Introduction

Use this guide to replace the motherboard in your 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. Push  the tool into the hole until you see the card pop out.
  • 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

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.
  • 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. Remove the midframe from the phone.
  • 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. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the daughterboard ribbon cable and pull it away from the battery.
  • 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.
  • 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. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the left antenna cable.
  • 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.
  • 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. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the ribbon cable that connects rear-facing camera to the motherboard.
  • 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. Use the flat end of a spudger to disconnect the front camera ribbon cable.
  • 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. Gently lift the motherboard up and out of the device.
  • Gently lift the motherboard up and out of the device.

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Conclusion

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

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9 Comments

is the motherboard from the 32gb nexus 5, compatible for the nexus 5 16gb lcd??

Vandalismo Teevee - Reply

It should be, yes. I've chopped and changed loads of Nexus 5 phone around and haven't had a problem.

drunkenmenace -

Thanks for the repy. My Nexus 5 has some bootoop problems and when i go to the boot options, (the hold power and volume down), it says Lock State - LOCKED. so im thinking of replacing the motherboard. or is there a way to fix my problem? Thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.

Vandalismo Teevee - Reply

My Nexus 5 just switched off while i was recording a video. It isnt switching on now. How to bring it back to life??Any solution will b of great help. Thanks

Jasmine K - Reply

I just used this guide to quickly get at the motherboard to replace a faulty power button. It's tedious but not impossible with a very clean soldering iron tip, solder wick, and lots of flux. The replacement button and covers from iFixit were an exact match (I checked under a microscope).

Mark Renouf - Reply

Tip: You do not need to remove the battery to swap or repair the motherboard. I prefer not to use a heatgun and pry against adhesives unless absolutely necessary.

Mark Renouf - Reply

Pls my nexus 5x stopped working since January and I tried charging but any time I fix the battery it will be v.hot till I remove d battery, any help pls.

Abdul Jelil Badmus - Reply

If I replace the motherboard do I have to flash OS ?

MrSavedby Grace - Reply

I will want mother board of lg nexus 5x, 32 gb, how can i buy it

Hildegarde Cyril - Reply

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