Introduction

Here's how to remove the display for the Surface Pro 4. This is the first step to replacement and to many other repairs on this device.

Make sure the device is turned off before you start working on it.
  • Make sure the device is turned off before you start working on it.

  • If your display is cracked, cover it with strips of packing tape to contain any glass shards and prevent injury.

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The display is strongly glued to the frame of the device.
  • The display is strongly glued to the frame of the device.

  • To remove the display, first soften the adhesive by applying heat. You can use a heat pad, heat gun, or iOpener. In a pinch, a hair dryer can also work.

    • Be careful when using a heat gun, as too much heat can permanently damage the display.

  • Steadily and evenly heat the perimeter of the display until it's too hot to touch, and try to maintain that temperature for several minutes—but don't overheat it, or you may damage the display.

Instead of heating the glass directly, apply a light amount of heat to slightly soften the adhesive as you go and use a all metal xacto knife. Heat the knife blade directly and cut through the foam inside like butter. Stop every 3 inches and place some paper or spacer to keep the glass off the foam. Start at the top right or left side where there is an indent. On the bottom and side only need to go in 1/4”, top more like 1/2”.

Ken Richards - Reply

Use a suction cup or an iSclack to pull up on the glass and create a slight gap between the glass and the metal frame. If your display is badly cracked, a suction cup may not adhere. It may help to first cover the display with a layer of packing tape. Alternatively, you can superglue your suction cup to the display. Insert an opening pick into the gap.
  • Use a suction cup or an iSclack to pull up on the glass and create a slight gap between the glass and the metal frame.

    • If your display is badly cracked, a suction cup may not adhere. It may help to first cover the display with a layer of packing tape. Alternatively, you can superglue your suction cup to the display.

  • Insert an opening pick into the gap.

    • There are tabs on the upper right side and upper left side where it is easier to get a tool under the display.

  • Slide an opening pick around the sides and bottom of the display to cut the adhesive. Apply more heat as needed.

    • Work carefully—the glass is thin and will crack easily if you try to force it.

  • Separate the top edge last. There are antennas on both sides, so be careful not to damage them. If needed, you can use a bit of isopropyl alcohol to help weaken the adhesive.

Do we need to glue the screen back on? How do we do this? What do we use? Thanks for this tutorial. I wonder if it's necessary to completely unplug the screen when replacing just the SSD

mujzjiggy2k1 - Reply

They mention separate the top edge last to prevent antenna damage. I tried to be very careful but still ended up damaging 1 of three antennas. The antennas are directly under the glue and aren’t really that fragile. They key is heat. I was trying to be careful that the glue wasn’t hot enough anymore. If the glue is nice and soft it’ll easily separate from the antenna. Too cold and the antenna will stay with the screen…

tgruetzm - Reply

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Attach a suction cup to the front of the display. Using the suction cup, pull the display and base apart. You may need to hold the base in position with your hands.
  • Attach a suction cup to the front of the display.

  • Using the suction cup, pull the display and base apart. You may need to hold the base in position with your hands.

  • It is usually better to place the suction cup on the left or right side of the screen, rather than in the center. This provides more leverage when removing the screen.

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There are two display cables connecting the body to the display. Disconnect the cable on the right by putting a plastic opening tool under the edge of the connector and prying it up.
  • There are two display cables connecting the body to the display.

  • Disconnect the cable on the right by putting a plastic opening tool under the edge of the connector and prying it up.

You can disconnect from the lcd rather than the motherboard, each cable has an EMI shield, a metal cover, over the connector, and the shield must be pried off first, then they disconnect easily by just prying up on the connectors

Glen D - Reply

The connection for the strip on the left is covered by a lightweight metal casing.  Pry around the edges of this case with a plastic spudger. Once it is loose, pull it off. Unplug the connection with a plastic opening tool. Unplug the connection with a plastic opening tool.
  • The connection for the strip on the left is covered by a lightweight metal casing. Pry around the edges of this case with a plastic spudger. Once it is loose, pull it off.

  • Unplug the connection with a plastic opening tool.

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  • The display should now be free of the body of the Surface Pro. Lift it up and away from the rest of the device.

  • Before installing a new display, check it carefully to see if any parts need to be transferred over from the back of the old display to the new display. In particular, you may need to transfer over the NTrig board in the corner by disconnecting the two attached ribbon cables and using heat and gentle prying to carefully separate the glue securing the board.

