iPad Air Screen Replacement Step by Step Guide

iPad Air Screen Repair

iPad Air Screen Repairs are amongst the most common iPad Screen Replacements that come into the iMend Repair Centre. Our talented technicians fix hundreds of these devices on a monthly basis. If you have a broken or cracked iPad Air that requires a glass replacement or repair take a look at how our iMend.com technicians fix this device. This handy iMend.com Guide will document the steps involved in replacing the front glass and digitizer assembly on an iPad Air 1st Generation.

Step by Step Guide to an iPad Air Screen Replacement

Due to the screen being very cracked we put a plastic lens film over the screen. This is a safety measure to prevent the glass shards breaking off or shattering further.

Plastic wrapping a smashed screen on an iPad Air

After the plastic lens film is fitted it is then heated up slightly just to help it stick to the screen.

Removing excess plastic wrapping and broken glass



With the lens film added we then use a blade to cut the excess film off from around the screen. This helps to keep any glass that breaks off from the device in place.

Before removal, heat is applied to the device to soften the glue



Next we will be getting the device heated up so we can weaken the adhesive underneath the screen.

If you have a heat plate, which is what the team at iMend.com use we recommend you set the temperature to 90.

Using the heat plate we’ll leave the device on there for around 5 minutes.

We heat from the back frame and not the screen. This is because the metal frame will hold the heat and stay hot for longer enabling us take the screen up without having to reheat.

Using an iSesamo tool to pry open an iPad Air



Now the device is hot enough we can use the metal pry tool (iSesamo Tool) to get between the frame and digitizer to lift the screen away.

We start at the top of the screen as there is no flexes or components you can break from there.

Carefully removing the iPad Air Front Glass

Now the top half of the screen is moving free from the frame we can usually grab the screen and slowly lift it up applying slight pressure but not too much as you will likely end up smashing the screen even more.

It’s best to take your time with every aspect of these repairs if you have never attempted them before, as you may cause yourself more issues down the line.

Technician has removed the iPad Air's Front Glass

With the screen lifted up we can now see that the three flexes that are present are from the Digitizer and one flex is for the Home Button.

Be mindful when moving the screen up and away from the device as the screen will open like a book.

Flexes are located on the right side of the device.

Technicians remove the LCD on an iPad Air


Now that the screen has been lifted up from the frame we can now take the LCD out.

To get the LCD free we need to remove the 4 screws that are on either corner of the LCD frame. With this repair the LCD does not require replacing, so we will remove this and replace it again in a short while.

Screws are marked with red circles

iTech's remove the screws on an iPad Air LCD

It will be best to lay these screws out as you remove as the 2 screws are slightly different in length and width.

Although none of these screws will screw onto or through a board, if you screw the incorrect screw in you may get a loose LCD if you do mix your screws up.

iPad Air LCD Screws laid out in order



As you can see the screw on the top right has noticeable difference to the sizes of the other 3, so it’s important to lay them out and keep them safe.

Technician removes the LCD on this iPad Air

With the LCD screws now taken out we can lift the LCD up and away from the frame.

Lift the LCD from the top near the camera modules as the flex connector is fitted next to the Digitizer flexes.

The flex protrudes from the bottom of the LCD.

The internals of the iPad Air without an LCD and Digitizer

Never apply pressure when taking the LCD up.

These components are fragile and have a chance of breaking if any pressure is added to it.

Also be mindful that the connector won’t extend the LCD out too much.

Removing the plate protecting the iPad Air's screen flex



When the LCD has been lifted up you’ll need to disconnect it, along with the digitizer and home button flex.

To do this you’ll need to remove the metal flex plate shown here.

There is only 3 screws on the metal flex plate and all are the same screw type. However keeping them laid out correctly is always best practice.

Removing the LCD Flex on an iPad Air



With the metal flex plate removed you can now disconnect the LCD, Digitizer and Home Button flexes.

Here we are disconnecting the LCD Flex.

Removing the Digitizer flex on an iPad Air

The two flexes here are the digitizer connectors that are being removed.

We use these plastic spludger tools to remove the connectors.

As the battery hasn’t been disconnected we don’t want to use any metal tools.

Keep the removed parts in a logical order



Again here is how we layout screws for reference later when you refit these screws and metal flex plate.

The technician disconnects the home button flex

Then the last connector we’ll be disconnecting is the home button flex.

It’ll come with heat tape on top. Make sure you keep this safe to refit back onto the gate.

In order to remove the home button, the technician lifts the gate first



This uses a gate type connector so you’ll need to lift the gate up to pull the home button flex out.

Technician cleans the frame around the iPad Air






At this stage we’ll need to clean up the frame.

