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Rock Street, San Francisco

A cracked screen can seem like the end of the world. Or, at the very least, the end of the line for your smartphone.

But it need not be.

In many cases, the issue can be fixed with a bit of patience and dedication.

Checking carefully to make sure that you aren’t already covered for the cost of a repair, you might wish to try a DIY fix for yourself.


Whichever brand or model of smartphone you are trying to revive, you need to have pretty much the same tools.

So, get yourself the following;

SCREWDRIVERS – of course, you need screwdrivers, but your regular household ones are unlikely to cut it. The screwdrivers required for this particular job are little and fiddly.

However, there are many phone repair screwdriver kits on the market, which will fit your little itty bitty screws.

SCREEN REMOVAL TOOL – You need to be able to remove the screen, whichever make or model of smartphone you own. So, for that, you will need a pry tool, made of plastic. These are good a cheap and useful for taking off the plastic case of the phone.

SPECIAL SCREW HEADS – Some iPhones, and other smartphones, need screwdrivers that you aren’t going to find very easily. These are special sizes, so check that you have got all the options on standby before you go into repair mode!



Yes, you can attempt to change a broken screen for yourself. Obviously, you need to avail yourself of a replacement.

This could be easy or hard, depending on the model and whether the digitizer needs to be replaced as well.

To find the right guide for your model, see our e-book on the subject “Fit A Screen Yourself”.


Probably the second most common damage, after the ubiquitous screen cracking, is water damage.

Now, we cannot guarantee that you will successfully be able to restore a phone after it has been dropped, face down, into the toilet bowl, but of course, it is worth a shot!

Here are some things to bear in mind;

  • Check it’s off – Don’t attempt to do anything with your phone switched on. Even if it still appears to be working, when it has been dropped in water, it needs to be switched off ASAP.
  • Try not to move your phone too much – it could spread the water inside it.
  • Don’t apply any heat to your phone. This includes using a hairdryer on it.
  • Don’t stick it in a bag of rice – although this is up for debate in some quarters.

Instead, try the following;

  • Lay the phone as flat as possible.
  • Dry the phone with a paper towel.
  • Remove the back cover and take out the battery and the SIM and SD card etc.
  • Vacuuming the water out is a better option than most – the water needs displacing before it can be dried.
  • Placing the phone in silica gel is preferable to a bag of rice.
  • Even placing the phone in front of a cool air fan may help to dry it out.

Now, here is the really hard part. You must leave the phone switched off and give it time to dry out, before trying to use it again – whichever method of drying it out you decide to go with.

You should wait at least two to three days before trying to turn it on again.


Other DIY fixes which it may be worth attempting include mending the headphone jack and any buttons on the phone which have stopped working.

If you can safely get the device open, then the headphone jack is quite easy to prise out and replace.

For how to fix a broken button, see our next blog in the series!


Post Author: Arthur Caldwell