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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 replace a cracked or broken Pixel 3a XL screen, or to get inside the phone and replace a different component.

The OLED display under the glass of the 3a XL screen is fragile—if you plan to re-use your screen after you remove it from your phone, take extra care and follow the directions of this guide closely.

Video Overview

  1. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement, Screen: step 1, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement, Screen: step 1, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement, Screen: step 1, image 3 of 3
    • In the following steps, you will be removing the Pixel 3a's screen by cutting through the adhesive holding it in place.

    • For reference, the backside of the screen is shown in this step.

    • Note the narrow clearance between the edge of the screen and the OLED panel under the glass. If you plan to re-use your screen, be sure to follow the instructions below closely.

    • Also note the two different seams between the body of the phone and the screen:

    • The screen seam: where the screen meets the rest of the phone. This is where the screen will separate, and where you should pry.

    • The midframe seam: where the midframe meets the body of the phone. This part is held down by screws. Do not pry at this seam.

  2. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 2, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 2, image 2 of 2
    • Place a suction cup on the right edge of the screen, just below the volume button.

    My screen was SUPER shattered right in this spot — just below the volume button to the bottom right corner and with another shatter diagonal toward the bottom center. You can place the suction cup in a different location and start the prying, as long as you’re not trying to start it at the top or bottom edge. I started above the volume button but below the top edge.

    EMC - Reply

  3. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 3, image 1 of 2 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 3, image 2 of 2
    • In the next step you will insert an opening pick between the screen and the plastic body of the phone.

    • If you aren't careful, the plastic opening tool can damage the fragile OLED display panel underneath the glass.

    • If you want to re-use your phone's screen, make sure you insert your pick at a downward angle, as shown in the second photo of this step.

    • This will ensure the opening pick slides under the OLED panel rather than between the glass and the panel, which will ruin the screen.

  4. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 4, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 4, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 4, image 3 of 3
    • Pull up on the suction cup with a strong, steady force to create a gap between the screen and the phone.

    • Insert your opening pick into the gap.

    • Stop if you feel the tip of the pick hitting against something. The pick may be pressing against the edge of the OLED panel. Angle the pick downward and try again.

    • Once you have inserted an opening pick, you can remove the suction cup.

    The suction cup won’t work if you’re trying to place it over a shattered area.

    EMC - Reply

  5. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 5, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 5, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 5, image 3 of 3
    • Once the pick is inserted, slide it up and down along the right edge of the phone to cut though the adhesive holding the screen in place.

    The kit comes with 5 picks, you can use multiple picks to prop the screen up as you go so you don’t lose your progress.

    EMC - Reply

  6. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 6, image 1 of 1
    • The adhesive holding the top and bottom edges of the screen in place is thicker, and considerably stronger than the thin strips holding the sides in place.

    • If you plan to reuse your screen, heat up the top edge of the phone with an iOpener, a heat gun, or a hair dryer to loosen the adhesive there before you begin slicing.

    It takes a minute or two to work. I was too impatient and made the job harder on myself by not waiting long enough.

    EMC - Reply

  7. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 7, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 7, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 7, image 3 of 3
    • Carefully slide your opening pick around the upper-right-hand corner of the screen.

    • As shown in step one, the gap between the display and the edge of the glass screen is larger here than on the sides.

    • If you plan to reuse your screen, take special care in this step to either keep your pick deep in the phone under the OLED display (as shown in this step's photos), or only insert it 5 mm into the device to avoid coming into contact with the display under the glass.

  8. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 8, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 8, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 8, image 3 of 3
    • Continue to separate the adhesive along the top edge of the display.

    • As you slice along this edge, you may bump into the camera and proximity sensor housed here. Don't pry aggressively, just work around them.

    For me, there were multiple cracks/shatters around the bottom edge and bottom right edge. It was a huge pain to get the screen off—I eventually pulled most of the screen off and then had a bunch of shattered pieces still stuck to the bottom edge that I had to take off with the tweezers. If you’ve got some really bad shattering around the TOP edge, you’ll have to be extremely careful here.

    EMC - Reply

  9. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 9, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 9, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 9, image 3 of 3
    • Slide your opening pick down the left side of the phone to separate the adhesive there.

  10. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 10, image 1 of 1
    • The adhesive holding the bottom edge of the screen in place is thicker, and considerably stronger than the thin strips holding the sides in place.

    • If you plan to reuse your screen, heat up the bottom edge of the phone with an iOpener, a heat gun, or a hair dryer to loosen the adhesive there before you begin slicing.

