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Introduction

Use this guide to remove or replace the motherboard in a Google Pixel 2.

Some guide images will show the phone with the battery removed. You do not need to remove the battery for this procedure.

  1. If your display glass is cracked, keep further breakage contained and prevent bodily harm during your repair by taping the glass. This also makes a smooth surface allowing the suction cup to bond. Apply a suction cup as close to the volume button edge of the phone as you can while avoiding the curved edge.
    • If your display glass is cracked, keep further breakage contained and prevent bodily harm during your repair by taping the glass. This also makes a smooth surface allowing the suction cup to bond.

    • Apply a suction cup as close to the volume button edge of the phone as you can while avoiding the curved edge.

    • The suction cup will not make a good seal on the curved portion of the glass.

    My screen is severly cracked. I would recommend clear packaging tape as it is wide enough to accomodate the suction cup. Thinner cellophane tape won’t seal properly.

    John Tippitt - Reply

  2. Pull up on the suction cup with firm, constant pressure and insert an opening pick between the front panel and rear case. Do not insert the pick deeper than 1.5 mm, or you risk damaging the OLED panel. This requires a significant amount of force and patience. If you have trouble, rock the suction cup and screen to weaken the adhesive, or apply heat with an iOpener,  heat gun, or hair dryer.
    • Pull up on the suction cup with firm, constant pressure and insert an opening pick between the front panel and rear case.

    • Do not insert the pick deeper than 1.5 mm, or you risk damaging the OLED panel.

    • This requires a significant amount of force and patience. If you have trouble, rock the suction cup and screen to weaken the adhesive, or apply heat with an iOpener, heat gun, or hair dryer.

    • The display panel is fragile. If you plan to re-use your display, take care to insert your tool only as far as necessary to separate the adhesive. Inserting the tool any further can damage the OLED panel under the glass.

    They cannot emphasize enough how careful you need to be when separating the screen. The iOpener does not work well enough to prevent breakage (opinion). I spent a majority of the hour and forty five minutes replacing my battery on removing the screen, i.e. reheating the iOpener, warming the device, slowly, with multiple passes, separating the adhesive. Use a heat gun or blow dryer.

    Devin McMillen - Reply

    How many passes do I need? I do have a heatgun but I’m afraid to discolor or damage the screen. Anyone know the best temp before stopping to seperate the screen?

    Sen Lin - Reply

    try the alcohol as instructed instead of heat. “Do not heat your phone. If needed, you can use a dropper or syringe to inject isopropyl alcohol (90+%) around the edges of the back cover to weaken the adhesive.  “

    Rogerio Sa - Reply

    Make sure to remove the adhesive under the top and bottom speakers to make it much easier to remove the screen.

    Chibi Chica - Reply

    Isopropyl alcohol works well to loosen the adhesive. However - GO SLOW. Slide the pick a bit, then apply some isopropyl alcohol into the gap where you’re sliding toward. Wait a moment, then slide a bit more. Move very slowly, particularly around the corners!

    Raquel Smith - Reply

    Any idea on what to do when the suction cup pops off of the screen before there’s enough clearance to slide the pick in?

    Douglas Leenhouts - Reply

    I used a hairdryer to weaken the adhesive. If you place your finger in the path of the hairdryer you’ll have a good idea of when too much heat has been applied (when your skin becomes unhappy at the temperature). BE VERY GENTLE. I cracked my screen because I didn’t weaken the adhesive enough. I also chipped(dog eared) the corner of the OLED screen underneath with one of the plastic tools. Don’t stick it in too far. As the guide says, use the flat edge or the pick to help control this.

    Alex Lawson - Reply

  3. In the following steps, extra caution is required in certain areas to avoid damage to the phone: Do not insert the pick more than 9 mm into the bottom edge of the phone. If the pick contacts the folded portion of the OLED panel it can damage the display.
    • In the following steps, extra caution is required in certain areas to avoid damage to the phone:

    • Do not insert the pick more than 9 mm into the bottom edge of the phone. If the pick contacts the folded portion of the OLED panel it can damage the display.

    • Only make very shallow cuts in the upper left corner, prying deeply can damage the front-facing camera.

    • Inserting an opening tool deeper than 1.5 mm into the sides of the device, or 9 mm into the top and bottom can permanently damage the display.

    This is inaccurate. The Pixel 2 phone’s back comes in two parts: a plastic main section and a glass back upper section. Only the glass section is required to be removed to replace the camera. Once the glass back is removed, the camera can easily be replaced without removing the motherboard, battery, or any other components. What is picture here looks like the original Google Pixel Phone.

    hunter alden - Reply

    Firstly, I disagree with hunter’s comment above - my Pixel 2 looked identical to this when I had it opened up.

