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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.

This guide shows how to remove and replace a defective rear-facing camera module for a Pixel 3 XL.

To remove this camera, you will need to loosen and partially remove the motherboard.

  1. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Heat the edge of the back panel: step 1, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Heat the edge of the back panel: step 1, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Heat the edge of the back panel: step 1, image 3 of 3
    • Heat an iOpener and apply it to the right edge of the back panel for a minute.

    • A hair dryer, heat gun, or hot plate may also be used, but be careful not to overheat the phone—the display and internal battery are both susceptible to heat damage.

    • While you wait, note the following areas on the back panel:

    • Strong adhesive—there are large patches of adhesive near the bottom of the phone.

    • Fingerprint sensor cable—be careful not to slice through the cable as you pry

  2. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Create a gap under the back panel: step 2, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Create a gap under the back panel: step 2, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Create a gap under the back panel: step 2, image 3 of 3
    • Apply a suction cup to the heated edge of the back panel, as close to the edge as possible.

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

    • Depending on the age of your phone, this may be difficult. If you are having trouble, apply heat to the edge and try again.

    • Insert the point of an opening pick into the gap.

  3. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Loosen the right edge adhesives: step 3, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Loosen the right edge adhesives: step 3, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Loosen the right edge adhesives: step 3, image 3 of 3
    • Slide the opening pick along the right edge to slice through the adhesive.

    • The adhesive gums up and becomes hard to slice once it cools. If that happens, re-apply heat to the edge to make slicing easier.

    • Once you have sliced through the edge, leave an opening pick in the seam to prevent the adhesive from re-sealing.

  4. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Heat the bottom edge of the back panel: step 4, image 1 of 1
    • Apply a heated iOpener to the bottom of the back panel for a minute.

  5. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Slice through the bottom adhesives: step 5, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Slice through the bottom adhesives: step 5, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Slice through the bottom adhesives: step 5, image 3 of 3
    • Use an opening pick to slice around the bottom right corner and continue along the bottom edge of the phone.

    • Work slowly as you slice around the corner to prevent the panel from cracking. If the slicing becomes hard, re-apply heat.

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

  6. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Slice through the remaining edges: step 6, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Slice through the remaining edges: step 6, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Slice through the remaining edges: step 6, image 3 of 3
    • Continue heating and slicing the remaining edges of the phone.

    • Be careful as you slice along the left edge of the phone. If your pick feels like it's stuck near the top, you may have snagged the fingerprint sensor. Retract the pick out of the seam slightly and try again.

    • Be sure to cut through the thick portions of adhesive near the bottom and right edge of the phone.

  7. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Slice through the leftover adhesive: step 7, image 1 of 1
    • Gently pry up the right edge of the back panel.

    • Use an opening pick to slice through any remaining adhesive along the edges.

  8. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Swing open the back panel: step 8, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Swing open the back panel: step 8, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Swing open the back panel: step 8, image 3 of 3
    • Swing the right edge of the back panel upwards and rest the flipped panel along the left side of the phone.

    • Be sure to maintain slack on the fingerprint sensor cable and prevent it from being pinched.

    • During reassembly, this is a good point to power on your phone and test all functions before sealing it up. Be sure to power your phone back down completely before you continue working.

    • During reassembly, follow this guide to install custom-cut adhesives for your back panel.

  9. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the fingerprint sensor tape: step 9, image 1 of 1
    • User tweezers to carefully peel up and remove the yellow tape over the fingerprint sensor connector.

  10. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the fingerprint sensor: step 10, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the fingerprint sensor: step 10, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the fingerprint sensor: step 10, image 3 of 3
    • Use the point of a spudger to carefully flip up the black lock bar on the fingerprint sensor's ZIF socket.

    • Grasp the cable's tab with your fingers or tweezers and gently walk the flex cable out of the socket.

    • To prevent shorting, be careful not to touch the metal contacts on the flex cable with your tweezers.

  11. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the back panel: step 11, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the back panel.

    • Remove the following four T3 screws securing the metal cover bracket:

    • Three 4 mm long screws

    • One 3 mm long screw

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

  12. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the metal cover bracket: step 13, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the metal cover bracket: step 13, image 2 of 2
    • Insert the flat end of a spudger underneath the top right edge of the metal bracket and pry up to loosen it.

