How an Expert Repairs a Cracked Samsung Galaxy S3 Screen

Since late February of 2013 we’ve been researching, developing and repairing Samsung Galaxy S3 and S4 phones. It took us six months and thousands of dollars to really fine-tune our process and we decided to share what we’ve learned with the rest of the world. The only thing we ask in return is for you to use the comments section to make suggestions on how we can do it even better. We’d like to see this blog post become the definitive guide on how to fix Galaxy S phones the right way.

Things to Know Before You Start

First, this is a real customer’s phone. It has never been taken apart before. You are seeing a live repair from start to finish exactly the way we would do it.

Secondly, this process is for a blue Galaxy S3. The glass removal process is completely different if you’re fixing a white, black, or red phone. I know that sounds strange but it’s true. Samsung put a small film between the glass and the LCD on blue phones. If you get underneath that film, you can peel it off in a single piece. On white, red, and black phones the glass is glued directly to the LCD. That means you have to pick each piece of broken glass off one at a time on those phones. It’s much more difficult and takes a lot longer. Stay tuned – we’ll film a white glass removal in the near future.

Third, we’ve already made a few modifications to this process since the video was made. That’s how we roll – constantly trying to innovate and find better, quicker, and safer ways to do a repair. I’ll kick off the comments below with our latest discoveries.

Lastly, you should know that this is a difficult repair to do right and a mistake could end up costing you a lot more money. For example, you can easily crack the LCD if you don’t heat the glass enough – or you can burn it if you heat it too much. In either case you’ll end up having to replace the entire front assembly. Right now the going rate for a full front assembly on Amazon is anywhere from $110-$140 depending on the vendor and quality.

0:0 to 2:23 – What You’ll Need

Here’s a list of the tools you’ll need.  Obviously you’re not going to want to buy a $300 hot plate if you’re an at-home do-it-yourselfer, so I’ve listed some alternatives for the bigger ticket items.

  • Safety glasses. This is a must. Little shards of glass are going to pop and go flying as you remove the glass.
  • Heat resistant glove. Any glove will actually do – you just need it to protect your hand from the 200+ degree heat.
  • Precision, adjustable hot plate. You could use a cheap heat gun (pick it up at a hardware store) or even a hair dryer.
  • An infrared thermometer. You don’t have to have this but you should. Get the LCD too hot and you’ll burn it. Don’t get it hot enough and you can crack it trying to take the glass off. Ideally you want the glass to be between 200-230 degrees Fahrenheit and the only good way to do that is with a decent IR thermometer.
  • Metal spudger. You can purchase a slightly different but cheaper version of the one we use on eBay for about $2.
  • 1″ wide, flexible, metal putty knife. You can get one of these at a local hardware store for a couple of bucks.
  • Alcohol wipes. Pretty cheap at most drug stores but we love the ones from CVS.
  • 2 mm double-sided tape. Again, try Amazon for this.
  • 1/2″ wide double sided tape. We buy this from Uline. This stuff is incredibly strong and works great but it’s expensive. I don’t really have a proven substitute. You might be able to use a cheap double-sided Scotch tape but I can’t guarantee that.
  • Scissors.
  • X-acto knife.
  • #00 Phillips head screwdriver.
  • 1mm flat-bladed screwdriver. We use this to pop connectors. You could use your fingertips or any small, sharp object. Just be careful not to chip anything on the motherboard.
  • 2-2.5 mL of Ultra-Violet curing Liquid, Optically Clear Adhesive (UV LOCA). This is a must for holding on your new glass. Don’t use tape or you’ll have all kinds of problems with touch sensitivity and dust. You can find LOCA on eBay or Amazon.
  • Plenty of paper towels. The adhesive can be a bit messy.
  • A magnifying glass. We use a lab quality magnifier with a light, but a simple, cheap magnifying glass should work.
  • Foodsaver handheld vacuum sealer and resealable vacuum sealer bags. We use this to evenly distribute the adhesive under the new glass. You could just use your fingers but be gentle. It’s easy to create air bubbles or push too much adhesive through the frame and then you’ll have a mess.
  • UV Light for curing the glue. Alternatively, you can just walk out in the sunshine with your phone – lots of UV light in sunshine.
  • A brand new piece of glass for your GS3.

2:24 to 10:36 – Removing the Glass

Once again, this is for a blue Galaxy S3. A white, red, or black one will be significantly different. Here are the highlights.

  1. Try to keep the glass between 200-230 degrees F. Hotter than that and you’ll burn the LCD. Cooler than that and you’ll crack the LCD trying to pull the glass up. This means you can’t err on the side of too little or too much. It has to be just right. When training new techs I always tell them that they should never overheat the glass but they should heat it often. That’s good advice.
  2. Use your metal spudger to free the top and then slide the putty knife across the entire top. Then slowly, at the appropriate temperature, slide the putty knife down the glass. The factory adhesive should release like liquid – not like wax. Make sure to keep the temperature right. Heat often.
  3. Be extra careful when you get to the bottom. There is a fragile ribbon cable by the home button that is used for the back and menu buttons. This ribbon cable is taped to the glass. You’ll tear this ribbon cable if you just rip the glass off – then you’ll need to purchase an entire new LCD assembly. It’s extremely difficult to replace that ribbon cable without breaking the LCD.

10:37 to 25:58 – Preparing the Phone for Adhesive

There are a number of tricky things when using the UV glue. First and foremost, it hardens as soon as it hits UV light (aka: sunlight). So you need to do this repair in a space free of sunlight or you’re going to have problems.

The other big problem is that, before it cures, it’s a liquid. That means it flows into places you don’t want it – like the proximity sensor, front camera, volume button, home button, etc. We need to carefully control the flow of the liquid.

The last thing to note is that once you cure it, it’s set. There’s no reflowing it. So if you get hair, air bubbles, or big dirt particles in it you’ll have to go through the messy and painful process of redoing everything. Trust me when I say this is not fun – I’ve done it more times than I’d like to admit.

The way to prevent all these problems is with proper preparation.

