How To Replace A Shattered or Damaged iPhone X Screen, Step By Step

Almost everyone who owns a mobile phone has dropped it at some stage and no matter how well the cover protects it, occasionally the drop results in a cracked or shattered screen. Getting the screen replaced by the manufacturer is usually really expensive and in reality it is actually quite a simple fix, its even easier on the iPhone X than on previous iPhone models. You can buy an affordable replacement from Amazon or eBay for around $60 – $100 dollars (depending on the quality) and it takes around a half hour to an hour to do if it is your first time.

In this guide, we’ll show you step by step how to replace your screen on your iPhone X. Although this guide is done specifically on an iPhone X, the iPhone XR and iPhone XS as well as plus models are very similar inside as well.

Most of the replacement screens you’ll find on Amazon or eBay come with the tools required to do the replacement bundled together. These tools are not the best quality but they do get the job done, you’ll just need to be careful not to strip the heads of the screw drivers as they are made from low quality materials and this is really easy to do.

Have a look at these other guides if you have a different model iPhone:

What You Will Need To Replace Your iPhone X Screen

  • iPhone X Screen, Toolkit and Gasket Set – Buy Here
  • iPhone X Screen and Toolkit – Buy Here
  • iPhone X Replacement Gasket – Buy Here
  • iPhone Repair Tool Kit – Buy Here
    • Note – your replacement kit may come with a basic tool kit. This is usually good enough to get the job done but the screw driver heads often strip after a few screws.

How to Replace your Screen

The replacement of your iPhone X screen is done in three stages, you’ll first need to remove the old screen, then transfer the earpiece and sensor ribbon cable assembly over to your new screen and finally install the new screen onto your phone.

The most important thing to keep in mind when doing this replacement is to keep your screws well organised. The screws inside your iPhone are different types, sizes and lengths and it is very important that you put the correct screws in the correct place. It is easy to get confused and lose track of your screws. I like to draw a quick sketch of each bracket or component and lay the screws onto the sketch over the hole they came out of.

The next thing you may not be familiar with is the ribbon cable connectors. These are very fine connectors which simply “snap” into place, similar to Lego. To separate them, you can slide your pry tool underneath the connector and pop it off. To connect them again, make sure that they two are correctly lined up and simply pressed down on top of the connector and you’ll feel it snap into place.

Here is the complete video guide to replacing the screen, with steps outlined below:

Here is a summary of the steps involved in replacing your iPhone screen:

