Introduction

Use this guide to replace a broken camera in your Motorola Moto X, its lunch somewhere, and your food ain't gonna Instagram itself.

Video Overview

Image 1/3: Remove the SIM card tray.
  • Insert the SIM card eject tool into the hole in the side of the SIM card tray and push to eject the tray.

  • Remove the SIM card tray.

  • If the SIM card does not fall free from the tray on its own, simply remove it with your fingers.

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Image 1/3: Insert a plastic opening tool into the seam between the front and rear covers near the SIM card slot.
  • In the following steps you will be releasing the clips holding the phone's cases together. However, the back case is also secured with an adhesive pad. After separating the clips you will use an iOpener to allow the case to fully open. Do not attempt to fully open the phone before loosening the adhesive.

  • Insert a plastic opening tool into the seam between the front and rear covers near the SIM card slot.

  • Slide the plastic opening tool along the seam toward the upper corner.

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  • Carefully slide the plastic opening tool around the corner, freeing it from clips.

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  • Run the plastic opening tool along the seam nearest the headphone jack on the top of the phone.

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  • Pry around the top right corner of the phone between the two covers.

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Image 1/2: The plastic on the front cover is thinner here and the buttons may move around; go slowly to avoid damaging the buttons or the front cover.
  • Carefully slide the opening tool along the button side of the phone.

  • The plastic on the front cover is thinner here and the buttons may move around; go slowly to avoid damaging the buttons or the front cover.

Be *very* careful not to push the opening tool too deep when you go around the buttons! I accidentally broke the volume rocker ribbon by doing so, and didn't even realize it until I had completely removed the cover.

Simeon Simeonides - Reply

When i removed the volume rocker i cant get it back in correctly seems to be in right but the volume up is not clicking and only works if i push it really hard any ideas?

Alf stevens - Reply

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  • Insert a plastic opening tool into the seam just below the volume rocker to widen the gap.

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  • Continue prying to the lower corner of the phone.

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  • Carefully pry from the corner to the edge of the USB port.

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  • Insert the plastic opening tool at the other end of the USB port and slide around the corner.

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Image 1/2: Once you are certain the clips have all been separated, use the following two steps to prepare your iOpener.
  • Continue separating clips around the corner and along the length of the phone.

  • Once you are certain the clips have all been separated, use the following two steps to prepare your iOpener.

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Image 1/2: Place the iOpener in the center of the microwave.
  • We recommend that you clean your microwave before proceeding, as any nasty gunk on the bottom may end up stuck to the iOpener.

  • Place the iOpener in the center of the microwave.

    • For carousel microwaves: Make sure the plate spins freely. If your iOpener gets stuck, it may overheat and burn.

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Image 1/1: Throughout the repair procedure, as the iOpener cools, reheat it in the microwave for an additional thirty seconds at a time.
  • Heat the iOpener for thirty seconds.

  • Throughout the repair procedure, as the iOpener cools, reheat it in the microwave for an additional thirty seconds at a time.

  • Be careful not to overheat the iOpener during the repair. Overheating may cause the iOpener to burst.

  • Never touch the iOpener if it appears swollen.

  • Always wait at least three minutes before reheating the iOpener.

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Image 1/1: The iOpener will be very hot, so be careful when handling it. Use an oven mitt if necessary.
  • Remove the iOpener from the microwave, holding it by one of the two flat ends to avoid the hot center.

  • The iOpener will be very hot, so be careful when handling it. Use an oven mitt if necessary.

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Image 1/1:
  • Lay the iOpener over the phone to loosen the adhesive securing the back cover. Let the bag sit on the device for approximately 90 seconds before attempting to remove the cover.

There is NO GLUE holding on the back of a Moto X with a wood back! That little fact just made the extra $50 I spent on the phone totally worthwhile.

Doug Larrick - Reply

Lucky for you, I have the bamboo, and plenty of adhesive.

Kelly F -

Image 1/3: The back cover is very flexible, but you don't want to damage any internal components by being too hasty.
  • Starting from the SIM slot side, carefully peel the back cover off of the phone.

  • The back cover is very flexible, but you don't want to damage any internal components by being too hasty.

  • Do not separate the back cover entirely; it is still connected to the phone by the camera flash cable.

    • The flash cable is attached on the power/volume button side of the phone.

