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Introduction

This guide will show you how to replace a Google Pixel motherboard. If you're having issues with the overall functionality of your phone and are unable to diagnose the root cause, consider replacing the motherboard of your device.

  1. Turn off the device.
    • Turn off the device.

    • Prepare an iOpener to heat the edges of the display and soften the adhesive underneath. Alternatively, you may use a heat gun or a hair dryer.

    • The surfaces near the speaker and microphone (top and bottom respectively) have larger adhesive sections. These areas may require slightly longer heat exposure. The display should be heated until it's slightly too hot to touch, for roughly two minutes.

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

    Jess Haddow - 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

    Use plenty of heat here and take your time. Start from the top, then the sides. use a gentle prying motion with the picks but don’t go too deep.

    Richard Wood - Reply

    It’s EXTREMELY easy to crack the screen. Just buy a new display module before fixing it. The old screen will be disposable.

    Buyi Yu - Reply

    Don’t even waste your time with the iOpener. I went straight for the hair dryer and opening picks took 30 mins to get the screen off with no issues.

    eric duchene - Reply

    The iOpener was totally useless for me. My phone just sucked the heat out of it and dissipated it (which is what it’s supposed to do with heat, but that didn’t make it easy to get the adhesive loose). Instead, I actually ended up putting mine in the toaster oven, which has an electric broiler that works great for this. It heats up fast, though, so watch out…..

    Kael Shipman - Reply

  2. In the following steps, you will separate the display panel by slicing though the adhesive bonding the display to the Pixel's chassis. For reference, the back of the display panel is shown at left. Note the narrow clearance between the side of the display unit and the OLED panel. 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.
    • In the following steps, you will separate the display panel by slicing though the adhesive bonding the display to the Pixel's chassis.

    • For reference, the back of the display panel is shown at left. Note the narrow clearance between the side of the display unit and the OLED panel.

    • 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.

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

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

  3. Insert an opening pick or a playing card into the gap between the chassis and the display assembly. Begin to slide the opening pick around the edge of the display, cutting through the adhesive that secures it. 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.
    • Insert an opening pick or a playing card into the gap between the chassis and the display assembly.

    • Begin to slide the opening pick around the edge of the display, cutting through the adhesive that secures it.

    • 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.

    I needed a stronger tool than the provided guitar picks to actually get between the glass and the frame. Had to use a metal tool to get in there. Once I could get in, things went fairly smoothly.

    Only mistake after that was not getting a great seal on the glue when reassembling the phone so now the glass toward the bottom of the screen doesn’t completely stay in place. :(

    Steve Johnson - Reply

    Dang! Metal is a scary choice, but I’m glad it worked out for the most part. That’s good to know. You could try re-heating the adhesive around the part of the screen that isn’t staying in place, and then putting the phone under a stack of books for an hour or so! That might get it to seal up completely.

    Taylor Dixon -

    I got the glass free by using plenty of heat, an x-acto knife to start the opening and playing cards under the glass to break the glue. I did not use the suction cup because it kept feeling like it would break the glass.

    Michael Hendricks - Reply

    +1 to Michael Hendricks. I ended up putting mine in my toaster oven (which worked splendidly), and I did have to use an x-acto knife to get it started. After that, it was possible to continue using the picks, but DON’T EXPECT TO BE ABLE TO REUSE THE SAME DISPLAY. New displays are $35 on ebay. Just get a new one before you start the work or you’ll almost certainly be without a phone for a week.

    Kael Shipman - Reply

    I was super careful based on all the comments to not even get close to touching the back of the screen. But when reassembled I get nothing but a vibration when turning the phone on.

    I used the suction cup, lotsa heat, started from the top and pried screen off towards the bottom just barely teasing the edges with a special pick that I had from previous battery replacements (special pick limits penetration). It seemed to come off unscathed. But the results say otherwise.

    GUNTIS CIRCENIS - Reply

  4. Continue carefully separating the adhesive around the rest of the device. Take extra care with the side bezels, which are only 1.5 mm deep. Take extra care with the side bezels, which are only 1.5 mm deep.
    • Continue carefully separating the adhesive around the rest of the device.

