Introduction

Replace a broken click wheel to regain control of your Nano.

  1. Insert the edge of an iPod opening tool into the gap between the outer case and the top bezel.
    • Insert the edge of an iPod opening tool into the gap between the outer case and the top bezel.

    • Pry the top bezel off the adhesive securing it to the display retainer.

    • At this point the hold switch slider is free and may fall. Be careful not to lose it.

    Be sure to use the smaller iPod opening tool and press it in FIRMLY in order to get enough leverage to get under the bezel and pry it off. Adhesive is very strong, so don't be afraid to use a little bit of force.

    captcarl13 - Reply

  2. Remove the hold switch slider from the top of the Nano.
    • Remove the hold switch slider from the top of the Nano.

    Add Comment

    • Remove the two angled Phillips screws from the two corners of the display retainer.

    • These screw heads are extremely small and easily stripped.

    Be sure to use a good phillips #00 screwdriver here, or you run the risk of stripping the very small screws.

    iTronics Repair - Reply

    The screws were covered with the adhesive. They were very difficult to remove.

    I RUINED the hold switch! I accidentally broke the cord. 0_o The directions were kind of unclear.

    bodieg - Reply

    Quote from bodieg:

    The screws were covered with the adhesive. They were very difficult to remove.

    I RUINED the hold switch! I accidentally broke the cord. 0_o The directions were kind of unclear.

    Step 12 is misleading as it does not show to remove the screen from the metal frame.

    bodieg - Reply

    Sorry guys, but the explanations are really bad. Go onto youtube and watch it. This site misses heaps of steps. I just broke my iPod :(

    S Mile - Reply

    Like others have noted, screws are covered in adhesive and difficult to remove. Take extreme care to not strip the heads. I'd suggest using a very small flathead to scrape some of the adhesive off before attempting to remove the screws.

    captcarl13 - Reply

    a 1mm slotted screwdriver will work in a pinch, but be carefull and make sure you get the angle just right

    andrew - Reply

    The tools list doesn't say you need an iPod opener to, nor does the parts list day you'll need a new click wheel, though this is called ”...click wheel REPLACEMENT​”. I don't get the feeling these are very trustworthy instructions, ESPECIALLY after having read other comments. I'd say BEWARE, and look at a variety of resources to get a much more comprehensive picture.

    Skyfire - Reply

    Actually, the screws are not aligned with the edges of the iPod, which means that you must not try to unscrew them vertically. If you do there is a good chance that you damage the head of the screws. Thus look carefully with a torch to see at what angle you have to unscrew them.

    Fabrice Sarelli - Reply

    Actually, the screws are not aligned with the edges of the iPod. That means that if you try to unscrew them vertically, there is a good chance that you damage the head of the screws. Thus, look carefully with a torch to see exactly at what angle you need to unscrew them safelly.

    Fabrice Sarelli - Reply

    Everything was good up to this point. I could barely see the screws and ended up stripping them. Just gave up at this point and threw the

    Ipod on the ground and stomped on it.

    gonzalo gonzalez - Reply

    I agree with several other contributors here, that a properly sized flat screwdriver *that is not worn* held at the correct angle is a better option than a phillips because the screw head is filled in with adhesive tape. BEWARE: The screws on the top and bottom outer edges are not parallel to the case. They are offset by 25 or 30 degrees, with the tips of the screws pointing out towards the outer edge of the case with respect to where the heads are. Use something to get magnification so you can really see how your screwdriver fits, and whether it’s engaged. An undamaged and properly sized standard screwdriver held in the appropriate orientation will readily remove the top and bottom side screws without stripping and with very little force. Feel for engagement — press the screwdriver in just enough to get past the adhesive. Not much torque or pressure is required — just a good fit. You must have the right tools to do this job successfully, and look under high magnification. Align your screwdriver!

    Barry L. Kramer - Reply

    • Insert an iPod opening tool between the outer case and the display retainer.

    • Use the tool to slide the display assembly out of the case slightly.

    • Do not rotate the display retainer about the top edge of the display, as it is attached to a thin steel bracket that is easily broken.

    • Do not forcefully remove the display retainer, as the hold switch cable is liable to snap.

