How To: Replace the Rear Glass Panel on Your iPhone 4 or 4S

Replace the Rear Glass Panel on Your iPhone 4 or 4S

Some of the most popular cellular devices on the market today are the iPhone 4 and 4S models. Seeing as they are made of glass, it's not uncommon for the back panel to break.

Also, with the popularity being so high, you might just be looking for a way to set your device apart. If you have had the unfortunate luck of cracking your iPhone's rear glass panel, this could be your opportunity to kill two birds with one stone!

The photos in this guide were taken while I was switching out my OEM panel for a clear panel.

Supplies

  • #00 Phillips or 5-point pentalobe screwdriver
  • Replacement panel

Links to both of the parts and tools are available at the bottom of this article.

Before we begin...

Before opening your device, ensure that you are working on a static-free surface and that your device's power is off.

Warnings

  • Open your device at your own risk.
  • Failure to use the proper tool can result in permanent damage to your hardware.
  • If your rear panel is broken or cracked, be careful while handling it.

Let's get started...

Step 1 Determining screw type

With the design of the iPhone 4 and 4S having 2 glass panels and a stainless steel band, it may be a mystery how to get inside the device.

Looking at the dock connector at the bottom of the phone, you will see a screw on each side of the connection port. The iPhone 4/4S shipped with 2 different screw types: #00 Phillips or a 5-point pentalobe. These screw heads are very small; identify them carefully. In the photo below, the 5-point pentalobe is on the top and the #00 Phillips on the bottom.

How to Replace the Rear Glass Panel on Your iPhone 4 or 4S

Once the screw type has been determined, obtain a proper driver and get ready for the next step.

Warning

  • Failure to properly identify the screw type can result in permanent damage to the screws.

Step 2 Remove the screws

With your correct driver in hand, remove the screw on either side of the dock connector. 

How to Replace the Rear Glass Panel on Your iPhone 4 or 4S

Tips

  • Take note of how tight the screws are when you remove them. Remember this for when you replace them later on. Over-tightening can damage your device.
  • The screws are very small. After removal place them in a bottle cap or shallow dish to keep track of them.

Step 3 Slide the panel upward

With screws removed, hold your device with both hands placing your thumbs near the edges of the rear panel just below the Apple logo.

How to Replace the Rear Glass Panel on Your iPhone 4 or 4S

With only slight pressure, push the rear panel toward the top of the device. It should move about 1/8" (3mm).

How to Replace the Rear Glass Panel on Your iPhone 4 or 4S

Step 4 Remove panel

Gently grab the newly exposed top portion of the rear panel and carefully remove from the device.

How to Replace the Rear Glass Panel on Your iPhone 4 or 4S

Step 5 Replace with new panel

Now grab your replacement panel and simply follow the steps in reverse. Be mindful not to over-tighten the screws!

Congratulations!

You have just completed a very simple repair on you iPhone. Enjoy your replacement, whether it be a repair, replacement, or both.

Here is how mine turned out:

How to Replace the Rear Glass Panel on Your iPhone 4 or 4S

Links

Here are two great places for both replacement parts and tools:

1 Comment

Good Manual but has been around for quite a while,

i figured this out without one a couple of years ago (two screws)

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