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

    there should be two notes here - “while adhesive is still warm, REMOVE ALL OF IT or you would be fcked later.” additionally, “ensure you are not separating the OLED from the glass as this will somehow render the screen completely useless”

    Liz Zelnick - Reply

    Agreed. I just removed the glass from the OLED display…oopss. I’m hosed.

    Joshua Brown - Reply

    Removing the adhesive while it is warm is a great idea!

    Re: removing the glass from the OLED, as long as you aren’t inserting your opening pick deeper than Step 2 recommends, you should be safe from separating the glass and the display panel unless you are using a ton of heat, in which case you might be frying the display anyway!

    Taylor Dixon - Reply

    I didn’t apply enough heat during this process and subsequently separated the digitizer from the glass, instead of the whole assembly from the case. I had 3/4 of the screen free from the case when I became impatient and just tried to muscle my way through the rest of the adhesive. It is important to stop and apply more heat during this process any time it starts feeling difficult to move the pick through the adhesive, otherwise you risk breaking the screen and having to get a whole new one.

    Britton Wickes - Reply

    I got the glass off without cracking anything, but now that it’s back together it doesn’t seem to work. Could it have been damaged from the heat? It flickers green for an instant when plugging in to power or pressing the power button.

    Nicholas Cox - Reply

    Any recommendations on adhesive when reinstalling? I see there is a pre-made adhesive for sale here for $5.99. Don’t know if 3m double-sided tape would work just as well, or what thickness to use. Any tips would be much appreciated.

    Phillip - Reply

    Hey Phillip! I’d go with the pre-made adhesive to save yourself the headache of measurement, cutting, and having a whole roll of 3M tape you might not need. It would definitely work if that’s what you prefer though!

    Here’s a guide for applying the pre-made adhesive that you can follow, or just curb from if you use the 3M tape! Google Pixel Display Adhesive Installation

    Taylor Dixon - Reply

  5. With the adhesive cut, slowly lift the display up from the top (the side with the speaker-grille cutout), carefully flip it over vertically toward the bottom of the device, and rest it on its face, as shown. Do not attempt to completely remove the display yet, as it is still connected by a fragile ribbon cable. Be careful to not to strain the cable while positioning the display. Do not attempt to completely remove the display yet, as it is still connected by a fragile ribbon cable. Be careful to not to strain the cable while positioning the display.
    • With the adhesive cut, slowly lift the display up from the top (the side with the speaker-grille cutout), carefully flip it over vertically toward the bottom of the device, and rest it on its face, as shown.

    • Do not attempt to completely remove the display yet, as it is still connected by a fragile ribbon cable. Be careful to not to strain the cable while positioning the display.

    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

    I’m sorry the instructions weren’t clear, John! I’ve updated the guide to better illustrate where ribbon cable is and how to work around it.

    Taylor Dixon -

    And another note - I used the suction cup to lift the glass. Unfortunately the glass cracked at that point…bummer. I would update this to describe HOW to lift the glass. As in, LIGHTLY lift up with the suction cup while mostly lifting up on the guitar picks to help separate..

    Joshua Brown - Reply

    DO NOT “flip it over vertically toward the bottom of the device, and rest it on its face, as shown. “ unless you want to spend your day getting adhesive off the screen. Instead get the screw driver ready (step 7) before you start this step.

    eric duchene - Reply

  6. Use a T5 Torx driver to remove the two black 3.5 mm T5 screws securing the display cable connector bracket.
    • Use a T5 Torx driver to remove the two black 3.5 mm T5 screws securing the display cable connector bracket.

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

    Using extreme care, another broken screen here. Instead of coming off together, the adhesive separated between the outer glass and the digitizer panel/screen. Both were damaged in the process. Waste of time and money.

    Chris Kahn - Reply

    Yes, me too. I’d like advice as to how to vary the glue heating process for this to not occur. Does the heat need to be applied for longer so the deeper OLED panel releases without pulling from the glass?

    Joshua Brown - Reply

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  9. Use a spudger to pry up the display cable connector, freeing the display.

