Introduction

This guide provides instructions on how to replace a cracked or damaged LCD screen and Digitizer Assembly for the Google Nexus 5.

Insert a SIM card eject tool or a  paper clip into the hole next to the SIM card slot, which is located just under the power button.
  • Insert a SIM card eject tool or a paper clip into the hole next to the SIM card slot, which is located just under the power button.

  • Push the tool into the hole until you see the card pop out.

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Gently remove the SIM card with your fingers, or a pair of tweezers if the SIM holder does not fully eject.
  • Gently remove the SIM card with your fingers, or a pair of tweezers if the SIM holder does not fully eject.

  • Make sure the chip is facing the rear of the phone when reinserting the SIM card.

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  • Use a plastic opening tool to free the clips on the top and each side of the back cover.

  • The bottom is secured with some adhesive foam. You should be able to finally free the back cover using an opening pick.

  • It's best to avoid prying around the SIM card slot, as the plastic here is very thin and likely to break from prying.

Wireless QI and NFC.

Once I have put everything together with the new battery in place, I have as last replaced the plastic back cover, snapping all the clips back around the edges of the phone. Alas, I was quick to realise the QI Wireless charging has ceased to work.

I almost blamed the battery, or worse, me.

QUICK TIP: there is actually another clip in the middle of the plastic back cover - just press with your thumb just above the 'S' in NEXUS emblem and, voila! Snaps back in.

Wireless charge and NFC - works, once again.

cwioro - Reply

you just saved me like 30 bucks. thank you so much.

Robert Nolan -

+ 1, had the same issue and pressing just near the S fixed it! Thanks a lot!

nicco82 -

Just a me too, I had to press above the S and it was quite a snap

Erik Karlin -

There seems to be two contacts that snap into place. One is in line with the led pretty much in the middle of the phone and the second one in line with the camera lens on the opposite side to the lens. The middle one for me snapped pretty lightly, but the side one required a bit more pressure. After that the nfc started working again. Thanks for posting this!

Dennis Millner -

Is it hard to remove the battery door? Worried I might damage it.

Ash - Reply

When I openend the back cover I damaged two clips. One about 2.5cm (1 inch) below the volume controls and one on the other side about same height. The cover fits good without those two but on one side there is a small gap where the clip broke. But I have a hard cover protector on my phone so it's not that bad.

simonlwheeler - Reply

The case around the sim slot is pretty thin and easy to break, best to avoid using the pry tool at this point.

Aled Morris - Reply

Excellent tip, should be included in the main guide.

fprades - Reply

Hey Author, i need to ur expert advice...i replaced my nexus 5's back cover. since the new one did not have the vibrators battery i had to take it from the old one and connect it to the new one...on removing i noticed that it was stuck to the cover by a glue

Question: what glue to use to hold the battery to the cover?

suwaid akbar - Reply

Any adhesive will do. I used a hot glue gun. You shouldn't need expert advice to figure that out. Use your head.

tjt263 -

The case around the volume control is also pretty thin.... I broke mine prying so avoid the pry there too.

Also my back had glue at the bottom and I haven't seen mentioned

kornerson - Reply

  • Remove the six 4.0 mm Phillips #00 screws that secure the midframe to the phone.

  • To replace the LCD screen and digitizer, remove the additional four 4.0mm daughterboard cover screws with the same screwdriver.

I had a bit more success with the Phillips #000.

Ross Light - Reply

Step 4 (removing the screws in the protecting plate) needs to happen before Step 2 ( removing the connectors)

Esteban Valles - Reply

These were Y0 screws for me.

Benjamin Hollway - Reply

Same here, Benjamin

Ítalo Masserano -

Same for me. I had more luck with the two screws in the middle with #000.

Rewarp - Reply

  • Remove the midframe from the phone.

There's also some adhesive holding the motherboard cover plate in place, below the camera. Has to be pulled a little stronger than expected.

tkatona - Reply

  • Use the flat end of a nylon spudger to disconnect the battery connector.

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  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the daughterboard ribbon cable and pull it away from the battery.

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  • Use a plastic opening tool to pry the battery out of its housing.

    • You may need to use a heat gun to apply a small amount of heat to soften the adhesive below the battery.

    • Do not puncture or bend the battery.

