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Fix Your Stuff

Right to Repair

Parts & Tools

Introduction

Got a dead or swollen battery in your Apple Watch? Use this guide to replace it.

Note: If your battery is swollen, take appropriate precautions.

  1. Before starting repairs, take your watch off the charger and power it down. If your touchscreen is broken and prevents powering off the watch, use this alternate method to power it down.
  2. Prepare an iOpener (or grab a hair dryer or heat gun) and heat the face of the watch until it's slightly too hot to touch.
    • Prepare an iOpener (or grab a hair dryer or heat gun) and heat the face of the watch until it's slightly too hot to touch.

    • Leave the iOpener on the watch for at least a minute to fully heat the screen and soften the adhesive holding it to the case.

    • You may need to reheat the iOpener, or move it around on the screen as sections cool, to heat the screen enough to pry it off.

    • Because the gap between the screen and watch body is so thin, a sharp blade is required to separate the two. Read the following warnings carefully before proceeding.

    • Protect your fingers by keeping them completely clear of the knife. If in doubt, protect your free hand with a heavy glove, such as a leather shop glove or gardening glove.

    • Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this might cause the knife to slip and cut you, or damage the watch.

    • Wear eye protection. The knife or glass may break, sending pieces flying.

  3. Using a curved blade minimizes the chance of scratching the case or cracking the glass. Only pry with the curved section of the blade, and not the tip or flat section. Place the curved section of the blade in the gap between the glass and case on the lower edge of the watch face, and press firmly straight down into the gap. Be very careful to maintain complete control over the knife—once the gap opens, if you're pressing too hard on the knife it may slip in and cut the battery.
    • Using a curved blade minimizes the chance of scratching the case or cracking the glass. Only pry with the curved section of the blade, and not the tip or flat section.

    • Place the curved section of the blade in the gap between the glass and case on the lower edge of the watch face, and press firmly straight down into the gap.

    • Be very careful to maintain complete control over the knife—once the gap opens, if you're pressing too hard on the knife it may slip in and cut the battery.

    • This should wedge the gap open and cause the glass to lift slightly up from the case.

    • When the glass has lifted, gently rotate the knife down, opening the gap more by pushing the glass up.

    It is not possible to separate the screen from the casing? I have heated this thing numerous times and the opening is way too small to get any type of blade, knife or other tool in between. Any suggestions???

    Paul - Reply

    Using a curved blade like the guide recommends, angle the blade straight down between the glass and the edge of the frame, mid-way along the bottom edge of the case. The metal of the case will flex *just a little bit*, allowing you to slowly rotate the blade so the cutting edge is now pointing towards the center of the watch instead of down towards your work surface. You may need to rock the blade back and forth, sort of massaging the curve into the seam between the glass and the metal before it works. And like they mention above, lots of heat. I used the heatpack they sell, put it in my toaster oven on 200. I started at 130, and went up in 20 degree increments until it worked.

    Pete -

    I've tried everything, heating it up until it's too hot to touch, pressing the knife in the gap straight down, at an angle, nothing seems to work. I've tried using all my arm strength and it still doesn't even enter the gap. Is the iFixit Jimmy not thin enough for the job?

    Kenneth - Reply

    It’s not. The Jimmy’s a great pry tool, but not a cutting blade and not sharp enough for this particular job. You want a curved razor like the guide suggests.

    Jeff Suovanen -

    Just to emphasise after quite a struggle - the blade absolutely matters!! I tried about 5 and almost gave up before the last one lifted the glass quite easily. Obviously, you want a thin blade! No, thinner than that!

    Mark Moore - Reply

    Plenty of heat helps this part. Also PLEASE PLEASE wear a glove. Nearly lost a finger thinking I was careful enough…

    jake - Reply

  4. Once you've opened the gap enough, insert the tip of an opening pick under the glass. Slide the pick along the bottom edge to separate adhesive holding the screen to the case. Be careful not to insert the opening pick too far. Only about 1/8" ( about 3 mm) is necessary, any deeper and you may damage cables.
    • Once you've opened the gap enough, insert the tip of an opening pick under the glass.

    • Slide the pick along the bottom edge to separate adhesive holding the screen to the case.

    • Be careful not to insert the opening pick too far. Only about 1/8" ( about 3 mm) is necessary, any deeper and you may damage cables.

  5. Roll the opening pick up the side of the button side of the watch, gently pushing in to separate the adhesive and widening the gap as you go. Remember not to push the pick in too far—it's easier to avoid this by rolling the pick, rather than dragging a tip along. Remember not to push the pick in too far—it's easier to avoid this by rolling the pick, rather than dragging a tip along.
    • Roll the opening pick up the side of the button side of the watch, gently pushing in to separate the adhesive and widening the gap as you go.

