Introduction

Use this guide to replace the home button ribbon cable containing the mechanical home button. To replace the plastic button cover, follow the home button guide.

If your display glass is cracked, keep further breakage contained and prevent bodily harm during your repair by taping the glass. Lay overlapping strips of clear packing tape over the iPhone's display until the whole face is covered. This will keep glass shards contained and provide structural integrity when prying and lifting the display.
  • If your display glass is cracked, keep further breakage contained and prevent bodily harm during your repair by taping the glass.

  • Lay overlapping strips of clear packing tape over the iPhone's display until the whole face is covered.

    • This will keep glass shards contained and provide structural integrity when prying and lifting the display.

  • Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from any glass shaken free during the repair.

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Before you proceed, discharge your iPhone battery below 25%. A charged lithium-ion battery can catch fire and/or explode if accidentally punctured.
  • Before you proceed, discharge your iPhone battery below 25%. A charged lithium-ion battery can catch fire and/or explode if accidentally punctured.

  • Power off your iPhone before beginning disassembly.

  • Remove the two 3.8 mm P2 Pentalobe screws on either side of the Lightning connector.

to keep screws in order, buy some double sided tape and then affix the tape in small pieces to a sheet of paper. As you take the screws out, you can affix them to the tape (which is on the paper) and then write a description of what they are and where they go. quick, cheap and easy.

V. Jones - Reply

  • The next two steps demonstrate using the iSclack, a great tool for safely opening the iPhone 5c that we recommend for anyone doing more than one repair on an iPhone 5, 5s, or 5c. If you aren't using the iSclack, skip to Step 5.

  • Close the handle on the iSclack, opening the suction-cup jaws.

  • Place the bottom of your iPhone in between the suction cups, against the plastic depth gauge.

    • The top suction cup should rest just above the home button.

  • Open the handles to close the jaws of the iSclack. Center the suction cups and press them firmly onto the top and bottom of the iPhone.

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Hold onto your iPhone securely and close the handle of the iSclack to separate the suction cups, pulling the front panel up from the rear case. The iSclack is designed to safely open your iPhone just enough to separate the pieces, but not enough to damage any cables.
  • Hold onto your iPhone securely and close the handle of the iSclack to separate the suction cups, pulling the front panel up from the rear case.

  • The iSclack is designed to safely open your iPhone just enough to separate the pieces, but not enough to damage any cables.

  • Peel the two suction cups off your iPhone.

  • Skip the next three steps and continue on to Step 8.

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Press a suction cup onto the screen, just above the home button.
  • Press a suction cup onto the screen, just above the home button.

  • Be sure the cup is completely on the screen to get a tight seal.

cool i diden't now

Ben Lewis Murray Dyne - Reply

very, very difficult to get a tight seal on tape. I removed the tape and still can't get a tight seal.

bromanmoon - Reply

Make sure the suction cup is firmly attached to the front panel assembly. While holding the iPhone down with one hand, pull up on the suction cup to slightly separate the front panel assembly from the rear case.
  • Make sure the suction cup is firmly attached to the front panel assembly.

  • While holding the iPhone down with one hand, pull up on the suction cup to slightly separate the front panel assembly from the rear case.

  • Take your time and apply firm, constant force. The display assembly is a much tighter fit than most devices.

  • With a plastic opening tool, begin to gently pry the rear case down, away from the display assembly, while you pull up with the suction cup.

  • There are several clips attaching the front panel assembly to the rear case, so you may need to use a combination of the suction cup and plastic opening tool to free the front panel assembly.

Cover a badly cracked screen with a strip of packing tape first to get a better seal for your suction cup. If it's a super crappy suction cup, moistening it a bit will help as well.

Dan - Reply

Great Idea! I have been doing this for awhile and have never thought to share!

duston -

Pull the plastic nub to release the vacuum seal on the suction cup.
  • Pull the plastic nub to release the vacuum seal on the suction cup.

  • Remove the suction cup from the display assembly.

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Lift the home button end of the front panel up to gain access to the connectors near the top of the phone. Open the display to about a 90º angle, and lean it against something to keep it propped up while you're working on the phone.
  • Lift the home button end of the front panel up to gain access to the connectors near the top of the phone.

  • Open the display to about a 90º angle, and lean it against something to keep it propped up while you're working on the phone.

    • In a pinch, you can use an unopened canned beverage to hold the display.

  • Add a rubber band to keep the display securely in place while you work. This prevents undue strain on the display cables.

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Remove the two 1.6 mm Phillips #000 screws securing the metal battery connector bracket to the logic board.
  • Remove the two 1.6 mm Phillips #000 screws securing the metal battery connector bracket to the logic board.