    I found I had to gently pry the retainer open with a craft knife (xacto knife?) as the plastic opener tool was too blunt or soft to get any purchase...

    aaaidan - Reply

    My nano had a "swollen" battery which wedged the LCD between battery and front glass. As a result, this step didn't work, I couldn't pull out the TFT and botched case, TFT and TFT frame until it came out. Telltale sign was a display that looked like there is a water between glass and LCD. The other nanos I've opened didnt have this problem and came out effortlessly, so if yours is stuck, don't feel bad, there's not much you can do!

    oliver - Reply

    • Slide the display out of the Nano. It will move about .5" until the display data cable limits its travel.

    • Do not put unnecessary tension on the very thin display data cable.

    I have several problems in taking it out. I don't know if it is dued to the glue that the iPod has inside. Could you help me. Thanks

    Hector - Reply

    instructions say 5" (inches) it really means 5mm

    pedalsandpicks - Reply

    Quote from pedalsandpicks:

    instructions say 5" (inches) it really means 5mm

    If you're gonna repair the way you read it will get you nowhere: the text reads .(as point)5 inch. Which is about 12mm.

    Frank veenis - Reply

    The glass panel can be very difficult to get moving requiring a lot of downward force. I have found good old fashioned spit to be very useful here.Just lick both thumbs and rub on fingers until just sticky enough.

    This willl move the glass.

    Pete Green - Reply

    • With the display pulled out of the case as much as possible, gently press on the lower edge of the glass panel until it pops in slightly (~1 mm).

    • Use your thumbs on the lower edge of the glass panel to slide the glass down and into the case until the top edge pops up out of the case.

    I found the adhesive (or fit) quite strong. Pushing on the bottom part of the glass created a small gap at the top, which I could fit a craft knife (xacto blade) into. This made it easier to carefully lever the glass out for me.

    aaaidan - Reply

    I slipped and broke the LCD. So !#^&@@ off. What an absolute bastard of a job!

    lf - Reply

    What is the "rear edge" of the nano? Can this be a bit clearer please? Maybe a video of this step would be a good idea. Then again, since Apple owns this site, I guess that's not gonna happen, is it?

    lf - Reply

    I don't see "rear edge" anywhere in the instructions. I do see "lower edge" a few times and it looks pretty clear to me. I did this repair a couple years ago without much trouble.

    Rene Jeddore -

    You could do all these steps and really mess up your nano. Instead of disassembling the iPod, carefully remove the remnants of the old glass which I assumed you have cracked. With the new glass in hand CAREFULLY sand one edge of the glass evenly. I used my fine grinder on my dremel tool. After assuring a snug fit I removed the adhesive and installed the glass. Looks great and functional and I didn't ruin my iPod in the process. And when I said sand one edge I mean one of the edges that has a "lip" on it. The other lip you can slide right in and push gently down for a nice fit. Do not remove the adhesive until you are sure of a good fit. This is a quick fix for those who are too queezy to take apart their device.

    Jim - Reply

    • Lift the glass panel out of the Nano.

    • Before reinstalling the glass panel, be sure to clean the face of the display and the inside of the panel as any dust or fingerprints will be annoyingly visible when the Nano is turned on.

    Add Comment

    • Use the edge of an iPod opening tool to separate the hold switch from the adhesive securing it to the top edge of the display.

    • The hold switch ribbon cable is extremely fragile and easily broken. Work gently.

    Be extremely careful while doing anything around the screen. The slightest bit of pressure in the wrong direction and you will be replacing the screen along with the battery. I speak from experience.

    Brian Campbell - Reply

    • Peel back the Kapton tape covering the display data cable socket.

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    • While holding the light colored socket down with one finger, use the tip of a spudger to flip the ZIF cable lock up toward the bottom of the Nano.

    Continue to carefully hold the socket down while doing the next step. If the cable come off at the wrong angle it can pull the connector away from the board at the base of the screen.

    Brian Campbell - Reply

    • Use an iPod opening tool to peel the display data cable off the thin metal plate attached to the display.

    • Be careful not to rip the display data cable.

    Some of the ribbon is inside the white housing with the lock on, it needs to slide out of the housing. I didn't notice this because everything is so small - be sure not to slide your pry tool right through it.

    Martin Mccaffrey - Reply

    The display can actually be pulled out slightly further than it initially seems. When you gently pull it up, you'll experience some resistance, which I initially thought indicated it was as far as it could go. But an extra bit of (still very gentle) force can pull it up a few more millimetres, which means the opening tool can fit.

