opening tool to secure the adhesive around the entire perimeter.

  5. MacBook Battery Fix Kits

    Starting at $69.99

    Buy Now

    MacBook Battery Fix Kits

    Starting at $69.99

    Buy Now
  6. Use a plastic opening tool to reconnect the display data and digitizer cable connectors. Be careful not to touch any of the contacts directly, as your finger oils may impede connectivity.
    • Use a plastic opening tool to reconnect the display data and digitizer cable connectors.

    • Be careful not to touch any of the contacts directly, as your finger oils may impede connectivity.

  7. To reinstall the metal bracket, line up the single tab with the slot in the top of the lower half, and slide the bracket down. Snap the upper bracket in place. Snap the upper bracket in place.
    • To reinstall the metal bracket, line up the single tab with the slot in the top of the lower half, and slide the bracket down.

    • Snap the upper bracket in place.

    How important is the reinstallation of the top of the bracket? I have everything else connected and have done the suggested sanity check at this stage by reconnecting the battery, and absolutely everything works fine touch screen and all, but before reconnecting the battery to do that, I have spent a few hours attempting to get the bracket back in place, and for whatever reason I can’t get it to snap together. I’m guessing either or both of the sides of the bracket have bent one way or the other and it’s so microscopically small that even with a magnifying glass and fine tweezers i’m unable to fix that. What would happen if I just left that bracket off? The bottom of the two connectors is adhered properly so they’re not moving about as far as I can see. I’m really tempted to reassemble from here, but I may be misunderstanding some crucial function of the bracket. Any thoughts appreciated. cheers, Ian

    Ian McIntosh - Reply

  8. Line the battery connector up with its mate on the cable inside the watch body. Use tweezers to press the two connectors together. Use tweezers to press the two connectors together.
    • Line the battery connector up with its mate on the cable inside the watch body.

    • Use tweezers to press the two connectors together.

  9. Rotate the battery down into its slot, and press it into position. Press the battery down against the S1 to re-adhere it in place. Now is the best time to test powering on your watch—if it doesn't turn on, double check all three connectors and try again.
    • Rotate the battery down into its slot, and press it into position.

    • Press the battery down against the S1 to re-adhere it in place.

    • Now is the best time to test powering on your watch—if it doesn't turn on, double check all three connectors and try again.

    Plugged the new battery in and got the green wiggly snake screen. What does this indicate?

    Scott Hennessy - Reply

  10. Use tweezers to peel off the adhesive backing strip.
    • Use tweezers to peel off the adhesive backing strip.

  11. Move the screen back to the right, folding the display data and digitizer cables neatly. Center the screen over the case and press it down firmly onto the adhesive. Center the screen over the case and press it down firmly onto the adhesive.
    • Move the screen back to the right, folding the display data and digitizer cables neatly.

    • Center the screen over the case and press it down firmly onto the adhesive.

    Make sure your crown moves freely before place lid back on.

    I placed my lid back on, but soon realized that my crown did not rotate freely. Perhaps I got some adhesive on it accidentally.

    Vaughan Rouesnel - Reply

    Great repair guide! You iFixit guys are awesome. Took me about 2 hours but then I am very careful and I replaced the touch sensor and the battery at the same time since I had it open anyway. Make sure you have at least 2, and better 3 adhesive gaskets. You need 2 and, well, it’s easy to mess one up while trying to place it.

    rbolling - Reply

    Since the screen popped off due to a swollen battery, I was able to skip many steps in taking it apart. The most challenging part was getting the battery contacts to mate with the case as I was putting in back together. Thank you for a fabulous resource!