These screws are very tiny and hard to manipulate. The screwdriver is magnetic; which is great to take them out, but makes it hard to put the screws back in, as the screwdriver pulls them from the hole. I solved this problem by using the pointed end of the spudger to put a tiny drop of Elmer's glue in the hole and then insert the screw. You can do this before putting the bracket in place if you want. Then the screw wont pull out by the magnetic driver and make lining up and fastening the screws much easier; at least for me!

Joe Shirghio - Reply

I found that you don't need to disconnect the battery... why bother doing more fiddling with annoyingly tiny screws and obstinate cable connectors when you don't actually have to? Especially when you could only end up causing more damage. As a matter of fact, the original iFixit video didn't bother to disconnect the battery either, but they've since updated the video to include battery disconnection, I guess as a "belt and braces" approach in case the repair-hero forgets to power down the phone first?

Michael Allen - Reply

Disconnecting the battery is a safety precaution, and yes it's worth doing. Even with the phone powered off, there is some danger of blowing the backlight filter fuse if you disconnect the display while the battery is connected. At that point you're no longer looking at a simple DIY repair. Even though it's possible to skip this step and still come out okay, my advice is not to risk it.

Jeff Suovanen -

Remove the metal battery connector bracket from the iPhone.
  • Remove the metal battery connector bracket from the iPhone.

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Use the flat edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector up off the logic board.
  • Use the flat edge of a spudger to pry the battery connector up off the logic board.

Why do we need to disconnect the battery?

Maria Raesch - Reply

Sorry, I missed the comments on step 9 that detail the procedure.

Maria Raesch - Reply

Instead of using a spudger, you can use your fingernails too. This is quicker and enables you to feel if you're not accidentally putting on too much pressure or lifting the connector instead of the cable.

Jona Wolff - Reply

Remove the following  Phillips #000 screws securing the front panel assembly cable bracket to the logic board:
  • Remove the following Phillips #000 screws securing the front panel assembly cable bracket to the logic board:

    • Two 1.3 mm screws

    • One 1.7 mm screw

    • One 3.25 mm screw

  • It is especially important to keep track of your screws in this step for reassembly. Accidentally using the 3.25 mm screw or the 1.7 mm screw in the bottom right hole will result in significant damage to the logic board causing the phone to no longer boot properly.

  • Be careful not to over-tighten the screws. If they don't fit easily when you are securing them, they may be the wrong size, don't force them.

In step 9: I think you are talking about the 3,25 and 1,7mm one not the 1,3 and the 1,7mm?

Siegbert Waldner - Reply

DO NOT Remove the battery, there is no need to and can cause unnecessary damage! There's a tutorial on YouTube that does it without!

Alister Malcolm - Reply

I didn't need to remove the front panel to replace the lightning connector. Just prop it up like in Step 8, then skip steps 12-16.

jacobstevens - Reply

I always put my screws in a magnet tray and place the screws in the exact position they were taken out. The magnet tray holds the screws tight in the position I put them in. No chasing on the floor looking for small screws that you brushed off the table.

Fredrick Apel - Reply

I always take a picture of the phone, print it out, then use scotch tape to tape the screws onto the picture in the location where they go. You don't lose the screws and you always know where they go for re-assembly

K Jansen - Reply

When reassembling, the screw holder that the screws screw into came off the board. Is there a way to superglue that back in?

Chandler Perez - Reply

Remove the front panel assembly cable bracket from the logic board.
  • Remove the front panel assembly cable bracket from the logic board.

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Use a plastic opening tool to disconnect the front-facing camera and sensor cable connector. Be sure to only pry up on the connector, and not on the socket on the logic board.
  • Use a plastic opening tool to disconnect the front-facing camera and sensor cable connector.

  • Be sure to only pry up on the connector, and not on the socket on the logic board.

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Use a plastic opening tool to disconnect the LCD cable connector. The LCD and Digitizer connectors are on the same cable assembly, so prying the LCD connector up should disconnect both connectors. Double check that the two cables are fully disconnected before removing the display. When reassembling your phone, the LCD cable may pop off its connector. A blank screen, or white lines on the display could be caused by a loose connection. Should this happen, reconnect the cable and power cycle your phone. The best way to power cycle your phone is to disconnect and reconnect the battery.
  • Use a plastic opening tool to disconnect the LCD cable connector.

    • The LCD and Digitizer connectors are on the same cable assembly, so prying the LCD connector up should disconnect both connectors. Double check that the two cables are fully disconnected before removing the display.

