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How to Fix a Cracked Phone Screen

a person wearing jeans and a white shirt is crouching down to pick up a smartphone with a severely cracked screen

The dreaded cracked phone screen. Maybe you dropped your phone while walking through the store or knocked it off a table where it landed screen first. Or you've had your device for a while, and it's undergone normal wear and tear. No matter the cause, you shouldn't ignore a broken phone screen. After all, you don't want glass shards cutting your hand or a malfunctioning screen that makes your phone nearly inoperable.   

Between professional repair services, do-it-yourself (DIY), and simply upgrading your phone, there are plenty of ways to solve the issues of a busted screen. While it may be tempting to fix the phone yourself, there are risks which is why DIY is not our preferred method. But since we know some will prefer it, we will provide a few helpful tips, but not before we explain our recommended approach to fix a cracked phone screen—leaving it to the professionals.

First things first, for minor cracks, fixing your phone screen may not be necessary. You can simply purchase a tempered glass screen protector. These products shield your screen from further damage and ensure your device remains fully functional. They also enhance your phone grip — reducing the risk of dropping your phone and adding new cracks. 

For more severe damage, here’s how to fix a cracked screen.

Cracked Phone Screen Professional Repair 

Professional repair services are the most preferred method for fixing cracked phone screens. Why? 

  • They have the necessary expertise to deliver a quality repair.
  • They're equipped with specialized tools and hardware designed to repair smartphones. 
  • They often offer warranties on repairs, so you won't be on the hook even if something goes wrong. 
  • They’re often pretty reasonably priced.

So, where do you go to find a professional repair service? There are a few options. One is to go straight to the phone manufacturer. Samsung, for example, has numerous service centers where customers can receive screen repair and general maintenance. 

Similarly, you can schedule a visit to Apple Stores for iPhone screen repair. But if your phone provider doesn't have a location nearby, third-party professionals are your next best bet. Places like uBreakiFix, iFix Cellphone, and Phone Doctors, for instance, are popular screen repair services located throughout the United States. 

Cracked Phone Screen DIY Repair 

Now for the alternative: DIY. Again, we don't recommend it. DIY screen repair often comes with more risks than benefits. For instance, if you tamper with your phone and your maintenance is unsuccessful, you could void any warranty you had for it. There's also a chance you'll worsen the damage in the process. Some other risks include:

  • You're exposed to safety hazards like broken glass and harmful battery materials that could hurt you. 
  • Wasted time and money spent on an unsuccessful screen repair. 
  • You could damage a different part of your phone and make it obsolete. 

That's not to say there's no scenario for which DYI is the best route. For example, you have nothing to lose because your phone is no longer under warranty, or you will probably buy a new smartphone anyway. In these cases, ask yourself the right questions before attempting DIY:

  • Is my phone currently under warranty? 
  • Do I have phone insurance, and am I covered for DIY repair attempts? 
  • Is the severity of the crack too much for me to handle?
  • Am I comfortable making delicate screen repairs based on the tools and knowledge I have?
  • Does my current phone model even have replacement screens available for purchase? 

If you've thoroughly evaluated the situation and are comfortable with DIY repair, here’s what you need to know about fixing a cracked screen.

First things first: Back Up Your Phone to the Cloud

While a screen repair should not be cause for significant damage in the hands of an experienced professional, a DIY job is a whole other thing. Before tackling a cracked screen on your own, make sure you back up your phone to the cloud. That way, if your DIY skills fail you and you cause irreparable damage to your phone in the process of trying to fix it, all will not be lost.

Before You Begin Cracked Phone Screen Repair: Safety Precautions

If you attempt a DIY phone screen repair, please note the risks. While we'll tell you how to do the repair, we are not responsible should anything go wrong. You should also understand the safety hazards involved with the process. For example, exposure to sharp glass edges can cut your hands, while a phone's battery can release harmful materials if not handled correctly. You also may be exposed to a lot of dust that could be inhaled or get in your eyes.

Take the proper precautions before starting a cracked phone screen repair project: 

  • Set up your workstation in a dust-free environment.
  • Wear safety gloves.
  • Put on protective safety glasses. 
  • Work in a well-lit area. 
  • Follow phone repair instructions diligently. 

