Skip to main content

Introduction

Use this guide to replace the adhesive of your Apple Watch Series 3 and reseal it.

This guide shows the procedure on the standard, GPS-only version of the watch, but the cellular/LTE version is similar. Any important differences are noted in the text.

    • Apply a little bit of isopropyl alcohol (>99%) to a Q-tip or use a cleaning pad to gently remove the adhesive leftovers on top of the force touch gasket.

    • To remove the adhesive on the side where the display cables are running, fold down the display and carefully pull it away from the frame so there's enough space.

    I bought 6 adhesive strips expecting to foul up some. I tried following this procedure on three of the sets, but on each set I ended up with one corner not quite long enough to seat properly. On the fourth set I altered the procedure and it finally worked the first time.

    1. Take off the screen. Yes I know, but do it anyway.

    2. Take off only the blue adhesive around the periphery. Do not remove center area.

    3. Place sticky side on force gasket. Seems small, but fit perfectly.

    4. Remove entire inner rectangular portion of adhesive strip

    5. Replace screen

    6. Re-Attach battery

    7. Follow rest of procedure

    marilyntlinton - Reply

    The isopropyl alcohol can only remove so much of the old adhesive. After the first pass with the q-tip use an iFixit Opening Tool to carefully scrape off the old adhesive. There is always some left on the case.

    Vangelis Angelakis - Reply

  1. Flip the Apple Watch upside down so the display lays flat while lifting up the case. Remove the leftovers on the back of the display.
    • Flip the Apple Watch upside down so the display lays flat while lifting up the case.

    • Remove the leftovers on the back of the display.

  2. Use a pair of tweezers to carefully remove replacement adhesive with the blue protective film from the backing paper.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to carefully remove replacement adhesive with the blue protective film from the backing paper.

    Be sure to buy two, three or even more replacement adhesive strips, because depending on the batch or brand, most of them can’t be separated easily, they deform and then they are next to useless.

    @iFixit - Guys check the adhesives you are sending to people. The Tesa ones are simply a nightmare to use.

    Vangelis Angelakis - Reply

  3. Hold the replacement adhesive diagonally to thread it over the display. Slightly tilt the display forward so you can align the adhesive with the frame.
    • Hold the replacement adhesive diagonally to thread it over the display.

    • Slightly tilt the display forward so you can align the adhesive with the frame.

    • Position the replacement adhesive on top of the force touch gasket and use the pointed end of a spudger to move and press it into place.

  4. Reconnect the battery as seen in the replacement guide you came from.
    • Reconnect the battery as seen in the replacement guide you came from.

    • Remove the protective film from the adhesive.

    Don’t expect the adhesive strip to follow the edges of the watch’s case. If you try to fit it on the edges on one side, you may end up coming up short on the other, as the above image illustrates. Just try to place it slightly off the edges. It will be ok.

    Vangelis Angelakis - Reply

  5. Align the screen and press it down firmly onto the adhesive.
    • Align the screen and press it down firmly onto the adhesive.

    • To improve bonding of the adhesive you can use an iOpener to warm up the display. Then apply some pressure for a few hours (placing it under one or two heavy books overnight might be a way).

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

    Buy two clamps, thank me later. Books are good but trust me the clamps are way better. Also expect the screen to wobble ever so slightly after, since the adhesive seems to be a bit elastic in nature.

    Avoid hot or even warm showers to avoid causing the screen to detach from the adhesive.

    Vangelis Angelakis - Reply

Finish Line

19 other people completed this guide.

Tobias Isakeit

Member since: 03/31/2014

86,014 Reputation

162 Guides authored

Team

iFixit Member of iFixit

Community

136 Members

16,058 Guides authored

5 Comments

My adhesive gasket I ordered from you doesn’t not look like the one you use. I don’t see how it could work either.

Ryan Hoover - Reply

My adhesive was larger than the rim so it had about 5-6 mm bump of extra plastic when I got it in the edge all around. Need it to be sealed so I didn't want to cut anything. Fail.

Kevin Male - Reply

Yes mine was also larger than the adhesive seal that is advertised here.

Nicholas Goldsworthy - Reply

We believe this adhesive kit does not work all the time. there is still risk that with slightly water in-contact during activity, screen may slightly raised again. I think using glue E-8000 after wiping the edges of the watch with isopropyl is a good idea for long term safety.

iRepairMan - Reply

The Tesa adhesives that you sent are simply aweful. The cuts aren’t deep enough to safely remove the replacement adhesive with the blue protective film from the backing paper. Plus when you actually manage to do so, the adhesive’s dimensions are a bit short for the Series 3 42mm model.

Vangelis Angelakis - Reply

Add Comment

View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 17

Past 7 Days: 81

Past 30 Days: 351

All Time: 11,079