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Follow this guide to remove and replace a defective fingerprint sensor for the Pixel 3.

  1. Heat an iOpener and apply it to the bottom of the phone for one minute. When prying above the power button, be careful not to insert the pick too deeply, or you will damage the fingerprint sensor cable.
    • Heat an iOpener and apply it to the bottom of the phone for one minute.

    • When prying above the power button, be careful not to insert the pick too deeply, or you will damage the fingerprint sensor cable.

    Older devices may require 2 or more minutes with a very hot iOpener. Also note, the photo shows the opener on the FRONT of the phone. The heat needs to be applied to the back of the device!

    Rick Johnson - Yanıt

    I just realized that I was trying to pry apart the front of my Pixel 3… and have separated the class from the display. ??‍♂️ Even though the rest of the directions show the back, it would be nice for the first picture to also show the back, just to be safe.

    JR Raith -

    Agreed, I’ve done exactly the same and completely broken my display. I probably should’ve paid more attention to the initial steps before diving in but the step could do with a new picture for sure.

    Daniel Fryer -

    Thanks for the comments! I’ll add a note in the step warning people to make sure to pry the back cover, not the screen.

    Arthur Shi -

    I prefer my favorite opening method with something like this. Dental floss. So thin it can slide in the gap. A little sawing to get it far enough past the edge to lift and get the first pick in.

    John Hoffstetter - Yanıt

  2. Apply a suction cup to the heated bottom edge of the back cover. Make sure you did not mistake the screen side for the back cover side. If your back cover is badly cracked, covering it with a layer of clear packing tape may allow the suction cup to adhere.
    • Apply a suction cup to the heated bottom edge of the back cover.

    • Make sure you did not mistake the screen side for the back cover side.

    • If your back cover is badly cracked, covering it with a layer of clear packing tape may allow the suction cup to adhere.

    • Lift on the suction cup with strong, steady force to create a gap.

    • Depending on how aged your phone is, this may take significant force. If you are having trouble, apply more heat and try again.

    • Insert an opening pick into the gap.

    The initial opening/insert is the hardest part of this repair, and if you end up having to use a flat-head screwdriver (etc) to get the first gap opened, you’ll scratch the phone. But it works.

    William Kew - Yanıt

    I don’t recommend using a screwdriver. I tried this and it shattered the glass in that area. I replaced the battery on my Pixel 1 recently and noted that heating the FRONT glass on that phone enough to get a gap for one of the pics takes a considerable amount of time AND patience. I was one of the few who didn’t break or otherwise damage the glass in that process. I would say the same rule applies here. Allow for significant time and patiences to heat the old adhesive enough to get a pick inside the cover.

    kevlion88 - Yanıt

    Definitely, this opening/insert is the hardest part of the procedure. I was unable to open even a slight separation with a suction cup and even with tons of heat from a hair dryer. What worked really well, and what I would highly recommend to others who experience really strong adhesive, is to use a small X-acto knife with a #16 blade. Make sure it’s a #16 (find on Amazon) because it differs greatly in angle and rigidity from the usual #11 blade. The sharpness of the blade makes it really easy to find the crack and open a gap, where you can then insert a pick with no problem.

    Andris Vizulis - Yanıt

    I gave up with the iOpener and pick, I tried >5 times for over an hour… After heating with theiOpener, I used and X-acto knife instead and that worked like a charm, except it did leave a few scuff marks unfortunatly. I used a size 22 blade.

    Manny - Yanıt

    I really wanted to level off the back of the phone when pulling on the suction cup in this step, but found it was actually pretty easy once I used the opening tool to push down on the edge of the bezel, at the crack, barely putting any force on the back of the phone at all (just to keep it steady).

    Eugene Creswick - Yanıt

    I have about a 2 year old Pixel 3. iOpener didn’t work at all on this step, but once I broke out the hair dryer, I was able to get the phone hot enough to insert the pick (no screwdriver or xacto knife needed)

    sliverdragon37 - Yanıt

    I’m having trouble with the iOpener too. It is frustrating because I practiced on a bricked iPhone earlier this week and it was effortless. My Pixel 3 is also about 2 years old. Out of curiosity, were you replacing the charging assembly because of the charging cables fitting too loosely on the phone or for some other reason?