    Secondly, the whole thing about 1.5mm at the sides - literally scared the cr*p out of me when I started this as it’s such a tiny margin - but what this doesn’t say is that you can see these limits on your phone - just turn the screen on and it’s where the display ends - the digitiser starts there and is a couple of mm deep - hence the need to be careful. You can also see it (though less obviously) when you have the screen off - the jet black part at the edge is where the adhesive is - just make sure you don’t push in past there. It’s not like you can’t make very gentle contact with the digitiser when clearing the adhesive - I believe it’s just any kind of real pressure which will render the screen useless.

    Dave Watts - Reply

  4. In the following steps, use the flat of the opening pick, rather than a corner, to cut here. This will help prevent inserting the pick too deeply. Slide the opening pick up the right side of the phone to separate the display adhesive.
    • In the following steps, use the flat of the opening pick, rather than a corner, to cut here. This will help prevent inserting the pick too deeply.

    • Slide the opening pick up the right side of the phone to separate the display adhesive.

    • Take extra care with the side bezels, which are only 1.5 mm deep.

  5. Slide the opening pick around the upper-right corner and along the top edge of the phone. Slide the opening pick around the upper-right corner and along the top edge of the phone. Slide the opening pick around the upper-right corner and along the top edge of the phone.
    • Slide the opening pick around the upper-right corner and along the top edge of the phone.

  6. Slide the pick around the upper-left corner of the phone and down the left edge of the phone. Slide the pick around the upper-left corner of the phone and down the left edge of the phone. Slide the pick around the upper-left corner of the phone and down the left edge of the phone.
    • Slide the pick around the upper-left corner of the phone and down the left edge of the phone.

  7. Slide the pick around the bottom-left corner and along the bottom of the phone. Keep pick at a slight angle away from the screen to avoid damage to the OLED corners. Take extra care not to insert the opening pick more than 9 mm to avoid damaging the OLED panel. Take extra care not to insert the opening pick more than 9 mm to avoid damaging the OLED panel.
    • Slide the pick around the bottom-left corner and along the bottom of the phone. Keep pick at a slight angle away from the screen to avoid damage to the OLED corners.

    • Take extra care not to insert the opening pick more than 9 mm to avoid damaging the OLED panel.

  8. Reinsert the pick at the top edge of the phone and gently pry up the display. If the display doesn't readily lift, do some extra prying to separate the last of the adhesive. The adhesive near the upper speaker is thicker than other places.
    • Reinsert the pick at the top edge of the phone and gently pry up the display.

    • If the display doesn't readily lift, do some extra prying to separate the last of the adhesive. The adhesive near the upper speaker is thicker than other places.

    • Don't try to fully separate the display yet, as a fragile ribbon cable still connects it to the phone's motherboard.

    This for me was by far the hardest step. What this guide fails to say is just how much adhesive you’ll encounter - mine was heaving with the stuff - so I wouldn’t attempt this fix without the rubbing alcohol, and I would be prepared to spend 30 mins on this - the images above make it look like as soon as you can get the pick in and around the whole phone the display will come off - this wasn’t true on mine, and I put a small crack in the top of my screen as I applied a little pressure to lever the top - the edges were ok, but there was so much adhesive at the top and bottom - right down and around the speaker grills - that I used scissors to cut the remaining strands as I managed to lift the screen higher enough! Don’t be shy with the rubbing alcohol, it really helps - and you really need to feel all sides loosen properly before you attempt to lever - but if you’re patient, it’ll be ok.

    Dave Watts - Reply

  9. The Essential Toolkit

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    The Essential Toolkit

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  10. Carefully lay the display down on top of the rear case as shown, making sure not to crease or tear the display ribbon cable. Remove the two 4.0 mm T5 Torx screws securing the display cable bracket.
    • Carefully lay the display down on top of the rear case as shown, making sure not to crease or tear the display ribbon cable.

    • Remove the two 4.0 mm T5 Torx screws securing the display cable bracket.

  11. Remove the display cable bracket.
    • Remove the display cable bracket.

  12. Use the point of a spudger to lift the display cable connector up and out of its socket on the motherboard. To re-attach press connectors like this one, carefully align and press down on one side until it clicks into place, then repeat on the other side. Do not press down on the middle. If the connector is misaligned, the pins can bend, causing permanent damage.
    • Use the point of a spudger to lift the display cable connector up and out of its socket on the motherboard.

    • To re-attach press connectors like this one, carefully align and press down on one side until it clicks into place, then repeat on the other side. Do not press down on the middle. If the connector is misaligned, the pins can bend, causing permanent damage.

    • If any part of your screen doesn't respond to touch after your repair re-seat this connector, making sure it clicks fully into place and that there's no dust or other obstruction in the socket.

    • During reassembly, pause here and replace the adhesive around the edges of the display.

    Wow, I think I damaged my motherboard on this step. It would be helpful if there was a warning in this step to avoid doing that! Now my pixel 2 is reduced to a cool paperweight with a static display.

    Zach Laporte - Reply

  13. Apply a heated iOpener to the proximity sensor on the top edge of the midframe for two minutes to soften its adhesive.
    • Apply a heated iOpener to the proximity sensor on the top edge of the midframe for two minutes to soften its adhesive.

