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Use this guide to replace a broken, cracked, or defective display on your Apple Watch Series 3.

Make sure to update your Apple Watch to watchOS 5 or later (and the paired iPhone to iOS 12 or later) to avoid pairing issues after a display replacement.

Replacing the display can cause issues with Apple Pay. If possible, to reduce the likelihood of problems, delete all your Apple Pay account info before the replacement, and then re-enter it with the new display installed.

This guide shows the procedure on the standard, GPS-only version of the watch, but the cellular/LTE version is similar. Any important differences are noted in the text.

  1. Before starting repairs, take your watch off the charger and power it down. If your touchscreen is broken and prevents powering off the watch, use this alternate method to power it down.

    Verify your model. The back of the Cellular model just says GPS, so be sure to check the groves where the watch band goes to determine you model. I made the mistake of just reading the back of the device and since I’d been gifted the device didn’t know it was cellular. Cellular has a different type of touch force gasket, different screen, and different battery connections.

    Ryan Holt - Yanıt

  2. Prepare an iOpener (or grab a hair dryer or heat gun) and heat the face of the watch until it's slightly too hot to touch.
    • Prepare an iOpener (or grab a hair dryer or heat gun) and heat the face of the watch until it's slightly too hot to touch.

    • Leave the iOpener on the watch for at least a minute to fully heat the screen and soften the adhesive holding it to the case.

    • You may need to reheat the iOpener, or move it around on the screen as sections cool, to heat the screen enough to pry it off.

    I have heated up the iOpener to 165 degrees and left it on for more than a minute. No way I can lift the screen off with the exact knife. Tried different angles in various places, but no go. I also used a hair dryer un til the watch screen was too hot to touch and even tried a very hard cutting tool blade and also no go. Could n ever get the blade under the face I applied enough force where I could see that the blade left small marks, not very big, but could never get anything to move or lift. What am I doing wrong? I spent 47 years at a global computer company and I am used to taking apart small things and applying force when required. I don’t know what I am doing wrong. Please help me.

    Rafael Blanco - Yanıt

    Getting the initial gap is not easy. Maybe a playing card could work its way in the tiny gap and cut some adhesive. After that there might be some success with an exacto knife. Or you want to try a piece of aluminum foil (folded for more rigidity) for cutting the adhesive. Be aware of the force touch gasket and that it might get damaged during that procedure.

    Tobias Isakeit -

    • Because the gap between the screen and watch body is so thin, a sharp blade is needed to separate the two. Read the following warnings carefully before proceeding.

    • Protect your fingers by keeping them completely clear of the knife. If in doubt, protect your free hand with a heavy glove, such as a leather shop glove or gardening glove.

    • Be careful not to apply too much pressure, as this might cause the knife to slip and cut you, or damage the watch.

    • Wear eye protection. The knife or glass may break, sending pieces flying.

    • Feel free to attach or remove the watch band as needed to provide more control as you make repairs.

  3. Place the edge of a curved blade into the thin gap between the display and the outer case.  Start at the short side of the display, closest to the digital crown. Press firmly straight down into the gap. Once inserted, tilt the blade to pry the display open slightly.
    • Place the edge of a curved blade into the thin gap between the display and the outer case. Start at the short side of the display, closest to the digital crown.

    • Press firmly straight down into the gap.

    • Once inserted, tilt the blade to pry the display open slightly.

    • Do not insert the knife more than 1/16th of an inch (~2 mm).

  4. Once you've opened a small gap with the curved blade, remove the blade and insert the thinner edge of an opening tool into the gap. Push the opening tool into the gap, using your thumb as a pivot to lift the display open a bit farther.
    • Once you've opened a small gap with the curved blade, remove the blade and insert the thinner edge of an opening tool into the gap.

    • Push the opening tool into the gap, using your thumb as a pivot to lift the display open a bit farther.

    • Don't try to fully open or detach the display yet.

  5. Insert an opening pick under the display and carefully separate the Force Touch gasket from the display. iFixit screen and battery repair kits include a replacement Force Touch gasket, so don't fret too much if yours is damaged. Otherwise, to preserve the Force Touch gasket, pry carefully under the edge of the display. If the Force Touch gasket splits when lifting the display, or if you separate the gasket layers, you'll also need to replace the Force Touch gasket itself.
    • Insert an opening pick under the display and carefully separate the Force Touch gasket from the display.

    • iFixit screen and battery repair kits include a replacement Force Touch gasket, so don't fret too much if yours is damaged.

