Introduction

Cracked the glass on your Apple Watch? Time to get that fixed up. Follow this guide to replace the screen—which includes the OLED display and fused glass digitizer (touchscreen).

As a precaution against damaging your device, this guide starts by disconnecting the battery, in the only way you can—by removing it.

Be sure to follow our Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement guide when you're done.

Video Overview

We recommend that you clean your microwave before proceeding, as any nasty gunk on the bottom may end up stuck to the iOpener. Place the iOpener in the center of the microwave.
  • We recommend that you clean your microwave before proceeding, as any nasty gunk on the bottom may end up stuck to the iOpener.

  • Place the iOpener in the center of the microwave.

    • For carousel microwaves: Make sure the plate spins freely. If your iOpener gets stuck, it may overheat and burn.

which temperature must be used for heating? Thx

fbarletta - Reply

I found you need to be very patient when using the iOpener. It's worth taking your time, giving the heat time to work on the glue. When I finally got the battery out, there were some strips of glue left behind that I just cleaned off with some isopropanol before installing the new battery.

By the way, I had to run the iOpener for longer in my microwave for it to get hot enough. When it was too hot to touch, I figured it was hot enough for the batteries.

hello -

I didn't find this to be as hard as I had built it up in my mind to be; HOWEVER, saying that I need to say years ago I was the local Nokia service center in my town. But many years ago right after they got rid of analog times. Yeah. A classic installer/repairer mistake when starting something they haven't fixed or installed before is picking up the instructions, flipping through them; maybe even reading a section that is new-then tossing the instructions over the shoulder. "I got this." This usually comes right before something major gets broke. And I can tell you when you try to do it yourself and then mess it up horribly then take it to the repair shop. Well we called that "I can do it myself" syndrome and charged extra to put back together what they brought in in the box. Now knowing all this - I can't stress this enough because I am stupid, stupid, stupid. COVER YOUR SCREEN IN CLEAR BOXING TAPE AND READ ALL THE INSTRUCTION BELOW THROUGH TO THE END BEFORE EVEN ATTEMPTING THIS FIX. Take my advise.

windizy - Reply

I didn't have an iOpener, so I used a wheat type heat bag. If you do this though, make sure you put a layer of plastic between your Mac and the bag, or you'll get condensation in places you don't want it.

Martin Gray - Reply

I started out using the iOpener but switched to my wife's hairdryer. A heat gun or hair dryer proved to be much more convenient and is a time saviour. You can heat more and the glue becomes more fluid make the next steps with the opening picks much easier

Jan Van Puymbroeck - Reply

Use a hair dryer! Watch this vid: https://youtu.be/16GkvjVyOJA It is much easier to do if you heat it from the other side.

Fletcher Carpenter - Reply

I wonder how many people actually wrapped in their iPhone into iOpener and put this "sandwich" into microwave??

putinaspiliponis - Reply

I know this is obvious, but backup your iPad with iTunes before you start. I'd also turn off your passcode if you have one.

Laurie Higgins - Reply

Ther first time you heat up the iOpener for this repair when its room temperature I had to heat it up for more than 30 seconds. I remember I had to heat it up for around 45 seconds. However, after that when you need to reheat it again during the repair 30 seconds will be enough.

Yousef Ghalib - Reply

Heat the iOpener for thirty seconds.
  • Heat the iOpener for thirty seconds.

  • Throughout the repair procedure, as the iOpener cools, reheat it in the microwave for an additional thirty seconds at a time.

  • Be careful not to overheat the iOpener during the repair. Overheating may cause the iOpener to burst.

  • Never touch the iOpener if it appears swollen.

  • If the iOpener is still too hot in the middle to touch, continue using it while waiting for it to cool down some more before reheating. A properly heated iOpener should stay warm for up to 10 minutes.

May I know the temperate limit about heating iOpener? (maximum 150 degrees Celsius?) thx so much.

yamayhuang - Reply

I had to heat mine up for more than 30 seconds. After 30 seconds on high it was only warm. It had to keep trying different times and checking it until it got hot. I think the initial time that I put it in for was over a minute.

whale13 - Reply

DO NOT USE IN NON ROTATING MICROWAVE! It will pop a hole. I had it in for 45 seconds the first time. It wasn't very hot inside and I saw it started to leak on the paper towel I put under it. Just a fair bit of advice. I think I will just stick with the heat gun. Loud but useful.

Alex Jackson - Reply

I don't own a microwave.

mdanihy - Reply

Its again waterproof when you change iphone 7 battery?

Jon - Reply

I don't have a microwave???

Joe Blow - Reply

30 sec at which equivalent watts setting and what temperature does iOpener heats up to for 30 secs. Only just bought it so needs info before using it. Thanks

Sam Stieg - Reply

can i use just ordinary microwave???

juneseok kwon - Reply

If I don't have a microwave then I try to use hot air gun so how many munuts i want to heat ?