    Also, it seemed to me to actually be helpful to lever the cable out of its port before removing the ribbon from the adhesive on the plate, since this allowed better access to the adhesive with the opening tool.

    aaaidan - Reply

    As commenter Brian Campbell wrote on the previous step, it is important to hold down the white cable socket while carefully working the cable loose from the adhesive. Even a small amount of upward force on the display data cable while it is still inside the socket could be enough to tear the socket off the board. Try not to pry up - use a thin, new (undamaged) opening tool to get under the ribbon cable and keep it parallel and as close to the metal plate as possible. It needs to be worked *under* the data cable, not to pry, as the cable just slides straight out the bottom of the white socket.

    Barry L. Kramer - Reply

    • Pull the display out of the Nano, minding the hold switch cable that may get caught.

    • As you pull the display out of the case, be careful not to break the hold switch cable.

    WATCH THE HOLD SWITCH!! Be *sure* it is disconnected before pulling out the screen! (I've made that mistake too many times :P)

    iTronics Repair - Reply

    disconnected from what?

    I never saw where it was connected to!

    Fred Rodolf -

    By "caught" do you mean glued to the case? Mine was, and I cant tell how I could possibly have removed the screen without it breaking. Luckily my Ipod was already broken, but now its even more broke because of this guide.

    swd311000 - Reply

    • Insert an iPod opening tool between the bottom bezel and the dock connector.

    • Separate the bottom bezel from the adhesive securing it to the Nano and set it aside.

    Follow this picture exactly, inserting the tool in the dock port to pry off the bottom plastic piece-- if you pry on the edges you may bend or break this plastic piece.

    iTronics Repair - Reply

    • Remove the three Phillips screws along the bottom of the Nano.

    • These screw heads are extremely small and easily stripped.

    • The slightly longer of the three screws belongs in the middle.

    In my case, the screw on the left was impossible to remove, it looked like it was unscrewing but was not ... I could not proceed any further.

    Any advice?

    Gauthier Scavée - Reply

    If a screw is stripped, you need to somehow get another under the head to apply pressure to unscrew it (while unscrewing it). It’s an unpleasant operation where you have to apply pressure to keep the screwdriver pressed into the head while prying outward so the threads back out. Try not to strip the head, and try not to strip the threads, while helping the threads to catch.

    If this happens, you’ll need to replace the screw. It’s not a good idea to reinstall a stripped screw.

    Barry L. Kramer - Reply

    • Use an iPod opening tool to pry the aluminum dock bezel out of the Nano.

    • The dock bezel is very thin cast aluminum. To avoid breaking it, do not excessively flex it during removal.

    I found using the opening tool to wedge up (toward the case) from between the metal bit (which is a plate) and the dock socket was the easiest way to do this.

    aaaidan - Reply

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to separate the battery from the adhesive securing it to the outer case.

    • The lithium polymer battery used in the Nano is very flexible. Try not to deform it excessively while separating it from the outer case.

    • Use the flat end of a spudger to push the logic board assembly and battery slightly out of the bottom of the Nano. Stop once it pops out a little bit.

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    • Use the edge of an iPod opening tool to peel the click wheel ribbon cable and its ZIF socket off the dock connector.

    No, don’t do step 17 without reading step 18 and 19 first! Step 17 is very misleading read on its own, you will break the connector. You need to read setps 17, 18 and 19 before starting step 17.

    John beGood - Reply

    Pay heed to the word “peel”. Don’t pry. Work the tool slowly under the connector, keeping it as close to the board as possible. Don’t pry. The unit I repaired also had a small piece of Kapton tape, the corner of which can be lifted with tweezers.

    Barry L. Kramer - Reply

    • Use the edge of an iPod opening tool to flip the ZIF cable lock up toward the headphone jack.

    you might want to put a note for the delicacy of this cable on Step 16... because the cable can break as you slide the logic board assembly out :o(

    juliforsyth - Reply

    • Use a pair of tweezers to slide the click wheel ribbon cable out of its socket.

    • Before proceeding, be sure that both the click wheel ribbon cable socket and its cable are freed from the adhesive securing them to the dock connector and logic board.

    • Peel back the cable on both ends!

    You forgot to mention that the click wheel ribbon cable needs to be detached from the adhesive holding it to the main board. Now my ipod is really broken. Please review your instructions to include all the steps!

    Mike - Reply

    Quote from Mike:

    You forgot to mention that the click wheel ribbon cable needs to be detached from the adhesive holding it to the main board. Now my iPod is really broken. Please review your instructions to include all the steps!

