Introduction

This guide shows how to replace the motherboard, which is necessary to replace other components.

Turn off the device.
  • Turn off the device.

  • Prepare an iOpener and lay it along one edge of the display for about 90 seconds to soften the adhesive underneath. Alternatively, you may use a heat gun or hair dryer to heat the adhesive.

  • Use a suction cup to pull up on the display and create a slight gap between the display and the phone's enclosure.

    • If your display is cracked, cover it with packing tape to help the suction cup adhere and to prevent glass shards from popping loose.

  • 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 will damage the display. To minimize the risk of damage, you can use the edges of playing cards to separate the adhesive, rather than a plastic tool.

  • Insert an opening pick or other thin tool into the gap.

  • Slide the opening pick around the perimeter of the display, slicing through the adhesive that secures it.

This one step has broken my screen and I didn’t even manage to remove it. I suspect it was the amount of heat that was applied as the left side of the screen, the side which I applied the heat, the pixels are blue/pink instead of white. The bottom inch of the screen is black. The touch screen is sporadic, which makes the phone unusable. After about 20 minutes of applying heat with the iOpener and the screen not budging, it eventually raised enough for me to get the blue opening pick. As I slid the pick up, I notice a tiny crack forming on the screen, so I gave up at this point, not wanting to break the screen. When I turned the phone back on, I noticed the damage I’ve mentioned. So I don’t know if it was the heat, or the pressure of the pick, but the damage matches the iOpener pack.

Neil Martin - Reply

Considering the instruction says to apply heat for 90 seconds and you did it for 20 minutes, I'd say it's a safe bet you burned your screen.

Andrew Bowman - Reply

When reassembling, does the adhesive still hold the phone together when closed or do we need to apply more adhesive?

Jess Haddow - Reply

I successfully removed the screen and changed the battery. However the screen is completely broken and replacing it would me $130. A complete disaster.

Christopher Wang - Reply

This step makes no mention of how fragile the screen underneath is, and that slicing under the glass carries a real risk of screen damage. I would add it myself but the editor refuses to add a single bullet point and wants to put in an entirely new step instead. Oh, right, and I’m also out $80 for a new screen. Admittedly I should have went offsite for more comprehensive repair guides, as I would have held off on replacing the battery had I known how fragile the screen itself was, which several other guides mention implicitly.

Andrew Creeves - Reply

@franticfanatic Sorry to hear you had such a bad time. I’m actually not sure why you had trouble with the editor, but I went ahead and added a bullet with a warning as suggested, and a tip about using playing cards instead of a plastic tool—playing cards have a softer edge so they require much more patience, but they probably won’t harm the display if accidentally inserted too far. Better luck on your next repair!

Jeff Suovanen -

It was game over here for me only about 5 seconds in. Indeed the screen is very fragile and once I had heated the right side, inserted the pick halfway down the right side, then slid the pick along the bottom, and as soon ias I came around the rounded edge into the left, unheated side I heard a crunch and realized the screen was obliterated at that point. The screen no longer turns on and the phone is bricked.

Some things this article could have mentioned that might have increased my change of success:

1) Heat both the left and right edges of the phone.

2) Insert the pick such that you always move from the center outwards. I suspect my flaw was coming around the bottom from the right to the left.

3) The screen is super fragile. The warning only says don’t stick the pick in too far. Really you need to exercise a lot more caution than just that.

Benjamin Knight - Reply

Unfortunately also cracked my display on the way in. You have to go pretty deep under the top and bottom of the screen but BARELY in around the sides, especially the corners. If I had to do it over again, I would have either tried a playing card or put some type of depth limit/mark on my pick so I didn’t go more than a few millimeters in.

Matthew Jastremski - Reply

Step 1 is definitely the most difficult. Everything else is easy, I could reinstall the battery successfully, it is charging right now.

Adhesive is strong and I had to use hair dryer several times to make it softer (about 20-30 sec each time really close). So when you feel the plastic tool/card is going too hard, just heat more. I couldn’t find a playing card so used a credit card, worked fine. Also there’s much more of adhesive at the top / bottom, you have to stick the card really deep, almost to the screen itself and go back and forth several times. Anyway the most important thing is to not bend the screen too much, especially in the beginning, which is doable if adhesive is soft when heated.

Roman Shuvaev - Reply

These instructions need to require the purchase and replacement of the screen. I too broke my screen while attempting dislodge it from the bezel.

Additionally… the iOpener does sufficiently to loosen the adhesive enough to move the screen in 90 seconds.