  11. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 11, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 11, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 11, image 3 of 3
    • Slide your opening pick along the bottom edge of the phone to separate the last of the adhesive holding the screen in place.

    • As shown in step one, the gap between the display and the edge of the screen is larger here than on the sides.

    • If you plan to reuse your screen, take special care in this step to either keep your pick deep in the phone under the OLED display (as shown in this step's photos), or only insert it 5 mm into the device to avoid coming into contact with the display under the glass.

    • Don't try to remove the screen yet! It is still connected to the phone by a display cable.

  12. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 12, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 12, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 12, image 3 of 3
    • Lift the screen by its top edge (where the front-facing camera is) and carefully flip it 180° so that the screen is resting face-down on the phone.

    • If you plan to reuse your screen, be careful not to stress the display cable during this step.

  13. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 13, image 1 of 1
    • Use tweezers to remove the black sticker covering the display cable bracket.

    • If the sticker is in good condition, you can reuse it during reassembly. Otherwise, you can replace it with a piece of electrical tape.

    Make sure the tweezers are oriented as shown in the picture. I had them upside down and tore the tape partially.

    EMC - Reply

    • Remove the two 4.3mm T3 screws holding the display cable bracket in place.

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

    T3 was small for these screws. I had to use T4 to remove the screws

    SiddB - Reply

  14. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 15, image 1 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 15, image 2 of 3 Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 15, image 3 of 3
    • Remove the display cable bracket.

    • Pry up on the cable connector with the pointy end of a spudger to disconnect the screen from the phone.

    • 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.

  15. Google Pixel 3a XL Screen Replacement: step 16, image 1 of 1
    • Remove the screen from the phone.

    • Compare your new replacement part to the original part. You may need to transfer remaining components such as the speaker grille and the camera bracket to the new part.

    Keep your broken screen! Your replacement screen may be missing two pieces - the top speaker grill and the grey plastic camera surround. You’ll need to salvage these carefully from your old screen. Heat the glue to soften it before removing, if you’re lucky it will still be attached to the pieces and you can simply stick them onto the new screen.

    J Wilson - Reply

    Good point! I will add a note to point this out.

    Arthur Shi -

    • To reinstall the screen:

    • Use tweezers or an opening tool to remove all traces of adhesive from the phone frame. You can use high concentration isopropyl alcohol to help with the cleaning.

    • If you plan to re-use the screen, be sure to remove all adhesive residue from the screen. Be careful with metal tools to avoid scratching the screen.

    • Apply pre-cut adhesive or double-sided tape (such as Tesa tape) to re-attach the screen to the frame.

    • During the boot-up process after reassembly, the screen will go through a calibration sequence. Do not touch the screen during this process, as it could result in improper touch calibration and create touch issues.

    Maybe it’s because I didn’t heat my adhesive enough but it took me FOREVER to get it fully off. I was scraping with the flat side of the black spudger but it would have been better to use the blue scraper, which is in this kit but never mentioned. The kit also includes a single 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe but I needed at least 3. You can buy boxes of hundreds of the little pads at any drugstore—they’re good to have on hand for first aid kits, too. Be sure to get the adhesive off the narrow edges along the sides, I used the pointy end of the black spudger for that.

    EMC - Reply

    When you go to apply the pre-cut adhesive, it will be harder than correctly applying screen protectors. Although it’s awkward, align it from the top first without taking the backing off, make sure it’s flush all the way down. fix it in place at the top with your hand and then remove the backing. Hopefully that will help apply it evenly. I started from the bottom and it was a huge mistake. If you mess it up and try to peel it up, the narrow adhesive on the sides will stretch a lot and you’ll have to break it and then sort of carefully nudge it into place millimeter by millimeter. I had to do this and used the pointy black spudger end. Even so, I was able to get it relatively flat and the screen seems pretty flush with the body.

    EMC - Reply

    I did all thoses steps but didn’t glued the screen yet and it’s not working do I need to glue it to make it function or is there another problem?

    toto lerigolo - Reply

    Sealing your phone after a repair won’t interfere with its function. Good choice to test the phone before installing replacement adhesive, though! Sounds like it will need more troubleshooting. Head on over to our Answers community if you get stuck!

    Carsten Frauenheim -

Conclusion

If your Pixel won't turn on after replacing the screen, there is a chance that the phone has silently turned on when the battery is re-connected. Hold the power button for a few seconds until the phone vibrates off. Afterwards, re-connect the screen, and try again.

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

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

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

26 other people completed this guide.