Mohideen Rifay - Reply

I heated mine up for 30 seconds, tested, then again for 30 seconds. It felt adequately hot. Leaving it on the left side, per the instruction, for a minute did not loosen the adhesive. I ended up pulling the suction cup hard enough to shadder the old screen. Moral of the story, I don't think it gets hot enough safely to have an affect.

Travis Dixon - Reply

There is a clear problem here with the heating part using the iopener things....no details are given. Whoever is testing them needs to make it clear - What temperature does it need to be? And for which phone models, because they differ in what's needed. It's only £10-15 for a laser guided temp sensor unit, and the designers/repairers should have one of those already for doing these kinds of repairs. Explaining half a repair, is worse than not explaining at all :-(

assortedrubbish - Reply

Remove the iOpener from the microwave, holding it by one of the two flat ends to avoid the hot center.
  • Remove the iOpener from the microwave, holding it by one of the two flat ends to avoid the hot center.

  • The iOpener will be very hot, so be careful when handling it. Use an oven mitt if necessary.

Will a hair dryer work for heating the glass?

Me berg - Reply

Place the heated iOpener on the face of the watch.
  • Place the heated iOpener on the face of the watch.

  • Leave the iOpener on the watch for at least a minute to 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.

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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.
  • 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.

  • Always keep your fingers completely clear of the knife.

  • 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.

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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 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 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?

vipersonickenneth94 - Reply

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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. The top layer of the sensor may be adhered to the back of the screen—push it down to separate it, and switch to our Force Touch Sensor guide from this point on. The top layer of the sensor may be adhered to the back of the screen—push it down to separate it, and switch to our Force Touch Sensor guide from this point on.
  • 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.

  • The top layer of the sensor may be adhered to the back of the screen—push it down to separate it, and switch to our Force Touch Sensor guide from this point on.

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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.

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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.

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Wedge a plastic opening tool between the right side of the battery and the case. Pry the battery up to separate it from the adhesive securing it to the system board. Do not attempt to remove the battery as it is still connected.
  • Wedge a plastic opening tool between the right side of the battery and the case.

  • Pry the battery up to separate it from the adhesive securing it to the system board.

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

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

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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.

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

Fold the screen up and over to the right, to expose the cables underneath. Fold the screen up and over to the right, to expose the cables underneath. Fold the screen up and over to the right, to expose the cables underneath.
  • Fold the screen up and over to the right, to expose the cables underneath.

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The display and digitizer cable connectors are secured beneath a small metal bracket that is adhered to the speaker. Use a plastic opening tool to flip the bracket toward the display and up from the speaker. If you simply pry toward the watch band you may tear the cables.
  • The display and digitizer cable connectors are secured beneath a small metal bracket that is adhered to the speaker.

  • Use a plastic opening tool to flip the bracket toward the display and up from the speaker.

  • If you simply pry toward the watch band you may tear the cables.

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The bracket that contains the display and digitizer cable connections is made up of an upper and lower piece. The connectors are secured to the lower, and the upper must be removed to disconnect them. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the lower half of the bracket. There is a small metal tab that protrudes downward from the upper metal bracket.
  • The bracket that contains the display and digitizer cable connections is made up of an upper and lower piece. The connectors are secured to the lower, and the upper must be removed to disconnect them.

  • Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the lower half of the bracket.

  • There is a small metal tab that protrudes downward from the upper metal bracket.

  • Insert a small (1 mm) flathead screwdriver between the tab and the lower bracket, and rotate the screwdriver to spread the gap.

  • This will release two tabs that hold the upper bracket to the lower, and should free the upper bracket.

I was really careful at this step but damaged the connectors inside. I would not advise the above method of separation and thin this should be reviewed. Your video is also misleading as to how "easy" it is to separate these two plates. Please review this.

Brent - Reply

Brent, how did you realized that inner connector was damaged?

Ivan Sorkin -

I agree with Brent. Your instructions are not very clear about how to get the bracket apart. I also damaged one of the pop connectors. Your picture shows the tweezers inside between the upper and lower part of the bracket. If you are not careful that will damage the pop connector on that side which is exactly what I did. If you can get something on the tiny tab on the unhinged side of the bracket and slightly pry it apart the bracket will come right apart.

Douglas Richey - Reply

The upper half of the display connector bracket is held at the upper end by a metal tab that fits into a slot in the lower bracket. Grab the upper bracket with your tweezers and slide it toward the top of the watch to disengage this tab and free the bracket. Grab the upper bracket with your tweezers and slide it toward the top of the watch to disengage this tab and free the bracket.
  • The upper half of the display connector bracket is held at the upper end by a metal tab that fits into a slot in the lower bracket.

  • Grab the upper bracket with your tweezers and slide it toward the top of the watch to disengage this tab and free the bracket.