    Edwin -

    I used a stanley knive to get started and then a combo of opener and plektrums.

    All went well till I used to much force on the camera corner and broke the back into lots of small pieces. Be careful on that corner, people.

    But the new camera does focus, so for a first attempt at fixing a phone I am happy.

    clas ebeling - Yanıt

    I heated the bottom up with the Iopener and then used a rectangular razor blade and the suction cup to lift the bottom. Place the entire blade edge into the crack and push/pry while lifting with the suction cup. As soon as you have a gap start to open, have a second person insert a pick into the corner. It was actually really easy. I had given up after a couple of tries without a blade. My Pixel 3 is 2 years old.

    Jeremy Stewart - Yanıt

    Agreed with many other comments here. My Pixel 3 is two years old and neither the iopener nor a blow dryer were capable of loosening it enough. I ended up using a VERY hot iopener for a couple of minutes, the suction cup, and then a wide-bladed razer blade (about 80% width of bottom edge to spread out the stress and prevent risk of fracturing the rear glass panel). Once adding the razer blade I was able to get the pick in and follow the rest of the instructions as written.

    Matt Johnson - Yanıt

    I also had to follow this process but resorted to a heat gun on its lowest setting as I couldn’t get the iOpener hot enough (I was afraid of overheating and bursting it). Other how-to videos also show using a thin piece of plastic or metal to slide into the corner, saving substantial time.

    Rick Johnson -

    So I didn’t use a blade, but I did get my fingernail in before the plectrum haha. Happened by accident as I was trying to push down on the bezel to counter the suction cup force.

    I also heated the sides and corners as well as the bottom, which may have helped it budge.

    Dmitriy - Yanıt

    Helped me to notice that the focus here is to lift in the center (like right over the USB C connector). Was able to get it with just the iOpener and pushing down on the rest of the phone with the pry tool. My phone is over 2 years old though and it took about 50 minutes of working / reheating / repeating

    Tim Noack - Yanıt

    Destroyed the glass back trying to take it off. This is not an easy phone to take apart.

    Andrew Richie - Yanıt

    It would be nice if there was a heads up that the rear of the phone is glass….. Phone piping hot glass shattered and splintered

    John Gates - Yanıt

  3. Slice the adhesive along the bottom edge of the phone and around the right corner. Leave a pick in the bottom edge to prevent the adhesive from re-sealing. Leave a pick in the bottom edge to prevent the adhesive from re-sealing.
    • Slice the adhesive along the bottom edge of the phone and around the right corner.

    • Leave a pick in the bottom edge to prevent the adhesive from re-sealing.

  4. Heat the right edge with an iOpener and continue slicing the adhesive with an opening pick. The adhesive can be very gummy. Push the pick in and out in a sawing motion to help with slicing. The adhesive can be very gummy. Push the pick in and out in a sawing motion to help with slicing.
    • Heat the right edge with an iOpener and continue slicing the adhesive with an opening pick.

    • The adhesive can be very gummy. Push the pick in and out in a sawing motion to help with slicing.

    What is the required temperature to soften the glue? Can I just use a small bag filled with boiling water or a heat gun.

    Wiley Sanders - Yanıt

    The iOpener is a plastic bag filled with what appears to be water so probably, yes.

    Christopher St. John - Yanıt

  5. Continue heating and slicing through the rest of the phone perimeter. Leave a pick in each edge to prevent the adhesive from resealing. When slicing above the power button, do not insert the pick more than halfway in to avoid damaging the fingerprint sensor cable. When slicing above the power button, do not insert the pick more than halfway in to avoid damaging the fingerprint sensor cable.
    • Continue heating and slicing through the rest of the phone perimeter. Leave a pick in each edge to prevent the adhesive from resealing.

