Introduction

Use this guide to replace the sensor cable containing the front-facing camera, microphone, ambient sensors, and the earpiece speaker contact pad, in your iPhone 5s.

Parts

No parts required.

  • This step requires removing the front facing camera and sensor cable from your front panel assembly.

  • The front facing camera and sensor cable is adhered to the display assembly with mild adhesive.

  • Using an iOpener to soften the adhesive will help safely remove it. Follow our iOpener instructions to use it.

If you just want to get underneath the LCD plate, e.g. to clean water/drinks that got in there, skip to step 34. There's no need to peel off those connectors or use the iOpener heat. Here's a photo: http://imgur.com/AKlFWed

Dan Dascalescu - Reply

In my case, my front facing camera was just foggy, and I suspected dust had got in there (was correct in the end). In this step I had to remove the shield (which you can see still attached in Step 16), which is over the camera itself. It was then possible to gently lift the camera out of it's socket and clean.

Robert Colvin - Reply

Robert -You were able to lift the camera just by itself? I would think the cable doesn't have any extra slack to allow the camera to move without detaching the cable on one end.

Paul Astrachan -

Quick tip: if you can't afford/wait for/don't want the iOpener, filling a small portion of an ankle cut cotton sock with rice (to about the size of a golf ball), tying it closed, and putting it in the microwave for about 25-30 seconds can work just as well!

ndauphin583 - Reply

I used a cherry stone pillow to heat up the display. I though it could be nearly the same as the iOpener one. It worked out very well

Denis Kiesel - Reply

Using the edge of a set of tweezers or a metal spudger, gently pry the earpiece speaker contact cable up, to separate this portion of the camera and sensor cable from the adhesive below.
  • Using the edge of a set of tweezers or a metal spudger, gently pry the earpiece speaker contact cable up, to separate this portion of the camera and sensor cable from the adhesive below.

  • Only pry directly under the earpiece speaker contacts—there are sensors and microchips that can be damaged by prying elsewhere.

People, we carefull while removing, IFIXIT guys are not being aware of putting in the guide about the really easy way you can brick the cable. from the contacts down there is a sensor that will come loose easily from the cable if not pryed up! i dont know why they didnt put this HUGE in the guide.

Alma - Reply

Hernan,

I have bricked two of these cables now. Can you give me a step by step approach to removing the proximity sensor cable....I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I insert a flathead screwdriver underneath the part of the cable that doubles back and lift from there. What do you recommend?

Thank you,

sachock - Reply

I got stuck on this step for a while. The cable itself is really thin and I thought it had a piece of plastic underneath it but this is actually part of the display assembly and not the cable.

warren5236 - Reply

Yeah, I kept applying more heat only to realize the same thing. The gold contacts are sitting on a very thin flexible plastic strip that you need to peel up.

jonl -

  • Use the point of a spudger to lift the ambient light sensor and proximity sensor out of their recess in the display assembly.

  • There is a small, square plastic and metal holder for the proximity sensor. This holder is essential for the proximity sensor to function correctly.

  • If replacing the proximity sensor make sure that the holder remains adhered to the back of the display. If it comes off with the old proximity sensor, remove it from the old sensor and use a tiny bit of adhesive to re-attach it to the back of the display.

This step doesn't give complete information.

The proximity sensor is adhered to the frame and must be loosened CAREFULLY and SEPARATELY before applying any pressure to the ribbon itself. It is extremely easy to tear the sensor from the ribbon, meaning when you're on a call with the phone next to your face, any touch will "press" an on-screen button. Look up images of these components to see exactly where they are placed and what they look like.

mikemckinnon - Reply

Hello! I dont know why but I cant make the proximity sensor work. My front camera is working... I don't know what i'm doing wrong, can you help me with that?

jesusbe -

Under the proximity sensor, there is an little white sticker.

You have to put this on to the new screen,

otherwise the proximity sensor will not work properly.

To get it off, try to heat the spot (for example with the iOpener).

FaKlein - Reply

Yep, brilliant piece of advice. I would have missed the white diffusing paper if not for this comment. Thanks!

jonl -

Thanks, I would have miss that one !

K8L -

thank you! this is a HUUUUGE note.

palatucci -

proximity sensor holder, the one with the half metal square should be centered on the two small translucent openings of the front panel otherwise it doesn't work. Mine was misaligned I had to remove and glue it again to make it work.

osmanalpay - Reply

The bracket for the proximity sensor is critical. some more detailed pictures and guidance would be helpful here. After attempting to replace the screen with a new screen that did not come with the proximity sensor, buying a new proximity sensor bracket, etc. I finally gave up and bought another screen that included the front-facing camera and proximity sensor pre-installed.

Jay Seaman - Reply

also, make sure you get the tiny rubber gasket that the prox sensor fits into snugly against the display. when i popped the sensor off, the gasket stayed behind, and i couldn't get the sensor to fit properly in the new display. i checked the old one again and saw the little rubber gasket that contours to the front camera lens opening on the display assembly. pulled it off with tweezers, and used it to get the prox sensor properly seated on the new display. i wish i'd taken a picture of it, but, well, my phone was in pieces in front of me.

palatucci - Reply

I recently replaced a broken screen. The screen had shattered in the earphone area, and since the phone was new to me I didn't know about the camera clip and proximity sensor holder. These parts are just a few dollars online. I believe they are essential. My front camera has visible drift and the proximity sensor doesn't work.

saifalgianfar - Reply

I also had to remove the tiny black rubber gasket and move it to the new display. This was not easy. I also had lots of trouble getting the proximity sensor back in place during reassembly. I seemed to have another connector near the camera that had to be reconnected, but isn’t mentioned in this guide. More pictures on a white phone might make it easier to see all the tiny parts in this area.

smacdvm - Reply

  • Use the flat end of a spudger to gently peel the front-facing camera portion of the cable away from the display assembly.