Taylor Dixon

Member since: 06/26/2018

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21 Comments

I replaced the display and when it is turned on for the first time, everything works, but when it goes on standby when I switch it on again the touchscreen doesn't work anymore.

rensan - Reply

Rensan that is very weird! I would try resetting the phone, if you can? Sometimes that helps smooth out weird bugs with new Pixel displays.

Taylor Dixon -

I had the exact same issue, it was really weird. Turns out to be a hardware fault in the display, so I returned it and the new display works fine.

Eric Coco -

I'm having the same issue, gonna send the replacement screen in for a replacement. I got it from gadgetfix on eBay.

Arnie Jonassen -

The screens got recalled for a period of time due to this exact issue. i only know about it because my screen had broken, and absolutely no parts supplier online or here locally in Los Angeles could even order the display assembly.

Marie Irwin -

In system settings go to gestures and turn off active edge. That worked for me.

Miles Thornton -

Everything worked fine!

Thank you very much for this work!

Arno Reinhofer - Reply

Does this apply if I just want to replace the glass, rather than the whole panel?

Conor Lane - Reply

I got the pre-cut adhesive and I guess I’m a little confused about how to apply it ?

Christopher Petrolino - Reply

Hi Christopher,

Check this guide for some tips on how to apply the adhesive.

Arthur Shi -

I've done this, but the screen isn't working. When pressing the power button, it vibrates as normal, but the screen doesn't light up. I've disconnected and reconnected the screen several times, but still the same issue. Any ideas?

Emily - Reply

Emily, that is the worst! I’m so sorry. There are two possible scenarios here. 1: The phone isn’t recognizing the new screen and needs some sort of reset. Try a soft reset—hold the power button down for 30 seconds until the phone power cycles a couple times. If that doesn’t work, reattach your old display and make sure that one is still working. If it is, reconnect the new one and try a factory reset over USB (there are instructions all over, here’s one link you can try). Sometimes it takes a factory reset to get the phone to accept the new display. 2: the second, more unfortunate scenario is you may have damaged your display connector, or perhaps the replacement display is a dud. Again you can find out by reconnecting your old display to see if that one is still working. If it’s a faulty display and we sold it to you, you can reach out to our customer service team and they should be able to get you a working one in no time! Best of luck, I hope this helps.

Taylor Dixon -

Excellent guide, Taylor. My phone survived a fall from the top of a roller coaster (my fault, came out of my pocket), screen shattered but mb and frame survived. First screen was a lemon and surprise, the seller is no longer around. Second screen works perfectly, thanks for the great guide!

Kevin Prom - Reply

Also try the full reboot. volume down and power switch for 30 seconds or so, gets you to bootloader screen..

Kevin Prom - Reply

I have some relatively old electronics repair experience (2009-2010 hardware repair for laptops, iMacs, desktops). I’ve done many very similar steps on larger devices, so I wasn’t intimidated. That being said, it still took me 1.5 hours to do—but it did work by the end! I added many comments above at each step that will hopefully help others not spend so much time and not make my same mistakes.

EMC - Reply

Thanks for leaving comments and feedback! I’m sure they’ll be helpful for future fixers!

Arthur Shi -

Guide worked for replacing my smashed screen.

It took a lot longer than the 30 mins quoted because my screen was very damaged (glass smashed into bits). The screen failed to peel off cleanly and the tops and bottoms still had glass clinging to them as it broke at the cracked areas. I didn’t use heat as suggested since I was worried about potentially overheating it by accident, this might have helped reduce the time.

Overall, the guide was pretty accurate, and the iFixIt part + repair tools I bought provided all the items I needed which is great.

Jack Guo - Reply

I just finished repairing mine and noticed a bit of plastic sticking out of the side of the phone. It’s probably from the backside of the new screen. Do I have to take it off?

Ayan Barua - Reply

Very Helpful, Thank-you!!

Would like to point out, after reading all the steps and doing a “dry run” in my head. After removing the old screen (especially if damaged and have many fragments of glass) to remove glue, clean off back. Then apply the new glue or tape strips. Once done then attach new screen.

The hardest part which took the most time was getting off ALL the old glue and fragments of the broken glass. Applying the tape and removing the second side also took a bit, think with the new glass attached would have much more of a chance of damaging the new cablle.

Thanks again, Great tutorial

Worked perfectly!!

Tess Lew - Reply

Touch screen isn't working after replacement with a brand new OEM screen. Any ideas?

Scott Stewart - Reply

so i have a question im thinking of fixing my brothers pixle 3a xl and the full oled display is dead because he cracked the glass and then spilt ice cream into it and the oled lair died with turning into purple slowly in the next few days until fully dyeing and i am thinking of fixing it but none of them are answering my question would it be fixable?

Julian Moran - Reply

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