Step 15 seemed to be the hardest part for me. (step 25, the battery was also difficult). I am now not a fan of sticky stuff, "Mild adhesive" is definitely an understatement, IMHO, just saying I don't like sticky stuff, maybe I didn't do it right. The iOpener seemed to help a little, but not much.

***CAUTION***

BE CAREFUL with the NFC antenna, it says "X8 Mobile Computing System" on it. The adhesive seemed stick to the the blue stuff on the back cover more and loosen up on the bottom of the antenna, the part that sticks to the battery. So in the process of peeling the back cover the antenna started to come up and was torn at the connector strip before I realized what was happening, step 19 has a good picture of the connector strip that I'm talking about. I like using NFC once in awhile, so now my next FIX will be the antenna.

Overall instructions were GREAT, I now have a camera again. Thank you.

Patrick - Reply

So you are saying that there is no problem if I don't connect the NFC antenna? I'm asking this because I bought a replacement battery that don't include the NFC antenna. I would really appreciate your help with this :)

jspsaucedo -

The adhesive was crazy hard on mine as well and I ended up with two small cracks on the edges of my back cover. The blue rubber piece actually separated from the back and removed it from the battery after it was open. The battery itself was also very difficult to remove (pull tab did nothing) and bent/pried the old battery out. I see no reason for all that adhesive! Other than getting the dang thing open the rest was easy. Great guide!

Darrell Jividen - Reply

The adhesive holding the back very strong! In the process of removing the back, I cracked the edges of the back cover and ripped part of the NFC connector. Luckily the friend I was doing the repair for did not even know what NFC was, so she was ok with this. Take your time removing the back cover! Also, the adhesive holding the battery in place was not what I would call mild. The black tab was next to useless in removing the battery

Danny Smandych - Reply

So you are saying that there is no problem if I don't connect the NFC antenna? I'm asking this because I bought a replacement battery that don't include the NFC antenna.

jspsaucedo -

Thank you for the guide !!! comments were really useful too. Read them.

fabajaja - Reply

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  • Gently set the back cover down in a way that exposes the camera flash cable connector, but does not put strain on it.

As I had seen in another video, my Moto X with a custom back did not have the blue sticky pad. But the back was still well-adhered in the top corners and with a strip of adhesive along the bottom. In the photo in this step you can see the only adhesive I had to deal with, which was on either side of the lens (two dark areas on the phone back) and along the bottom of the phone (dark area at the bottom of the phone back).

pdisc1 - Reply

Image 1/3: Be sure to pry only on the flap itself, '''not''' on the connector.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the retaining flap on the flash cable ZIF connector.

  • Be sure to pry only on the flap itself, not on the connector.

  • Pull the flash cable straight out of its socket.

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  • Separate the back cover from the phone.

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Image 1/1: Remove the four 3 mm T3 Torx screws securing the lower antenna assembly to the phone.
  • Remove the four 3 mm T3 Torx screws securing the lower antenna assembly to the phone.

  • Remove the four 3 mm T3 Torx screws securing the lower antenna assembly to the phone.

It turns out to be the hardest step at the moment. I ordered iOpener set, and it is almost useless. It doesn't have t3, only t5, the actual iOpener is useless. I would happily order t3 on ifixit.com, but there is no t3 in Germany, so I ordered on amazon, and it turned out to be a complete $@$*, I was not able to take a single screw out. The guide is really good, I never thought I would have an issue with a screwdriver ....

Igor Gaidaichuk - Reply

These screws were definitely incompatible with my T3 bit - it was too small. T4 worked fine. Not sure if I should attribute this to an error in the guide or inconsistency in the size of my bit set; in any case it might be handy to have a T4 handy if you're not buying the iFixit screwdriver.

Christian Hinton - Reply

Stripped two of four T3 screws almost instantly and with very little force. Be careful! If I can't carve a flat slot into the screw heads I guess I'll have to abort the project or deliberately crack the antenna assembly plastic or try to drill the screw heads to proceed.

pdisc1 - Reply

Drilled out the heads. A bit scary, yes. I agree with another commenter here that my T3 isn't the best fit in these screws. My T3 was a pretty cheap eBay acquisition, so who knows where the blame should go. I wouldn't do this repair again. Phones should be easier to break open than this one. Too much adhesive (and as I mentioned above, mine didn't even have the blue adhesive pad) and T3 heads are super small and asking to be stripped and the two screws I did get out were way too tight. Oh, and also the potential butchering of the cover when prying loose the clips. Mine bent a bit around the headphone jack, but it smoothed back down and is not noticeable. Phone powered up and is charging now. Let's hope it was worth it.

pdisc1 - Reply

Image 1/3: Remove the antenna assembly.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to pry up the lower antenna assembly and free it from the phone.