When reassembling, I found an unknown, small black plastic piece on my work surface. It wasn't anything that I'd removed in any step. It had a curved section and a small tab, the whole thing was less that 1/4". Nothing in any of the instructions mentions it.

I finally figured out it was supposed to go just to the right (while looking at the open back of the screen unit) of the hole where the camera fits. The semi circle hugs the side of the camera when you reinstall.

This had me going nuts for about 30 minutes. Hopefully this info can help you avoid that.

Mike Yagi - Reply

That rubber piece should be put back on the ambient light sensor (pink, purple). Like you said, it hugs against the front camera.

Didier Daniel -

I gotta say, reassembling this assembly it very fiddly and painstaking. There are lots of little parts that need to fit into other little parts while engaging yet other little parts. Seriously, and exploded diagram of all these little parts would be helpful! I took my time, used a very bright light and a magnifying hood while disassembling and reassembling and it really helped.

Sheldon Carpenter - Reply

The small black piece is part of the front facing camera housing, can I also point out to make sure that you remove the clear plastic camera lens housing from the old screen too, and make sure that this and the small rubber housing are placed onto the new screen as these are what hold the lens, the microphone and the ambient light in place. There maybe a small amount of glue around the lens housing which needs to be removed with a sharp blade, please take care when doing this.

Roberto Enrieu - Reply

Thanks Mike and Didier, great help !

tahiruysal - Reply

What is that thing for? I replaced the section for my brother and his cheap repair part came without that thing to stick on and it seems to work…

Jokl92 - Reply

  • If you are reattaching the same shield plate to a new display, there is no need to peel the cable assembly off the LCD shield plate. Skip this step.

  • Carefully peel the cable assembly off of the LCD shield plate to remove it from the display.

  • Be careful not to grab the digitizer cable while peeling up the front facing camera and sensor assembly cable.

I would skip Step 24. Why would you remove the very delicate cable assembly from the LCD shield plate only to reattach it to the same shield plate after fastening the shield plate to your new display assembly...

kevindfrye - Reply

Indeed. I just did one today and realized it would have been fine to leave it. Better even.

Paul Jerome -

Only minor thing: It's step 25 you should skip. I replaced my wife's last night and skipped it. Skipping Step 25 was definitely a wise thing to do, since you're simply putting it right back on the same piece once you put the phone back together.

pbpope -

Does anyone know what the copper sticker is for? I accidentally ripped mine apart trying to get it off, it tore easier than paper, being that I didn't even notice I did it until I noticed it was ripped. I also thought to myself, why the heck did I remove this thing when I didn't need to. I've been trying to google it. it might be "iPhone 5S Rear Camera Cooling Copper Adhesive Sticker" but there is no reference as to how big that is. Anyway, I assembled it as normal and the phone works perfectly fine. So any help would be appreciated.

aaron - Reply

I got the same problem with the copper sticker,it has been tore! Is anybody can explain what does it for and where can i get it?!! Because the phone not working properly. Any help would be appreciated.

Mark - Reply

Didn`t tear it , but there is no use in removing it since reusing LCD protector later, !@#$%^ me off. :-)

eriwolde - Reply

Why remove the copper sticker? Why not leave it attached since your are going to reuse LCD protector. Remove the home button before the camera and light sensor and save the LCD protector for last with everything attached to it.

Marshall - Reply

I thirdly will ask for what the copper sticker is for!? I thought some kind of grounding?? I tore mine and the front facing camera is fuzzy now. It looks grainy. Almost like it isn't grounded good. ANY advice here would be appreciated.

Thanks

Kent - Reply

Agreed. Skip step 25. I can't fathom why it's in these otherwise excellent instructions.

leanit - Reply

Agreed - you don't need to do this step

kevinhay - Reply

Also skipped this step.

jonl - Reply

I tore mine also...wish I would have come here and read these helpful tips first.

Michael Huber - Reply

The copper sticker is some kind of ground connection, and is therefore probably very important given the frequencies present inside the phone, and that the phone is itself a radio transmitter and receiver. I too followed the instructions and removed it but I was super careful and didn't tear it, and was able to reattach it. I used the spudger to smooth it and ensure that it makes good contact with the shield. It didn't even occur to me to skip the removal step! But I agree with that advice.

Mark Cousins - Reply

Replacement Front Camera and Sensor Cable didn't have such sticker. Where this sticker should be reattached?

fedor -

step 32:while removing that piece on the LCD shield plate , I sheared that cable which is connected to the shield plate, so I skiped it and completed fixing, after that I found out that my iphone is not working .. I don't understand the problem from this cable or from the new screen ..

please help ..

email: maamoon95@hotmail.com

maamoon95 - Reply

I phone 5s. During peeling off the shield plate from the LCD plate i damage it. What parts should i buy to replace this shield plate? lsanevich@gmail.com

Sanevich - Reply

I did the same as the above to people what part do i need to replace to fix this. I think this is causing my touch portion to not work. My email is camgoins23@gmail.com

Cameron Goins - Reply

I also ripped the copper cable. However when I booted the repaired phone without it, it wouldn’t boot. It was stuck in a loop. To fix this and it worked for me, hold the home button and power button until the phone display turns on again

Jon Nugent - Reply

What is the sticky plastic that I am peeling off called I tore that. Can I replace it?

Tabatha Hurley - Reply

Conclusion

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

9 other people completed this guide.

Sam Lionheart

Member since: 10/18/2012

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One Comment

Be great if someone could put together some *reassembly* instructions for this. Particularly the section on the camera and sensors area.

Phil Thomas - Reply

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