  1. Test the screen after you remove the glass. If you did break the LCD, you want to know before going through the rest of the process. Make sure both the LCD lights up and the touchscreen works.
  2. Tape down that ribbon cable at the bottom. You don’t want to tear it so get it secured and out of the way.
  3. Do an initial cleaning with just your fingers to get all the original adhesive off the glass. You’re also going to remove the original, black, double-sided tape on the sides and bottom of the phone. Your home button won’t sit quite right if you don’t.
  4. Use an alcohol wipe to clean the LCD.
  5. Remove the motherboard. You want to do this to make sure that if any adhesive does leak through the frame, it doesn’t get on the motherboard and damage it. In addition, we want to make sure the proximity sensor and camera areas are exposed (at the top) so that we can clean those out easily should any adhesive flow into those areas.
  6. Use 2mm tape to protect the top, power button, volume button, and the spot where the LCD plugs into the motherboard. All of these strips of tape should cover the seam between the LCD and the frame. This will keep the adhesive from flowing off the LCD and into the phone in those areas.
  7. Use a strip of 2mm tape and a custom cut strip of 1/2″ double sided tape to cover the bottom. We MUST cover the ribbon cable at the bottom of the LCD to make sure the adhesive doesn’t flow on to it and short it out. That’s where the 1/2″ tape is very useful.

 25:59 to 35:08 – Getting the Glue in Contact with the Glass

Getting the glue in contact with the new glass is tricky. Your first goal is simply to get the glass put down on the LCD without any air bubbles in it. The best piece of advice I can give on this is: GO SLOW! I will repeat that again below.

  1. Make sure you are in a space with no ambient sunlight in it. Sunlight is full of UV rays and they will cause the glue to cure right on the LCD before you can get the glass down. This is a bad thing so get setup in an interior room (or do this at night).
  2. Start with 2.5 mL of adhesive and make sure it has no air bubbles. Small air bubbles in the liquid tend to become big and annoying air bubbles when the glue is cured.
  3. Apply about 2 mL of glue in a double V formation (one V at the top, one at the bottom) and a line in between the two. Most of the glue should be placed in the line connecting the two Vs. We’ve found this glue pattern works the best (and we’ve tried a lot of patterns).
  4. Use a magnifying glass to inspect the liquid glue and look for air bubbles. Remove them with a small flat bladed screwdriver. Make sure to get all air bubbles and debris.
  5. Use a long spudger or screwdriver to slowly lower the new glass onto the adhesive. GO SLOW! I can’t emphasize that enough. You will get air bubbles if you drop the glass down too fast. Plan on taking at least 2 minutes to lower your new glass.
  6. Once you have the adhesive fully in contact with the screen, use an alcohol wipe to clean it and look for imperfections. It’s much easier at this point to start over than it is after you cure the glue.

35:09 to 40:55 – Spreading the Glue Evenly and Curing It

The previous section got the glue in full contact with the new screen but did not get it evenly spread over the entire LCD. That’s what we do here and our process is a little unorthodox – we use a handheld vacuum sealer and a resealable vacuum bag. It’s pretty slick.

  1. Place the front screen assembly in a resealable, vacuum sealable bag.
  2. Start pulling the air out of the bag. As soon as you see the adhesive starting to move towards the corners, STOP! If you pull too much of a vacuum, you’ll end up pulling adhesive into all sorts of bad spots. We want just enough vacuum and pressure to pull the adhesive into the corners.
  3. When the adhesive stops moving, pulse the vacuum sealer for 1/2 to 1 second and wait again. Repeat as necessary.
  4. Feel free to use some gentle finger pressure to help push the adhesive around. Be careful when doing this because if you push too hard, you’ll push adhesive into bad spots. You can also create a thin spot in the adhesive that might come lose in a few days. So be careful if you decide to use your hands to help move the glue around.
  5. Once the LCD is completely covered with glue, you’re ready to cure it. Do one last check for air bubbles before hitting it with UV light because once it’s cured, there’s no going back.
  6. Do an initial cure of just 15 seconds and then pull the phone out of the bag. 15 seconds gives a solid bond on the LCD but still allows you to clean the excess adhesive off the edges of the assembly. Much longer than 15 seconds and the excess glue starts to get pretty hard and difficult to remove.
  7. Inspect the back of the screen assembly and clean out any excess adhesive you see. Then cure the back for about a minute. This will make sure any adhesive that might be coming through the back cures and “dams” things up.
  8. Flip it back over and cure the front again for at least 2 minutes. Longer is better.
  9. Test the home button and volume buttons to make sure they work. Also do a visual inspection of the front camera and proximity sensor windows to make sure they’re clean.

40:56 to 43:46 – Final Details

That’s it. The tough stuff is done. Now put everything back together, turn it on, fully test it, and do one last cleaning.

Shameless Plug

Did you watch this video and feel a bit intimidated? Don’t feel bad. It’s not an easy thing to do and, as I said at the start, we spent months figuring out all the little details. So why not let us do it for you? We charge a very reasonable price for the glass replacement and guarantee it’ll work or we redo it free of charge. It takes 2 hours if you live near one of our repair stores. Otherwise you can mail it in and we’ll fix it in 24 hours and mail it back.

Whichever option you choose, DIY or to have us fix it, we hope you found this repair video useful. Please comment below if you have any questions or suggestion on how we could do it even better.

110 thoughts on “How an Expert Repairs a Cracked Samsung Galaxy S3 Screen

  1. Dylan says:

    This is great, i have been having issues with the loca burning out the lcd or the digitizer and with your methods im going to feel a lot better about doing it

    Thank you!

  2. Jason says:

    I have a hot plate but always thought it would melt the frame. Would you say that the hot plate is safer than using a heat gun? I usually set my heat gun at 160 and heat the glass from there. once I put my heat gun on 180 and I burnt the lcd in a small spot due to leaving it in one space longer. By evenly distributing the heat is it less likely the hot plate will burn the lcd, you are using higher temps than what I was using and yours came out just fine. Just wanted to know your opinion on heat plates vs hot air gun. Thanks

    • Jason: We have not had any issues using the hot plate and melting the frame. In addition, the hot plate and a infrared thermometer is much, much better solution than a heat gun (at least in my opinion). It’s way too hard to control the temperature and dispersion of heat with a heat gun and it’s a lot easier to burn the LCD.

      That said, you still need to be very diligent when using the hot plate to make sure you don’t leave the screen on their for too long. We leave our hot plate well above the LCD burn point (300 F) and make sure to check the temperature of the glass every 5-7 seconds until it gets to 220 F. We’ve never had an issue with the frame being damaged from that heat.

      One quick caveat: Make sure you pull out the battery before heating it. They can get pretty hot otherwise.

