Introduction

Follow this guide to remove and replace the OnePlus 3’s volume and power button assembly. The assembly includes the buttons as well as the flex cable that connects them. The procedure requires major disassembly, removing both the battery and the motherboard to access the assembly.

If your battery is swollen, take appropriate precautions.

For your safety, discharge your battery below 25% before disassembling your phone. This reduces the risk of a dangerous thermal event if the battery is accidentally damaged during the repair.

  1. Insert a SIM eject tool, bit, or straightened paperclip into the hole located between the SIM card slot and the power button. Press firmly to eject the SIM card tray. During reinstallation, make sure that the SIM card tray is properly oriented. It fits in only one direction.
    • Insert a SIM eject tool, bit, or straightened paperclip into the hole located between the SIM card slot and the power button.

    • Press firmly to eject the SIM card tray.

    • During reinstallation, make sure that the SIM card tray is properly oriented. It fits in only one direction.

  2. Remove the two 2.6 mm T2 screws from the bottom edge of the phone.
    • Remove the two 2.6 mm T2 screws from the bottom edge of the phone.

  3. There is a high risk of damaging the display panel if this opening procedure is improperly followed. The following three steps show how to pry the rear case from the plastic frame. Read through the steps first before attempting the procedure. There are two different seams between the body and the screen of the phone:
    • There is a high risk of damaging the display panel if this opening procedure is improperly followed.

    • The following three steps show how to pry the rear case from the plastic frame. Read through the steps first before attempting the procedure.

    • There are two different seams between the body and the screen of the phone:

    • Display panel seam: This seam is part of the display assembly. Do not pry at this seam, or you will separate and damage the display panel.

    • Frame seam: This is where the plastic frame meets the back cover. Only pry at this seam.

    • There are fourteen clips that hold the frame against the rear case. Be aware of their location as you pry the back cover off in the following steps.

  4. As you work, try not to accidentally power on the phone. If you do, turn the phone off before resuming disassembly. Place a suction cup near the bottom edge of the display. Pull on the suction cup with strong steady force.
    • As you work, try not to accidentally power on the phone. If you do, turn the phone off before resuming disassembly.

    • Place a suction cup near the bottom edge of the display.

    • Pull on the suction cup with strong steady force.

    • Press the edge of an opening tool straight into the frame seam near the suction cup until the edge wedges between the plastic frame and the back cover's lip.

    • Due to tight tolerances, this will take substantial force. Using a new opening tool with an unmarred edge will help with this step.

  5. Once the opening tool's edge is wedged in position, carefully slide the tool along the bottom edge of the phone. Carefully guide the opening tool around the left corner of the phone while keeping the tool's edge within the seam. Carefully guide the opening tool around the left corner of the phone while keeping the tool's edge within the seam.
    • Once the opening tool's edge is wedged in position, carefully slide the tool along the bottom edge of the phone.

    • Carefully guide the opening tool around the left corner of the phone while keeping the tool's edge within the seam.

  6. Continue sliding the opening tool along the long edge, releasing the clips along the way. The last clip in the top-left corner near the alert switch is recessed and can be difficult to release. Take your time and use the flat end of a spudger or an opening pick to help.
    • Continue sliding the opening tool along the long edge, releasing the clips along the way.

    • The last clip in the top-left corner near the alert switch is recessed and can be difficult to release. Take your time and use the flat end of a spudger or an opening pick to help.

  7. With the bottom and left edge of the phone freed, gently wiggle the frame to release the top and right edge clips. Lift the screen up and remove it. During reassembly, pause here to test your phone's functionality before securing the back cover.
    • With the bottom and left edge of the phone freed, gently wiggle the frame to release the top and right edge clips.

    • Lift the screen up and remove it.

    • During reassembly, pause here to test your phone's functionality before securing the back cover.

    • To reinstall the back cover:

    • Align the top edge of the frame to the back cover and ensure that the top clips slip into place.

    • Squeeze along the long edges of the phone to snap the remaining clips into place.

  8. Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the battery connector from its socket, located above the top right corner of the battery pack. Bend the connector away from the socket to prevent accidental contact.
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the battery connector from its socket, located above the top right corner of the battery pack.

    • Bend the connector away from the socket to prevent accidental contact.

    • 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.

  9. Remove the 3 mm Phillips screw securing the cable bracket. Remove the cable bracket.
    • Remove the 3 mm Phillips screw securing the cable bracket.

    • Remove the cable bracket.

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  11. Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the interconnect flex cable from the motherboard, which is located above the battery. Repeat the process to disconnect the daughterboard flex cable from the motherboard. Repeat the process to disconnect the daughterboard flex cable from the motherboard.
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the interconnect flex cable from the motherboard, which is located above the battery.

    • Repeat the process to disconnect the daughterboard flex cable from the motherboard.

  12. Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the interconnect flex cable from the daughterboard, which is located below the battery. Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the interconnect flex cable from the daughterboard, which is located below the battery.
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the interconnect flex cable from the daughterboard, which is located below the battery.