    • Remember not to push the pick in too far—it's easier to avoid this by rolling the pick, rather than dragging a tip along.

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  7. Work the pick around the top right corner, and roll it along the top edge of the screen. Work the pick around the top right corner, and roll it along the top edge of the screen. Work the pick around the top right corner, and roll it along the top edge of the screen.
    • Work the pick around the top right corner, and roll it along the top edge of the screen.

  8. Continue working the pick around the perimeter of the screen, rolling down along the left side to cut the last of the adhesive. Leave the pick in place to keep the adhesive from resealing the screen in place. Leave the pick in place to keep the adhesive from resealing the screen in place.
    • Continue working the pick around the perimeter of the screen, rolling down along the left side to cut the last of the adhesive.

    • Leave the pick in place to keep the adhesive from resealing the screen in place.

  9. While holding the first pick in place, use a second to check that all of the adhesive is separated around the entire perimeter of the screen. While holding the first pick in place, use a second to check that all of the adhesive is separated around the entire perimeter of the screen. While holding the first pick in place, use a second to check that all of the adhesive is separated around the entire perimeter of the screen.
    • While holding the first pick in place, use a second to check that all of the adhesive is separated around the entire perimeter of the screen.

  10. There are two cables connecting the screen to the inside of the watch, near the top left corner. Be careful when prying or you may damage these cables. Pry slightly up on the right side of the screen, to free it from any remaining adhesive. Pry up on the left to free it as well—but do not attempt to remove the screen as it is still held in place by two cables.
    • There are two cables connecting the screen to the inside of the watch, near the top left corner. Be careful when prying or you may damage these cables.

    • Pry slightly up on the right side of the screen, to free it from any remaining adhesive.

    • Pry up on the left to free it as well—but do not attempt to remove the screen as it is still held in place by two cables.

  11. If you can see the top layer of your Force Touch sensor among the display adhesive, it means the two layers of the sensor separated and you're going to need to replace or repair it. iFixit screen and battery repair kits come with a replacement Force Touch sensor, so if you got one of those, don't fret. The top layer of the sensor may be adhered to the back of the screen—if so, push it back down and separate it.
    • If you can see the top layer of your Force Touch sensor among the display adhesive, it means the two layers of the sensor separated and you're going to need to replace or repair it.

    • iFixit screen and battery repair kits come with a replacement Force Touch sensor, so if you got one of those, don't fret.

    • The top layer of the sensor may be adhered to the back of the screen—if so, push it back down and separate it.

    Hi, thanks for the guide, nice work. I miss a picture of the natural opening of the screen, as the mentioned “Force Touch sensor slides” gets connected from the screen to the main body of the watch by a pair of very thin wires. None of these wires are seen in any of the pictures among this guide, which may lead novices to not pay enough attention to them, broke them accidentally, or not knowing what are them for. Picture on step 13 is absolutely impossible without removing the slides / thin wires of the force touch sensor in advance.

    Cheers

    Javier Enrique Díaz - Reply

  12. Lift the screen up and shift it to the left, minding the display data and digitizer cables. Lift the screen up and shift it to the left, minding the display data and digitizer cables. Lift the screen up and shift it to the left, minding the display data and digitizer cables.
    • Lift the screen up and shift it to the left, minding the display data and digitizer cables.

    I have 2 other small cables which are missing in your photos. Can you also explain what to do with them? https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_6ngMn9...

    Pavel Guzenko - Reply

    Looks like you forced touch sensor is still attached to the screen and not the body. I’ve got the same issues. I’m going to try to use the plastic tool and heat to gently remove it from the screen and return it down to the body. You can see it in their fix of it… Apple Watch Force Touch Sensor Replacement . Hope this helps.

    Andrew Marjamaa - Reply

  13. Place the watch on an elevated surface, at least 1/2" or 1 cm tall—a small box or the edge of a book will work great. This will allow the screen to hang down vertically and give better access to the battery.
    • Place the watch on an elevated surface, at least 1/2" or 1 cm tall—a small box or the edge of a book will work great. This will allow the screen to hang down vertically and give better access to the battery.

    • Be careful not to bump the screen or strain the cables while you work.

    Your iFixit shipping box is a great size for this

    Joe Smith - Reply

  14. Use scissors to cut one of your opening picks to about the width of the battery. Try not to leave any sharp corners. Insert the modified pick between the right side of the battery and the case. Use constant, steady pressure to slowly pry the battery up, separating it from the adhesive securing it to the system board.
    • Use scissors to cut one of your opening picks to about the width of the battery. Try not to leave any sharp corners.