    (from other ifixit tutorial. Did not know this-and it is important!)

    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.

    bgwong2476 - Reply

  10. Remove the display.
    • Remove the display.

    • Some replacement displays do not come with an earpiece speaker grille. If your replacement screen doesn't have one, be sure to transfer the grille from your old display to the new one.

    • During reassembly, pause here to replace the display adhesive.

  11. Use a T5 Torx driver to remove the nine 3.5 mm screws securing the midframe.
    • Use a T5 Torx driver to remove the nine 3.5 mm screws securing the midframe.

  12. The midframe is held tightly in place by five clips. To release these clips, apply inward pressure with an opening tool as shown in the steps below.
    • The midframe is held tightly in place by five clips. To release these clips, apply inward pressure with an opening tool as shown in the steps below.

    There’s also a clip at the top center (near the camera/ earpiece).

    When reassembling, snap the top clip in before you snap the sides. If you do the sides first, then you can’t snap the top in and will need to disassemble and try again.

    Mark Clementi - Reply

    On the reassembly step, make sure that the little black wire on the right hand side of the phone is tucked away really well. It can prevent the clip on the bottom right from snapping into place.

    Casey Thimm - Reply

    To add to Casey’s comment, the black wire needs to be routed along the gap between the battery and the back/left-hand edge of the rear casing.

    Roman Iwanczuk - Reply

    I would keep a flat razor or an exact-o knife on hand when releasing the midframe from the clips. The tool provided by ifixit does not work well. Even the blue picks would work better.

    Ben Eisenberg - Reply

  13. Wedge an opening pick into the notch that is located at the bottom right corner of the phone.
    • Wedge an opening pick into the notch that is located at the bottom right corner of the phone.

  14. Slide the opening pick up both sides of the device in the small space between the midframe and the rear case to release the clips holding it in place. Note that the clips are not released by sliding through them, but rather the inward pressure the opening pick creates as it enters the gap around them. If the clasps fail to come undone, try pushing the edge you're working on inward with your hand, or using a thicker tool like a spudger.
    • Slide the opening pick up both sides of the device in the small space between the midframe and the rear case to release the clips holding it in place.

    • Note that the clips are not released by sliding through them, but rather the inward pressure the opening pick creates as it enters the gap around them.

    • If the clasps fail to come undone, try pushing the edge you're working on inward with your hand, or using a thicker tool like a spudger.

    • Do not attempt to remove the midframe yet! There is still a fragile ribbon cable underneath 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

    I had no luck using the spudger (too blunt) or the opening picks (too weak). I used a straight blade as shown at about 2:35 in this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_conti...

    Todd Koenig - Reply

  15. Use a spudger to pry the earpiece speaker cable connector straight up, disconnecting it from the motherboard. Remove the mid-frame from the device.
    • Use a spudger to pry the earpiece speaker cable connector straight up, disconnecting it from the motherboard.

    • Remove the mid-frame from the device.

    • During reassembly, reattach the earpiece speaker cable and insert the top side of the midframe before you snap the clips back into place.

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

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

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

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

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

  21. Use a spudger to pry up the black and white coaxial cables attached to the upper right and left-hand sides of the motherboard. Coaxial cable connectors and sockets are fragile. To avoid damaging the connectors, be sure to gently pry them straight up with your spudger.
    • Use a spudger to pry up the black and white coaxial cables attached to the upper right and left-hand sides of the motherboard.

    • Coaxial cable connectors and sockets are fragile. To avoid damaging the connectors, be sure to gently pry them straight up with your spudger.

    • To reconnect these cables, use tweezers to position each one carefully over its socket on the board, and then press it straight down until it snaps into place.

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

  23. Use tweezers to carefully lift the top (the camera side) of the motherboard out of the device.
    • Use tweezers to carefully lift the top (the camera side) of the motherboard out of the device.

    • Don't try to fully remove the motherboard yet—there is a fragile cable on the backside that is still connected to the fingerprint sensor.

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

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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One Comment

Where do you buy a new motherboard?

Travis Smith - Reply

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