  3. cari says:

    AMAZING!! However, I have the pebble blue s3 and have replaced the glass once before..this is the first time I saw anything about needing to glue the lcd screen. Is this a required step…

    • Cari: It’s not “required” but it is very highly recommended. If you just use tape to hold the new screen on you’ll have up to 3 problems. The first will be dust getting underneath your screen. The second is reduced touch sensitivity (you might have to press harder to make things work). And lastly, you might end up seeing what looks like a water spot under the screen. That is actually the glass coming into direct contact with the LCD (which doesn’t happen if you use the UV glue).

      Let me know if you have any more questions on this.

      • Josh says:

        Hi,

        I was wondering what type of glue is recommended and if it can be purchased at a craft store, hardware store, or online (ie amazon?)

        Thanks!

        • You can usually find it on eBay or Amazon. You want the stuff labeled LOCA glue. This is the stuff I would probably recommend.

          A word of warning: That’s 10mL of glue and should be enough for at least 3 attempts (you want to use about 2.5mL to 3mL per attempt). You could just buy the 3mL version of that and save a few buck but if you’ve never done the repair before, you may find yourself having to retry the repair a couple of times to get it right.

  4. John says:

    What adhesive brand and size did you use for the bottom around the “home” button? Could u post a link of where to buy? Also, what size and brand of adhesive did you use for the “sides” around the volume button and such?

    • I can’t remember the name of the company because we no longer use that large bottle. Too much trouble with air bubbles. If I remember right, it cost about $350 for 1.1 Liter. You can find that on Amazon or Ebay if you need to.

  5. Axle says:

    Hi
    Great instructions video.
    I used all your tips and replaced the glass on my S3, every thing worked fine for 3 weeks and then sudenly I saw 2-3 “air vains” under the glass as if the uv glue did not cure all the way.
    Since I had a little uv glue left I tried to remove the glass again, clean it and connect it again with the loca glue.
    Again every thing looked perfect for two weeks and this time sudenly I got a compleet 4 “air vain” like a inner frame of branched air under the glass, every thing still works.
    As for the Uv light, I used a friends 36Watt nail polish UV box, so I am sure the problem is not the uv light I used (60 minutes in the 2nd session)
    What could be the problem ??
    I do not want to replace the glass for the 3rd time just to see the problem acure again.
    What am I doing wrong ?

    • Axle: The most likely problem is that you are using too little adhesive OR you’re pushing down too hard to get it to spread and that is causing it to have thin spot in the adhesive that release over time.

      We used to have a problem like this once in awhile but have since found an almost flawless solution. We use a significantly lower viscosity (runnier) adhesive now and simply lay the glass on it and then let it spread out on its own instead of applying any additional pressure to the screen. It takes a little longer and the adhesive is trickier to deal with but it works great.

      To help the adhesive flow over the whole screen, we will sometimes pick it up and tilt the phone in the direction we want the adhesive to go. But always careful not to use our fingers to push it down and create those thin spots.

      Hope that helps.

      • Axle says:

        Hi again and thanks for the info.
        A freined broke his glass on Samsung S4 so I am going to help him out and order Some more Uv glue and a new glass for him and for me.
        You mentioned a significantly lower viscosity adhesive, can you elaborate please, the only two kinds of Uv Glue I see is something 2500 and 1000 type…

        • If you’ve never done this before, I recommend getting 10mL of the APS 340. That’s the higher viscosity glue and it’s a lot more forgiving than the low viscosity stuff (which, if you’re not used to using it, can flow into all sorts of spots and cause lots of problems).

  6. Christina says:

    Hello
    So i have a Galaxy S3 GT-I9300 the LCD was broke a week ago and my friend try to fixing it. he did it the LCD and the screen color are perfect however the SIM Card reader cant read my T- Moblie SIM card. then i check then i find out that my friend has replace the L710 LCD to my friend replace L710 LCD on my original phone GTi9300. i search online and it said the L710 is from Sprint. would might be the reason that my SIM Card reader cant read my T- Mobile SIM card??

    • Christina: The problem would not be a different LCD – the actual LCDs are the same for all the models. However, if the LCD was sold inside a frame, then you could have problems. The frames for the different carriers are different. Do you know if he just bought the LCD with the glass on it or did he buy the LCD and glass already in a frame?

      Most likely your friend misconnected something or broke something during the repair. I’d have them re-open the phone up and see if any of the connectors are unhooked (some of them can be a bit tricky to put on if you’ve never done it before). Also, I’d ask him if the phone went back together easily. If he was using a complete frame assembly, things wouldn’t have line up properly. So he might have tried to force something together and that could be causing the problems.

      • mike says:

        I dont recall seeing too many L710 boards with simcard readers. He probably used the 9300 back cover with the L710 lcd frame which doesn’t fit.

  7. Josh says:

    Thanks for this video. It was awesome. I got a question. While doing the UV glue and After the first 15 sec pre-curing I realized I got glue into the volume button. I haven’t completely cure it yet, but what should I do to the the glue out of that tiny space. is the volume button removable. I am desperate, What should I do?

    • The volume and power button are both easily removable.

      The best thing to do is cure it a little bit and then use a fingernail or sharp screwdriver to pop them out. Then take an X-acto knife and carefully scrape the glue off the button and from the inside of the button hole. Use a little tissue to remove any excess liquid glue.

      • Josh says:

        Thank you so much for the info. Is there any solution to remove the excess cured UV glue from the phone frame. It’s a little hard to get it clean. Thanks again

        • The best thing is probably a very careful guided X-acto knife. Or if you have some very fined grained sand paper you might be able to use that as well (though I’ve never tried that one).

  8. Josh says:

    Hey I would like to thank you again for this great tutorial. I have been able to fix many screen using this method. Thanks again. I have a huge issue. I have tried to fix 2 GS3 with white screen. However, I have broke the LCD/Digitizer of both. I try to go very very slowly on both but as you mentioned before there is not film between the glass and the LCD/digitizer and I cannot get the digitizer to get detached from the glass. I know you always have great tips. Would you please give me some advice on how to fix white phones? Thank you very much.

    • Josh says:

      It look like it’s almost impossible to remove the white glass from the digitizer. After breaking the screen, I try to remove the glass from the digitizer and it was almost impossible to do it. I ended up breaking the digitizer before removing it from the front glass. What do you say JDC?