    Isopropyl alcohol worked quickly for this

    Raquel Smith - Reply

  14. Slide the point of a spudger under the proximity sensor cable, starting from the side closest to the front-facing camera. Gently lift the edge of the sensor cable until the sensor is perpendicular to the midframe.
    • Slide the point of a spudger under the proximity sensor cable, starting from the side closest to the front-facing camera.

    • Gently lift the edge of the sensor cable until the sensor is perpendicular to the midframe.

    This piece is actually glued down - heat and rubbing alcohol really helped as at first I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t get it to move.

    Dave Watts - Reply

  15. Peel back the small piece of tape covering the screw below the earpiece speaker. Peel back any tape covering other screws as well.
    • Peel back the small piece of tape covering the screw below the earpiece speaker. Peel back any tape covering other screws as well.

    • Remove the following screws securing the midframe:

    • Eleven 3.7 mm Phillips screws

    • One 4 mm T5 Torx screw

    On my Pixel 2, I also had to peel back a small strip of conductive tape that was directly above (and the same kind as) the “screw below the earpiece speaker” mentioned above. It appears to be a ground strap to the assembly underneath.

    Jonathan Dubovsky - Reply

    Me too! Please change the photo?

    Andrew Hoeveler - Reply

    If you don't peel the mesh tape up, it will year. I'm not sure if it plays into the screen potentially not working, but it seems to be a ground for the midframe and the display ribbon has a ground contact to the

    Wesley Krueger - Reply

  16. Insert an opening tool into the notch in the midframe near the hold button. Pry the midframe up enough to create a gap between it and the phone case. The midframe cannot yet be completely removed.
    • Insert an opening tool into the notch in the midframe near the hold button.

    • Pry the midframe up enough to create a gap between it and the phone case. The midframe cannot yet be completely removed.

    This is to pop a securing tab out it's place

    Wesley Krueger - Reply

    On re-assembly make sure the securing tab, near the notch you use to open it, is inserted back under the frame again - this caused me to have to re-open my phone as my screen didn’t sit back down properly after I had put everything back together.

    Dave Watts - Reply

  17. Lift the midframe up starting from the bottom edge. When the midframe starts to make about a 45° with the rest of the phone, lift the midframe straight up and away from the phone. As you lift the midfame, carefully guide the proximity sensor through the small slot in the midframe.
    • Lift the midframe up starting from the bottom edge.

    • When the midframe starts to make about a 45° with the rest of the phone, lift the midframe straight up and away from the phone.

    • As you lift the midfame, carefully guide the proximity sensor through the small slot in the midframe.

    While not shown here in the photo, there is a short braided cable between the midframe and the motherboard near the front facing camera that prevents separating the midframe completely (ground?). Be careful not to damage this cable when completing the remaining steps or carefully remove before trying to separate the midframe completely.

    ericdowens - Reply

    As ericdowens says above, there’s a small silver sliver of a connector (next to the front-facing camera). The guides on youtube said it was a grounding wire. This guide doesn’t mention it. Mine broke when I removed the midframe. No big deal. I stuck it back down with some tape when I put it all back together. Phone works fine.

    Alex Lawson - Reply

  18. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the battery connector. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the battery connector.
    • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the battery connector.

  19. use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the charging assembly connector from the motherboard. use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the charging assembly connector from the motherboard.
    • use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the charging assembly connector from the motherboard.

  20. Insert a paperclip or SIM eject tool into the small hole on the left side of the phone and push until the SIM card tray pops out. Remove the SIM card tray. Remove the SIM card tray.
    • Insert a paperclip or SIM eject tool into the small hole on the left side of the phone and push until the SIM card tray pops out.

    • Remove the SIM card tray.

  21. Remove the two 2.5 mm PH00 screws.
    • Remove the two 2.5 mm PH00 screws.

  22. Disconnect two connectors at the bottom edge of the motherboard. Disconnect two connectors at the bottom edge of the motherboard. Disconnect two connectors at the bottom edge of the motherboard.
    • Disconnect two connectors at the bottom edge of the motherboard.

  23. Pry up the motherboard using a plastic opening tool. Remove the motherboard.
    • Pry up the motherboard using a plastic opening tool.

    • Remove the motherboard.

  24. Flip the motherboard over. Disconnect the fingerprint sensor cable. The motherboard is now completely detached from the phone.
    • Flip the motherboard over.

    • Disconnect the fingerprint sensor cable.

    • The motherboard is now completely detached from the phone.

Conclusion

Compare your new replacement part to the original part—you may need to transfer remaining components or remove adhesive backings from the new part before installing.

To reassemble your device, follow the above steps in reverse order.

Take your e-waste to an R2 or e-Stewards certified recycler.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Check out our Answers community for troubleshooting help.

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Nick Lyon

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One Comment

Rotated screen too far while removing it seems and the screen no longer turns on. Can't seem to get any signs of light/ sound out if the phone.

No way to shut down the phone without the screen either? So can't continue the repair until phone battery dies again.

Matthew Higgins - Reply

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