What to do if your iPhone screen is cracked or broken, and how to prevent any further damage
- iPhones are precisely made machines, so in the process of figuring out how to fix a cracked iPhone screen yourself, you run the risk of doing even more damage. That's why you should usually let a professional look at it.
- Your standard iPhone warranty doesn't cover accidental damage to the screen, so if your iPhone screen is cracked, you'll be paying for the repair one way or another.
- Using a screen repair business not officially affiliated with Apple may be cheaper, but can also void your iPhone warranty, so think carefully before handing it over to a repair store.
- iPhone screens are made of glass, and when broken can create dangerous shards and sharp edges, so don't put off repairing a broken screen.
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Recently, I was jogging from my car to a pizza shop to pick up dinner for the family, carrying my keys and iPhone in one hand, while digging through my wallet for cash with the other, not being careful with either.
In the midst of jostling the items about, my venerable iPhone 6 took a dive and hit the edge of the curb screen-first. Cracked doesn't begin to do the damage justice; the screen was positively shattered, so crisscrossed with cracks that it could hardly turn on.
Since it was an older phone and I was due for an upgrade anyway, the solution was simple: to replace my cracked iPhone screen, I simply bought a new phone.
If your iPhone's screen is damaged, and the phone is out of warranty and you don't have AppleCare+ coverage, a new phone may well be the way to go - at least you can apply the value of a trade in to your new phone.
Replacing the screen of an iPhone X without a warranty or AppleCare+ plan costs $279. An iPhone 8 Plus or 7 Plus screen costs $169. And an iPhone 6 screen replacement costs $129 if you don't have coverage.
The cost of replacing an iPhone screen if you do have AppleCare+ coverage? $29 for all models.
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How to protect an iPhone screen
The best plan for dealing with a cracked iPhone screen is to prevent the damage in the first place. Always use a screen protector, and consider using a rugged case that fully encapsulates the phone, like an OtterBox Defender Series case.
Just make sure you replace a screen protector or case if it's damaged, as it won't perform as well thereafter.
How to repair cracked iPhone screens
If your phone is under warranty, or you paid the $5.99 for AppleCare+ coverage, your iPhone is covered for up to two incidents of accidental damage with only a $29 fee added for screen repair, so by all means use Apple to fix that broken screen.
You can bring a damaged iPhone to an Apple store or a licensed service provider for a screen replacement, which can often be completed that same day, or you can mail your iPhone to Apple in a shipping box they provide at your request. Expect to be without your phone for one long, grueling week, but if you live in an area without easy access to Apple stores or partnered locations, this is a fine option.
If your iPhone doesn't have a coverage plan, then you can try bringing it to a cheaper screen repair shop. Just make sure you backup the iPhone to iCloud first, as you never know if the cut-rate operation may end up accidentally damaging your phone. If this occurs, it may also void any iPhone warranty you have.