      • You have to keep re-heating the glass to 220-230 degrees fahrenheit and then pull the pieces of glass off 1-by-1 with an X-acto knife. I highly recommend an infra-red thermometer to monitor the temperature. Once the temp falls below 190, you need to stop and reheat – or you’ll break the LCD. Be careful when heating it, though, because if you get much above 230 you’ll burn the LCD.

        It’s really tricky to do the first few times and pretty much impossible if you’re using a heat gun instead of a high-end hot plate where you can very precisely set the temperature of the surface. If you’re using a heat gun, you’ll almost certainly burn the LCD.

        • Josh says:

          Thanks for the quick reply. I am using a heat gun mounted on a frame that I created out of wood and ceramic. I am also using an IR temperature reader. I guess I would need to buy a hot plate if I continue to do this. Would you recommend one to buy. Thanks again for the help.

  9. Chris says:

    Hey thanks for the tutorial. I apologize if me question was answered in the video, as my service isnt good enough to view it. My question is how necessary is it to remove the motherboard/fully take the phone apart before heating? I assume if heating is regulated as to protect the lcd, then the heat shouldnt be great enough to affect the internals. I was just wondering if you could confirm this before I go and unnecessarily fully disassemble my phone.

    • Chris: Sorry for the delay in responding – I was traveling the past couple of days for work and didn’t check this very often.

      In answer to your question: It’s not critical but I do highly recommend it. The reason is because, especially if you’re new to this, it’s not uncommon for a little adhesive to flow into the prox sensor/camera areas. If that happens, you’ll want to be able to wipe that adhesive out BEFORE you cure it under a UV light. If you cure it first, then those will be hard to impossible to get clean again and you’ll probably have to redo the entire repair with a new glass (and maybe end up replacing the front camera and prox sensor to boot).

      In addition, you might end up getting some adhesive to run into the phone. If that happens and it spreads over the motherboard, you may end up with some much bigger problems.

      Also, make sure to cover the LCD connector where it touches the LCD. If you don’t, adhesive can run into that and short out your LCD display. I’ve seen that happen to a few people.

    • Josh says:

      To build on top of JCD comments, I also thought before doing it that it was too much work to remove the motherboard. Trust me, removing the glass is a lot more work than removing the motherboard and other component. It’s much better to run on a safe side. If the motherboard or the lcd get shorted by the glue, you will have to either buy another phone or buy a new lcd which goes for about $120 on ebay. After my first bad experience, now I don’t only remove the motherboard but also I remove the volume buttons, the volume ribbon and the power button. You don’t want that to get full of glue. I better be safe than sorry.

  10. Landon says:

    Nice tutorial you taught me a lot. I have a couple of questions though.

    1. For cleaning the adhesive off the LCD. Do you recommend the wipes or buying a adhesive remover and using a toothbrush or plastic razor blade to remove the adhesive?

    2. LOCA glue- I have done some research and I think i’m going to go with lcdglue.com LOCA glue seeing that they seem to have good quality glue. Do you think they have good LOCA glue or have you not tried them?

    3. I bought some molds for doing s3,s4,note 2,3 iphone 4,4s,5,5s LCDS. Would it be eairer/Cheaper to use the mold method or use your method by using adhesive tape?

    4. Does the vacuum sealer seem to keep bubbles out more then just using your fingers?

    Sorry for all the questions. I’m just starting to get into the LCD seperation Business and just have a lot of questions. I plan on starting with iphone 4/4’s screen to get the hang of the hotplate.

    Thanks again for the great tutorial.

    Landon

    • Landon: Sorry for the really slow reply. I don’t monitor this thread as regularly as I should any longer. Here’s some answers for you:

      1. We use a variety of products ranging from pre-moistened wipes, to some expensive microfiber rags, to paper towels and alcohol. It just depends on how dirty it is and what we’re trying to remove.

      2. lcdglue.com has perfectly fine glue. That’s what we used when we very first started testing this process out.

      3. I hate the molds. They make a mess. If you are going to use the molds, I highly recommend using some clear plastic wrap between the mold and the LCD. It will help immensely in the clean up process.

      4. We’ve found that using your fingers can result in two problems. a) You can create thin spots in the adhesive where it will separate when it fully cures – usually a few days after the initial repair is done. b) It’s easy to push too much glue out of the edges – this can make a mess and result in having to redo the repair.

  11. Howie says:

    Great tutorial. I went too fast with the heat gun on the blue S3 and cracked the lcd. Cost 140 to get a new frame and lcd.

    I’m going to replace a screen on a white note 2. I’ve ordered a replacement that came with a small tube of loca.

    I further went and ordered oca stickers. After watching youtube videos, it looks like an autoclave is a must when using the stickers. Is there an alternative to using an autoclave? Do you think the vacuum bags would remove the air bubbles fron using the stickers?

    • Howie: The stickers are tough. The vacuum sealer definitely doesn’t do it. I’ve seen videos in the past where people use a vacuum chamber (the kind that’s just a pot with a clear, plexiglass lid on it) and place it on a hot plate. Kind of a poor man’s autoclave. I have no idea if that would work.

  12. Gabriel Romero says:

    I have galaxy s3 blue I just purchased a new glass screen but its a white will I be able to use it or no?

    • Gabriel: No problem at all putting a blue screen on there. The home button will still be white (unless you bought a blue home button) but it’ll work just fine. The harder part is going to be removing the glass from the white phone. It has to come off piece by piece. It’s very different than the video in that respect. It’s strange, they made the blue ones come off easily, but not the white (or black or red or gray…).

      Good luck.

  13. Harsh says:

    Hey! This is kinda offtopic but I was also going to replace the mid frame which is bonded with the display. I know there is a risk of the display cracking if not done carefully and I wanted to know if the frame swap is recommended or even possible using a heat gun or a hair dryer

    • Harsh: I’d be really careful about replacing the frame if your LCD is good. It’s possible to do but it’s definitely tricky. Very easy to break the LCD – especially on a Galaxy S3 (and S4 is a little easier to remove – not much, but a little). If you’re going to try it, go slow, use a business card, and make sure to regularly heat the LCD to help loosen the adhesive holding the LCD down. Be careful, though, if you get the LCD over about 230 F, you’ll burn it.

      I personally don’t think it’s worth trying to replace the frame because of all the risks involved. If you break that LCD, you’ll be shelling out about $125+ for a new LCD assembly. Of course, you can then get the frame on it.