Step-by-Step DIY Guide: Fixing a Cracked Phone Screen

Depending on the severity and damage location of your cracked phone, there are a few options for DIY fixes: 

Option 1: Temporary Fixes for Minor Cracks

Maybe you just need a quick interim solution while you wait for your appointment at the repair shop or for that tempered glass screen protector to arrive. In this case, everyday packing tape can cover screen cracks until a more permanent solution is available. Here's how:

  1. Carefully clean your screen to remove any dust or grime from your phone.
  2. Cut a piece of packing tape to the precisely same size as your phone screen.
  3. Align the ends of the tape with the edge of your phone screen.
  4. Gently lay it down over the phone screen to cover the cracks and smooth out any air bubbles as you go down the screen. 

Option 2: Replacing the Screen Yourself

For DIY screen replacement, you'll need tools and parts specific to your phone model (another reason we recommend going to a professional). Depending on your phone and fix approach, you may need to compile these tools: 

  • Precision screwdrivers are suitable for tiny screws, including Pentalobe (common for iPhones), Phillips, or Torx. 
  • Pair of tweezers.  
  • Microfiber cloth and alcohol wipes.  
  • Suction cup.
  • Heat gun or hair dryer. 
  • Some type of adhesive or double-sided tape. 

Most importantly, you'll need a high-quality screen replacement specific to your phone model. And don't just purchase a random screen off the street. Precision is vital to a successful screen repair. You could damage your phone further by trying to "put a square peg in a round hole."

The good news: Replacement screens from reputable sellers are relatively easy to find., for instance, is an excellent site for finding tools and replacement screens — supporting nearly all models of Apple and Samsung devices. You can also contact the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to find quality replacements. If unsure, look up video tutorials specific to your phone model for visual guidance on what to buy.  

Step-by-Step Repair Instructions (General) 

You've gathered your tools and ordered the replacement screen. Now for the big finish. Here are some general instructions on how to fix a cracked phone screen: 

  1. Prepare your device by:some text
    1. Powering off your phone.
    2. Unplugging any cables from your phone.
    3. (If applicable) Removing the SIM or SD card.
  2. Remove the front (for iPhones) or back (for Androids) screen panel:some text
    1. Take out any tiny screws holding in the cover.
    2. Take a tiny object, such as a Phillips or flathead head screwdriver, tweezers, or a guitar pick, to pry the panel from the screen. You may need to use a blow dryer or heat gun to soften the adhesive holding in the panel. 
    3. Pull off the screen once the panel is partially open (the screen will not fully detach until you remove the underlying cables in the next step). You may need help pulling and gripping the screen by using a suction cup. 
  3. Remove the screen panel from the motherboard and the battery by carefully disconnecting cables connecting the hardware.  
  4. Clean out any glass and grime from the surface and phone edges with an alcohol wipe or microfiber cloth. 
  5. Remove the protective film from the new screen.
  6. Align the new screen into the phone frame. 
  7. Press on the edges to secure it. 
  8. Reconnect the cabling to the motherboard and add the phone battery back into the panel. 
  9. Add the screws back into the cover area. 
  10. Turn the phone on and test to ensure the new screen connects and displays content. 

While we provided general instructions, each device has a unique design and hardware. Therefore, we recommend checking out online tutorials and guides to find instructions for fixing specific phone models. 

Troubleshooting Tips 

You may encounter a few roadblocks during your DIY replacement project. The most common issue is trying to remove the panel from the phone because of the wiring underneath. Many users also struggle to reconnect the cables and battery once the new screen is installed. But there's no need to stress!

There are plenty of guides you can use online for support. Do a YouTube search, and you can find hundreds of videos offering visual guidance on replacing a screen for all phone models. Alternatively, sites like include tons of instructional guides for nearly every phone make and model you can think of.  

Phone Upgrade

Upgrading your phone could be a last resort if you've had no success with a professional repair service or DIY. It also might make more financial sense to upgrade rather than spend on tools or services. Many wireless carriers offer attractive phone deals to lure you in, especially for new customers. Some even let you trade in your phone, in any condition (like with a cracked phone screen) for a brand-new one. 

Want to upgrade but not sure where to start? Our free unbiased Phone Deal Finder below can help you find the best phone deals you qualify based on your criteria in no time. Just answer a few questions, like the type of phone you want, the model you're trading in, your current carrier, and zip code, and we take care of the rest. We also keep a running list of the latest and greatest phone deals by carrier for easy at-a-glance comparisons across carriers: iPhone 15 Deals | iPhone 14 Deals | Galaxy S24 Deals | Galaxy S23 Deals

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The Bottom Line 

How to repair your cracked phone screen depends on a lot of factors, including how handy you are, how old your phone is, whether it’s under warranty and more.  Do you hire someone, forge ahead with the DIY route despite our words of caution, or take this as a sign that it’s time for a new cell phone? Whatever you decide, we hope this article helps. 


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