    • Otherwise, to preserve the Force Touch gasket, pry carefully under the edge of the display. If the Force Touch gasket splits when lifting the display, or if you separate the gasket layers, you'll also need to replace the Force Touch gasket itself.

    • Slide the pick around the display to separate the adhesive between the Force Touch gasket and the display.

    • Don't insert the opening pick deeper than 1/16th of an inch (~2 mm).

  6. To avoid straining the display cables, don't open the display all the way yet. Open the display to about a 45° angle, and use tweezers to peel off the adhesive between the display and the Force Touch gasket. Thread the adhesive around and behind the display cables to get it off completely.
    • To avoid straining the display cables, don't open the display all the way yet.

    • Open the display to about a 45° angle, and use tweezers to peel off the adhesive between the display and the Force Touch gasket.

    • Thread the adhesive around and behind the display cables to get it off completely.

  7. Use a Y000 driver to remove the tri-point screw securing the metal cover plate. Use a pair of tweezers to remove the cover plate. First open the plate all the way to unhinge the two flaps.
    • Use a Y000 driver to remove the tri-point screw securing the metal cover plate.

    • Use a pair of tweezers to remove the cover plate.

    • First open the plate all the way to unhinge the two flaps.

    • Then close it halfway to remove it completely by lifting it out.

    Pictures are the GPS version. Cellular doesn’t have the gap and separate removable plate on the “taptic engine” section.

    Ryan Holt - Yanıt

    What if I’m unable to unscrew the screw? I’m using the right tool, but it just won’t do it. It feels like it can’t “lock in” if you know what I mean in order to be able to get enough grip to turn the screw. Any suggestions?

    Cade Capper - Yanıt

  8. On the GPS-only version it is possible to disconnect the battery immediately. For the cellular/LTE version, you need to disconnect the Force Touch gasket and fold it out of the way first, in order to disconnect the battery. Disconnect the battery by prying its connector straight up. Bend the connector up slightly to make sure it does not make contact by accident.
    • On the GPS-only version it is possible to disconnect the battery immediately. For the cellular/LTE version, you need to disconnect the Force Touch gasket and fold it out of the way first, in order to disconnect the battery.

    • Disconnect the battery by prying its connector straight up.

    • Bend the connector up slightly to make sure it does not make contact by accident.

  9. Use a pair of tweezers to peel off the tape covering the display cable connectors. Start from the bottom right of the tape and carefully work your way towards the connector in the middle.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to peel off the tape covering the display cable connectors.

    • Start from the bottom right of the tape and carefully work your way towards the connector in the middle.

    • The tape can be stubborn, so take care not to pull too hard and damage the cables underneath. If needed, apply a little heat or some isopropyl alcohol to help soften the adhesive.

  10. The leftmost connector contains a piece of conductive foil, which may tear when taking off the tape. If it tears, grab it from the bottom left to remove it completely. This way the matching foil underneath (on the display) will remain unharmed. If it tears, grab it from the bottom left to remove it completely. This way the matching foil underneath (on the display) will remain unharmed.
    • The leftmost connector contains a piece of conductive foil, which may tear when taking off the tape.

    • If it tears, grab it from the bottom left to remove it completely. This way the matching foil underneath (on the display) will remain unharmed.

    How important is the conductive tape?

    John Ellis - Yanıt

  11. Carefully use a pry tool or a clean fingernail to unlock the first of the three ZIF connectors by prying up the small black locking flap opposite the cable. Carefully use a pry tool or a clean fingernail to unlock the first of the three ZIF connectors by prying up the small black locking flap opposite the cable. Carefully use a pry tool or a clean fingernail to unlock the first of the three ZIF connectors by prying up the small black locking flap opposite the cable.
    • Carefully use a pry tool or a clean fingernail to unlock the first of the three ZIF connectors by prying up the small black locking flap opposite the cable.

  12. Pry up the locking flaps on the remaining two ZIF connectors. Replacement screens usually ship with these locking flaps closed. During reassembly, make sure the flaps are open before inserting the cables, or you may damage your watch. Replacement screens usually ship with these locking flaps closed. During reassembly, make sure the flaps are open before inserting the cables, or you may damage your watch.
    • Pry up the locking flaps on the remaining two ZIF connectors.

    • Replacement screens usually ship with these locking flaps closed. During reassembly, make sure the flaps are open before inserting the cables, or you may damage your watch.