  14. Anisa says:

    Hello, I have just taken the broken glass pieces off the screen of my white S3 mini which worked fine even with the cracks, I have tried to turn it on to see if the LCD still works and I haven’t damaged it while removing the glass although there was no scratches visible but the display is black, does this mean it is destroyed or will it work after replacing the screen.

      • Anisa: Unfortunately it sounds like you’ve broken the LCD and/or the connector that attaches it to the motherboard. From what you’re describing, it sounds like you’re going to have to get a brand new LCD to put on. Replacing the top glass will not have any effect on it at this point. Sorry I don’t have better news for you.

  15. Josh says:

    Hey i’ve seen your video on YouTube, it’s the best one. I have tried removing the glass using a heatgun, but i broke it at first because the temp was too low (the LCD didn’t work anyway, it was just for testing purposes).

    I was trying 170F with the heatgun and an IR themometer, but then went to +200F and it worked.
    One major issue was pushing the card/knife through the glue that had already separated. I dipped the card in iso propyl before sliding it back in, and this made it much easier too.
    Trick is to not separate more than 1cm between reheating. It’s very tempting to keep separating once you see the glue moving.

    The thing i don’t like about the hot plate (other than the expense), is that you can’t monitor the temp of the screen whilst it’s heating up. One second too long, and the temp could go too high.

    I actually bought a couple of OCA sheets, because they were cheap and i wanted to experiment. I was thinking the vacuum sealer combined with a heat gun might work. Anyway, that’s for another day.
    Thanks JCD 🙂

    • Josh: First and foremost, thank you for the input and the kind words about our video.

      We actually keep the temperature between 200F – 220F when doing the glass removal. You are right that the hot plate can be dangerous if you’re not super careful and diligent. We rarely leave it on there for more than 5 seconds before pulling it up and checking the glass temperature with an IR thermometer.

      We’ve just recently started experimenting with the OCA sheets again. We tried them early on and tried the vacuum sealer with no luck. Right now we’re working on our own poor mans autoclave to see what we can figure out for that. I’ll keep you posted if we learn more.

  16. cyn says:

    I have a question I fix my galaxy s5. Phone screen but now I have some weird bubbles, they look almost tye-dye. Do I have to redo the whole screen replacement again? Or can I use something like a blow dryer to get rid of it?

    • Cyn: You definitely can’t just heat the bubbles out. If you’re lucky, they are just air bubbles. You’ll have to remove the glass and redo the repair. However, if they are tye-dye in color it is more likely that you broke the LCD on your S5 and you’re going to have to buy and expensive replacement.

  17. S3 Dad says:

    My daughter’s S3 will no longer charge and it’s pretty clear the A/C input broke off the mother board, or is at least very loose. Does JCD do this type or repair or could you recommend somebody around Seattle who might? TIA!

    • Sorry for the delayed response. In answer to your question: Yes we can fix that. It requires some special equipment for the Galaxy S3 but it is definitely something we can do at our Redmond, WA store (where we have the special equipment). Here’s a link to that Galaxy S3 charging port repair.

  18. Raul says:

    Hello Josh excellent video i was with my finger ready to buy a expensive lcd separator from China;however,when i saw how clean and not messy your job was with a hot plate now i am hesitant.I have these questions if you don’t mind answering them:

    1) what are your thoughts of the lcd separator machines? example:http://www.lcdglue.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=01-0010&CartID=1

    2)The hotplate that you use in the video is a very high quality expensive laboratory hot plate. Would you recommend a budget brand?

    3)Instead of the metal putty knife that could potentially scratch the lcd,could you recommend another tool perhaps a plastic putty knife?

    4) Don’t you think using oca sheets are much faster and clean than using loca glue?

    Thank You once again shocking video.

    • Raul: Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I haven’t been checking this thread as regularly as I used to (it’s a bit of an old thread now).

      In answer to your questions:

      1) I wouldn’t get a LCD separate for Galaxy S3 or S4 repairs. I would for iPhone repairs, but not Galaxy.

      2) The budget hotplates tend to not heat evenly and that can cause all kinds of problems. If you’re going to be fixing a lot of these, spend the money on a good hotplate.

      3) For the past several months, we’ve been using business cards instead of a putty knife because they’re thinner and more flexible. But we never had a problem with the putty knife scratching a screen.

      4) The OCA sheets are tricky because you almost have to have an autoclave to make it work. You probably also need a little bit of a clean room environment to keep dust out of the sheets – which is usually visible after the repair.

  19. merrissa says:

    My partner successfully replaced the screen on my galaxy S3 minus the glue step. But now my menu and back buttons (bottom left and right at very bottom of screen, i think that’s what they are called? ) don’t work @ all. Don’t even light up. Any ideas what the problem could be, out how to fix this? Any advice be much appreciated. Btw, best blog I’ve seen on this subject 🙂

    • Merrissa: I think your partner tore the flex cable at the bottom of the phone that makes those buttons work. Easy to do because they are glued to the old screen assembly and if you’re not careful when pulling the old glass off, you can tear those. They’re tricky to replace because they run underneath and plug into the LCD. You’ll definitely have to pull the glass off again to fix it. Sorry I don’t have better news on that for you.

  20. Richard says:

    Great tutorial!
    I recently replaced the front screen on a Samsung Galaxy S2, which went pretty well, except that I now have a small area near the bottom of the screen where there is no LOCA. I guess I did not put enough glue. Is there any way to resolve this, without removing the screen entirely and starting again? Its not a huge problem, but I want it to look perfect rather than just good, as I want to sell the phone on.

    Any suggestions?

    • Richard: My suggestion, if the phone works, would be to live with it. There’s really no way to fix it without completely pulling off the glass again.

  21. Hi, first of all this is by far the fullest repair guide out there and most detailed one. Congrats. Also, amazing response time and dedication to your viewers. Super A+

    I’ve found using golden thread to be the best for removing the glass without breaking the LCD. I’ve done approx 30 phones by now and my BIGGEST problem are the “vains” appearing after some time. Your site is the ONLY one that provided the solution = uneaven application of glue (creating different thickness) because I was using my fingers only to apply pressure. I would appreciate your knowledge in 2014 (latest) about what is the BEST way to avoid the appearance of these vains of glue. I use LOCA from China and Germany TP-1000 and TP-2500. Also, if I just leave it there without any pressure overnight is there the danger that glue will cure without spreading to corners? Please provide more details about this problem as to how you currently solve the pressure part. And did you change anything in your procedure? Thanks in advance from a fan from Croatia

    • Danijel: We’ve recently switched to a much lower viscosity adhesive (one that flows much more easily) and we rarely use the bags any longer. The new glue flows pretty easily just from the pressure of the glass and tilting the phone a bit. I’d say it only takes about 3-5 minutes of letting it sit for the adhesive to spread evenly. The only problem with that technique is that the lower viscosity adhesive takes a lot longer to cure under the UV light (30 minutes vs 3 minutes for the other stuff). You can use this same technique with the UV340 adhesive (the stuff most people sell), but you’ll definitely have to hold the phone at various angles to get the glue to “run” into all the corners. If we were still using the 340, I’d still recommend the vacuum seal bags.

