How to repair a cracked iPhone 5s screen without replacing the LCD

iphone tutorialsiphone5s_cracked_screen_repair_lcd_separator_machine


So you thought you did not need a case for your new iPhone 5s, however that dreadful day did come when you dropped your phone onto the hard concrete floor. Your worst fear had come true when you picked up the iPhone 5s off the ground; the screen is cracked! The kryptonite of all iPhones nowadays. Upon closer inspection, you can see that the LCD is not damaged, but just the screen is cracked. There is a popular myth out there where they tell you that once you crack the screen on your iPhone 5s, you will have to replace the entire assembly. Well this is just not true anymore due to a new machine that has began to be available to the public. This machine is called a LCD separator machine. The following repair guide is an example of how to use one of these machines to separate the LCD from the cracked of broken glass assembly.

Please note: this repair guide of fixing your cracked screen is only meant for people who have some experience and fix these phones a lot. This repair is can be very complicated, so please repair at your own risk. An easier fix would be to buy a new screen assembly and replace the entire thing instead of separating the lcd from the broken glass. Take a look as these replacement screens if you want to take the easier way out. This repair is meant to get as much profit from a iphone repair as possible. This guide will teach you how to refurbish an Apple iphone 5s.

Before you begin, make sure you have a well lit work place that you can perform the repair at. I usually have a sheet or cloth upon a desk that I am working on. There may be broken glass shards involved so you want to make sure it does not go all over the place. All materials can be picked up by following the links presented throughout the repair guide.

How to repair a cracked screen on an iphone 5s:

Step one:


There are two screws on the bottom of the phone where the speakers are found. These screws are called pentalobe screws and will require a special screw driver. This screw driver is called a torx screwdriver. Remove both of them and put aside to a save labeled area.

Step Two:


You will need a razor and a suction cup for this step. Place the suction onto the screen and lift slowly and wedge the razor where it is shown in the picture. If the glass is badly shattered, use some clear tape over it. Do not stick the razor in too far as there are cables there! Once the screen is pried up, do not lift completely out! There is a cable that is still attached near the home button. This is the touch id sensor cable and you will need to disconnect it. There is a metal clip that is unto of the connection that you need to take off before removing the cable.



Step Three:


Lift the screen 90 degrees, but do not go past that or you will damage the cables. Remove the screws that are circled in red, along with the metal bracket. Place them aside in a marked area. Underneath the metal you will find the cables attached to their connectors. Remove them carefully. Your screen should now be separated from the body.

Step Four:

Place the main body of the iPhone 5S aside to a safe area as you will be working with the screen now. When you buy a replacement screen assembly or just the glass, it usually does not come with all the things that are attached to the screen right now. You will need to take them off and transfer it onto the new screen assembly or put them aside if you are going to be performing the repair were you are separating the screen.

Touch sensor:iphone5s_cracked_screen_repair_lcd_separator_machine_touch_sensor_home_button


Remove the screws. The home button is attached with adhesive so carefully remove it with your razor.




Remove the screws where the red circles are. Now use the razor to gently bend the clip out so it unhooks.



Once the bracket is removed, you will need to gently take out the ear sensor and camera. This is just glued in.

Lastly, if your replacement screen assembly does not come with the big metal back piece, unscrew that off as well.

We can now move onto the process of separating the glass screen from the lcd!

How to separate the cracked screen from working LCD:946d LCD Screen Separator Machine_iphone

For this part we will be using the 946d LCD Screen Separator Machine for the example. You can use any other machine.

Step one:946d LCD Screen Separator Machine_iphone_temperature


You will need to set the temperature to between 80-85 for the Liquid optically-clear adhesive to become workable. The loca glue is basically impossible to make pliable without this machine and you will not be able to debond the lcd from the broken screen. A heat gun does not do the trick. Once you set the temperature on your LCD removing device, it will take a few minutes to first heat up.

Step two:946d LCD Screen Separator Machine_iphone_5s


Once the desired temperature is reached, place the damaged screen face first onto the hot plate. Use the clamps to secure the Apple iphone 5s onto the metal surface so it does not move around. Let the busted screen sit there for a minute so the loca adhesive begins to warm up between the digitizer and the lcd.