  13. Use a pair of tweezers to disconnect the display flex cables by gently pulling them out. If the cables are stubborn, try carefully walking them out in a left-to-right-motion while pulling gently. If the cables are stubborn, try carefully walking them out in a left-to-right-motion while pulling gently.
    • Use a pair of tweezers to disconnect the display flex cables by gently pulling them out.

    • If the cables are stubborn, try carefully walking them out in a left-to-right-motion while pulling gently.

  14. Remove the display.
    • Remove the display.

    • For detailed reassembly instructions, including replacing the Force Touch gasket and surrounding adhesive, see the guide linked in the conclusion below.

    hi

    how are you

    Please answer me quickly

    i have a apple watch 3 and broken lcd

    can i replace this lcd with a lost apple watch lcd?

    Does it work?

    I've heard that Apple does not allow this and ban the device!!!!

    Hossean Dad - Yanıt

Sonuç

Continue from Step 10 of our Force Touch Sensor guide to re-seal your watch and complete your repair. For best results, don’t connect your new display until after Step 16.

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33 Yorum

“Replacing the display can cause issues with Apple Pay.“

If ApplePay could possibly be disabled by this procedure, then seems like a show stopper.

Is ApplePay still an issue?

Joel Weston - Yanıt

This is indeed something we can not rule out entirely. There are too many options to consider and we are not able to test all of them (type of replacement screen, software related issues with WatchOS and paired/unpaired watches. The NFC chip is the main issue here since it lives on the display and is responsible for Apple Pay. We are happy for any insight others can provide to offer a working solution/guide.

Tobias Isakeit -

I will try this once i get a display from iFixit. Thanks :) i hope it works

Kundan Agrawal - Yanıt

Apne display kaha se or kitne ka kharida , pls tel me

Honey Gothwal -

Hey guys, I replaced the screen and once I turned it on I got the green snake screen. When I try to charge it, it gets really hot now. Did I damage the battery or anything else?

Aaron - Yanıt

Hi Aaron,

assuming all cables and components are fine and not damaged (check for creases, kinks or rips as well as making sure all connectors sit tight) you might want to try these steps and see if the watch boots up properly:

1. use a working charging cable/unit and power adapter (maybe borrow one from a friend)

2. wait at least one hour to see if the watch boots up.

3. try to force restart the watch (push and hold the side button and the crown until the Apple logo appears) and then charge it.

4. let the battery run down until the watch shuts off on its on and leave it off for another day for the battery to deplete completely. Then try charging it.

Tobias Isakeit -

Hello.

An acquaintance bought a Series 3 42mm replacement screen and I set out to make the swap for him using this guide. There is a metal loop above one of the ribbon connectors on the back of the screen near the edge. This loop is not in the same place as it was on the original screen, and as such does not contact the small brass clip on the watch frame like it’s supposed to.

Upon closer inspection, it seems he ordered a Cellular screen and has a GPS watch. Would that account for this difference? It is the only difference between the two screens that I can see with the naked eye.

Thanks,

Stephen Butterfield - Yanıt

Hello, yes, the cellular and the Gps version screens are different, it would not fit

wxllxmarketing -

Hey guys

I have forget to delete the Credit Card before i replace the Display and now i have an error message when i configurate Apple Pay. How can i fix it ?

Andreas Haack - Yanıt

Hi Andreas, you may either re-install the old display (if it’s working to that degree as to remove the credit card settings) and then perform the repair again. Or you may reset your watch (provided you have a recent backup) and set it up from that backup. (No guaranty this will work)

Tobias Isakeit -

After doing this fix/replacement of a cracked screen, should I assume the watch is no longer water resistant and avoid wearing it in pool, shower, hot tub, etc?

Robert Sarvis - Yanıt

That’s correct. A manually fixed and closed watch display might not be as tight as a manufactured Apple Watch. I would refrain from submerging it in water to be on the safe side.

Tobias Isakeit -

Is it possible to just replace the glass? my screen displays perfectly the glass is just cracked in away that I can’t enter my passcode.

Michael Ryan - Yanıt

Hi Michael, though it is possible to only change the glass, I’d not recommend it. You might feel the same after watching this video (it’s a Series 4 but basically the same procedure for the glass)—or you feel empowered by it and will try that procedure (with success hopefully): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZYWzsB_...

Tobias Isakeit -

My Apple Watch screen is very broken and has lifted slightly. Is it still possible to repair it?