  22. Graham Kitchen says:

    Hi I’ve just attempted to replace the glass on my S4, unfortunately as i pulled the old screen off i also removed some of the black sticky stuff that is ontop of the grey/silver panel (i believe its the digitizer). The phone still works as does the touchscreen, there is no part of the screen that doesn’t work there’s just a discoloration where I’ve taken the black stuff off….any ideas???

    • Graham: What you removed was the polarizing filter on top of the LCD. Not easy to replace (I’ve never actually tried so I’m not 100% sure but it doesn’t feel like it would be easy). I’m going to guess at this point your options are to live with it or get a brand new LCD assembly.

      Anyone out there have any experience with this that could contribute a thought?

  23. Richard says:

    I have succesfully removed my broken glass on my galaxy note 2 but in the process have damaged the black film on the lcd….everything still works ok with both touch and s pen even though about an inch of the black film is missing….I was wondering if its possible to just replace the black film on the lcd or if I need to buy a complete new lcd? I was thinking of getting some window tinting film to replace this but was wondering what your thoughts were on this

    Not sure if my messages are making it to you as this is the third time I’ve asked this so sorry for the duplicates

    thanks

    • Richard: What you tore is called the polorizing filter. I believe (though I’ve never done this) that it can be replaced. That said, I think it will be really hard to do by hand. If you do try that, please let us know how it goes (I’d like to know if it works and where you got the filter from). Your other options at this point are basically to live with it or completely replace the LCD.

  24. Danijel says:

    Hi. Great tutorial, A+.

    Please let me know your latest techniques for pressuring the glass without the dreaded veins appearing after a day or two. Have you found the vacuum bag to be very efficient for this or is it way better to leave the glass settle over night and pressure itself down? Thanks in advance

    • Danijel: The most important thing is to use enough adhesive and to let it cure for plenty of time (we usually leave ours under a UV lamp for at least 20-30 minutes). Also, you want to be sure that you have an even distribution of the adhesive. If you use your fingers to push the glass down, you can end up creating thinner and thicker areas of adhesive and this can then result in the lines appearing after a few days.

  25. Sharon says:

    My son broke the glass screen on my blue Samsung galaxy s3 the other day. Everything else still works. I’ve seen the replacement kits for a good price online but we are all total novices when it comes to fixing something like this. I read what you wrote about the blue phones being easier to repair. How idiot-proof do you think the fix will be? Also, we don’t have a heat gun. Is this a necessary tool?

    • Sharon: If you watched the video at the top of this post, you’ll notice that even the blue Galaxy S3 is not a simple repair. It’s most definitely not idiot proof – or even semi-pro proof. It’s doable but tricky and if you mess it up, you can break the LCD on the phone and then you’ll be dropping $125-$150 to get a replacement LCD. Go ahead and watch the video (or at least part of it) and see what you think. That’s a blue Galaxy S3 I’m replacing in that video.

  26. Is there any danger of “overcuring” the UV glue? I mean if I leave it under the lamp for like an hour or so is there any danger that the glue might get “burned” or dissolve or get vains from that procedure (immediately or over time)?

    And my second question is in regards to Samsung i9505 (galaxy s4). Does the double sided tape (3M) procedure the same meaning does one only need to cover the TOP, BOTTOM and SIDE (where the volume and power buttons are) or does it require a complete taping (all over the sides), bonding the double sided tapes together. Is there any danger the UV glue might get into the gaps between the lcd and the frame thus ruining the lcd?

    Thanks for your help

    • Josh says:

      I’ve read that if u leave it to cure too long, especially with a lamp that has some heat/warmth, that it can cause yellowing. I wouldn’t cure it for more than 10 minutes. I don’t think it’s going to cure any further.
      As for the gaps in the double sided tape border, I believe u have to have somewhere for the excess glue to squeeze out. The dam like walls of the double sided tape are not strong enough to keep all of the glue in on the LCD. You can only control where the glue seeps out. I’ll leave JCD to confirm.

      • So, in other words there is no danger of UV glue seeping under the layers of the LCD through the gaps between the frame and LCD (if one does not put the double-sided tape all around)? Same for all models Samsung Galaxy S3, S4, Note2, Note3 etc.?

        Any caveat regarding any specific model of samsung?

  27. Raul says:

    Hello Josh, thank you very much for answering muy post. I have a quick questión.Are you going to make a vídeo on changing a digitizer on a Samsung Galaxy s 4 att?

    Thank You

  28. I’ve damaged (by accident) the tanned (black) film that is glued on the LCD and touchscreen on one of my samsung s4. The phone still works perfectly normal as far as I can tell. I’ve now completely removed the black film (foil) and now I only have the LCD and DIGITIZER (without the tanned foil). As said, the phone works. Now my question is is it safe to put LOCA directly on top of the silver LCD or should I order this black film and glue it on first (and is it doable). Thanks

    • Martin: Pretty much the same. It’s actually a little different because the adhesive used on the Galaxy S4 is much different than the Galaxy S3 – it’s a lot stronger. This means you need to be a little more careful when removing the GS4 glass. I usually recommend a business card or playing card to take it off.

      In addition, the LCD connector on the S4 is on the top left (versus the bottom right on the GS3). So you need to be very careful when removing the glass to not nick that connector when pulling the glass off. If you tear that, you’ll be buying an entire new LCD assembly.

      • Josh says:

        Really? I’ve found the opposite, stronger adhesive on the S3, with the S4 being pretty forgiving when taking off the glass. I don’t know if that’s just because of how fragile the S3 LCD vs the S4 LCD though.