Perhaps if the iOpener were able to encase all sides of the phone to loosen all adhesive at the same time.

Jamie Jensen - Reply

Another broken screen here, and I was trying to be extremely careful. It's just a very very delicate screen.

Renee Soronen - Reply

Another broken screen here. Followed all of the tips suggested in the comments. Now I have to replace the screen and I have no phone. What a waste.

Jeremy Keifenheim - Reply

Seeing all of these comments I was extra careful with the screen and did not crack it. but now that everything is back together the phone turns on but the screen wont work now!! This sucks.. I loved that phone!!!

Nathan Koller - Reply

I think that this kit should come with an extra screen. Sounds like most people don’t get by without breaking the screen. I would not suggest buying this kit to anyone.

Nathan Koller - Reply

Slowly pull the screen off the device with your hands.
  • Slowly pull the screen off the device with your hands.

  • Be careful to not pull too hard on the ribbon cable behind the display when lifting the screen off of the device.

Ruined my Pixel following these instructions. Ribbon cable is at bottom (chin) of phone and not as shown in pictures. My advice take it somewhere and have them replace the battery, that way when they break it it’s their fault.

John Simpson - Reply

  • Using a screwdriver, remove the two black 3.5 mm T5 screws that secure the display cable connector bracket.

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  • Use tweezers to remove the bracket that holds the display connector in place.

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  • Use a spudger to remove the connector from the device, and remove the screen completely.

    • Check carefully to make sure your replacement part matches, and that you've removed all the necessary parts from the old screen for installation in the new one.

  • Before applying new adhesive, clean the edges of the frame, taking special care to remove any small glass fragments. Clean adhesion areas with high concentration isopropyl alcohol (at least 90%).

  • Be sure to turn on your phone and test your repair before installing new adhesive and resealing the phone.

  • The replacement adhesive should only be applied to the edges of the frame, but may come with the center filled in.

    • To remove the unnecessary center section of the adhesive strip, carefully peel away the perforated rectangle in middle of the white backing. At the same time, peel up the black adhesive underneath the white backing.

    • Only adhesive for the edges of the frame should remain.

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  • Using a screwdriver, remove the nine 3.5 mm T5 screws holding the mid-frame in place.

  • The device's mid-frame has 9 screws total, but in the device shown, there are only 8.

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  • Wedge an opening tool into the notch that is located at the bottom right part of the phone.

  • Slide the opening tool across the bottom and up the left side of the device and lift the mid-frame. This is to avoid the ribbon cable center top.

  • Hearing clicks as you lift the mid-frame off is normal because of the clasps holding it down.

  • If the clasps fail to come undone, try pushing the edge you're working on inwards to loosen them up.

  • When lifting the mid-frame, be careful not to damage the ribbon cable connecting the earpiece speaker to the motherboard.

when removing the mid frame i damaged a ribbon cable at the bottom left. will that prevent my phone from turning on?

Bryce Thoreson - Reply

  • Use a spudger to disconnect the earpiece speaker cable from the motherboard.

  • Remove the mid-frame completely by lifting it off the device.

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  • Use a SIM ejection tool to remove the SIM card tray located at the top left of the device.

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  • Using a spudger, disconnect the battery ribbon cable from the motherboard.

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  • Use tweezers to lift up the adhesive strip at the top of the battery, and peel it back to expose the connector underneath.

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  • Use a spudger to disconnect the charging port ribbon cable from the motherboard.

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  • Use a spudger to disconnect the thin, black ribbon cable connecting the power and volume buttons to the motherboard.

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  • Use a spudger to disconnect the black signal wire attached to the motherboard.

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  • Use a spudger to disconnect the white signal wire attached to the motherboard.

What does the white signal wire do?

Mashhoor Itayem - Reply

  • Remove the two silver 2.5 mm T5 screws holding the motherboard in place.

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  • Use tweezers to lift the motherboard from the device.

  • When lifting the motherboard, be careful not to damage the ribbon cable connecting the fingerprint sensor to the motherboard.

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  • While holding the motherboard up with tweezers, use a spudger to disconnect the fingerprint sensor cable from the motherboard.

  • Remove the motherboard completely from the device.

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Conclusion

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

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Camaryn Chambers

Member since: 04/26/2017

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Cal Poly, Team S23-G1, Livingston Spring 2017 Member of Cal Poly, Team S23-G1, Livingston Spring 2017

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Where do you buy a new motherboard?

Travis Smith - Reply

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