    • Remove the metal cover bracket.

  13. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the battery: step 14, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the battery: step 14, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the battery: step 14, image 3 of 3
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the battery connector from its socket.

    • Do not use metal tools to to disconnect the battery, or you will risk shorting the battery.

    • Bend the battery cable such that the connector will not accidentally touch the socket.

  14. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the motherboard shield screws: step 15, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the five T3 screws securing the motherboard shield:

    • Three 4 mm long screws

    • Two 3 mm long screws

  15. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the motherboard shield: step 16, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the motherboard shield.

  16. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the front camera bracket: step 17, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the three 3 mm long T3 screws securing the front camera bracket.

  17. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the front camera bracket: step 18, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the front camera bracket.

  18. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Determine which camera to remove: step 19, image 1 of 1
    • Determine which camera you wish to replace:

    • Normal angle camera

    • Wide angle camera

  19. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the front camera(s): step 20, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the front camera(s): step 20, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the front camera(s): step 20, image 3 of 3
    • Use the point of a spudger to carefully pry up and disconnect the cameras from their motherboard sockets.

    • Be very careful not to dislodge the small surface-mounted components surrounding the sockets.

  20. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Loosen the front camera(s): step 21, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Loosen the front camera(s): step 21, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Loosen the front camera(s): step 21, image 3 of 3
    • The cameras are lightly adhered in place.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry up and loosen the camera modules from their recess.

  21. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the front-facing camera(s): step 22, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the front-facing cameras.

  22. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove one loudspeaker screw: step 23, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the 4 mm long T3 screw securing the top-right corner of the loudspeaker.

    • Removing this screw will give you slightly more wiggle room when removing the motherboard.

  23. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the button array connector bracket: step 24, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the two 3 mm long T3 screws securing the button array connector bracket.

  24. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement: step 25, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the button array connector bracket.

  25. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the earpiece speaker: step 26, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the earpiece speaker: step 26, image 2 of 2
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the earpiece connector from its motherboard socket.

    • Carefully remove the connector pad surrounding the earpiece socket.

  26. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the motherboard connectors: step 27, image 1 of 1
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the following:

    • Microphone connector

    • Button array connector

    • Earpiece connector (should already be disconnected)

  27. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement: step 28, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement: step 28, image 2 of 2
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the following:

    • Charging coil connector

    • Left squeeze sensor connector

    • Display connector

    • Right squeeze sensor connector

    • Loudspeaker connector

    • USB-C port connector

  28. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the motherboard screws: step 29, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the two 3 mm long T3 screws securing the motherboard.

  29. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Loosen the motherboard: step 30, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Loosen the motherboard: step 30, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Loosen the motherboard: step 30, image 3 of 3
    • Insert the point of a spudger underneath the motherboard, near the rear-facing camera module.

    • Pry up gently to loosen the motherboard from its recess.

    • If the motherboard is not budging, make sure you have disconnected all the connectors.

    • The motherboard has to squeeze past the earpiece speaker cable. If too much pressure is put on the earpiece cable, the earpiece speaker will pop open. You can prevent this by pressing on the earpiece module with a finger while you maneuver the motherboard out.

    • If the earpiece speaker pops open (as shown in the third photo of this step), carefully align and press the module back in place.

  30. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement: step 31, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement: step 31, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement: step 31, image 3 of 3
    • Do not attempt to remove the motherboard from the phone. It is still attached to the phone.

    • While you perform this step, take care to keep slack on the antenna cables attached to the bottom leg of the motherboard.

    • Lift the top half of the motherboard slightly to clear the board from its recess.

    • Twist the left edge of the board over and out of the phone and rest the board on the right edge of the phone.

  31. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the rear-facing camera: step 32, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Disconnect the rear-facing camera: step 32, image 2 of 2
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the rear-facing camera from its motherboard socket.

  32. Google Pixel 3 XL Rear-Facing Camera Replacement, Remove the rear-facing camera: step 33, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the rear-facing camera.

    • If your replacement camera module has a plastic spacer, be sure to remove it before you install the module.

    • Make sure the lens surface is smudge and dust free before you install the camera assembly.

Conclusion

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

Repair didn’t go as planned? Try some basic troubleshooting, or ask our Answers community for help.

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Arthur Shi

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