  • To replace the adhesive securing the display, carefully remove any old adhesive from both the device and the back of the display. Clean and prep the surface with isopropyl alcohol and a lint-free cloth, swiping the cloth in one direction (not back and forth). Apply a strong double-sided tape, such as 2 mm Tesa 61395.

I've done many phones and ipads in the past. I did 2 of these in a row. Both screens were broken before hand but I was unable to remove either of them completely without leaving fragments around the frame. This would suggest that replacing the drive on one with a good screen will require a replacement of the screen too. Do not put a tool into the speaker areas as it mushes up the screen and requires you to glue the screens back in. The screens I purchased did not have adhesive with them so you need to apply that before plugging the screen back in. I ran 1 or 2 stips of 2 mm tape depending on the with of the contact area. There was a metal cover over the right hand connector on mine. I found the metal covers easier to remove with a dental pick which I inserted into the small holes on each tab then levered up. You have to transfer a small board over to the new screen which requires heating. Make sure to connect the LCD to that board before sticking it back down. Ken Davison meditlondon.com

ken - Reply

What adhesive do you recommend?

Chris P -

3M 9448A Double Coated Tissue Tape I just did my 3rd (10 min…I don’t think so) especially if display is shattered, this last screen came with tape strips and the backing looks exactly like this one I posted same color and lettering, its very mushy, rubbery make sure screen is perfectly aligned because once this stuff sticks thats it, no adjustment possible. I used a paper cutter the guillotine type to make the different widths from 1/4” strips.

Ed tabickman -

It took 1.5 hours to do the second one.

ken - Reply

Conclusion

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

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Thank you for your guide.

I've removed the cracked screen from my Surface Pro 4 and hope to replace it with a new screen I bought on eBay. Unfortunately, the new screen doesn't seem to have the NTrig board attached to it.

Is it possible to remove that little board from the old screen? If so, how?

alex - Reply

I'm also interested on this. as I can't find a screen seller that includes the NTrig board. Did you manage to do it, Alex?

Óscar Espeso Gil -

Yes you can heat up the board and remove it and move it over to the new screen. However my problem is that now I have a vertical dead spot about 2 inches wide from the "J" key to the "L" key up and down the screen. I can't find any damage to the cables or boards... I have replaced the screen twice now and nothing.

Jordan Mershon -

Same problem as the guy above, moved the n-trig board over, touch is unresponsive in certain spots, anyone find a solution to this?

Raul Garcia -

I'll be moving the board over as well, I am told to make sure the cables are completely connected, Check and Re-Check. This seemed to have fixed most problems with the touch being unresponsive in some area's.

jayroca23 -

hi guys, i have the same issue with the touchscreen after replacement. have you find a solution? I checked a couple of times but touch screen doesn't work. Instead if I use the pen, there are some dead spot.

Gabriele Corda -

What adhesive did you use to re-attach the screen?

alex - Reply

Ok, So all fine in theory, but unless you broke your screen, like I did, it is IMPOSSIBLE to remove the screen without breaking it. Even with a full I Fix It toolbox and an I opener it took me 90 mins to get the screen off. The central parts come away quite easily but separated from the edges, but the glue tape is so strong it left sharp glass around the edge where the tape is.

This screen is less than 1/10th of a mm thick in places, you've got no chance of getting it off.

Jon Pertwee - Reply

On the plusside, at least I can now upgrade the hard disk.. Yay.. 1TB here I come!!

Jon Pertwee - Reply

I am unable to find a replacement glass anywhere? How did you guys find it on ebay?

Shubham Sharma - Reply

Amazon is the only place I have found a screen....

Jordan Mershon -

What adhesive should i use to replace the screen?

Nick Skwarek - Reply

Some of this might do the trick for you gentleman. https://www.amazon.com/NIUTOP-Double-Adh...

jayroca23 -

I seem to have missed the step where you explained what you sacrificed to which god in order to get the screen off in fewer than 500 pieces.

mad_bimmy - Reply

should i save my files to an external drive before replacing the screen?

heyyy jaaaaaayyyyy - Reply

note that you need to be very careful when prying the top left side of the display off: it's very easy to damage the wifi antenna!

Ned Danieley - Reply

more so in top middle across 6", I replaced mine with aluminum tape and it worked really well

Ken Lebofsky -

Does anyone have a link to buy the actual replacement screen for Surface pro 4. The replacement screen in this video. Thank you in advance

Charles Myles - Reply

At the top of the unit there is some very thin copper ribbon that tore when removing the adhesive, what is it? I need to replace it.