This part is very delicate. The adhesive is pretty solid and I did puncture the battery. It is dangerous and the battery should be replaced with a new one.

Christophe De Wolf - Reply

Thanks Chris for the notice. I have added a warning on your advise. Do you think about any better way to unglue the battery?

Gaetan -

Like another user, I had already taken my cover off plenty of times prior to. The issue of course was removing the battery. I purchased the opening tools and spudger and used them but to no avail. I ended up using a flat tip screwdriver and got the battery out within seconds with no puncturing.

gnewton16 - Reply

I'll second the flathead screwdriver. Tried different plastic tools only to damage both the battery and a spring connector on the phone. With the flathead screwdriver battery came out quite easily lifting from the bottom end. There is an adhesive tape holding the battery firmly in place that retains the adhesive surface after removing the battery, so the new battery should attach properly.

Dennis Millner -

Why do you need to remove the battery at all? Just replaced my rear camera without removing it. I mean, I realise that removing the power source would have been safer, but would it be enough just to detach the motherboard connector?

eyusupov - Reply

This guide is about the REPLACEMENT of the battery, and for that it seems necessary to remove it first. ;-)

biharikristof -

Do you need to apply adhesive to the new battery to keep it in place?

Ross Light - Reply

no there is generally glue remaining and it stays in place pretty good

mmoodley10 -

This was fantastic, thank you! I had never done anything like this before! You just saved me some money and also taught me something :D

anagarciasebastia - Reply

to make Qi work, you have to press the cover really everywhere afterwards. The contacts for Qi are between th Nexus "S" and the camera. Sometimes the Qi loading needs some time to work - I assume the battery needs to expand after a few loading cycles...

Apeiron - Reply

The first time I tried to replace the battery I ended up breaking off the tab on the new battery. It needs to be bent properly to fit into the socket on the phone. The second time, I connected the tab t the socket BEFORE placing the new battery into the area of the phone where it sits. Then I was able to use the plastic tool to correctly bend the connector.

John Goldin - Reply

I have replaced the battery and after doing this there is a flashing red light. does this mean its just charging from empty or have I done something wrong? Do i need to press any buttons to make sure its charging properly? do i need to re open it up to check connections? what do i do? there is no mention of whether it should turn back on or what it should do/how long it will take to be up and running again.

Bambipeach - Reply

I had the same "problem", though I had misplugged the battery. Just wait for a couple of minutes and your phone should start to charge. Also, I've been told to fully charge and discharge the battery 2-3 times before using it.

Steve Simard -

Be extremely careful while prying out the battery. I had damaged a Nexus 4 battery while trying to do this, and smoke started coming out. If you search youtube you can see how a punctured Li-ion battery can explode in seconds.

Abhi B - Reply

Why not remove the battery by pulling on the small ribbon cable at the top?

Matt Szczublewski - Reply

When you take out the battery, there are some sort of black tape (adhesive) around the inner circle of the empty battery chassis. I might have been too rough and taken the black tape out completely. Now with the newly replaced battery, Nexus 5 won't charge or power on. Does anyone know what the black tape is for? is it the reason or something else?

Gracie - Reply

I found out that the heavy duty suction cup I bought to replace phone screens works quite effectively at removing the battery without bending or damaging it. Of course, this was being used on a battery that was itself a replacement of the original, so the adhesive may have weakened significantly.

Rewarp - Reply

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

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

  • These must be firmly secured during reassembly. Failure to secure the antenna connections will affect your reception and call quality.

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  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the ribbon cable that connects rear-facing camera to the motherboard.

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  • Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the front camera ribbon cable.

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  • Gently lift the motherboard up and out of the device.

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  • Insert a spudger into an opening between the daughterboard and plastic housing.

  • Lift the daughterboard cover up and off the frame.

  • If Jeff, Max, Cole, Corey, Guy, Leslie, Harry, or Matt were already here, consider searching your device for surveillance bugs.

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  • Use the flat end of a nylon spudger to pry the white and black antenna connectors up off the daughterboard.

  • These must be firmly secured during reassembly. Failure to secure the antenna connections will affect your reception and call quality.

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  • Use the flat end of a nylon spudger to pry the digitizer ZIF connector up off the daughterboard.

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  • Insert a nylon spudger into an opening beneath the daughterboard and pry it up to free it from the frame.

    • The frame around the micro-USB port is very fragile—take care not to break this small plastic bridge.