  1. Start by switching off your iPhone. On the iPhone X this is done by pressing volume up, volume down and then holding the lock screen button until the shutdown slider comes up
  2. Use your pentalobe driver to remove the two screens at the bottom of your iPhone around the charging port
  3. Next place your suction cup onto the bottom of the screen, you’re going to use it to pull the screen away from the body in order for you to fit your pry tool between them
    1. It helps if your phone is warm as this softens the tacky gasket between the two which is used to waterproof your iPhone. You can warm it up by placing it in front or on top of a heater, on your vehicles hot dashboard or heating it up with a hair dryer. Do not overheat it as this may damage the phone, you should still be able to comfortably handle it
    2. If your screen is shattered or cracked near the bottom area, put a few pieces of clear packaging tape over the damaged area to keep the glass in place and allow the suction cup to stick to the display
  4. Pull up on the suction cup to lift the screen and then insert your pry tool into the gap between the two
  5. First pry the bottom side up and then slide your pry tool up each side to unclip it and break the adhesive
    1. Do not push the pry tool in too deep or separate the screen too far from the body as there are delicate ribbon cables between them which you may damage
  6. The top side slides in underneath the edge of the body, gently pry it downwards and it should then come free. Again, don’t pull it down too far or you may damage the Face ID ribbon cable
  7. Once your display is free, open it up from the left side, the opposite way to a book. There are three ribbon cables along the right side which need to be disconnected
  8. Now use your tripoint screwdriver to remove the five screws securing the connector cover plate. Keep track of which screw goes into which hole as they are different lengths
    1. I usually draw a quick sketch of the bracket and place the screws onto the sketch in their positions
  9. Remove the cover plate
  10. Now use your spudger to gently pry up on the underside of the ribbon cable connectors to disconnect them. They simply snap into place and so are easy to connect and disconnect
    1. Try not to touch any of the surrounding components or damage the black spongy strips around the connectors
  11. Start with the battery connector to ensure that power is disconnected from the phone
  12. Next, disconnect the two display ribbon cable connectors
  13. Lastly, disconnect the FaceID and forward facing camera connector
  14. There is a small adhesive strip near the top keeping it in place, gently pry this away from the below ribbon cable, being gentle and careful not to tear it
  15. The display is now free from the body of your iPhone
  16. You now need to move the FaceID, earpiece and camera assembly over to your new display so that you keep your FaceID functionality
  17. There are three screws holding it in place
  18. Start with the centre screw which also has a small bracket attached to it
  19. Use your tripoint screwdriver to remove the screw and put it aside with its bracket. Remember to make a note of which screw goes where on this assembly as well
  20. Now remove the two remaining tripoint screws
  21. Use your spudger to pry the earpiece assembly down and away from the speaker and sensors
  22. You’ll now need to pry the remaining components away from the screen.
  23. The earpiece should come away quite easily
  24. The remaining sensor ribbon cable assembly is quite firmly glued into place buy works free with a spudger. Be careful not to damage the ribbon cable
  25. You can now install the assembly onto your new display
  26. Peel off any protective stickers on the back side of the screen before assembly, these are usually blue or pink if installed
  27. Install the components in reverse, starting with the earpiece speaker and then proximity sensor
  28. Make sure each component is properly seated before moving onto the next
  29. Finally, fold the remainder of the ribbon cable assembly up over the secured components
  30. Do a final check to see that all of the components are correctly located and are not being crushed or bent
  31. You can now use your tripoint screwdriver to replace the outer two screws
  32. Then replace the middle screw and bracket. It helps to orient the bracket and screw onto your screwdriver beforehand to make sure that it is the correct way around
  33. Once secure, make sure that the flat edge is parallel to the top of the display
  34. You can now reconnect your display
  35. If you are going to replace your iPhone’s waterproof gasket, do it now. Remove any pieces of the old gasket from the edges of the iPhone body. Then stick the new gasket down along these edges, be careful not to touch the gasket until you’re ready to install the new display
  36. Start by pressing the top FaceID ribbon cable connector into place
  37. Make sure that the connector halves a properly aligned before pressing them into place to avoid damaging the terminals. They should easily snap into place and don’t require much force if correctly aligned
  38. Now connect the two display ribbon cable connectors
  39. Finally, replace the battery ribbon cable connector
  40. Once this is done, it’s a good time to check that your new display is correctly connected and functions.
  41. Try powering your phone back on and checking the functionality of the screen, touch and front facing camera
    1. If this all works then you can proceed with replacing the cover plate. If something does not work, try disconnecting the ribbon cable connectors and re-connecting them. Also check all ribbon cables for any tears or bends
    2. If the display or touch functionality still doesn’t work, you may have received a faulty display. Try contact the supplier for assistance
  42. Replace the cover plate
  43. Replace the five tripoint screws
  44. Fold the display down and slide the top into place. If you have a new gasket which you’re installing, make sure the edges are aligned before touching the display to the gasket as it is difficult to re-position or move
  45. Press the top edge into place
  46. Now press down along the edges to snap them into place
  47. Press the bottom edge down and into place
  48. Replace the two bottom pentalobe screws

Your iPhone X’s screen has now been replaced. Remove the protective film and install a tempered glass screen protector to protect it from future drops or scratches. Good luck with the repair and let us know how it goes for you in the comments section below.

If you enjoyed this guide, you may be interested in these 5 Secret iPhone Codes You Didn’t Know About or find out how to Charge your iPhone Battery the Right Way. Also be sure to have a look at our other iPhone repair guides on replacing your iPhones charging port, home button, volume button assembly and camera assembly, or simply type your iPhone model into the search box on the top right of the page.

Michael Klements
Michael Klements
Hi, my name is Michael and I started this blog in 2016 to share my DIY journey with you. I love tinkering with electronics, making, fixing, and building - I'm always looking for new projects and exciting DIY ideas. If you do too, grab a cup of coffee and settle in, I'm happy to have you here.


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