    • When slicing above the power button, do not insert the pick more than halfway in to avoid damaging the fingerprint sensor cable.

  6. Once you have sliced around the perimeter of the phone, carefully lift the left edge of the back cover. Do not attempt to remove the back cover. It is still attached to the phone by the fingerprint sensor cable. Flip the back cover along its long axis and rest it so that the fingerprint sensor cable is not strained.
    • Once you have sliced around the perimeter of the phone, carefully lift the left edge of the back cover.

    • Do not attempt to remove the back cover. It is still attached to the phone by the fingerprint sensor cable.

    • Flip the back cover along its long axis and rest it so that the fingerprint sensor cable is not strained.

  7. Remove the two 4.1 mm long Phillips screws securing the fingerprint connector bracket.
    • Remove the two 4.1 mm long Phillips screws securing the fingerprint connector bracket.

    • During reassembly, be careful not to over-tighten these screws, or you may damage your display.

    A magnetic screwdriver tip helped here.

    Ciprian Chelba - Yanıt

    If you purchase iFixit’s kit for this replacement, their included driver is magnetic. Helped immensely!

    Rick Johnson -

    after replacing my camera, my screen had a big green/white vertical stripe. I didn’t see the disclaimer about overtightening these screws. I think it may be related.

    Ethan Berry - Yanıt

  8. Use the point of a spudger to slide the fingerprint connector bracket out from under the NFC coil. Remove the fingerprint connector bracket. Remove the fingerprint connector bracket.
    • Use the point of a spudger to slide the fingerprint connector bracket out from under the NFC coil.

    • Remove the fingerprint connector bracket.

    Re-inserting this is tricky and requires pretty good dexterity. The shiny metal frame of the wireless charger is also not held down, so you may wish to gently apply pressure to it as you try to re-position the connector bracket.

    William Kew - Yanıt

  9. Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the fingerprint connector from its socket. When you disconnect connectors like these, be careful not to dislodge the small surface-mounted components surrounding the socket.
    • Use the point of a spudger to pry up and disconnect the fingerprint connector from its socket.

    • When you disconnect connectors like these, be careful not to dislodge the small surface-mounted components surrounding the socket.

    • To re-attach press connectors like this one, carefully align and press down on one side until it clicks into place, then repeat on the other side. Do not press down on the middle. If the connector is misaligned, the pins can bend, causing permanent damage.

  10. Remove the back cover. Before you install a replacement back cover, be sure to remove all adhesive residue from the phone frame. Use an opening tool to scrape and high concentration isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface. If you are re-using the back cover, be sure to clean off any adhesive, and apply new back cover adhesive.
    • Remove the back cover.

    • Before you install a replacement back cover, be sure to remove all adhesive residue from the phone frame. Use an opening tool to scrape and high concentration isopropyl alcohol to clean the surface.

    • If you are re-using the back cover, be sure to clean off any adhesive, and apply new back cover adhesive.

    • If you are installing a replacement back cover, be sure compare it with the original part. Transfer any remaining parts (such as the flash diffuser) over to your replacement part.

    When reassembling is it better to first attach the new adhesive back gasket to the phone back or the phone chassis frame?

    Tom Burke - Yanıt

    Hi Tom!

    It depends on the adhesive. Carefully align the adhesive to the phone by matching the contours. Note which adhesive side is backed by a clear liner, and which side is backed by a colored liner. The clear liner should be removed first. Whichever component the exposed adhesive faces should be the first surface to apply to.

    Hope that helps!

    Arthur Shi -

    Two things:

    1) I recommend attaching the adhesive to the Phone frame and not the back panel. As you attach, you can more easily see the gaps and guide the adhesive along the groove, leaving equal space all around.

    2) To transfer the fingerprint sensor, you will need double-sticky tape to make a new gasket. Put the tape on the back from the inside, and trim with a blade to make the sensor hole. To attach the sensor, place it on something small to raise it off your working surface, then lower the back over it. You’ll be able to see the sensor alignment as you lower the back, which helps get a good position.

