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Introduction

Use this guide to replace a broken, cracked, or defective display on your Apple Watch Series 2.

Make sure to update your Apple Watch to watchOS 5 or later (and the paired iPhone to iOS 12 or later) to avoid pairing issues after a display replacement.

Replacing the display can cause issues with Apple Pay. If possible, to reduce the likelihood of problems, delete all your ApplePay account info before the replacement, and then re-enter it with the new display installed.

  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 needed 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.

    • Feel free to attach or remove the watch band as needed to provide more control as you make repairs.

  3. Place the edge of a curved blade into the thin gap between the display and the outer case.  Start at the short side of the display, closest to the digital crown. Press firmly straight down into the gap. Once inserted, tilt the blade to pry the display open slightly.
    • Place the edge of a curved blade into the thin gap between the display and the outer case. Start at the short side of the display, closest to the digital crown.

    • Press firmly straight down into the gap.

    • Once inserted, tilt the blade to pry the display open slightly.

    • Do not insert the knife more than 1/16th of an inch (~2 mm).

  4. Once you've opened a small gap with the curved blade, remove the blade and insert the thinner edge of an opening tool into the gap. Push the opening tool into the gap, using your thumb as a pivot to lift the display open a bit farther.
    • Once you've opened a small gap with the curved blade, remove the blade and insert the thinner edge of an opening tool into the gap.

    • Push the opening tool into the gap, using your thumb as a pivot to lift the display open a bit farther.

    • Don't try to fully open or detach the display yet.

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  6. Insert an opening pick under the display and carefully separate the Force Touch gasket from the display. iFixit screen and battery repair kits include a replacement Force Touch gasket, so don't fret too much if yours is damaged. Otherwise, to preserve the Force Touch gasket, pry carefully under the edge of the display. If the the Force Touch gasket splits when lifting the display, or if you separate the gasket layers, you'll also need to replace the Force Touch gasket itself.
    • Insert an opening pick under the display and carefully separate the Force Touch gasket from the display.

    • iFixit screen and battery repair kits include a replacement Force Touch gasket, so don't fret too much if yours is damaged.

    • Otherwise, to preserve the Force Touch gasket, pry carefully under the edge of the display. If the the Force Touch gasket splits when lifting the display, or if you separate the gasket layers, you'll also need to replace the Force Touch gasket itself.

    • Slide the pick around the display to separate the adhesive between the Force Touch gasket and the display.

    • Don't insert the opening pick deeper than 1/16th of an inch (~2 mm).

  7. To avoid straining the display cables, don't open the display all the way yet. Open the display to about a 45° angle, and use tweezers to peel off the adhesive between the display and the Force Touch gasket. Thread the adhesive around and behind the display cables to get it off completely.
    • To avoid straining the display cables, don't open the display all the way yet.

    • Open the display to about a 45° angle, and use tweezers to peel off the adhesive between the display and the Force Touch gasket.

    • Thread the adhesive around and behind the display cables to get it off completely.

  8. Use a Y000 driver to remove the Tri-point screw securing the metal battery connector cover. Remove the cover.
    • Use a Y000 driver to remove the Tri-point screw securing the metal battery connector cover.

    • Remove the cover.

  9. Disconnect the battery by prying its connector straight up with the edge of a pry tool. Bend the connector up slightly to make sure it does not make contact by accident.
    • Disconnect the battery by prying its connector straight up with the edge of a pry tool.

    • Bend the connector up slightly to make sure it does not make contact by accident.

  10. Use a pair of tweezers to peel off the tape covering the display cable connectors. Start from the bottom right of the tape and carefully work your way towards the connector in the middle.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to peel off the tape covering the display cable connectors.

    • Start from the bottom right of the tape and carefully work your way towards the connector in the middle.

    • The tape can be stubborn, so take care not to pull too hard and damage the cables underneath. If needed, apply a little heat or some isopropyl alcohol to help soften the adhesive.