  13. Remove the interconnect flex cable. Carefully bend the still-attached daughterboard flex cable away from the battery.
    • Remove the interconnect flex cable.

    • Carefully bend the still-attached daughterboard flex cable away from the battery.

  14. Use the opening tool to push any adhesive tape holding the battery to the edge of the plastic frame. There should be at least one on each battery side. Be careful not to puncture the battery pack with the tool.
    • Use the opening tool to push any adhesive tape holding the battery to the edge of the plastic frame. There should be at least one on each battery side.

    • Be careful not to puncture the battery pack with the tool.

  15. Peel the clear pull tab up from the battery.
    • Peel the clear pull tab up from the battery.

  16. Brace the phone frame against the table. Using a strong, steady force, pull the clear pull tab upwards until the battery loosens from its recess. If you are having a hard time, apply some high concentration (over 90%) isopropyl alcohol along the battery seam to help weaken the adhesive.
    • Brace the phone frame against the table.

    • Using a strong, steady force, pull the clear pull tab upwards until the battery loosens from its recess.

    • If you are having a hard time, apply some high concentration (over 90%) isopropyl alcohol along the battery seam to help weaken the adhesive.

    • Swing the battery completely out of its recess and pull off of any remaining adhesive.

    • Remove the battery and any remaining adhesive residue on the frame.

    • Do not reuse the battery after it has been removed. Reusing a battery that is bent or otherwise stressed is a potential safety hazard.

    • If your replacement battery did not come with a pull tab, you can transfer the old tab to the new battery to help with subsequent replacements.

    • While installing a new battery, temporarily connect the battery to the phone to ensure proper battery alignment.

    • To install a new battery onto an existing frame, remove some adhesive strips from a pre-cut adhesive card, or cut some strips from a roll of Tesa tape, and stick them in the highlighted area.

    • If you are installing a battery onto a new screen and digitizer assembly, be sure to peel off the orange adhesive liner to expose the battery adhesive for the new battery.

  17. Slide the point of a spudger underneath the antenna interconnect cable located at the bottom left corner of the motherboard. Pry up and disconnect the antenna interconnect cable.
    • Slide the point of a spudger underneath the antenna interconnect cable located at the bottom left corner of the motherboard.

    • Pry up and disconnect the antenna interconnect cable.

  18. Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the display connector from its socket on the motherboard. Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the display connector from its socket on the motherboard.
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the display connector from its socket on the motherboard.

  19. Remove the seven Phillips screws securing the motherboard to the frame:
    • Remove the seven Phillips screws securing the motherboard to the frame:

    • Four 3 mm black screws

    • Three 2.9 mm silver screws

    • Some of these screws may be covered by stickers. Remove the stickers to access the screws.

  20. Slide the flat end of a spudger underneath the top left corner of the motherboard. Twist the spudger and pry up to release the motherboard from its recess.
    • Slide the flat end of a spudger underneath the top left corner of the motherboard.

    • Twist the spudger and pry up to release the motherboard from its recess.

  21. Remove the motherboard.
    • Remove the motherboard.

    • During reinstallation, be careful not to trap any flex cables or antenna cables underneath the motherboard.

    • Try not to tear the black tape pieces so that you can reuse them during re-assembly. If you do tear the tape, replace them with pieces of electrical tape.

    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and remove the black tape covering the volume buttons on the right edge of the phone.

    • Repeat the process with the black tape covering the power button on the left edge of the phone.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to gently push the volume button board away from the frame.

    • If the volume button board begins to bend significantly, stop and pry from a different angle.

    • Continue prying until you loosen the volume button board from the frame.

    • To reinstall the volume button board, cut a small piece of adhesive from the pre-cut adhesive card or a roll of Tesa tape, and use it to stick the board back onto the frame.

    • Use the point of a spudger to pry and loosen the power button from the left edge of the frame.

    • To reinstall the power button, cut a small piece of adhesive from the pre-cut adhesive card or a roll of Tesa tape, and use it to stick the button back onto the frame.

  22. Squeeze the tweezer tips together and insert the point underneath the rectangular contact pad near the top left edge of the frame. Pry upwards to loosen the contact pad from the frame.
    • Squeeze the tweezer tips together and insert the point underneath the rectangular contact pad near the top left edge of the frame.

    • Pry upwards to loosen the contact pad from the frame.

  23. Lift the volume flex cable upwards from its position, removing it from its groove. Remove the volume and power button assembly.
    • Lift the volume flex cable upwards from its position, removing it from its groove.

    • Remove the volume and power button assembly.

    • If you are transferring the assembly to a new screen and digitizer, remove the blue adhesive liner on the replacement frame and press the cable onto the exposed adhesive.

Conclusion

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

Repair didn’t go as planned? Check out our OnePlus 3 Answers community for troubleshooting help.

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Arthur Shi

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