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If you removed your Apple Watch’s screen but don’t need to replace the Force Touch sensor, you can use this guide to install a strip of pre-cut adhesive and seal your watch closed.

  1. Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement, Adhesive: step 1, image 1 of 2 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement, Adhesive: step 1, image 2 of 2
    • 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. Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 2 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 2, image 2 of 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.

  3. Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • 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

    Yep, I am stuck here also with no help from iFixit. I bought the force sensor gasket which seems to have its own adhesive. Also got the square pad with turquois plastic covering on on side and brown paper backing on the other. Series does not match what I have. NO DIRECTIONS! Pictures shown here shows how to apply the pad but does not mention removing the paper backing. Contacted iFixit support and the tell me they can't help because the are not familiar with what they sell! This is crap!!

    Daniel Devine - Reply

    Ok, I see they remove the brown backing at the very end when they replace the screen back on case, but I still see no way to peel off the turquoise plastic side of the adhesive pad. Ordering instruction for force sensor says it already contains adhesive. Later in help instruction it says you still need the adhesive pad even with force sensor. What gives?

    Daniel Devine -

    Brown paper shown in step 4 comes off more readily than the blue plastic that needs also to be removed before proceeding to step 4. I have tried unsuccessfully to get the blue layer to lift so I can place the sealing gasket down like pictured in step 4. Incidentally, I am replacing only the battery which swelled and popped the screen off. Removing the old adhesive was tedious but at least I had the screen already removed. I thought I could avoid removing the screen but I decided that would not be a simple task and would likely ruin the adhesive placement process so I “bit the bullet” and disconnected the screen so as to make adhesive placement easier. If I could only get that blue plastic layer to lift off so I could place that first adhesive side down properly! The handling of the adhesive is a missing step. It is straightforward to understand what needs to be done but doing it is a whole different level of difficulty.

    James Lloyd - Reply

    I have read this over and over and I now think that it is instructing to peel only the brown layer and the adhesive layer off the strip pad leaving the blue layer attached to the pad. (That is what it says.) if this is the way to do it, then the graphic might be made more clear by making the outer ridge of the strip pad blue in color indicating that the plastic layer should be left with the pad. The current graphic shows a strip of blue on the outside ring that has been separated even thought the text clearly does not include it. (To be fair, the graphic does show a layer remaining but it is white and not the blue plastic that the pad I received has.) I took off all three layers and am having difficulty separating the plastic layer first. If this can be removed leaving the blue plastic affixed to the strip then the ring is immediately ready to be placed on the perimeter of the watch base as described in the next step. If I am unsuccessful in getting the blue plastic layer off the three layer adhesive ring I have created, I suspect I will be ordering a new adhesive strip to try the above method of removal.

    James Lloyd - Reply

    Part 1: It is very stressful to remove the blue side of the adhesive strip edge from the actual sticky pad. After several attempts (with just the paper readily trying to come off every time), I used the middle square of adhesive. I removed the middle square and placed the sticky corner of that middle square on top of the blue skinny strip of the actual adhesive that was to go around and seal the watch. Using the needle nose tweezer tool to stick between the adhesive and blue as it started releasing, it finally lifted it off the sticky strip. You have to be EXTREMELY slow and careful as it can stretch the strip.

    Deborah Schramm - Reply

    Part 2: Then the trickier part is removing the watch face from the base. Mine was attached much differently than the ones in the videos, so I left it on and had to put the strip OVER the face and then attempt to place it. Extremely hard but the only option I had at this point - the sticky strip was off and I was committed (and stubborn to win). I did stretch the strip just a tad in all the maneuvering , but I got it on and it worked! They need to place a removal tab sticking out, with maybe a very small piece of the paper under that spot with instructions on how to ‘‘pull there carefully”!

    Deborah Schramm - Reply

    Since the new 3M adhesive is a transfer adhesive and not strictly a double-sided tape, I found it much easier to remove the brown backing tape first (which easily comes off) and then to place the adhesive together with the blue plastic onto the watch. Be careful to keep the small rectangle inside attached to the outer strip. Then you press firmly on the blue plastic with an opening tool and finally you can peel off the blue plastic with tweezers. If the adhesive is coming off, just apply more pressure with the opening tool and try again.

    I also tried to peel off the brown backing paper together with the adhesive for at least one hour first, until I tried it the other way around.

    Tobias Rettstadt - Reply

  4. Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 4, image 1 of 3 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 4, image 2 of 3 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 4, image 3 of 3
    • 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. Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 2 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 5, image 2 of 2
    • 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.