  • When reassembling your phone, the LCD cable may pop off its connector. A blank screen, or white lines on the display could be caused by a loose connection. Should this happen, reconnect the cable and power cycle your phone. The best way to power cycle your phone is to disconnect and reconnect the battery.

I replaced the broken front panel of the iPhone 5c and got the "famous white stripes" on the new screen. Reading about all kind of problems that the lcd/digitizer cable contacts may cause, I compared the cable connectors of the original Apple and the replacement part I bought online with a 35x magnifying glass. The quality difference was visible: The white description on the original part on the cable next to the connector is: 821-1784-A, while the inferior replacement part is: 821-1784-02. Check out the two numbers online and insist getting the "A" to avoid future troubles !!!

Harold Wallner - Reply

This person above is not knowledgeable. That number is a camera proxy part number, not the lcd or digitizer number. It changes with production date, both for original and aftermarket ones. A, B, D, 02, 04, 08 etc. Can all be either or.

vince -

Apple uses numerical revisions (-02) for pre-production parts, and alpha revisions (-A) for production revisions. It looks like you got a preproduction assembly, or a knock-off.

terrymccallum -

There are, in fact, three connectors in this step, not two. The front-facing camera and digitizer connector (Step 11) is really difficult to align when you put it back. Took me about 15 minutes before I succeeded.

Now I have a different problem. Everything works just dandy, EXCEPT:

Towards the bottom of the screen (in portrait) there is a horizontal line that is dead to the touch. For example, on the keyboard, I can use the spacebar, but not C V B N M, etcetera.

Three possibilities in my mind: One, when I dropped it, something else besides the glass and digitizer, etc, was damaged.

Two: I did not replace the cables correctly. This seems unlikely. They all "clicked" into place and stayed there.

Three: The digitizer supplied is faulty.

Comments? Which cable/connector could be causing this -- if it is that?

piet - Reply

Take apart, Clean Connections, Put back together.... If same problem sounds like a fault part...

duston -

When reassembling the iPhone 5c, I used the flat end of the spudger to press on the connectors and maintain them while replacing the front panel on the body of the iPhone.

The third and "deepest" connector no longer slips out of its socket, which it did before holding the whole lot with the spudger.

jimbbo - Reply

If the ESD plate covering the connectors is properly re-attached to the phone, you should not have to do this. The cover holds all the connectors in place just fine.

iBroke -

Remove the front panel assembly from the rear case.
  • Remove the front panel assembly from the rear case.

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Remove the two 1.3 mm Phillips #000 screws securing the home button bracket to the display assembly.
  • Remove the two 1.3 mm Phillips #000 screws securing the home button bracket to the display assembly.

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Use a plastic opening tool to pry the edge of the home button ribbon cable up from the display assembly. Start under the contact points on the right and work to the left.
  • Use a plastic opening tool to pry the edge of the home button ribbon cable up from the display assembly.

  • Start under the contact points on the right and work to the left.

    • Starting from the left and going right may rip your ribbon cable. The contacts are well adhered to the front panel and should be peeled up first.

    • If you have trouble sliding the plastic opening tool under the contact points, flip the tool over and gently push against the right side of the contact cable to loosen the adhesive, then try again.

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Remove the home button ribbon cable from the display assembly.
  • Remove the home button ribbon cable from the display assembly.

  • If you're installing a new home button ribbon cable, be sure to keep the metal bracket and transfer it to your new ribbon cable during reassembly.

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Conclusion

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

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3 Comments

Good instructions; I did managed to disconnect the lcd connector, but easy enough to pop back in again. No luck on getting my home button to work though - maybe the button was the thing that needed replacing.

bairandrea - Reply

This guide should be named "How To Remove The Home Button Ribbon Cable". Saying that this guide is "How To Replace..." is misleading because there are no steps that show how to install a new home button which should include how to reinstall the cable while reapplying soft adhesive. Also, steps 9-16 are not relevant to this guide. Looks like the repair tech and the web developer need to talk to each other. The web developer should have required the tech to perform a dry run of the steps posted which is a standard web development process.

jjovanw - Reply

As stated in the guide conclusion, installation/replacement is the reverse of removal. The replacement ribbon cable will already have the adhesive applied; there's no need to overcomplicate things with additional steps. Steps 9-11 are for disconnecting the battery, which is standard procedure for working on consumer electronics. Steps 12-16 can be skipped if you are comfortable working on the home button while the display is still attached, but you risk damaging your display ribbon cables if you're not careful, turning a $15 repair into a $75 repair.

Jeff Suovanen -

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