Dianne Waszak - Yanıt

Hi Dianne, if the watch didn’t suffer from any water that might have gotten in, you’ll be definitely able to repair it with a new display. Just be careful with the glass shards. And if you use Apple Pay, make sure you delete any credit card information before removing the old screen to avoid any problems with the NFC chip on the new display (see introduction).

Tobias Isakeit -

Hi, where can i buy the screen for apple watch series 3?

Searched online, only whole unit is available and it’s quite expensive. So, i was wondering if i can purchase the screen only.

Rasul Rukhillaev - Yanıt

Hi Rasul, here you can find the different Series 3 screens: https://www.ifixit.com/Store/Parts/Apple...

If you only want to change the glass you probably want to search for the procedure online if you’re up to the challenge ;)

Tobias Isakeit -

So I did this fix a while back (for my wife’s watch), and everything seemed to go well. But a week later, the adhesive failed and the face ended up popping off. I reheated and stuck it back on, but a few weeks later it again popped off. The watch is basically unusable for my wife, all bc the adhesive isn’t sticking. What now? Expensive repair to be thwarted by weak adhesive.

Robert Sarvis - Yanıt

@isakrittl any comments/suggestions

should I just buy some regular glue (what kind) to make it stick better?

Robert Sarvis -

Hi Robert, congrats on the repair so far. Assuming you cleaned every little bit of remaining adhesive from the frame and the display and the new adhesive still won’t hold, you might want to try the E6000 glue. It’s an industrial glue and needs to be applied very carefully to not get on unwanted areas. I wish you a successful repair

Tobias Isakeit -

@isakrittl

You guys should either include better adhesive or tell ppl to buy their own right off the bat. As noted above already, the weak adhesive led to her screen popping off multiple times. The repeated popping off apparently led to one of the minuscule clips holding the electrical ribbons from the watch to the screen breaking, so the screen doesn’t work and is now useless. So I'm out $170 bucks bc of the crappy cheap-o adhesive strip they provide (or possibly the clip was weak to begin with--only one of them broke). If I buy a new screen, I'll have spent more than the price of a new and better Apple Watch. FML. Apparently redditors are aware the adhesive strips suck and just buy separate adhesive. Why would iFixit not provide legit adhesive? It's $170 on the line! EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED!!!

Robert Sarvis -

hi, I broke my apple watch and I was wondering if you can use another series glass to fix an apple watch series 3?

If not is there cheaper ways to fix your apple watch?

Aria Nanayakkara - Yanıt

as of today April 2020, you can buy the new screen for 200 bucks or buy a new S3 watch for 199.00. Why would I invest 200 into a used watch when I can buy a new one for 199?

Art - Yanıt

Hi, I’m unsure of what parts to buy to replace my screen. I dropped my watch and the screen is fully cracked. The buttons still work but the touchscreen does not. Would it just be a new screen or the digitiser too?

Joana ॐ - Yanıt

Dag, Ik lees dat bij het vervange van het scherm apple pay soms niet meer werkt.

Dat is bij mij dus het geval. Heeft u ook een oplossing om apple pay weer aan de gang te krijgen?

Mvg Folkert

Folkert - Yanıt

Where is the guide for installing the new screen? I don’t see that anywhere….

Jerrod Eshleman - Yanıt

See link in the conclusion box: Continue from Step 10 of our Force Touch Sensor guide to re-seal your watch and complete your repair.

Tobias Isakeit -

Also I was able to preserve the force touch gasket, so does that mean I don’t need to install the one that came with the kit? If so, then how does the screen adhere to the watch?

Jerrod Eshleman - Yanıt

Will the Apple Watch (38 mm Series 3 Cellular) Screen work fine on the GPS version?

Ryan Simpson - Yanıt

replace the screen but the new screen wont light up it turns on

josh - Yanıt

I feel like this is $@$*!&. I tried everything and it still don’t work. I want a refund.

Savannah Tacy - Yanıt

I have a series 3 GPS, (non cellular, at least, I assume its gps then). crystal is cracked and I can’t enter the PIN because of it. i wanted to just buy a new series 3 apple watch but the new ones won’t work with an Iphone 6, b/c the newest series 3’s require IOS 14! If I do the screen replacement as shown here, do the new parts dictate that the phone have an ios 14? (it says 12 here, but I’m skeptical, only because new series 3 watches won’t work with IOS 12). I assume it depends on other internals, and this should all work, but would appreciate confirmation. Thanks

joe - Yanıt

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