Apple Watch Series 7 Back Cover Replacement

Is the glass on the back of your Series 7 Apple watch cracked? Maybe the watch won't read your heart rate any more? Follow these steps to fix it!

ūüö• Repair Difficulty:
Moderate/ 1.5-2 hours

Requires heat gun and has a lot of easily damageable ribbon cables.

 

Parts you'll need ūüßį

(If the tool cost seems prohibitive, check out our Repair Catalog to see if we offer repair services for this device.)

  • New back cover. Click the link then select your back cover from the drop down.
  • Scroll on the product page to "Frequently bought together" to add all the tools you need as well.¬†
  • Or, select your back cover below if you only need the part.

Tools¬†ūü™õ¬†

  • Thin Pry Tool for screen removal.¬†
  • Rubbing Alcohol¬†
  • 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)
  • Repair Kit
  • Y shape Screwdriver
  • A¬†Small Flat Edge Screwdriver
  • Some 704 RTV¬†for all screen replacements¬†
  • ¬†Anti-Static Parts Organizer Mat

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      1. Remove the screen

      1.1: Using a heat gun set to 180¬įC (356¬įF) heat up the edge of the screen by quickly moving the hot air around the perimeter of it and the metal watch body. We spent about 1 minute and 40 seconds heating it up.¬†

      If you're using a hairdryer, be careful to not heat the center of the screen up very much. 

      Heating up the edge of the Apple Watch Series 7 screen to remove it

      1.2: Bend the edge of your thin pry tool over so that it has a slight downward angle to it. The edge of a table or a butter knife can be helpful with this. 

      This helps to protect the back side of the screen from damage. 

       

      Bending the edge of your thin pry tool over to remove the Apple Watch series 7 screen

      1.3: Pour some rubbing alcohol onto the end of your thin pry tool. This will help break up the adhesive that holds the screen in place. 

       

      Applying rubbing alcohol to the end of your thin pry tool in order to remove the Apple Watch Series 7 screen

       1.4: Stick the thin pry tool into the gap between the screen glass and the metal housing on the side of the watch with the Digital crown until it won't go any further. Then apply downward pressure to the pry tool. 

      Applying pressure to the thin pry tool to lift the screen on the Apple Watch Series 7

      Repeat these steps all the way around the watch, adding more rubbing alcohol after each pry until the screen lifts away. 

      When you lift the screen, be careful to not rip the ribbon cables!

      After using rubbing alcohol to loosen the adhesive, the Apple Watch Series 7 screen popped right off

      2. Disconnect the Screen

      2.1: There are two ribbon cables adhered to the back of the screen that have two connectors. Using some rubbing alcohol on the end of your nylon spudger, lift the start of cables away from the back of the screen. 

      Removing ribbon cables from the back of the Apple Watch Series 7 screen

       

      2.2: Only lift the first part of the wires with the spudger, then move on to very carefully using your fingers to peel the ribbons up. When doing this, pull the ribbons back, parallel to the screen rather than straight out at a 90¬į angle from the screen.¬†

       Pulling the ribbons from the back of an Apple Watch Series 7 screen

       

      2.3: Once the ribbons are free from the screen, use your spudger to lift the two small latches on the ribbon connectors then slide the cables out. 

      Lifting the clips on the screen ribbons on the Apple Watch Series 7

       

      3. Remove the Battery

      3.1: Put some isopropyl alcohol on the end of your spudger and dip it down into the gap between the battery and the taptic engine. Dip it in with alcohol on it 6-7 times and slide it around so that the alcohol is spread along the whole side. 

      Putting rubbing alcohol down near the battery to release the adhesive on the Apple Watch Series 7 

       

      3.2: Now use a small flat head screwdriver to lift the battery out of the watch. There is a metal housing over the battery that has a couple of tabs sticking out of the corners. Place the flat head under a tab one at a time and apply pressure. Go back and forth between the tabs until the battery lifts up. 

      Lifting the battery out of a Apple watch series 7 using a flat head against the metal case

       

      3.3: The ribbon cable for the battery connects on the side of the battery. Use your nylon spudger to open the clasp, then slide the cable out. 