    Barbara Buckley - Reply

    Swollen battery? I think this may be the problem with the watch I am trying to fix. Seems the screen came loose and popped open. Going to try to replace the adhesive, but..what causes the battery to swell? It is charging fine on the charger but the owner noticed she couldn’t get the heart monitor to work any longer (Maybe the haptic/touch force not working, waiting to test)..wow glad I found this website and thread!

    queenmarylady -

    When I removed the old adhesive, there were to small tabs that extended into the watch batter case. No mention of these tabs, which are shaped like small T’s, anywhere in the repair manual for the Series 1 (original). I’ve just finished my repair (battery replacement and new seal, and have set the watch on the charger. I’m concerned that those two tabs, which I removed with the old adhesive seal, may have been important elements in the watch either for breaking some electrical connection, or making a “tamper proof” type of switch if broken or removed.

    When I put the watch on my charger, it did not light up indicating it was being charged. SO, iFixit, you should better document the Series 1 removal of the adhesive seal to address those small “T’ shape extensions into the watch case!

    Robert Grandmaison - Reply

    Update: I think this was a failed purchase for the replacement battery and adhesive seal. After placing the finished repaired watch with the iFixit battery on my charger, the watchface seemed VERY warm to me, and soon became almost too hot to even touch.

    Shortly thereafter, the charging symbol was replaced by a red thermostat symbol. Now when I put it on my charger, it’s blank and I get nothing from it in the way of a display. So, buyers beware! iFixit, your product and directions have disappointed me!

    Robert Grandmaison - Reply

Finish Line

150 other people completed this guide.

Andrew Optimus Goldberg

Member since: 10/17/2009

412,292 Reputation

411 Guides authored

Team

iFixit Member of iFixit

Community

104 Members

8,395 Guides authored

37 Comments

Where can I find the new screen.

Crissel Largo - Reply

THERE WOULD BE A PROBLEM WITH THE I.C. rewriting aiu moment of the change of LCD.?

wallace@freesurf.ch

vallottonge - Reply

How long before the adhesive strips will be back in stock? I've been waiting months now and still no update :)

Annie Booth - Reply

me too when can we expect it?

Luis Deluna -

me too!!!!!!

Anthony Zamora -

After replacing my damage Apple Watch screen the Lcd is no more responding, what can I do

Lawrence Campbell - Reply

Why are there no screens available? Is there something wrong with repairing the Apple Watch that iFixit knows that we don't?

applerepairshop - Reply

Great help excellent guide

kris johnson - Reply

attention a la nappe du capteur qui reste collée et que l'on arrache en même temps

gremlins72 - Reply

I need a battery replacement

heroe22 - Reply

Followed this to a tee, but the screen does not stay attached to the watch, The adhesive keeps letting go. Do you need the adhesive to be a certain temperature to seal completely?

Sean Eliseev - Reply

So... where I can find or buy the adhesive strip pads??

Ashymer - Reply

@Ashymer or others, do we know where we can buy the adhesive strip pads? I am willing to pay for a precut one.

Aether Mass -

I got mine off eBay.

prodigalseer -

this makes me so sad because after paying I believe around 600$ for the iwatch when it first came out now I have to pay around 240$ to get apple to stick some adhesive on it and give to me. Just really sucks and feels like a rip off. Please tell me if anyone has luck finding these strips.

Jessica - Reply

Hi they sell the sticky strips at Amazon about $8

kevin jubb -

I agree with Jessica! It IS a rip off! I paid $749 for my Gen 1 SS 1 watch with Milanese loop band! I barely wear it! I put it on to go out and the screen pops off! Otherwise works perfectly! I call Apple Support and because it is out of warranty, they tell me I can pay $249 for a repair! SERIOUSLY!?? I may as well buy ANOTHER WATCH! And trust me when I tell you, if that's the stance Apple wants to take, my next watch WILL NOT BE AN APPLE WATCH!!! I told the representative just that! She put me on hold and told me if I go in the Apple Store, they "may be" able to offer me a solution without cost. We will see!

Wenmos - Reply

If the screen keeps popping off (and you haven’t done anything to attempt to get into the watch), you may have a swollen battery. This has happened in a few cases and you can’t get the the screen to stay on without replacing the battery. Apple has extended the warranty for watches which have this issue, but you have to know to tell them that the issue is a swollen battery. Call them again and discuss this with them.