  • Remove the antenna assembly.

See that little circular rubber near the bottom right screw? This funnels the background noise to one of the noise canceling microphones. It will be destroyed when you take it off. Freaked me out when I first opened up mine.

Adrian Koch - Reply

Image 1/3: Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the NFC antenna cable connector.
  • Insert the tip of a spudger under the battery cable near the connector to lift it straight up from its socket.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the NFC antenna cable connector.

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Image 1/3: Slide the tip of the spudger under the button assembly cable near the connector to pull the cable straight out of its socket.
  • Use the tip of a spudger to flip up the ZIF retaining flap from the button assembly cable connector.

  • Slide the tip of the spudger under the button assembly cable near the connector to pull the cable straight out of its socket.

This flap can pop off and get lost, be very gentle when prying it up. I lost mine, and have tape and some paper holding my connection together. Probably not very fire safe, but the stupid phone works.

KQSwift - Reply

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  • Insert the flat end of a spudger under the interconnect cable to free it from the adhesive holding it to the battery.

I'm not clear on the advantage/purpose of battery removal (steps 24, 25, 26). It can remain attached to the mother board and come away from the phone in tact, eliminating the risk of damage, and the task of dealing with the adhesive, no?

Kelly F - Reply

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  • Use the flat end of a spudger to peel the adhesive pull-tab off the top of battery.

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Image 1/3: The battery is secured to the motherboard with mild adhesive. Peel slowly, and be careful not to bend or puncture the battery.
  • Use the adhesive pull-tab to lift the battery from its recess.

  • The battery is secured to the motherboard with mild adhesive. Peel slowly, and be careful not to bend or puncture the battery.

  • Remove the battery from the phone.

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  • Remove the five 3 mm T3 Torx screws from the headphone jack/speaker assembly.

These screws appear to have some yellow locktite on them. I rounded 2 of them, so take caution and make sure your screw driver fits correctly. Otherwise you will need to find a drill press to extract them.

stevengrey - Reply

Is the glass glued to the LCD like the iPhone 5? Is it possible to repair a broken front glass without changing the whole assembly?

Alisio - Reply

Yes and Yes. Just fixed mine.

Buy a Glass+Frame from ebay. Do steps 1-18 and 37. Then just open the bottom two torx screws, no more. They are the only ones connected to the front frame. Then heat&remove the glass, tear off the frame with pliers. Then you just need to clean the screen from residue and apply LOCA and the Glass+Frame.

Adrian Koch -

Yep, I rounded the bottom-left and bottom-center screws as well as my Torx driver, then slipped with the drill bit and went right through the mobo.

Coinneach - Reply

Image 1/3: Remove the headphone jack/speaker assembly.
  • Insert a spudger under the panhandle of the headphone jack/speaker assembly and pry it up from its recess.

  • Remove the headphone jack/speaker assembly.

The microphone assembly has foam tape adhesive on it and will want to separate with the headphone jack / speaker assembly.

Jacob Jaeggli - Reply

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  • Push the tip of a spudger under the microphone assembly clip to free it from the earpiece speaker.

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Image 1/2: Use tweezers to remove the microphone assembly.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to free the microphone assembly cable connector.

  • Use tweezers to remove the microphone assembly.

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Image 1/2: Remove the front-facing camera from its recess with a pair of tweezers.
  • Disconnect the front-facing camera cable connector.

  • Remove the front-facing camera from its recess with a pair of tweezers.

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  • Remove the final two 3 mm T3 Torx screws from the SIM slot bracket.

On my XT1053 Developer Edition, the Torx screws on the sim slot bracket were not T3 like all the others, they were T4. Trying to use a T3 screwdriver resulted in twisting off the tip of the screwdriver. A T4 screwdriver removed them just fine.

geekapproved - Reply

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  • Remove the SIM slot bracket from the motherboard.

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Image 1/2: Be careful not to snag any cables.
  • Insert the flat end of a spudger under the motherboard above the button assembly cable, and pry it out of the phone.