Removing adhesive from the frame of an iPad Air


To clean the frame we use a metal scraper tool and isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol is used to loosen the adhesive that is still stuck to the frame.

Make sure there is no glass shards or anything else that can cause pressure onto the screen later on when fitting the screen.

Frame needs to be flush.

The new glass screen is ready to be attached to the iPad Air



When the frame is as clean as you can get it, we’ll next look at the screen part we are attempting to fit.

We’ll check this part over for any marks, scratches or warps in the screen.

Also check that the flexes don’t look torn, heavily bent or anything else out of the ordinary.

This part comes with the home button to speed up time.

However if you have a part not with the home button, you simply take the old home button and glue it to the new screen.

Using a little heat, the home button plate can be removed



To remove the home button if you need to, place on the heat plate or use your preferred method of heating the metal home button plate.

Removing the iPad Air Home Button



Put slight pressure on the plate as you are heating and it will slowly peel away from the old screen.

Be careful with this as the flex is attached to the metal plate rather than the home button.

The stripped down components of the iPad Air Home Button



The home button components are these. So if you are to replace this button you’ll have something like this.

Once the iPad is cleaned, it is ready to receive the new screen



With the frame cleaned (and if needed) the home button fitted onto the new screen, we can move on to adding adhesive onto the frame.

We use White Double Sided Adhesive tape.

Taping the frame ready for the new iPad Air digitizer


When the taping is all done you should have something looking like this.

We use tape instead of any type of glue. This is because we’ve used many methods of sticking the screens down and overall the tape comes out on top.

Holding the screen together more securely, making it harder for the screen to lift away when device is running hot, etc.

Using plastic tools to reconnect the digitizer



Once your tape is on you can go ahead and connect your new digitizer on the device.

Again we use plastic tools rather than metal tools during this process.

Reconnecting the iPad Air home button


We can then reconnect the home button flex.

Again this is a gate connector so make sure the gate is up and slide the connector in.

There is a white line on the connector so you’ll know when it’s fully in when the white line meets the gate connector.

Reconnecting the iPad Air Home Button


We can now connect the LCD connector and then screw the metal flex connector into place.

If the LCD is damaged and you are replacing it with a new part, this would be the time to add the new LCD. Simply fit into place. (Best to test LCD before fully assembled)

Again these screws are the same but with laying them out you’ll have a better understanding of the where they go.

The LCD is lowered back onto the frame



With the metal flex plate in place, we can lower the LCD back down into the frame.

Reattaching the LCD to the iPad Air Frame


Again don’t use any pressure when fitting back down. You shouldn’t have to force or even push the LCD down. It should fit right into place with ease.

We can now add the corner screws back in.

Making sure the screws are in the correct screw holes.

Long thin screw should fit in the top right corner.

Our iTechs use a fine haired brush to remove dust from the LCD



We’ll now clean the LCD. If there are fingerprints on the LCD we suggest using a wipe cloth (White Clean Room Wipe Cloths) to remove them.

If these are unavailable, simply use a fine haired brushed to brush away dust and glass shards.

The Device has been cleaned and is ready to be sealed with the digitizer



Once all cleaning is done and there is no marks, fingerprints or anything else that can dirty the LCD we can proceed to fit the digitizer down.

The iTech carefully lowers the Digitizer back onto the device


When lowering down, do this slowly just in case there is dust or hairs that float back onto the LCD.

Once fitted down, give a quick check on the home button. Making sure even though the screen is fitted down that the Home Button will still click.

Try this a few times to make sure that the button doesn’t stick down or sink into the device.

If all is working as normal we can continue.

The iTech checks for a flush fit between the frame and glass



We can give it a quick test over. Making sure everything replaced is working and looks flush and clean.

Run along the corners with your finger, if it rises or lowers anywhere.

Just to make sure there is no pressure somewhere under the screen.

Best to check now before you tape the screen down and the adhesive sets.

If pressure is under the screen, regular usage can cause breakage.

The iPad has now been sealed down with masking tape whilst the adhesive sets



Now tape the corners of the device, so the screen will be held down into place.

We suggest taping either side of the home button then down every side.

Once done we put the device back onto the heat plate for a minute to just help the adhesive tape set.

Don’t remove tape until the device has cooled down and set for a least 20 minutes.

…and we are done. You’ve now got a fully working iPad Air with a brand new front screen.

So there you have it, iMend’s detailed guide to replacing your broken iPad Air Screen.

iMend.com are iPad repair experts and can complete repairs on broken digitizers, LCD’s, charging ports, batteries and also complete Advanced Repairs including Diagnostics and Liquid Damage Repairs.

If you would like to book in for an iPad Air Screen Repair please visit our site and book here.

iMend can repair any make or model of phone & tablet, so for a full list of our repair prices visit the link below