George Giftos -

Please don't complain to Apple!!!! This is their reply to me...... I'm sorry but if you pay nearly £1000 for a watch you really don't expect the front face to just pop off while you are totally motionless... If it does I would have thought you would be utterly entitled to a little rant! I have looked very closely but I can't find any words like, WE ARE SORRY YOUR APPLE WATCH JUST FELL APART, HOW CAN WE HELP YOU CORRECT THIS DISTRESSING SITUATION.... Instead, their words are, you are not allowed to complain about Apple products on an Apple website. What a bunch of ..

We removed your post watch face fell off because it contained rants or complaints that weren’t constructive. We understand wanting to share .....

Apple Support Communities Staff

Paul Stephens - Reply

So I spent a day or two trying to find the adhesive, as well as doing a lot of searching on how to reattach the watch face. I found some on Amazon but it was rated fairly low. I then considered going to the Apple Store, but since it was no longer covered, there was a $250 fee. Given that, I considered getting a new Apple Watch, but was also tour as it was going to be $500+.

All of that seems pretty high, especially given the watch itself is still completely fine.

I then realized I had a much simpler, much cheaper option: a watch case.

I got a case online that cost about $10. It didn't really "solve" the problem in that the screen is still detached, but it solved to the extent it made the watch usable again. :)

William Reardon - Reply

Where'd you find a $10 case?

Robert Lewis -

How is your watch with the case. Is it still usable- my screen has popped out of my brand new Apple Watch 3. Apple refusing to do anything unless I pay £200. Did the case help hold the screen in place. I was thinking of doing the same.

Julie -

When can we get the adhesive tape

Anthony Zamora - Reply

Why not start a page on FB and I'll bet there will be thousands complaining....

MIke McCool - Reply

I fixed mine with super glue.

Tony - Reply

Update: Only lasted about a month. Would not recommend.

Tony -

I want to buy the tape. Do any of the Ifix it kits comes with the tape ? why isn't this a spare part ?

Tim Kershaw - Reply

I was devastated when my screen popped up, Apple of coz tried to get more money off me...

Anyways I bought an adhesive replacement sticker for mine on eBay. The sticker came with a free tool also Awesome!!!

James D - Reply

I have the same problem. My screen popped off and was told at the Apple store it would take $249 to get it fixed. To correct their watch defect?

Not for me and very poor on Apple's part. May try finding the adhesive band on eBay. Very disappointed in Apple.

Michael Benedetto - Reply

My wife's gen 1 watch was NEVER abused. And she wore it only a few times. So it sat in the charger 95% of its 2 year life. As I put it on, to check her settings....The watch face popped out! $200.00 plus to have it fixed? NOPE!! I bought her a new gen 2.....Disillusioned and disappointed.

Dan Hodges - Reply

This seems like such a poor way to reattach the LCD screen. I heard some people recommending this sealant https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AL...

I’m going to try this next time.

Vinod Shekar - Reply

Where do we purchase these items?

masond2122ndra - Reply

I was planning to only replace the seal - just glue it back down and call it good. The watch front looks flat when I put it back and the battery doesn’t seem to be pushing up on it. (!&&* I had been thinking about buying some super- glue or silicone glue and not ordering anything)

THOUGHTS? SUGGESTIONS? BEEN THERE DONE THAT?

Mark Bailey - Reply

I see this adhesive this thick black strip. Do you need this adhesive strip if you are replacing the force tough gasket? Or will the clear thin adhesive strip work as well?

Jack Ciarlo - Reply

Beau boulot, clair et facile à comprendre… Bravo

Chercheurs - Reply

ifixit has the screen for $119, but some other place like phoneremedies.com or RepairPartsPlus sell it with the repair kit for near $40. Anybody advise why? I want to know the difference before place the order.

Charlie Guan - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 139

Past 7 Days: 941

Past 30 Days: 4,390

All Time: 172,162