  • Be careful not to snag any cables.

  • The buttons may pop out of their recesses; take care not to lose them.

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Image 1/2: Do '''not''' attempt to separate the motherboard entirely; it is still connected to the display by the display cable.
  • Gently lift the motherboard out of the phone, rotating it from the SIM slot edge of the phone.

  • Do not attempt to separate the motherboard entirely; it is still connected to the display by the display cable.

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Image 1/3: Use the flat end of a spudger to flip the retaining tab on the display cable ZIF connector.
  • Lay the motherboard down to allow access to the display cable connector.

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to flip the retaining tab on the display cable ZIF connector.

  • Carefully pull the display cable out of its connector as you remove the motherboard from the display assembly.

When trying to put the motherboard connection back together I cannot get the flap to hold down. Anyone have a trick to help me get this connection to hold?

Dave - Reply

I also struggled getting this cable back in, I actually assembled it thinking it was "in enough", only to find out I had to take it back apart and push it in further.

I found that you can lay the screen face down, with the cable upright at a 90 degree angle, then push the motherboard down onto the cable. When it goes in enough, it snaps in fairly well. If it's not in enough, it will be impossible to close the clamp.

Eric Moe - Reply

There is a small black plastic piece which goes over the proximity sensor which can easily fall off. If it does, the sensor will malfunction and think that you are always close, which means you will not be able to hang up or do anything else with your phone while you are on a call and will just have to wait for the other person to hang up. I had to do more or less the whole job over again to reinsert this piece (I couldn't tell where it had fallen from and just hoped my phone would be alright with out it).

This is discussed in the thread here:

Can you disable the proximity sensor, Moto X?

You can see the black plastic over the proximity sensor in these two photos:

https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig...

https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig...

Whereas it is missing in this photo:

https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/ig...

(The sensor is on the lower left in this last photo).

Malcolm Sailor - Reply

Image 1/3: Remove the rear-facing camera from the motherboard.
  • Use the flat end of a spudger to flip up the retaining tab on the rear-facing camera ZIF cable connector.

  • Remove the rear-facing camera from the motherboard.

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Conclusion

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

7 other people completed this guide.

4 Comments

This took me about an hour or so to do after I got the right tools. I ordered the iOpener "kit" and stupid me thinking that ifixit would directly link you from this page to a kit that works with it, so I didn't read that the kit comes with a T5 torx bit and not a T3. Also no tweezers. Other than that this guide works perfect. The only tricky parts really were getting the battery out; "mild adhesive" my !@#. I used the black tool to slowly pry the battery out. Be patient and the adhesive will give. The other tricky part was getting the motherboard plugged back in. I thought I had it in the first time but apparently didn't. If you get it all back together and all the phone does when you turn it on is do a 1-2sec vibrate every 10 sec or so then check the connection on the motherboard. Great guide for getting your phone DOD ready. Or any job that doesn't allow camera phones on site!

joeracke - Reply

I was successful replacing both my non-functioning camera, a battery getting on the weak side, and a new back cover (went for one of those colorful back covers sold on eBay). The two things that tripped me up were 1) dealing with that sticky gasket between the antenna and the noise-canceling mic (Step 20), and 2) getting the cover glass to stay put on the new back cover. For 2), I ended up fashioning my own adhesive with 2-sided scotch tape.

*ALSO* You really don't need to do Step 35. Leave the motherboard plugged in, and simply remove and re-attach the camera in place.

Rad Mod - Reply

I went through each step methodically and only had problems removing the top black cover in step #28. The assembly came off with the ear speaker attached to it, nonetheless was able to put it back. Just be wary that it might not be as easy as pictured.

When putting it all back together though I got an unwelcome surprise... somehow instead of getting the phone turning on and loading android, I got the symbol of the battery reading 80% and a large battery outline icon in the middle of the screen against white background with a light blue indicator reflecting visually that 80% charge. Anyone got a similar issue? I couldn't get android to start as it usually would. What gives? (Thanks for any help! :)

sfanara - Reply

First I just want to say thank you for putting together this wonderful guide.

I've replaced the camera and it works but the camera has a problem focusing and all the pictures are blurry. Do you think it's the new camera or a software issue. This is the second camera I got from Phone Parts USA that has done this. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Robert Raney - Reply

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