        I’ve looked into repairing the LCD and Digitizer flex cable, or more to the point; replacing it. So using a perfectly good flex cable (from broken LCD) with a perfectly good LCD (with broken flex).
        It’s called ACF Bonding. I’m having trouble finding some (small quantity) ACF Tape to buy though. All I need is the tape, a digital microscope for lining up the flex ribbon, and a soldering iron T-tip to fuse it together.
        Haven’t seen this done before without a proper machine, so it may just be wishful thinking.

        • Josh: I should probably qualify my statement. In the video we fix a blue, Galaxy S3. That glass removes pretty quickly and easily. Usually less than 5 minutes if you know how to do it. This is because the blue Galaxy S3 has a thin later between the glass and the adhesive. If you heat the screen up, that separate quickly and easily – much more easily than a Galaxy S4 because the GS4 adhesive is stronger.

          The white Galaxy S3 is a major pain because the glass is glued directly to the LCD. So if you’re comparing a white GS3 to a GS4, you are correct that the GS4 will be easier.

          Lastly, once you have the glass off, the adhesive on a GS3 peals right off with the use of your thumb (regardless of the color). On the GS4, that adhesive is much harder to clean off. So that’s the other big difference between the GS3 & GS4 adhesives.

          • Raul says:

            I am glad we are talking about the S4. I have one to repair and I was not concerned at all because of your S3 video i figure is the same procedure. I have used your method very successfuly. Would you mind explaining what tweaks we should execute for a S4 repair. For instance:

            1) On the S3 you start from the top to bottom because of the flex cable,should we start from the bottom to the top with the S4

            2) Should we keep the phone on the hot plate for longer period of time at higher temperatures or should we still keep it at below 240F

            3)should we use the same adhesive tape you recommended or should we buy a different kind.

            4) Does the screen still come off easily as the S3 or is there loca in the whole LCD like the white S3.(I am working on a t mobile galaxy s4

            Thank you for all your feedback. You should write a book. I will gladly buy it

          • Josh says:

            Raul, don’t start at the bottom, that’s where the touch key flex ribbon is. Start at the top, but hug the glass so you don’t damage the LCD flex. And take caution when in the top left corner, as that’s where the digitizer flex is, and if you don’t go over it you could be screwed.
            Still keep below 240F (or even lower) or you will scorch your LCD.

  29. Josh says:

    Hey JCD, do you find this method is working 100% of the time? I am yet to successfully install new glass without taking the LCD out of the frame (yes I can extract an S3 LCD).
    The glue always seeps into the bottom keys (either ruining them, or clogging them up), and/or extinguishes the double sided tape which then sees the screen lifting up at the sides.
    I would think that not covering the entire seam along the LCD would mean that glue could get into the channel, and flow down to all areas, including where you’ve put those bits of tape along the side.

  30. crystal says:

    I replaced the screen on my galaxy s3 and the phone charges but the screen will not show upbat all. What did I do wrong? Is there a reset button.

    • Crystal: One of three things probably happened:

      1. You didn’t quite get the screen connector plugged in right. This is easy to fix, pull the back off and plug the connector in again.
      2. You broke the LCD during the repair. This is the most likely problem and you’ll now have to buy a brand new LCD assembly to get it fixed.
      3. You tore the ribbon cable connecting the LCD to the motherboard. Again, you’ll have to replace the entire LCD.

      If I had to guess, I’d say it’s option #2 and you’re going to have to purchase a full assembly to do the repair.

  31. caren says:

    Awesome Awesome Awesome! Just fixed my phone and it’s working perfectly! I was really nervous to use the loca, but really wanted the touch sensitivity. Worked like a charm on an s4 mini. I didn’t even take the mother board out because I couldn’t see how to even with removing the 10 screws in the back. So Happy!

  32. sylvester says:

    Extremely thorough vid best out there for sure. Plz tell me you made more videos like this for different type of phones. I’m starting a phone fixing business cause rates are just ridiculous here now, insurance is a nightmare etc. Wanna see if I can provide it cheaper. These videos are exactly what I need!!

  33. Jeff M says:

    Thank you!! This is an amazing resource. I want to use the mould method but the cleanup process is a deterrent. Has anyone used plastic wrap between the mould and the lcd/glass assembly?
    Is the cleanup easier?

    • Jeff: I’ve done that before and it helps a ton to use the plastic wrap. Makes for a much cleaner option if you’re going to use a mold to do the repair. That said, we did try that technique for awhile (pulling the LCD out and putting the new glass on outside the phone) and we really didn’t like that technique.

  34. Jeff M says:

    JCD Repair, have you had any problems with yellowing with the loca that you recommend?

    I have not used the loca before but I want to start using it for every repair. I like to do repairs as professionally as possible. My concern is that customers will come back with yellowing on their screens. Thanks again!

    • Jeff: We haven’t had any problems with yellowing. That said, we’ve recently switched to a lower viscosity glue that gives even a clearer picture. It’s the curing agent in the glues that causes the yellowing (and the higher viscosity from what I’ve been told). The only issue with the lower viscosity glue is it takes a lot longer to cure under a UV light – about 30 minutes vs 3 minutes. But we think it’s worth it because it makes for an easier repair (much harder to get air bubbles with the low viscosity glue) as well as the slightly clearer picture.

  35. Phil says:

    Your link for the double sided tape at (uline.com) says it’s “3M 9500PC Double-sided film tape”. Have you ever used or tried using the “3M 300LSE Double-sided film tape”? The 3M website lists the 3M 300LSE double sided film tape as the one to use for adhering to plastic, metal, and glass, whereas the one that you listed is recommended for bonding metal to plastic surfaces. Please correct me if I’m wrong (I haven’t replaced a glass digitizer before) but wouldn’t a tape such as the 3M 300LSE that is recommended for adhering to plastic and glass be better than a tape that’s not even recommended for adhering to glass, for securing the glass digitizer? Would love to hear your feedback on this.

    Thanks,
    Phil

    • Phil: The 3M adhesive we use, even though it doesn’t say it adheres to glass, is an incredibly strong bond. I don’t believe we’ve tried the other one you mention but we have tried a couple other 3M adhesives and none of them have worked particularly well – they just don’t give a strong enough bond. If you do try that other tape, let me know how it works. I’d be curious.

  36. Ryan Smith says:

    I removed the screen, however, the LCD is no longer working. The blue light pops on upon powering it up, but the image doesn’t appear on the screen. It just remains grey. Did I screw up the LCD?