    Mine too, but the iPod was already toast :D, so now i have a stylish 8GB External SSD

    Chris Green - Reply

    There has got to be a trick to it, or something I am missing when putting it back together. I can't get the click wheel ribbon to go back in properly. It keeps getting bunched up and sticking out the end. It is long enough to stick out so you can detach it from the other ribbon, so is it supposed to fold up inside when you push it in?

    reedc1 - Reply

    Does anyone know of a source of mainboards for this Nano. Preferably in the European Community or China? Every other part seems to be available but this one.

    I've even found dud mainboards for sale on the U.S. Ebay site. What on earth would anyone do with a faulty Maiboard?

    Pete Green - Reply

    TOOLS: I've ben reading a few commments regarding difficulty wth the screws. I was also told the Phillips screwdriver isn't a true Phillips but has an offset leg. Not having seen one I can't comment with any certainty.

    However,being an improvisor,I've been doing very well with a couple of watchmakers screwdrivers.The flat blades are about 1mm across and made of hard blued steel. The sharp corners dig into the screw and push any glue out of the way. A phillips won't push though glue. I used to buy these in a small plastic box - usuallly on street markets.

    Pete Green - Reply

    Well... beware, this part is tricky ! the click-wheel ribbon stuck and get cut when pulling the battery+motherboard out. Too bad :(

    Anyway it was "last chance" for my 7-years old blue nano, battery wasn't providing more than 15 minutes autonomy.

    Too bad, it was my fist iPod and I liked it much than my new 7th gen'.

    Playoff - Reply

    Your photos are showing the wrong cable being removed from the zip lock connector and freed, you are not showing that the cable coming from the click wheel is disconnected and freed. Your photo is showing that the cable from the logic board is disconnected and freed. This means that when the logic board is removed, the cable to the click wheel breaks. Your text and warnings are correct, but your photos are misleading. Very bad compared to the rest of the instructions in steps 1 - 16, which are excellent and better than anything else I found. A shame to spoil it with this step. It is not sufficient to warn in the text that “both ends of the cable need to be freed”, you have to add a photo showing the click wheel cable has been disconnected and freed (and what do you mean by both ends of the cable need to be freed - there are TWO cables, one to the logic board, one to the click wheel and you are showing the wrong cable to the logic board as being freed.

    John beGood - Reply

    • Pull the logic board assembly out of the outer case, minding the hold switch and click wheel cables that may get caught.

    • When reassembling, ensure the click wheel cable is toward the front of the Nano and not in the grooves on the side. If it is in the groove you will probably cut it while sliding the logic board into place.

    My click wheel cable got sliced reinserting the logic board, so make sure your click wheel cable is on the front (like the instructions say), and not on the side. It would help if there were explicit reassembly instructions and not just "do these in the reverse order", so that special reassembly notes stand out more.

    Randall Theobald - Reply

    Instead of pulling it out, I found it easier to use the display hole to push on the top part of the battery straight down toward the bottom of the unit. This gives you far greater control of the battery/mainboard removal operation; you can push it out (down) in tiny increments and confirm no cables are caught as you do it. Pulling can cause a sudden, catastrophic release and if something is caught, it’s destroyed.

    Barry L. Kramer - Reply

    • Press down firmly around the perimeter of the click wheel to separate it from the adhesive securing it to the outer case.

    • This requires a good amount of force. Work slowly.

    • It may be helpful to use an edged tool to separate the adhesive from the click wheel on the inside of the Nano while pressing it down from the outside.

    • Remove the click wheel from the inside of the Nano.

    • Be careful not to let the click-wheel slide on the metal plate supporting it, as it will break the flat cable. Apply force perpendicular to the click-wheel.

    it's a good idea to use a spudger inside to loosen it, but make sure not to slip too far or you may scrape the outside of the clickwheel.

    iTronics Repair - Reply

    Be careful not to let the click-wheel slide on the metal plate supporting it, as it will break the flat cable. Apply force perpendicular to the click-wheel.

    Jorge Barquinha - Reply

    How is this a guide to replacing the click wheel? Everything you want to know about how to get it out, but not a word about how you "reverse the process" to get it back in again, especially what adhesive to use or how to make sure the metal plate ends up in the right place and doesn't inhibit the motion of the click wheel itself. If anyone has actually done this repair successfully, please post something!

    Walter Dean - Reply

Conclusion

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

47 other people completed this guide.

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