Series 6 Apple Watch Screen Replacement
If you have cracked or smashed your Apple Watch Series 6 screen and want to replace it with a new screen, this guide is for you.
If you would prefer to read a written repair guide, check that out below. Or if the tool cost seems prohibitive for a one time repair and you would prefer that we complete this repair for you, check out our Repair Catalog to see if we offer repair services for this device.
Are you a business? We offer wholesale discounts on our repair services if you are sending numerous units in for repair or want to send us continuing batches of devices for repair on a regular basis. Contact our support team for more info Info@JoesGE.com (This email is only for wholesale inquiries, please contact Support@JoesGE.com for other inquiries).
Repair Difficulty: Difficult (Delicate easily damaged parts involved)
Time to complete: 60-90 Minutes
The tools and parts that you will need for this repair:
- A new 40mm Screen or 44mm Screen
- Pry Tool for the screen It is recommended to use this tool or the thinnest one that you can find so as to not damage the Watch housing
- Nylon Spudger Tool (For unlocking ribbon connectors and doing other tasks that require a non conductive tool)
- Heat Gun (A hairdryer can also do the trick)
- Some 704 RTV glue to secure the new screen
1. Remove the Broken Screen
Set your heat gun to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 Celsius) (A hairdryer will work, just be very cautious to not overheat the entirety of the watch since the airflow is not as concentrated or temperature controlled from a hairdryer) and use it to heat up the adhesive that is under the edge of the glass all around the Watch.
If your screen is cracked, start by prying up the part of it that is least cracked and be careful to not damage the rubber 3D touch sensor that is under the edge of the screen. You will want to use the thinnest pry tool that you can find and be very careful to not insert it too far so as to damage other components in the Watch. Be patient as prying up the screen can be quite time consuming and its not a race (Unless you happen to be racing a friend to see who can do this fast enough?! 🧐 )
If your screen is smashed like the one in these photos, you may notice the adhesive cools off and becomes hard to remove, just heat it up again to ensure that the screen comes off easily.
When the screen is free, you can pull it away from the housing, just be careful of the ribbon cables that connect at the side of the Watch near the digital crown. Also, be careful of the shards of glass that might fall off from the screen as you remove it. The glass can be quite sharp.
2. Disconnect the Flex Cables
(Would be worth watching The Video to see exactly how to do this step without damaging the fragile ribbon cables).
Start by gently peeling the ribbon cables away from the screen. Once you have them started, use your fingers to hold the ribbons as close to the screen as possible and gently pull them down and away from the screen rather than straight out from the screen. Re adjust your fingers each time you pull so that they are as close to the screen as possible to reduce stress on the ribbons.
With the ribbons mostly removed from the screen, use your Nylon Spudger Tool to unclip the ribbon cable connectors on the back of the screen, then gently pull the ribbons out from the connectors at the same time.
3. Remove old Adhesive and Glass
It's likely that the screen did not come off in one piece and left behind a small ring of glass that is adhered to the frame. To remove this glass and the adhesive, we recommend heating it up in small sections, then gently scraping it off with your Nylon Spudger, one section at a time. This can take a while so strap in and put your favorite tunes on while you work 🎶
*Make sure to be careful of the Touch Force Gasket that is underneath all of the glue and glass.
Once you have removed the adhesive and glass, we recommend cleaning the top of the Touch Force Gasket that you will be adhering the new screen to with some rubbing alcohol. We use a Q tip to keep it from spilling into the rest of the Watch.
4. Attach Flex Cables to The New Screen
To attach the new screen, start by peeling the black tape away from the metal connection points on the end of the ribbon cables.
Line up the ribbon cable tabs to the connectors on the screen. Then use your pry tool or spudger to push the ribbons down into the connectors then double check that all of them are evenly seated into the connectors. (Would help to watch this in the Video.)
Lock the back of the connectors down to secure the ribbons into place, then secure the black tape back over the connectors.
5. Adhere the New Screen
Before you adhere the new screen, place the Watch on its charger and verify that all functions of the watch work as they should (Touch, pressure sensitivity, speakers, etc). If the new screen does not turn on, make sure that the ribbon cables are inside of the connectors far enough.
Make sure the tip of your glue bottle is clean, then apply a very thin line of glue around the entirety of the inner ridge of the Watch housing. *Extra curricular ninja tip: Make sure that the line of glue connects all the way around the Watch to ensure that you maintain the water resistance of the Watch when its put back together.
Begin applying even pressure all around the screen, starting with the side of the screen near the ribbon cables until the screen is evenly seated on the housing.
Apply pressure with both fingers on each side of the screen in a clockwise manner to squeeze out any excess glue.
6. Clean off Excess Glue
With the screen securely in place, wipe away any excess glue that may have squeezed out of edge of the screen using rubbing alcohol on a rag, paper towel, or Q tip.
Lastly, we recommend wrapping a rubber band around the Watch tightly for at least 6 hours to let the glue cure. Full curing time is 24 hours so you won't want to get the Watch wet or sweaty within that time frame.
7. Get back to enjoying your gear 🤓