  37. Jeff says:

    When splitting the glass on s3 and s4. I have found that using a business card to separate the glass from the LCD is effective.

    • Jeff: That’s great advice. We actually started doing that ourselves several months ago and it is a much better solution. In the past few weeks, someone else mentioned playing cards. We’ve done a little experimenting on that but so far they’ve been too flimsy. So if anyone out there has a recommendation on a brand of good, sturdy playing cards, I’d love to hear from you.

  38. Spyros says:

    Hello, great video and great info. You are the most detailed technician of the most I’ve seen online according to UV glue. I fix a lot of phones weekly. I wanted to share this with you. I use T-2500 UV glue. No matter how much i practice on it, i get bubbles quiet often and i have to re-do it. Also 2 costumers returned their S3s back as the screen was changing colors and then after two weeks the lcd went dead. Why this happened only with S3 phones and not with all of them? Have you came across this before? And how do you prevent it?
    Thanks

    • Spyros: I would highly recommend a much lower viscosity UV glue. That will fix all of the problems you described above. You’ll hardly get any air bubbles after that, you won’t burn out nearly as many LCDs, and the yellowing will go away because the curing agent (which helps increase the viscosity) is what causes the yellowing.

      The only disadvantage of the lower viscosity glue is that it takes a lot longer to cure. We use a 1000mps glue and we try to let it cure under a UV lamp for at least 45-60 minutes after the repair.

    • Josh says:

      I’ve used T-2500 glue before, and not had any problems. Although I haven’t been doing it long, so I hope I don’t have customers coming back in the future. ‘_’

  39. rbreban says:

    Just by reading this and the way you help people with no money interest whatsoever I can easily tell you are a very good person. The K you, sir.

  40. Spyros says:

    I fixed many phones, of my experience with UV glue until now i agree with everything u said. One thing though if i repair a glass which has already been repaired before with UV glue, how do you take of this glass? cz as far as i know UV glue it’s permanent. What about UV glue remover? Or anything else?

    • Spyros: The glue we use seems to come off pretty similar to the original glue once we heat it up. However, once in awhile we do encounter a Galaxy device fixed somewhere else and in those cases, there’s not much you can do. 90% of the time – if that kind of adhesive is used – you end up with a broken LCD and the entire front assembly has to be replaced.

  41. Josh says:

    Hey JCD, I tried using a syringe which came with my APS 346 glue, and sooo many micro bubbles came out with the glue. And they’re so small I can’t pop them with a needle. I now understand why you leave the syringe overnight.
    Straight out of the tube I get no bubbles, so the syringe sucks.

    • AJ: That does look like a very similar glue to what we use. That 1.3mL sounds a little low – I’d probably use between 1.5 – 2mL.

      We also use tape to seal off the top, bottom, and critical parts on the side to keep the glue from running into places it shouldn’t. In addition, we don’t use the air bags any longer – they apply too much pressure with this low viscosity glue. Instead, we simply lay the glass on and then tilt the phone to get the adhesive to flow where we want it. Then cure it for at least 45 minutes.

  42. Nicolad says:

    Hi! I had some trouble with an alcatel while lowering the glass, glue was evenly spread but then the loca glue got behind the lcd. Any hints on how to prevent this? I heard something about partially curing the glass and then cleaning behind, but maybe you have some simpler way!

    • Nicolad: We use some thin (2mm) double sided tape to seal up the critical areas. In addition, we use a super low viscosity glue that allows us to spread the adhesive out without pushing down on the screen. We just tilt it until the adhesive covers the area we want and then cure it. The means we’re not pushing the glue into all sorts of areas we don’t want it.

      • Nicolad says:

        hi, very helpful, still having a bit of trouble with the edges but i’m on the right track.
        What’s troubling me now is that loca smoothens the borders so the double sided tape seems like paper, just loses it’s “srickiness”. I was thinkinf about using silicone on the sides in order to keep LOCA from leaking….

        Have you had any problems with that?

        • Josh says:

          I find that there is no perfect method when using loca to adhere a new screen, while the LCD is still in the frame.
          For starters, loca seems very “oily” and nothing really sticks to parts of the frame that have been touched by loca.
          If you spot cure the loca as soon as it hits the edge of the screen, you Will have an uneven screen, and the sides of the glass may not be flush with the bezel.
          If you put double sided tape around the entire screen, then it will trap the air in as well, and it will be hard to get out. Plus the glue will break the barrier, and it won’t necessarily be where you would want it to come out.
          If you create gaps in the tape border where u want the glue to come out, you still need to adhere the glass to that tape before the glue reaches it. Which you can only achieve by pressing down along the border. But if you press down enough so it adheres, then if the glue hasn’t reached it by then, you probably don’t have enough glue under the glass.
          It’s a catch 22.
          The correct amount of glue, and the positioning of it is pretty important to reduce glue flooding.

  43. Jeff M says:

    What chemical do you use to remove excess glue from the LCD before installing the new glass. I usually use alcohol but the iphone I’m doing this on has very hard glue. After heating it to 210 much of the glue stayed on the LCD. I was thinking of trying goof off. What do you think about that?

    • We don’t actually use any chemical. On the Galaxy S3 & S4 it comes off using just a finger. In addition, if you’re using the LOCA, you don’t have to worry about getting 100% of the glue off. The LOCA covers that up and it looks like it rolled off the factory floor. On the Galaxy S5, that’s a different story and we haven’t found a great solution for that yet other than time and elbow grease. That said, I don’t like to use adhesive removers for 2 reasons: they tend to be a bit toxic and I don’t want to cause damage to the LCD.

  44. Raul says:

    Hello JCD repair, i think a new repair video ( maybe the S4) is in order. I am in Florida,no worries no competition 🙂

  45. tonya says:

    I changed my front assembly after breaking the LCD and glass. Touch screen is not responding. The bottom buttons are working and, lite up well. The phone also powers on quick and you have no problem seeing the wallpaper and, unlock swip code, just touch is not picking up also touch didn’t respond b4 I got the glass on. I think I was sold a bad LCD as a working LCD that may have been over heated . this is the 3rd s3 I’ve bought to fix this problem,, I’m ready to throw in the towel but, if it breaks the bank I need to fix this phone, its a customers and, I have spent 200 trying to fix it she spent 100 my fee to replace the screen. I broke the first LCD and, its been a pain in my bottom ever since.. Never taking on another galaxy s anything…

Comments are closed.