      Unclipping the battery connector on the Apple Watch Series 7

       

      4. Remove the Taptic Engine

      4.1: There are three Y head screws holding the Taptic Engine in place. Remove them and make sure you don't lose them!

      Remove the 3 Y head screws that hold the taptic engine in place

       

      4.2: Use your plastic spudger to lift up the Taptic Engine from the back. It shouldn't be very secure in place once the screws are removed. 

      Lifting the Taptic Engine out of the Apple Watch Series 7

       

      4.3: Use your spudger to lift the silver plug for the Taptic Engine so that you can set it aside. 

      Lifting the Taptic Engine Connector from the main board on the Series 7 Apple Watch

       

      5. Further Disassembly

      5.1: Disconnect these 3 remaining connectors

      Disconnecting the 3 remaining connectors on the Apple Watch Series 7

       

      5.2: Remove the 4 screws, 1 in each corner using your Y tip screwdriver. Two of them are hidden under black tape. The other two are holding in a small metal bracket. Make sure to keep all of these screws organized.

      Remove the screw in each corner of the Apple Watch Series 7

       

      5.3: Give this ribbon cable a gentle pull to detach it from the inside wall of the housing. Don't pull it entirely off the bottom of the housing, just off of the wall. 

      Loosening a ribbon cable on the Apple Watch Series 7

       

       

      6. Removing the Back Cover

      6.1: Using your heat gun set to¬†180¬įC (356¬įF) heat up the perimeter of the back glass for around 60 seconds.¬†

      Heating up the back glass cover on the Apple Watch Series 7 to remove it

       

      6.2: Using a 1.5mm flat head or other small screwdriver, press down on the 4 corners where you removed the screws while holding the housing off of whatever surface you are working on (You may need to let the housing cool down for a bit before doing this). A bit of pressure in each corner one after the other will eventually work the back cover loose.

      Be very careful to not press on any circuit boards, only in the hole where the screw used to be in each corner. The screwdriver should make contact with the threaded part of the back cover through each metal bracket.

      Pressing through each screw hole in the corners of the inside of the Apple Watch Series 7

       

      6.3: Once the back cover starts to give, you can apply some rubbing alcohol to the sharp end of your spudger and push it into the gap between the back cover and the metal housing and work your way around the back cover prying it off. 

      Prying the back cover loose from a Apple Watch Series 7

       

      6.4: Once the back cover is free, use your spudger to lift the ribbon connector out of it's socket. 

      Removing the ribbon connector from the back housing on the Series 7 Apple Watch

       

      6.5: Be very careful to not damage this water sealing gasket. If it is damaged you would need to make a new one from RTV glue or something else water tight. Be careful to not damage the rubber gasket on the back of the Apple Watch Series 7 when removing the back cover

       

      6.6: Clean the inside of the apple watch using a microfiber and rubbing alcohol or a Q tip and alcohol, being careful to not damage the gasket around the perimeter of the watch. 

      Cleaning the inside of the back of the Apple Watch Series 7

       

      7. Install the New Back Cover

      7.1: Line up the ribbon connector with the socket on your new back cover then very carefully use your spudger or screwdriver to push the connector into the socket. There will be a very gentle snap once it goes into place but it should not take much pressure. It has to be lined up perfectly to slide into place. 

      Connecting the new back cover onto the Series 7 Apple Watch

       

      7.2: Apply gentle pressure to the back cover to align it with the housing. You will know that its in the right place when you can see that all four corner screw holes are lined up inside of the housing.

      Pressing the new back cover into place on the Series 7 Apple Watch

      The four corner screw holes are lined up on the new back cover

       

      7.3: Install the silver bracket and the two screws that hold it in place. 

      Installing the metal brace back into the inside of the Apple Watch Series 7

      Installing the two screws back into the silver bracket inside of the Apple Watch Series 7

       

      7.4: Install the two screws in the corners opposite of the bracket that you just installed. 

      Installing the two other corner screws in the Apple Watch Series 7

       

      7.5: Reconnect the ribbon connectors inside the housing of the watch. 