  • Do not disconnect the daughterboard entirely. Gently fold it to the side of the phone.

I want to remove/replace the daughterboard/charging assembly, completely. The RH side appears to adhere to the chassis. What's the best method for separation?

tjt263 - Reply

  • Use a heat gun and carefully apply heat to the digitizer panel to soften the adhesive that secures it to the frame.

    • Hold the heat gun approximately 8-10 inches from the device and apply heat in a gentle back-and-forth motion.

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  • Work the flat end of a nylon spudger under the digitizer panel. Gently pry the panel up to free it from the adhesive.

    • The phone may be too hot to touch from the heat gun. Allow a moment for it to cool to avoid burning your fingers.

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  • Use a heat gun or an iOpener to soften the adhesive along the edges of the screen.

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  • Use a heavy duty suction cup and firmly pull the screen away from the frame entirely, or enough to create a small gap.

  • The Nexus 5 has a very thin layer of adhesive. This should not require excessive force. Apply additional heat as needed to soften the screen adhesive.

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  • Insert an opening pick in the gap between the screen and the frame.

  • Work the opening pick along the edges of the screen to break any remaining adhesive and free the screen assembly.

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  • Gently remove the LCD screen and digitizer assembly.

    • Carefully feed the digitizer ribbon cable through the frame.

The crucial step to glue back the new screen is missing.

Could you add an equally detailed description of this step ?

Thanks !

Anton - Reply

I’ll second this request for a detailed description of gluing the new screen.

Oscar Valdez - Reply

Conclusion

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

26 other people completed this guide.

Richard Suovanen

Member since: 02/07/2017

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This is a nice guide to understand how to disassemble and assemble your Nexus 5. 95% can be done with this guide.

Tip: read the comments!

My own tips are:

1) Search for instructions how to use glue or double sided adhesive tape. It's a must if you want succesfully put everything back together

2) You need to transfer the speaker protection from the inside of the glass to the new glass

3) The same needs to be done with with a white rectangle. It has something to do with your LED-light at the bottom.

Saw these tips in this YouTube video https://youtu.be/jQS618ayL5w

Jeroen Meyer - Reply

Thanks for the extra tips, Jeroen! These two steps can be found at 2:50 of the video for those who want to skip right to it. ;)

We do supply the tape as well: Tesa 61395 Tape

By the way, does the guy in this video remind anyone else of Thrawn from Star Wars Rebels (aka Lars Mikkelsen?)

Richard Suovanen -

Hey, what size do I need for the tape? Is the mm size referring to width or thickness?

I assume it’s width and I need 1mm or 2mm to repair my Nexus 5, but which one?

Carsten Pfeifer -

I need a little help with this tutorial. I’ve bought a second hand N5 where someone replaced the screen, now the display lifts off slightly in the bottom left corner of the device. Pushing it back will only hold it in for a few minutes. Should I slide a tiny piece of double-sided adhesive tape underneath, or rather some modelmaking glue?

Ste Se - Reply

The new screen is not adhered as the old one was.. not sure what I would use for that. Not terribly important for me since it sits 99% flush, and lives in an enclosed case, but the guide should probably mention this.

Kristen McWilliam - Reply

there is no reason to fully disassemble your phone just to replace the screen all you have to do is pull off the back pannel unscrew the speaker/mic housing assembly then take it off, dissconnect the screen connector under that and lift out the little breakout board where all the connections to the phone go at this point pry off the bad screen and put in a new one plug it in and glue it down with something like rubber cement reassemble and done. I have done this about 50 times with my nexus 5. I refuse to be careful with my phone.

Christopher Deming - Reply

note: do not use super glue to glue in your screen, you want something rubber cementy because it will hold your screen good but it can be peeled away, and any excess is easally removed. I personally use Loctite “flexable adhesive” for “ vinyl fabric & plastic”.

I like to put it under some slightly heavy books wile it drys

Christopher Deming - Reply

oh and don’t forget your speaker grill for the phone speaker

Christopher Deming - Reply

Is it possible to replace the digitizer and re-use the factory screen? The screen on my phone is perfect with no scratches or cracks and I would hate to replace it with some knock-off glass. My phone just randomly stopped responding to touches but is otherwise pretty mint for being so old.

Michael Guy - Reply

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