  6. Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 6, image 1 of 3 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 6, image 2 of 3 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 6, image 3 of 3
    • 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

    A few definitions would help. Is the slot in the top of the lower bracket on the end of the lower bracket where the connections are (have been) made? In the photo it would be the longer side next to where the tweezers are holding the upper bracket. (for reference, it is the same side from where the battery connector appears.) There is a latching tab on the longer left side of the upper bracket which needs to reach under the edge of the lower bracket, I presume. Then from the photos again, it appears that the upper bracket must be slid from the left shorter side to the right shorter side of the lower bracket. If this is the procedure I have worked for several hours and have yet to get a secure “snap in place” outcome. I cannot really explain why the “free” end of the upper bracket does not engage and snap onto the lower bracket. It just seems to lack that final secure latching.

    James Lloyd - Reply

    I’m surprised at the small number of comments given how absolutely crazy this single step is. This is where I became convinced this product is not meant to be repaired by human beings. Both times I’ve done this, this it takes about an hour to get this bracket to make a clicking noise and be locked in place. I just did it for the second time and I can share what I think makes this a little easier. Bend that top bracket piece backward around the edge of something, like a table. You want to deform the part just a bit. This does two things: 1) ensures there’s a little more distance between the two sides, which are supposed to “grab” the edges of the lower part; 2) helps create a natural tension between the upper and lower part. Like I said, I’ve done this twice and I still have no idea what makes this part actually be together and I wonder how many people decide to just give up on the bracket and close the watch up as-is.

    GeneralKire - Reply

  7. Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 3 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 7, image 2 of 3 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 7, image 3 of 3
    • Line the battery connector up with its mate on the cable inside the watch body.

    • Use tweezers to press the two connectors together.

  8. Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 8, image 1 of 3 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 8, image 2 of 3 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 8, image 3 of 3
    • If your replacement battery came with pre-installed adhesive, peel off the protective tab now, exposing the adhesive.

    • 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

  9. Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 9, image 1 of 1
    • Use tweezers to peel off the adhesive backing strip.

    • Peel the backing strip up halfway, then snip it with scissors so you can peel the rest off without it snagging on the display.

  10. Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 10, image 1 of 3 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 10, image 2 of 3 Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement: step 10, image 3 of 3
    • 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.

    • Alternatively, you can use screen vice clamps around the perimeter of your device to set the new 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 - 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) 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

    not sure if it was change or i was sent the wrong one but my tape (blue color) was a “single” side adhesive tape not double. Not sure what’s up with that, i scratched and scraped the inner part of the tape to make sure it was single and indeed no other protective film came up. Disappointment level = disappointed

    Marvin St John - Reply

    My display just fell off after a week without even using the watch. Is there an adhesive problem?

    Razvan Ardeleanu - Reply

    I followed directions meticulously replacing battery and touch sensor, but once reconnected I put watch on charger, and all I get is the lighted Apple logo going on and off every few seconds. Watch will not log on. I double checked all connections and they seem good. Any suggestions?

    Al Hartgraves - Reply

    I didn't really have an issue getting the adhesive on and screen back down. It looks brand new. My screen was not the issue - battery swelled and popped the screen off. I put in new battery and new adhesive strip. After getting all back together it looks perfect. It charges up, but all the text is red and no touch interaction does anything. anyone know what is wrong?

    eric cole - Reply

Finish Line

220 other people completed this guide.

Andrew Optimus Goldheart

Member since: 10/17/2009

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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.?

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

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)


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 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

I tried this and could not get the adhesive to stitch to the paper backing when removing the ring. The adhesive seemed to be bonded to the plastic backing. Will reorder and try again.

dj1encore - Reply

The double sided adhesive sticks too much to the plastic backing. There isn’t an easy way to get it off the backing which means you can’t neatly get it in place on the watch. The strip comes off the brown paper backing just fine but not the blue plastic backing.

Spectre - Reply

Was finally able to get it off the blue backing but it did not hold the display on. Guess I’ll have to go to Apple for a fix.

Spectre -

I completed these steps but it appears that it is the force touch sensors adhesive that is bad. Can I do the same steps to reattach the force touch sensor or does it require a new one?

Chelsea Sargeant - Reply

The plastic did not come off, so I did the guide but keeping the plastic on instead of the paper and it worked perfectly!

Arsen Musayelyan - Reply

Hallo wird die uhr bei richtiger Montage auch wieder wasserdicht sein?

danke Gruß Pernox

berliner-teufel - Reply

We are all here because apple support tech are not helping. They told me the screen piping out is not in the warranty and they told me they can repair like USD 350 while I bought the watch USD 400 2 and 1/2 years ago. I need to fix it myself.


The adhesive strip was super easy to install. I did not have to detach the screen from the watch. I just maneouvered the square adhesive around the screen and then put it in place with minimal swearing. The whole things took about 3 minutes.

Nancy Fish - Reply

thanks for the info

Scott Mcdonald - Reply

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