By Sam Lionheart • Difficulty: Moderate
Use this guide to replace the cracked or broken screen on your iPhone SE by swapping out the display assembly.
The display assembly includes the front camera assembly, earpiece speaker, and the LCD shield plate. If your replacement part does not include those pieces, follow this longer guide to swap out your front panel and transfer over the needed parts.
In either case, you must carefully transfer the iPhone's original home button to your new screen in order for Touch ID to function.
You can also use this guide to replace the front panel assembly cable bracket.
- Power off your iPhone before beginning disassembly.
- Remove the two 3.9 mm Pentalobe screws from either side of Lightning connector.
- 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.
- Regardless of the tool you use, you need to be sure you pull up the entire display.
- If the glass begins to separate from the plastic, as shown in the first image, slide a plastic opening tool between the plastic frame and the metal phone body to pry the metal clips out of the case.
- 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.
- 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 the home button cable.
- Skip the next three steps and continue on Step 9.
- If you don't have an iSclack, use a single suction cup to lift the front panel:
- Press a suction cup onto the screen, just above the home button.
- While holding the iPhone down with one hand, pull up on the suction cup to slightly separate the home button end of the front panel from the rear case.
- With a plastic opening tool, gently pry the edges of the rear case down, away from the front panel assembly, while you pull up with the suction cup.
- Pull the plastic nub to release the vacuum seal on the suction cup.
- Remove the suction cup from the display assembly.
- Open the phone just enough to reveal the metal bracket covering the home button cable.
- Only the phone's original home button assembly will be capable of using the Touch ID functionality. If you rip the cable, installing a new home button will only restore ordinary home button functions, not the Touch ID features.
- Use the tip of a spudger to push the bracket free and remove it with tweezers.
- Use the flat end of a spudger to snap the front portion of the Touch ID cable bracket down over the cable connector.
- Use the tip of a spudger to pry the home button cable connector up out of its socket.
- Once the connector has been released, pull the home button end of the assembly away from the rear case, using the top of the phone as a hinge.
- 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.
- Add a rubber band to keep the display securely in place while you work. This prevents undue strain on the display cables.
- Remove the two 1.6 mm Phillips #000 screws securing the metal battery connector bracket to the logic board.
- Remove the metal battery connector bracket from the iPhone.
- Use the flat end of a spudger to gently pry the battery connector up from its socket on the logic board.
- Remove the following screws securing the front panel assembly cable bracket to the logic board:
- One 1.7 mm Phillips #000 screw
- One 1.2 mm Phillips #000 screw
- One 1.3 mm Phillips #000 screw
- One more 1.7 mm Phillips #000 screw
- Remove the front panel assembly cable bracket from the logic board.
- Use a spudger or a fingernail to disconnect the front-facing camera and sensor cable.
- Disconnect the LCD cable connector.
- Finally, disconnect the digitizer cable connector.
- Remove the front panel assembly from the rear case.
- Unscrew the single captive Phillips #000 screw securing the home button cable.
- Fold the home button cable down, out of the way of the home button bracket.
- Remove the two 1.4 mm Phillips #000 screws from the home button bracket.
- Remove the home button bracket from the display assembly.
- Wedge the the tip of a spudger underneath the home button cable assembly.
- Gently work the spudger underneath the cable to separate the home button cable from the front panel assembly.
- Gently push the top left corner of the home button up away from the front panel.
- Peel the home button the rest of the way off of the display by prying gently with a spudger.
- Remove the home button assembly from the front panel.
- Display assembly remains.
To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.