      Reconnecting two ribbon connectors inside of the Apple Watch Series 7 during a back cover replacement

      Reconnecting the third ribbon connector in the Apple Watch Series 7 before installing the taptic engine.

       

      8. Install the Taptic Engine

      8.1: Connect the ribbon cable into its socket on the motherboard. This connector is very similar to the style used to connect the back cover. Be gentle, make sure to line it up correctly and don't apply too much pressure as it could be damaged easily. 

      Connecting the ribbon connector for the Taptic Engine

      8.2: Press the black cover back towards the Taptic Engine so that it's out of the way then re install the 3 screws that hold the Taptic Engine in it's place. 

      Pressing the black plastic divider back towards the Taptic Engine in the Series 7 Apple Watch back cover replacement

      Re install the 3 screws that hold the Series 7 Apple Watches Taptic Engine in it's place

       

      9. Install the Battery

      9.1: Slide the ribbon cable back into it's connector on the side of the battery then use your plastic spudger to lock the latch. 

      Sliding the battery cable back into it's spot on the side of the battery then locking it in place on the Series 7 Apple Watch

       

      9.2: Line the battery up in it's place then use two fingers to press it back onto the adhesive inside of the watch. If the adhesive is no longer sticky, you can remove it and replace it with a thin double sided tape. 

      Re installing the battery in the Series 7 Apple Watch after replacing the back cover

       

      10. Reinstall the Screen

      10.1: Clean the rim of the housing where the screen will sit and the edge of the screen with rubbing alcohol on a Q tip to remove any leftover adhesive. You may need to use your plastic spudger to scrape off the old adhesive if it won't come off easily. 

      Cleaning the inside lip of the housing on the Series 7 Apple Watch so that the screen can be reinstalled. 

      Cleaning the edge of the Series 7 Apple watch screen before reinstalling it

       

      10.2: Use your fingers or a set of fine tweezers to peel the black tape off of the two screen ribbon cables. Be very gentle as the cables can be easily damaged. 

      Peeling the tape off of the two screen ribbon connectors

       

      10.3: Gently slide the two ribbons into their connectors on the back of the screen then close the latches to lock them in place. Be very gentle when sliding them in and make sure that they are lined up perfectly or your screen and touch functions will not work properly. 

      Sliding the two connectors into their latches on the back of the series 7 Apple Watch

       

      10.4: Use your nylon spudger to gently press the black tape over the two ribbon latches and secure it to the back of the screen. 

      At this point, it would be good to carefully plug the watch into charge and confirm that the screen and touch functions are working. If they are, proceed to the next step. If they aren't you may need to reposition the ribbon cables for the screen in their latches.

      Using a plastic spudger to secure the black tape over the ribbon cables on the back of the Series 7 Apple Watch screen

       

      10.5: Spread a thin line of your 704 RTV around the inside lip of the metal housing where the screen will sit. Make sure that the line is connected around the entire housing to ensure water tight sealing.

      Be careful to not get any adhesive on the ribbon cables that connect the screen. 

      Spreading a thin line of 704 RTV glue around the edge of the housing to secure the Series 7 Apple Watch screen in place

       

      10.6: Set the screen into its groove in the housing then apply gentle even pressure for 10 seconds to seat it into it's place. 

      Applying pressure to the freshly installed Series 7 Apple Watch screen

       

      10.7: Using a Q tip, remove any adhesive that spilled out onto the edge of the screen and housing, then wrap a rubber band around the screen and watch and leave it to cure for 24 hours. 

      Use a Q tip to remove any excess adhesive from the outside of the Series 7 Apple Watch

      Wrapping a rubber band evenly around the screen of the Apple Watch Series 7

      The back of the Series 7 Apple Watch with a rubber band wrapped around it after having a new back cover installed

       

      11. Get back to¬†enjoying your gear¬†ūü§ď

       

       

      If you have any questions in regards to this repair, feel free to shoot us an email or text and we will do our best to reply to you as quickly as possible. Please inquire using our Repair Catalog if you are wondering how much a certain repair will cost. If you do not see your item in our repair catalog, it means that we do not offer repair services for it. 
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