It happened to me. Over the course of a few weeks, the angle at which I had to connect the lightning cable to my iPhone 5S became more and more specific, until one day it just charged. No amount of jiggling, positioning, tilting, changing cables, cursing or praying can fix this. The Internet recommended vacuuming the port, but did nothing; it was dead.

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Unfortunately for me, my iPhone is over 18 months old. It was out of warranty. If I wanted to fix it, I was going to pay a lot of money out of my own pocket. Instead, I decided to dig in and make it myself.

When to do it yourself

Deciding to get your iPhone fixed is not an easy decision. If you screw everything up, you end up with a useless and expensive bunch of components. If your iPhone is under warranty or you have Apple Care, this route will almost always be the best.

If your iPhone isn’t covered by any program, it’s still not an easy choice. You can pay Apple, a licensed repair center, or even an unlicensed repair center, but it can be expensive depending on the problem. Doing it yourself will usually be cheaper as long as you don’t make things worse. This is especially true for older phones, which are more likely to be out of warranty.

How much you save will also depend on what exactly the problem is. One of the most expensive parts, an iPhone 6 screen repair kit costs only slightly less than the cost of an official repair, while an iPhone 5S or 5 screen repair kit is half the price of a professional repair. On the other hand, the lightning jack and headphone jack are significantly cheaper even for the newest iPhones.

Before opening your iPhone, it’s important to exhaust all the simple fixes. Obviously, if the screen is broken, the problem is obvious, but if a port or button stops working, there are always a few fixes that don’t require you to use screwdrivers.

Finally, if you have never broken a wire before it’s a bad idea to make your iPhone your first home electronics project — maybe start with something that won’t break a $1,000 phone. I have enough experience messing with the internals of electronic devices (like putting a Raspberry Pi in an amp) that I’m comfortable taking apart my iPhone — but if you’re not in the same position, then you’ll probably win yourself «not worth it Luckily, the skills you need are really easy to learn — you can even do it with YouTube. .

What needs to fix iPhone

Apple devices are very carefully crafted. You shouldn’t be able to open them up and play with the innards; a rusty Phillips screwdriver in your toolbox won’t be able to handle your iPhone’s screws, and opening the screen with a knife is just a bad idea. To fix your iPhone properly, you will need special tools.

To get started, you’ll need a set of basic electronic screwdrivers and prying tools. They are cheap and work for most consumer electronics, not just the iPhone. I used this 23-piece set from, but you can get similar sets from iFixit if you’re in the US, or from iParts4U if you’re in the UK.

You can use basic tools to open an iPhone, but the iSclack Open Tool is the best way to do it without damaging anything. You can get one from iFixit or iParts4U.

You will also need a clean, static-free work area. An anti-static mat is sufficient on your kitchen table.

Where to get tools and spare parts

Just like a regular screwdriver can’t open an iPhone, you can’t just grab a replacement screen from your local hardware store. You must obtain parts from specialist dealers.

If you’re in the US, iFixit is the best place to get parts. They also launched an EU store which is pretty good depending.

If you’re in the UK, iParts4U is a great store that offers free shipping on large orders. Both stores have all the most common iPhone components.

What can and cannot be fixed

Many common iPhone problems can be fixed on your own: Broken screens, dead batteries, broken ports, faulty microphones, stuck home buttons, broken cameras, and disabled speakers can all be repaired with components found online.

The main thing that cannot be fixed is the damage to the logic board of the iPhone. There’s no way to swap the CPU or RAM once they start working, so if the logic board goes missing, you’ll need a new phone.

If your iPhone still turns on and works fine, you may be able to fix any other issues. If it doesn’t, or if it keeps falling off after being dropped or spilled, it’s best to use it as a weight paper. Fortunately, this is rare.

Even things that may seem beyond repair, such as water damage, can be repaired as long as the logic board is intact. Water enters first through the ports and speaker grille, damaging these components. If it doesn’t penetrate deeper, replacing it should be enough to get your phone working again.

Where to find guidebooks

Ripping a phone apart and stalking its innards trying to fix it is a recipe for tears. Before you get started, you need to find the right guide for your problem.

Google is always a good place to start, especially for non-invasive fixes. I turned to Google to try and fix the problem with my iPhone before I had to replace any parts. Some of the tips in this Google search guide will help you get relevant results.


If Google doesn’t find any easy fixes, or if you try them but don’t do anything, you’ll need a guide to opening and repairing your phone. The best place to look for them is iFixit: they have repair instructions for every iPhone model released.

Some people prefer to learn by watching a video rather than reading a manual. YouTube has a lot of great repair videos, although the quality isn’t as consistent as iFixit’s. I would recommend reading the manual and then looking up YouTube videos to see someone go through the process and then following the written guide while you fix your own iPhone.


Restoring your iPhone is surprisingly easy. If you are familiar with basic electronics, this is good for you. The decision to do this is a little more difficult. You can mess things up, and on newer iPhones, buying components might not be much cheaper than an official rebuild, especially when you factor in the cost of specialized tools that you’ll probably only use once.

If you choose to do it yourself, you’ll need these special tools and spare parts to keep your iPhone from getting damaged. Fortunately, they are easy to connect to a network and are useful for repairing most consumer electronic devices.

Whatever you do, don’t dive in and start messing around with the innards of your iPhone without a guide. The best place to look is iFixit, although YouTube is good too.

Have you ever repaired your own iPhone? How was it? Let us know about it in the comments.

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