Your Guide on How to Fix and Prevent a Shattered Phone Screen
According to a 2018 report, Americans break two cell phone screens every second. That’s 120 shattered phone screens every minute. It’s 7,200 shattered screens every hour and 172,800 every day.
Oh, and each year? It’s more than 63 million shattered cell phones at a cost of $3.4 billion, which is more than the GDP of South Sudan.
With statistics like these, you might think it’s only a matter of time before you have to deal with a shattered phone screen. And maybe, one day, you will need a quick fix. If so, we’ve got you covered.
Better yet, though, we have steps you can take now to avoid falling victim to a broken cell phone screen in the first place.
Read on to learn how to fix—and, more importantly, prevent—a cracked cell phone screen.
How to Deal with a Shattered Phone Screen
Panic, frustration, and anger are common reactions to a shattered phone screen. However, they aren’t very helpful in dealing with the aftermath. For that, you need a cool head and practical solutions.
1. Assess the Damage
The first step in dealing with a shattered phone screen is assessing the damage. It’s important to do this carefully on a solid surface and in a well-lit area.
First, wipe the broken phone screen clean of any debris or moisture. Then, look closely at the screen and do some gentle stress testing. Prod the damaged area to see if the broken pieces are stable. Also test the touch screen to determine if it still functions.
Hopefully, your shattered phone screen is “just” a cosmetic issue and a minor one at that. The best-case scenario after your unprotected cell phone takes a tumble is a screen that exhibits some minor scratches.
Spiderweb cracks are more unsightly and can make using the screen difficult. Depending on the extent of the cracks, though, this kind of damage often leaves the rest of the phone in working order.
The worst-case scenario is a completely shattered screen or missing chunks of glass and a broken phone. If you’ve hit the bad-luck jackpot and the worst case seems to be your case, act quickly to back up your data.
If the phone has already stopped working completely, you’ll likely need to contact a professional.
2. Try a Do-It-Yourself Fix
If your phone still functions, various DIY fixes could be an option. DIY solutions are especially helpful if you need your phone to last just a little longer—until, say, you’re eligible to upgrade.
The best at-home solution depends on the extent of the damage and your resources. There are certain DIY solutions to avoid, too, though.
Do Try an Eraser, Including the “Magic” Kind
Let’s return to that best-case scenario: Somehow, your phone shows only minor scratches from its death-defying tumble. If so, you might try erasing the damage—literally.
Gently rubbing a pencil eraser over the scratches can diminish their appearance. A magic eraser—the kind you use to get crayon off walls—works even better.
Do Try Car Polishes
Car waxes and headlight creams offer another solution for minor scratches. Use your finger to rub a small amount into the scratch. Then wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Don’t Try Baking Soda, Toothpaste, Jellies, or Oils
Popular online solutions include toothpaste, petroleum jelly, and coconut oil. Many people also try making their own polishing paste of baking soda and water. Some people have even suggested mashed banana!
But beware, none of these solutions is effective, and most can further damage your phone.
Do Try Packing Tape
If your phone is shattered, you’ll need more than polishing. In that case, packing tape can be a temporary solution.
Line up the broken pieces of your screen and cover the whole thing with packing tape. It can help to have someone hold the phone steady while you apply the tape. Once the screen is covered, use scissors or an X-Acto knife to trim the edges.
Do Try a Screen Protector
For a similar solution with a more professional-looking finish, you can also purchase a clear screen protector. Like the packing tape, the screen protector keeps the broken pieces of your phone in place. It also protects your fingers from any sharp edges.
Do Consider Replacing the Screen Yourself
It is possible to replace a shattered phone screen yourself. And if you’re relatively tech-savvy and handy, you might consider this option.
If you do, you’ll need replacement parts and specialized tools. You can find these—usually in the form of kits—from various online retailers. You can also find detailed instructions for your phone’s model online.
A few words of caution, though…
First, repairing your phone yourself could void any warranty you might have.
Second, keep in mind that today’s cell phone screens are more than a piece of glass. Most incorporate touch and biometric sensors. As a result, replacement screens aren’t cheap.
Finally, consider this: Even the simplest online guide for replacing a cell phone screen can include more than 30 steps. Once again, if you’re not experienced in this regard, doing it yourself can be overwhelming and cause more damage.
3. Consult a Professional
If you’re going to fix a completely shattered phone screen, a professional is, for most people, the best bet.
If you have an iPhone and live near an Apple store, you can visit one of their locations. If that’s not convenient, Apple also has a mail-in repair program, as do other cell phone manufacturers, like Samsung and LG.
You can also find local cell phone repair services at electronics stores or independent small businesses.
How to Prevent a Shattered Phone Screen
An old adage reminds us, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Even with state-of-the-art electronics, this advice holds true. The best way to deal with a shattered phone screen is to prevent the damage in the first place.
Of course, in an ideal world, we’d all be careful enough to keep our phones from hitting the ground. And we’d remember to take our phones out of our back pockets before we sit down.
The world isn’t ideal, though, and we’re not perfect. We’re human. We forget. We trip. We’re in a hurry and ever-so-gently toss our phones onto the counter or the table.
And sometimes they break. So we need a more effective form of prevention to supplement our caution.
Fortunately, today’s cell phone cases are engineered with a fast-paced world and imperfect people in mind. The best cell phone cases protect your phone from the impact of bumps and falls.
They’re also stylish and an excellent way to express your personality. A shattered phone screen says, “I’m clumsy!” A classy cell phone case from Mobile Mob says, “I may not be perfect, but I’m smart and proactive!”
“Oh, and I love unicorns!” Or surfing. Or motorcycles. Or whatever cool design you’ve chosen for your case.
Your Cell Phone Is Going to Have a Great Fall—With the Right Protection, It Can Survive to Enjoy the Other Seasons Too
Your cell phone is going to fall, but it isn’t Humpty Dumpty. It doesn’t have to break, and you don’t have to deal with putting it together again. You don’t have to deal with a shattered phone screen if you take steps to prevent it.
When you don’t have to fix your broken phone, you have more time to maximize its functions. As you do, check out our blog for the best advice.