    Gary Beardsley - Yanıt

    Oh, and be prepared: Removing the old adhesive is teeeeedious!! It will take you some time. :-b Alcohol is not a strong solvent, so don’t expect it to remove much; it is mostly for cleaning afterward. In the end, I used one of iFixit’s flat metal tools from the big toolkit to remove the final remains. Its was blunt enough to not cut metal shavings as I cleaned.

    Gary Beardsley - Yanıt

    I ended up reusing the original adhesive as it was in pretty good shape. So far, no problems.

    Dan Comiskey - Yanıt

    Does your IF356-119-1, Google Pixel 3 Rear Cover Adhesive, template use 2 sided pressure sensitive tape? Do I simply align it on the back cover and then press it to the device to reassemble the unit? If so, how long til the back cover is “glued” to the unit?

    Martin Seffens - Yanıt

    Hi Martin,

    The rear cover adhesive is indeed two-sided PSA (pressure sensitive adhesive). Apply firm even pressure for a minute to bond the adhesive to the unit.

    Arthur Shi -

    When scraping the adhesive off the back cover be careful and don’t apply too much pressure (and/or position the cover against the surface so that it’s supported against the tool used), especially in the corners, or the glass cover rounded edges could break.

    Bart Oleksiak - Yanıt

    My battery swelled and did all the hard work getting started popping the back open so I didn’t need the iOpener to get the back off, but now the iOpener is handy to heat up the sticky foamy factory original adhesive.

    I found isopropanol ineffective. I found heat softens it considerably. Just very warm, like hot water warm, is effective. Use tweezers or a plastic blade to help pull it off. Metal blades will either gouge the plastic or, worse, create metal shavings that will wreak havoc.

    Are there any solvents other than isopropanol that work and won’t harm the plastic? How do pros speed up this step?

    wsanders - Yanıt

    I think pros often use heating pads or special jigs. They’d set the temperature, set the phone on the pad, and let the phone heat up for a few minutes. Heat guns are also a popular choice.

    Arthur Shi -

    I found that an opening pick worked well to scrape the glue off the inside of the curved edges of the back cover

    Richard Elder - Yanıt

    The adhesive on mine took some effort to clean off all the way. During reassembly I did notice that my replacement back panel adhesive was larger than I expected and based off of product photos it looks like I received the 3 XL adhesive instead of the 3. That ended up having me fiddle with the adhesive to try and get it to fit right and unfortunately the camera side now has a bit of a gap that I can still press down on without having it stick. I’ll see how it stays but I fear I might have to get another adhesive. The guide was very helpful though!

    Craig Mileham - Yanıt

  11. Heat an iOpener and apply it to the back side of the fingerprint sensor for a minute, to loosen the adhesive holding it in place. Insert the edge of an opening tool underneath the fingerprint sensor's lip, and pry up to loosen the sensor from the back cover. Insert the edge of an opening tool underneath the fingerprint sensor's lip, and pry up to loosen the sensor from the back cover.
    • Heat an iOpener and apply it to the back side of the fingerprint sensor for a minute, to loosen the adhesive holding it in place.

    • Insert the edge of an opening tool underneath the fingerprint sensor's lip, and pry up to loosen the sensor from the back cover.

  12. Remove the fingerprint sensor.
    • Remove the fingerprint sensor.

    • Use custom pre-cut adhesive or double-sided tape such as Tesa tape to re-adhere the fingerprint sensor onto the back cover.

Sonuç

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

Repair didn’t go as planned? Check out our Google Pixel 3 Answers community for troubleshooting help.

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Is there any steps to be done on the software side? I did the replacement but I cannot see an option to setup fingerprint unlock.

Moe - Yanıt

Hi Moe,

The fingerprint sensor setup should still remain the same. If you can’t any software setup option, it may mean that the phone doesn’t detect the fingerprint sensor hardware. Look over step 9 and carefully check that the connector is fully seated.

Arthur Shi -

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