    • Insert the modified pick between the right side of the battery and the case.

    • Use constant, steady pressure to slowly pry the battery up, separating it from the adhesive securing it to the system board.

    • Be careful not to deform or puncture the battery.

    • On the larger (42 mm) models, it's possible to accidentally pry at the system board underneath the battery. Insert the pick only far enough to get underneath the battery, not the system board.

    • If needed, apply a little high concentration isopropyl alcohol (90% or greater) around and under the battery to help weaken the adhesive.

    • Do not attempt to remove the battery as it is still connected.

    I tried removing the battery with the prying tool as instructed, but I think it may have slightly damaged the outer black plastic wrapping of the battery. Does this mean the battery is now damaged and needs to be replaced? Or is that just a cover around the battery and it doesn’t matter? I just don’t want any battery chemicals leaking out. Asking before I stick the screen back on the watch, I’ve done all the rest and it seems fine otherwise.

    Danae - Reply

    Hi Danae, the black plastic is technically just protective, but I would highly recommend replacing the battery. It’s possible there is additional unseen damage, and that plastic helps protect against swelling and normal wear of the battery inside the device.

    Sam Goldheart -

    I had to use the pry tool instead of the pick as the pick was not moving it. Was careful not to damage the battery but found it much easier to get movement and know exactly where I was prying with the pry tool.

    Joey Totherow - Reply

  15. Rotate the battery counterclockwise to expose its connector. Rotate the battery counterclockwise to expose its connector.
    • Rotate the battery counterclockwise to expose its connector.

  16. Hold the battery up and out of the way, to expose the battery cable connector. Use a plastic opening tool, prying against the bottom of the case to separate the battery cable connector from the watch's battery cable. Remove the battery from the watch.
    • Hold the battery up and out of the way, to expose the battery cable connector.

    • Use a plastic opening tool, prying against the bottom of the case to separate the battery cable connector from the watch's battery cable.

    • Remove the battery from the watch.

    • If the battery is visibly dented or deformed, it should be replaced. For best results, replace with a new battery whenever it is removed.

    Why should you remove the battery if you only need to replace the screen?...?

    Douglas Richey - Reply

    Douglas - this iFixit is for Apple Watch Battery Replacement - looks like you need to remove the screen to replace the battery...

    jimvaughn6 - Reply

    You will find that it is a good precautionary measure to disconnect the battery anytime you are repairing or replacing a screen as a short can occur when reconnecting the screen rendering it useless even if you have the unit turned off.

    Bryan Solo - 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 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

    Will removing the battery reset my icloud info? I have a guy who says he can do this, but i dont want him to run off with my watch after he replaces the battery…

    dreadmusicreview - Reply

    I did not disconnect the battery first. After replacing the screen, it didn’t work. I have to assume I created a short. The watch will still turn on and haptics are evident, but the display doesn’t work. Are there any further repairs to save my watch at this point?

    Scotty Beauchamp - Reply

    Yeah, sounds like you shorted part of the board. If it’s a Series 0 you’re working with, just go get a new one. Not worth fixing.

    Thomas Gehman -

    How do I insert the new battery???

    WebPoppy8 - Reply

    After replacing the battery I tried to turn it on and was presented with the red snake, I let it go for about an hour. When I checked it the red snake was gone, when I tried to turn it on it showed the Apple logo for about 4 seconds then went away. Is this normal, and if not what should I do?

    Donald Goodman - Reply

    I'm having a similar issue, did you manage to resolve it?

    Craig Lyon -

    Did you calibrate the battery? You need to fill it up completely and let it continue to charge for a few hours first.

    Grant Glass -

    Is it possible to place a battery in and charge/start the watch without the screen plugged in? I want to check integrity of the battery. I was thinking to put it on charge in a closed clear plastic container without the new screen on to see if the battery is good. I ‘really’ do not want to wait another 20 days for a battery replacement and the battery has no visual punctures, front looks good and the back where the adhesive is (or were, rather) is deflated and slightly ‘knobby’. I do not know if it is damage or just how it generally looks like or maybe it looks like so because of the old adhesive. It is not inflated or abnormally expanded. Anyone who knows about this? I used a hair dryer directly on the watch opened to loosen up the adhesive, is that a no-no?

    Philip Bromander - Reply

    The battery swelled up and popped off the screen, so went directly to Step 12. Luckily the adhesive below the Force Touch sensor was intact. Was able to complete the fix using the Adhesive Strip after replacing the battery. Works again! Thanks!

