Frequently Asked Questions
What is iFixit? ¶
iFixit is the free repair manual that you can edit. We are a community of people helping each other fix stuff. Come hang out with us—you'll find a friendly, helpful bunch of people who care about things and want to make them last longer.
We are building a free repair manual for every device. That's a monumental undertaking, but we're making great progress—one photo at a time. We'd love your help!
Do you have a repair manual for X? ¶
Maybe! We have a lot of manuals. Try searching for it or browsing our manuals.
If you don't find a manual for your device, consider starting one. It's easy, and you don't have to be an expert!
Can I really fix X myself? ¶
Probably! But it depends how well your skills match the task. Every repair guide has a difficulty rating at the top that will give you some idea of what's involved. But you don't have to take that rating as gospel! Try looking through the guide ahead of time to see if it's a procedure you feel matches your skill level. And if it's completely broken now, you might not have anything to lose!
Who started iFixit? ¶
We got started by Kyle and Luke when they were engineering students wanting to make a difference. Kyle has traveled extensively studying our materials ecosystem, and talks about the problem with electronic waste in this video.
Isn't it cheaper to just buy a new one? ¶
Sometimes. But there are other costs baked into products: the energy required to manufacture it in the first place, and the environmental challenges with recycling it properly.
Many people don't know that electronics have all kinds of nasty chemicals in them. For example, the glass in a typical CRT has about ten pounds of lead in it. Most flat panel displays contain significant amounts of mercury. Plastic cases come coated with fire-resistant chemicals called poly-brominated flame retardants, some of the nastiest chemicals around. You can't just throw those kind of chemicals into a landfill because they contaminate soils and leach into the water supply.
And it's a whole lot more satisfying to fix something yourself. We like to say that if you haven't opened it, you don't really own it.
I'm having trouble with X, what do I need to do to fix it? ¶
We have all sorts of troubleshooting resources. Poke around for a while, it's quite possible someone else has had the same problem! If you can't find an answer, then post a question. Pro tip: the more effort and detail you put into your question, the more likely you'll get an answer.
I don't want to fix it myself. Can I pay someone to do it? ¶
Well, we aren't a repair company. But a lot of our contributors are, and you can probably find someone near you that can do the repair for you. Members with a high reputation score are well regarded by the community and can be a great resource.
Where can I get repair parts and tools? ¶
Wow, this is great! Can I help? ¶
Absolutely! We need all the help we can get. You don't have to be a repair expert! Here are a few examples of things anyone can do: take new photos, complete device pages, enforce style consistency, fix grammatical errors, and patrol new contributions.
Here's a list with lots of great information on how iFixit works and how to contribute.
Other people can edit my stuff?! ¶
Like Wikipedia, iFixit is collaboratively edited. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being edited by other users, this may not be the site for you.
What's this reputation thing I keep hearing about? ¶
Reputation is an optional way to represent the community's trust in you. Earning reputation is easy! You get points every time someone votes up one of your posts or successfully follows a repair guide you contributed to. For example, you earn 30 points if someone says that your answer solved their problem.
You can always ask a question or post an answer. As your reputation increases, the system trusts you more and gives you access to more powerful features.
Your reputation can go up and down based on how others perceive you, just like it would in real life. Certain actions, such as voting down a post, cost a little bit of reputation. Not much, but enough to encourage you to be sparing with your criticism.
Is all the information here free? ¶
Can I donate to the cause? ¶
We're a little different than the non-profit Wikipedia. Rather than asking our users for money, we sell parts to pay for server time and developers. So rather than donating, buy a toolkit or tell your friends about us.
In fact, we're quite active supporting the non-profit community ourselves.