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Disconnect the display data and digitizer cables. Be careful not to touch any of the contacts directly, as your finger oils may impede connectivity.
  • Disconnect the display data and digitizer cables.

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

  • Remove the display.

So how do you get the display off the screen or did I already mess it up cause I just did it

Jamie Groff - Reply

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow our Apple Watch Adhesive Replacement guide.

103 other people completed this guide.

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29 Comments

Does anyone know if I can replace my glass display for the saphier one??

dracospitfire - Reply

Yes, they are cross compatible. Look under features at Apple Watch (42 mm Original and Series 1) LCD Screen and Digitizer

Arthur Larin -

First of all WHERE CAN WE BUY A OEM GENUINE AUTHENTIC APPLE GLASS REPLACEMENT?

My question is if Apple doesnt sell oem genuine ones who will?

gleeglee217 - Reply

How much do the respective Sapphire and Gorilla Glass displays weigh by themselves?

Mac 128 - Reply

There are replacement touch screen/digitizer available on eBay. But the question is how do you separate the OLED display from your damaged touch screen to just replace the glass?

dotbear040306 - Reply

Exactly. thats what ifixit sells, they should have a guide for it.

Andrew spoelstra -

I found a video in German that shows this. I can't believe this iFixit guide fails to go into the crucial steps of the repair it's supposed to be about! Beware, this is not something a home hobbyist is going to be able to do. I got most of the way through my repair before I came across this german vid, and now I'm going to try to source a complete glass+LCD unit. Separating the LCD from the glass is hard enough, but you need special equipment to bond the old LCD to the new glass, and there's a good chance the two won't talk to each other anyway, based on the comments below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvWPfUhp...

Pete -

Can somebody help me with links or numbers from where I can buy the display for my Apple Watch 42mm. Can't seem to find anywhere.

Ruchit Shah - Reply

Can somebody help me with website links as to where I can but Apple Watch display 42mm. I have cracked mine and can't find anywhere online to buy the spare part to replace it myself.

Ruchit Shah - Reply

That looked easy but what if the screen is already cracked?

ron roca - Reply

hello! how to fix the other side of iwatch. other side i mean where put to charger ???

df - Reply

Can somebody help me with links or numbers from where I can buy the display for my Apple Watch 42mm. Can't seem to find anywhere.

Mycoal 23 - Reply

Can I replace Apple Watch stainless steel screen with a screen from aluminum Apple Watch?

Thomas Vartanian - Reply

Yes, they are cross compatible. Look under features here: Apple Watch (42 mm Original and Series 1) LCD Screen and Digitizer

Arthur Larin -

You should start a business where as you fix these Apple Watch screens and charge for it. I would gladly pay send my watch to an independent contractor of apple to replace my Apple Watch screen if I could find one.

Gordon Elliott - Reply

Where can I find someone to replace my 38mm watch screen? Just the screen is cracked, everything else is working fine. Anywhere in Johannesburg?

Alice Yu-Chen Chung - Reply

Ok I successfully fix my watch screen (glass only had to cut the lcd off and reattach with that loca glue) looks great but the digitizer will not work. I have read on many forms that they are serialized if so can that be fixed if so how? Has anyone successfully repaired an iwatch that works fully?

mike - Reply

The battery in my watch expanded and ejected the display, unfortunately the display is totally missing. Looks like it is junk now, except for the band?

kklotz - Reply

Apple now has a recall for this

soythebomb -

What do you use to "glue" the watch face back down with?

mkk65 - Reply

I'd like to know this too!

imachunty -

Le tutoriel est pafaitement clair.

1H00 pour realiser cette reparation.

Prévoir un joint fore touch sensor .

youstt - Reply

Hi, will the screen off a 42mm Series 2 Apple Watch fit, and work, with a 42mm Series 1 watch?

lukecresswell16 - Reply

Absolutely. You are 100% correct.

iRevive Mobile -

Step 21-22 is a lot more difficult than displayed here so be warned! Inside where they advise you to put the tweezer is right up against the connector and any movement of the tweezer in this position will no doubt damage the connector.

There isn't even a warning posted at these steps which is terrible for fixit!!! check the net for other videos on how to get this little box assembled apart - there are far better ways I discovered but too late for me :(

Brent - Reply

Brent what happened to your watch?

I might have similar problem

Ivan Sorkin -

Trop compliqué :-(

J'ai finalement fait réparé ma montre ici :

https://www.atelierfamilial.fr/reparatio...

Pour moins de 200€, avec une garantie d'un an.

@+

Paul

Paul Vallejo - Reply

After replacing my Apple Watch screen and digitizer, my battery lasts for 3-4 hours, Digital Crown is not working and hart rate ca't be measured. But the rest works fine, I'm not sure why. Can someone suggest me troubleshooting path?

Ivan Sorkin - Reply

Some people on the Internet of said that this repair is not possible without losing some functionality, is that true?

rickcostel - Reply

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