Step three:molybdenum wire


Touch the lcd to make sure it feel hot enough to work with. In order to separate the shattered glass digitizer from the working LCD, you will need a very thin and tough line to cut through the loca glue. Regular fishing line will simply break under these temperatures. You will need molybdenum wire.

[wp_rss_multi_importer category=”4″]molybdenum wire_lcd_separator


You will want to attach the molybdenum wire onto two plastic sticks so it is easy to handle. You can start from either the top or bottom, just make sure not to damage the lcd cable. So lets say we start from the top, like in the picture above. You will want to get the wire between the screen and lcd. Slowly work your way down, do not force anything. Let the wire slice its way through the glue under little pressure from you. Do no go back up the lcd before you reach the bottom. Go all the way down with the wire, then once you come out the bottom, insert the wire through the bottom and go up. Repeat until the lcd is loose enough from the cracked iphone screen that you can take it off.iphone5s_cracked_screen_repair_lcd_separator_machine_lcd

You can now throw out the broken glass.

Step four:goof_off_loca_removal_adhesive


You will need to now clean off the UV Loca adhesive off the iphone 5s lcd screen. I prefer to use Goof Off to remove the Liquid optically-clear adhesive glue. From experience I think it works the best. Put some Goof Off onto a lint free paper towel or cloth and dab it onto the liquid-crystal display. I like to use a plastic card from those dollar deck playing cards to take off the adhesive. Once the adhesive is off, give it another wipe with the Goof Off. Finally I use some alcohol and wipe the flat panel display. You should work in a dust free area. The electronic visual display should be free of any dust before you try to put the glue on it.

Step five:iphone_5s_mold_2

In order to make sure the new glass screen sits properly on the LCD, you should purchase a mold.iphone_5s_mold

Step six:Liquid optically-clear adhesive_loca


It is time to glue the new digitizer onto the video display. You cannot use any type of glue to rebond the lcd and screen back together. It has to be a special clear glue meant for touch screens. This special glue is called Liquid optically-clear adhesive, UV Glue, or LOCA for short.Liquid optically-clear adhesive_loca_how_to_spread

There is a technique to putting the loca adhesive on the lcd to avoid bubbles. It looks like two Y’s. Be careful not to put too much loca onto the screen as this will result in a lot of adhesive oozing from the sides.

Step seven:replacement_iphone_5s_screen


These replacement iphone 5s glass are fairly cheap compared to buying the whole assembly.putting_on_a_new_iphone_5s_screen

You will want to place one end of the glass down on the mold, and slowly lower it by the other side. Go as slow as possible to avoid air bubbles. However air bubbles happen all the time during the repair of a new iphone 5s screen. Don’t worry if you have air bubbles, they are easy to get rid of. What you do is place your thumb on the screen, while putting your index finger onto the lcd bottom near the bubble. Do not squeeze to tight! You just want to slowly force the bubble to travel to the edge of the screen. After you are done, wipe off any extra loca glue.

Step eight:UV_dryer_loca_iphone


In order to dry to loca adhesive, you will need UV light. Any UV will do, even the one you get for your nails.iphone5s_cracked_screen_repair_lcd_separator_machine_uv


Insert the mold with the screen assembly into the UV machine and let it dry the glue for 5 minutes on each side.

Last step:

Once it is all dry, clean up any extra glue on the sides. Reconnect the home button and all the other things that you took off the original assembly. Perform the steps backwards to put the new assembly back into the iPhone 5s body.


The iPhone is known for its cracked screens. However, you do not need to throw the phone out if it is cracked! it is a very simple repair if you are looking to simply replace the whole assembly. For someone in the repair business, buying an assembly cuts down the profit by a large margin as you cannot salvage the lcd screen itself. The lcd separator machine allows a repairman to maximize their profits when repairing cellphones that use Liquid optically-clear adhesives. It is costly at first to get everything set up, but you will make your money back after fixing only a few phones.


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  • Danny Fang

    i would like to buy broken lcds… I can offer 45 usd per iPhone 6 lcd…. my email is… let me know if you are willing to sell them. Thanks

  • lifehappens

    do you have to replace the polarizer? if so, how is that done?

    • Vitaliy

      Not necessarily, only if you damage it in the process. I will make a tutorial on how to replace a polarizer asap!

  • lcdmedic

    Anyone following these steps would be completely lost after Step 8..

    • lcdseparatormachines

      Thanks for the feedback, I will need to rework this tutorial soon!