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Introduction

This repair guide was authored by the iFixit staff and hasn’t been endorsed by Google. Learn more about our repair guides here.

Follow this guide to remove and replace a defective fingerprint sensor for the Pixel 3.

  1. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Weaken the back cover's adhesive: step 1, image 1 of 1
  2. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Create a gap in the seam: step 2, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Create a gap in the seam: step 2, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Create a gap in the seam: step 2, image 3 of 3
    • Apply a suction cup to the heated bottom edge of the back cover.

    • Make sure you did not mistake the screen side for the back cover side.

    • If your back cover is badly cracked, covering it with a layer of clear packing tape may allow the suction cup to adhere.

    • Lift on the suction cup with strong, steady force to create a gap.

    • Depending on how aged your phone is, this may take significant force. If you are having trouble, apply more heat and try again.

    • Insert an opening pick into the gap.

    • Don't use metal tools to pry, or you'll mar or shatter the glass back cover. If the panel won't budge, apply more heat, either with a hair dryer or heat gun.

  3. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement: step 3, image 1 of 1
    • When inserting an opening pick above the power button, be careful not to insert the pick too deeply, or you will damage the fingerprint sensor cable.

  4. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Cut through the adhesive: step 4, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Cut through the adhesive: step 4, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Cut through the adhesive: step 4, image 3 of 3
    • Slice the adhesive along the bottom edge of the phone and around the right corner.

    • Leave a pick in the bottom edge to prevent the adhesive from re-sealing.

  5. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement: step 5, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement: step 5, image 3 of 3
    • Heat the right edge with an iOpener and continue slicing the adhesive with an opening pick.

    • The adhesive can be very gummy. Push the pick in and out in a sawing motion to help with slicing.

  6. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement: step 6, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement: step 6, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement: step 6, image 3 of 3
    • Continue heating and slicing through the rest of the phone perimeter. Leave a pick in each edge to prevent the adhesive from resealing.

    • When slicing above the power button, do not insert the pick more than halfway in to avoid damaging the fingerprint sensor cable.

  7. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Lift the left edge of the back cover: step 7, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Lift the left edge of the back cover: step 7, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Lift the left edge of the back cover: step 7, image 3 of 3
    • Once you have sliced around the perimeter of the phone, carefully lift the left edge of the back cover.

    • Do not attempt to remove the back cover. It is still attached to the phone by the fingerprint sensor cable.

    • Flip the back cover along its long axis and rest it so that the fingerprint sensor cable is not strained.

    • Remove the two 4.1 mm long Phillips screws securing the fingerprint connector bracket.

    • Throughout this repair, keep track of each screw and make sure it goes back exactly where it came from.

    • During reassembly, be careful not to over-tighten these screws, or you may damage your display.

  8. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Remove the fingerprint connector bracket: step 9, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Remove the fingerprint connector bracket: step 9, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Remove the fingerprint connector bracket: step 9, image 3 of 3
    • Use the point of a spudger to slide the fingerprint connector bracket out from under the NFC coil.

    • Remove the fingerprint connector bracket.

  9. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Disconnect the fingerprint connector: step 10, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Disconnect the fingerprint connector: step 10, image 2 of 2
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the fingerprint connector from its socket.

    • When you disconnect connectors like these, be careful not to dislodge the small surface-mounted components surrounding the socket.

    • 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.

  10. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Remove the back cover: step 11, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Remove the back cover: step 11, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Remove the back cover: step 11, image 3 of 3
    • Remove the back cover.

    • Before you install a replacement back cover, be sure to remove all adhesive residue from the phone frame. Use an opening tool to scrape and high concentration isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface.

    • If you are re-using the back cover, be sure to clean off any adhesive, and apply new back cover adhesive.

    • If you are installing a replacement back cover, be sure compare it with the original part. Transfer any remaining parts (such as the flash diffuser) over to your replacement part.

  11. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Weaken the adhesive: step 12, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Weaken the adhesive: step 12, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Weaken the adhesive: step 12, image 3 of 3
    • Heat an iOpener and apply it to the back side of the fingerprint sensor for a minute, to loosen the adhesive holding it in place.

    • Insert the edge of an opening tool underneath the fingerprint sensor's lip, and pry up to loosen the sensor from the back cover.

  12. Google Pixel 3 Fingerprint Sensor Replacement, Remove the fingerprint sensor: step 13, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the fingerprint sensor.

    • Use custom pre-cut adhesive or double-sided tape such as Tesa tape to re-adhere the fingerprint sensor onto the back cover.

Conclusion

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Check out our Google Pixel 3 Answers community for troubleshooting help.

5 other people completed this guide.

Arthur Shi

Member since: 01/03/2018

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4 Comments

Is there any steps to be done on the software side? I did the replacement but I cannot see an option to setup fingerprint unlock.

Moe - Reply

Hi Moe,

The fingerprint sensor setup should still remain the same. If you can’t any software setup option, it may mean that the phone doesn’t detect the fingerprint sensor hardware. Look over step 9 and carefully check that the connector is fully seated.

Arthur Shi -

My NFC stopped working at the same time as the fingerprint sensor, because I accidentally broke the fingerprint sensor flexcable when replacing the battery.

I've now replaced the fingerprint sensor and flexcable, and it's working again -- but the NFC still doesn't work. I have no idea what to try next!

Lisa Reeve - Reply

Hi Lisa!

The NFC and wireless coil attaches to the phone with spring contacts. I'd suggest checking if the contact pads clean and correctly aligned. Here's a step depicting them. Since they're spring contacts, they also require some force to keep them connected to the phone. If you have the back cover open, you can press against the area where the spring contacts are as you test to see if it's a contact issue.

Arthur Shi -

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