I held the spudger facing the inside, rather than over the edge towards the outside as pictured here, and my sides missed the spot in a few places. (I’m gonna try pushing them in place with the spudger after I peel, but I thought I would share that this direction I pushed might be why they missed their mark.)
I used a spudger for the most part, combined with some heat from a hairdryer from time to time, and lots of isopropyl alcohol (at least on the screen half… as mentioned by others, be careful about going too crazy with IPA on the midframe, as the pad will melt.) At one point, I got a little cocky and tried using my tweezers (dipped in IPA), and it worked great for about 30 seconds before I left a small scratch… which is visible from the outside.
Only use non-abrasive, non-metallic tools for cleaning.
+1 on removing the midframe to clean it… it’s a hassle to remove if you’re only replacing the screen, but it keeps you from accidentally melting the foam padding with IPA.
That occurred to me when I reached this step. I used an opening pick (since I already had them on hand) and rested it between the midframe and screen to avoid that very issue. I added it to the guide, now I just hope it gets verified!
No, don’t use the guitar picks to lift, those are to “cut”. The suction cup is only to help you get the first pick in, after that, all you’re doing is separating glue so you can lift the screen with your fingers.
Tip one: ONLY FOCUS ON HALF THE SCREEN AT A TIME. As you get further along, you can start moving back and forth, but start focusing only on the upper or lower half.
NEXT, as I started the slicing process, I would leave a pick in on each of the sides as I got to them, to kind of save my spot in case my pick slipped out. If you feel like you’re not getting anywhere, apply some light heat across the edges of the entire display, depending on how far in you are.
When you’re on the last few bits, get a headlamp on and hold the phone so you can see in between the screen and rest of the body. As you gently lift the screen, you can see inside and slice the remaining strands and gunked up areas with less fear of damaging other components, because you’ll be lifting them away.
I used a hairdryer, moving back and forth over the area I was planning on using the suction cup at first, with my finger near the metal chassis so I could feel if it was getting absurdly hot. I would then suction a little, and not see any change. Heat again, suction again, seeing movement, but not enough space to get a tool in. Repeat this several times until you’re just able to get the tip of a tool in there, then continue to gently pull up with the suction cup while gently “slicing” around the edge until you’ve got a few spots free. (I’ve got another tip in the comments on the next step.)
For reference, the iFixit opening tool (the blue prybar) has pry hooks of about 1.5-2mm in length.
You can measure your tools to 1-2mm and mark them on some, and 9mm on others, so that you have an indicator line for depth.
You can also use the line from the top/bottom and side bezels as a guide for how deep to “slice” with the pick.
I spent about an hour and a half working on removing my screen. It took many bursts of heat (from a hair dryer, I lost patience for the iOpener), some suction, more heat, more suction…. etc, until I was able to start moving the pick around. Even then I still applied heat from time to time to help the adhesive move along.
+1, thank you for calling out the top clip. As mentioned, it doesn’t really matter during teardown, but build-up requires you snap this side in first.
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