    Alex Danci - Reply

    The apple logo keeps flashing on my series 1 watch, tried force restart with crown and side button but it still just keeps on flashing the apple logo, does anyone have any advise? Is the issue with the battery? Do I need to get a new battery? I change the screen as the screen was broken and used the existing battery.

    shafeeqrahaman - Reply

    yes the issue was with battery, swapped with a new battery and booted up fine.

    shafeeqrahaman -

    Having the same issue.good to hear it’s the battery and not me.

    Grant Glass -

Conclusion

Continue from Step 17 of the Force Touch Sensor guide to re-seal your watch and complete your repair.

160 other people completed this guide.

Andrew Optimus Goldheart

Member since: 10/17/2009

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15 Comments

I did a battery replacement in a 38mm Series 1 iwatch and the darn battery is not charging properly. It's been on the charger about 3 hours and I'm only at 14%. Any suggestions?

shableigh226 - Reply

I managed to replace a swollen battery ($33.25 on amazon) that popped the screen, but this is not for the faint of heart. Special emphasis needs to be placed on not twisting the digitizer connectors as they are quite fragile ($119.99 on ebay for a new digitizer). It's also easy to damage the force-touch sensor ($24.95 on iFixit). You also need adhesive gaskets ($12.98 for 5 on Amazon)

iFixit lists all the parts required but were out of stock on all but one of the items I needed at the time.

Battery:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MV2...

Digitizer:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/262744629522?_tr...

Force Touch Sensor Gasket:

Apple Watch (38 mm Original and Series 1) Force Touch Sensor Adhesive Gasket

Adhesive Strips:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N4J...

Charles Fulnecky - Reply

Appreciate the detailed steps, happy for the option but after reading the $79 to get Apple to replace vs the $33, plus tools for battery... taking it to Apple Store does not seem so bad.

fourydog - Reply

79 is just for battery …there Will be around 220$ service fees extra !!!

purnendra pratap singh -

Nope $79 complete. Just had it done at Apple store. Took about 30 minutes.

Albert -

I’ve been on a bootloop for a day now after replacing the battery for my Apple Watch series 1

any suggestions on how I can fix this?

9cRon Cordero - Reply

I’ve been stuck on a bootloop for a day now

9cRon Cordero - 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

glue does the job …

Mattis -

How long did it take to charge the new battery after replacement?

Micki Bartlett - Reply

I heated the glass until it was too hot to hold a finger on, but I still could not pry the glass loose with the curved razor knife blade. I also tried pulling the glass up with a suction cup and was able to exert quite a bit of force but not enough to release the glass.

Stephen Casner - Reply

I had a swollen battery that popped the display off. Apple store would not replace the battery for $79, so I got a replacement from iFixit. The paper “how to condition your battery” notice got stuck to the glue on the replacement battery, so I used a little bit of Scotch double-sided tape to stick the battery to the case interior. Wish I’d used glue, the display is raised a barely noticeable fraction of a millimeter. Connecting the new battery to the battery cable connector was very difficult. I ended up using a pair of needle-nose pliers to squeeze them (carefully and delicately!) together. Be sure to remove the existing adhesive gasket lining before adding the replacement: I had to use an exacto blade to peel up and cut off a bit of it, then tweezers to pull it off. Applying the replacement double-sided tape gasket is very tricky. If I were to do it again, I’d decouple the display cable first (and get a second pair of hands). Fortunately, I have an LED-lighted magnifier visor and lots of patience.

Sugar Fish - Reply

I did it, and made a video about it

You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/s8uyA3dQgXg

Bill Debevc - Reply

The battery change was not difficult, everything worked as described, all the tools and parts were there (even the battery adhesive was included, despite the description saying that it isn’t).

Except one thing: the description is missing what to do if the Force-Touch-sensor is NOT damaged.

What is the best way to put the screen back on without replacing the Force-Touch sensor?

Does it need glue? Or just re-heating and pressing it on is enough?

I tried the re-heating and so far ok, but I’d really like some guidance… will this hold? Or should I use glue… what kind of glue?

it worked - Reply

follow-up: Found the answer - it is not enough to just re-heat it, display falls of again. And in the process of cleaning the edges I finally managed to rip off one contact of the Force touch sensor. So maybe should have taken it out in the first place to do the cleaning. Was just trying to avoid disconnecting the other two connectors which looked scary but wasnt.

Ended up having to use the sensor that came with the kit… and then… big disappointment - the necessary screwdriver bit was missing from the kit. I think the screwdriver is supposed to come with three bits, one of them the tri-tip. But mine had only two bits in the handle… maybe better that way, cos looking at those other bits… not very impressive precision there. So ordered a separate Y000 screwdriver online and did the whole thing again. Now I think it finally works though…

Instructions almost great (missing my scenario), parts great, tools big miss. Probably worth 3.5 stars…

it worked - Reply

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