Ken Lebofsky - Reply

It's the wifi/bluetooth antenna. You can not buy this part anywhere. I recreated the antenna using aluminum tape and I think the wifi is better than before!!

Ken Lebofsky -

Anyone have the issue of the screen being offset after reattaching? Anyone know which one of the connectors controls this?

Tess morgan - Reply

I am not quite sure what you mean by offset but what this sounds like is that the N Trig board is not quite in the right position. The N Trig board is the L shaped board that you need to take from the old screen and stick it on the new screen. If you look at the opened tablet, on the bottom left area, as you look at the inside of the tablet, there is an L shaped space. The N Trig board must fit properly into this space or the screen will be skew or even stand proud. There is enough space for the N Trig board but not much space. If possible try lifting the screen again and repositioning the N Trig board. If that is not possible or may cause more damage than its worth you may have to live with the screen being offset. As a good ‘lesson learnt’ for this it is to position the new screen with all the bits connected in place before actually sticking it down so that you can make sure it sits correctly. That said I am not implying that you did not do that. ;o)

Paul Ingarfield -

This guide made it seem roughly 10 times easier to do than it turned out to be. Sunk ~$200 into fixing the screen on a $500 computer, and broke the screen when reinstalling it, and spent easily a couple hours frustratedly picking broken glass off the edges when taking off the old screen. I’m not blaming you for me being bad at computer repair, but maybe consider raising the difficulty?

Mark Blakeley - Reply

Ouch, sorry to hear that. I haven’t worked on the Surface Pro much, but usually the challenge is to avoid breaking the screen when taking it off, as opposed to installing it. I agree with you about the difficulty level and bumped it up accordingly—there is nothing easy about working on a Surface Pro. Better luck on your next repair…

Jeff Suovanen -

All Right: where to buy screen - phoneremedies.com, comes with tools. If, like I did, you tear a ribbon cable, can find replacement at ipartexperts.com

My glass was shattered, so the big center part came out easily, too easily, before I knew it I’d torn a ribbon cable. I’m using a heating pad to warm the adhesive around the edges. This is a long monotonous process. Take extra care in the middle third section at the top. There is delicate antenna in this area. Moving the NTrig board will be the next joy. If anyone is wondering, no this isn’t easy…not for the faint of heart. Prying off the little aluminium cable pin covers is also nerve racking. You will bend them, but they can be bent back.

john brewer - Reply

I think there should be a part for putting it back together, it’s not always as simple as ‘just do it in reverse’ for instance, what is the best adhesive to use and how much should you use? Those parts are not listed either. Maybe a new display bought from Ifixit has adhesive already applied but what if you are using a used display?

Glen D - Reply

This should be entitled ‘Display Removal’ not ‘Display Replacement’. There is literally nothing here addressing the replacement part.

Glen D - Reply

No mention of the antenae???? assembly at the top of the screen, that you can cut right through with a pick (near the camera and N-trig assemblies),

This is a really lame procedure that ends up giving false confidence to people you should just remove it if you can’t put all the important details on here

Glen D - Reply

There are little round gaskets around at least 3 of the sensors/cameras on the sensor array area, and there are 3 antennae glued between the screen and the case on either side of the camera. THIS IS PRETTY IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO LEAVE OUT OF what is essentially a ‘teardown’ instruction posing as ‘replacement’ instructions. I really expected more form this web site, and anyone reading this should peruse youtube and watch MULTIPLE videos because a great deal of those don’t show these things either. The iOpener is for $@$*,you need a heat gun set to just below 200 F and once you get a pick in, heat in front of it, detach it while it’s easy, heat again, etc, and the top edge is much thicker and contains all the sensors. this has a lot of glue almost the whole thickness of the bezel. I haven’t found a way to separate without snagging one of the antennae but on the next try I will use more heat and go even slower. I would love to post a photo showing the exact position but see no way to…

Glen D - Reply

Glen, this is a user-submitted guide. Your comments are fair, but rather than just criticizing, I would suggest using iFixit the way it’s meant to be used—as a wiki—and submit your own improvements to the guide. We generally allow any user to submit a repair guide, even if it’s imperfect, in the hopes that folks will use it and improve on it over time. Looking through the guide I can see some of your complaints are addressed in the comments, so I will go through and copy some of that info over to the steps where it’s a little more visible. Thanks for your feedback.

Jeff Suovanen -

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