  11. The leftmost connector contains a piece of conductive foil, which may tear when taking off the tape. If it tears, grab it from the bottom left to remove it completely. This way the matching foil underneath (on the display) will remain unharmed. If it tears, grab it from the bottom left to remove it completely. This way the matching foil underneath (on the display) will remain unharmed.
    • The leftmost connector contains a piece of conductive foil, which may tear when taking off the tape.

    • If it tears, grab it from the bottom left to remove it completely. This way the matching foil underneath (on the display) will remain unharmed.

  12. Carefully use a pry tool or a clean fingernail to unlock the first of the three ZIF connectors by prying up the small black locking flap opposite the cable. Carefully use a pry tool or a clean fingernail to unlock the first of the three ZIF connectors by prying up the small black locking flap opposite the cable. Carefully use a pry tool or a clean fingernail to unlock the first of the three ZIF connectors by prying up the small black locking flap opposite the cable.
    • Carefully use a pry tool or a clean fingernail to unlock the first of the three ZIF connectors by prying up the small black locking flap opposite the cable.

  13. Pry up the locking flaps on the remaining two ZIF connectors. Replacement screens usually ship with these locking flaps closed. During reassembly, make sure the flaps are open before inserting the cables, or you may damage your watch. Replacement screens usually ship with these locking flaps closed. During reassembly, make sure the flaps are open before inserting the cables, or you may damage your watch.
    • Pry up the locking flaps on the remaining two ZIF connectors.

    • Replacement screens usually ship with these locking flaps closed. During reassembly, make sure the flaps are open before inserting the cables, or you may damage your watch.

  14. Use a pair of tweezers to disconnect the display flex cables by gently pulling them out. If the cables are stubborn, try carefully walking them out in a left-to-right-motion while pulling gently. If the cables are stubborn, try carefully walking them out in a left-to-right-motion while pulling gently.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to disconnect the display flex cables by gently pulling them out.

    • If the cables are stubborn, try carefully walking them out in a left-to-right-motion while pulling gently.

  15. Remove the display.
    • Remove the display.

    • For detailed reassembly instructions, including replacing the Force Touch gasket and surrounding adhesive, see the guide linked in the conclusion below.

Conclusion

Continue from Step 10 of our Force Touch Sensor guide to re-seal your watch and complete your repair. For best results, don’t connect your new display until after Step 17.

21 other people completed this guide.

Tobias Isakeit

Member since: 03/31/2014

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14 Comments

Job done….With a smashed screen remember to apply clear scotch tape to hold the screen together. Continue to heat the remaining stuck shards when the main bulk of the glass comes out. Pick them out carefully, and not to raise the gasket. Use a strong magnifying glass. the ifixit heat gel pack and tweezers helped me. Ensure that all tiny bits of glass have been removed form the body. Just turn it upside down, give a couple of gentle taps with something plastic. Pick out if necessary, taking care around the components. For a smashed screen, needs a good hour or more.

pep073 - Reply

Congratulations on the successful repair. And thanks for your comment and additional hints.

Tobias Isakeit -

This one was tough…and I’ve been doing various repair for years. Thank you iFixIt for top notch tutorials and instructions (and the progressive photos). I had a broken display and an iCloud locked watch for parts. Getting the display off the broken iWatch was easy…getting the replacement/good display off the other iWatch was very difficult. I keep at it and eventually it released, but I think I chipped the display edges slightly. If I have to do this one again, I may think twice. I’d say use plenty of heat. I used the iRemover, which helped a lot, it gets plenty hot and holds the heat for job. Once you’re inside, you’ll need that every so special 000 tri-lobe bit for the battery (for this I bought the iFixIt Pro toolkit…worth it to have a solidly made set of disassembly tools). I don’t think it’s worth breaking down the iWatch for repairs much further than the display or battery. The water resistant seal is compromised enough as it is with the display removal.

Erica Rogers - Reply

Just wondering are the ion x glass and sapphire crystal screens interchangeable because I have a broken series 2 aluminum case and it comes with the ion x glass but I want to get the sapphire crystal glass instead to make it stronger

Jacob Gerhart - Reply

Displays of the same Series, model and size should be compatible.

Tobias Isakeit -

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