Glass Only Apple Watch 4 Screen Fix – NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE!

Glass Only Apple Watch 4 Screen Fix – NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE!

So the Series 4 Apple Watch with its rectangular design and curved glass edges, looks pretty sleep and pristine unless, of course, it's shattered Replacement screens can cost almost as much as the watch itself unfortunately

But what if replacing just the top glass were an option? Today I'll show you that replacing just the glass is indeed an optionwhile at the same time showing you why this repair should never be attempted by mere mortals Personally, I've tried multiple glass-only Apple watch repairs before this one, each time failing catastrophically

This time around I'll have some extra help from a guy who does this on a regular basis He's found a way to make these impossible repairs possible But still, without experience, I'd say about 99% of people who attempt this project will fail Now that the pep talk is over, let's get started [Intro] Removing just the glass on a smart watch or cell phone is like trying to separate two potato chips that are glued together without cracking either one of them

The concept of course is simple, but the execution is near impossible It's the brain surgery equivalent of smart phone repairs The initial trick is that the glass curved edge of the Apple Watch Series 4 does not have any part of the display panel underneath it, nor does it have the finger sensing digitizer under the curve It does however have a super fragile square ring around the bottom edge of the glass that rests up against the metal for the Force Touch feature which is kind of essential to the functionality of the watch I'll show you what that looks like in just a second

This is going to be one of those videos you got to watch all the way through till the end I'm not going to use any heat yet because heat can damage the Force Touch ring by causing it to delaminate So I'm gently pulling away the tiny cold glass shards with my fine tip tweezers Is this tedious? Yes But remember we are working around layers of technology that are more fragile than potato chips, so slow and steady wins the race

Once we have these smallest glass chips pulled away from the frame, we can slide a super thin piece of stiff plastic between the glass screen and the Force Touch ring, taking special care not to damage the fragile ring while sawing my plastic back and forth to help it slip under the glass and slice through the adhesive that's holding it to the black Force Touch sensor Pulling up a sliver of glass at the wrong angle can put pressure on the display that's under the glass and destroy it It's like trying to diffuse a bomb that could obliterate the watch at any second Also keep in mind that holding down the side button for too long literally calls the police Ask me how I know

Obviously, the more cracked the glass is, the easier it is to work on because tiny slivers of glass can pull away easier If the display ends up breaking with black splotches or the touch sensitivity stops working, the only option at that point is to replace the whole screen instead of just the glass, which is what we're trying to do here today Remember, we still can't use heat yet because of that Force Touch ring – it's still adhered to the metal frame Every now and then I would run into a snag along the glass edge requiring me to swap out my piece of plastic or grab my tweezers to shimmy out another piece of glass I've been at it for about 45 minutes now, going slow and removing each bit of glass individually

These watches are expensive, but if I can salvage this screen by replacing just the glass, I can save quite a bit of money I'll add each sliver of glass to my glass collection off to the side until I have another opening big enough for the thin piece of plastic I'll pop it in and start slicing between the glass and the Force Touch ring This is a terribly tedious repair that I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy It might be stressing you out a little bit that the watch is still turned on at this point, but as long as I don't slice my plastic too deep into the watch, the inner cables should be just fine

nothing's around the edge I'm leaving the watch turned on so I can easily test and see if I've broken the internal potato chips or not Once that screen is broken, there's no point in continuing and I'm better off just buying the whole screen replacement instead of just the glass

Finally, after removing all the little slivers of glass and slicing my plastic under the larger chunks of glass, the whole screen is loose from the Apple Watch body Everything is indeed still working at this point, which means we haven't messed up yet Cross your fingers it stays that way In order to proceed I need something called a vacuum hot plate This beauty can suction down objects while heating them up to soften the adhesive

It's a much more controlled environment than using my standard heat gun And since we're working with small and delicate things, it is a needed piece of equipment for this project I have tapped over all the holes but nine so that we can have all the suction in one location I'll add another piece of tape over the cracked Apple Watch screen so air won't slip through the cracks and cause it to lose suctionscience And I'll also turn off the watch Once the machine is turned on it will start warming up the adhesive that's holding the ribbon cables to the back of the screen You can kind of see them pulling up right here

There are 3 of them all lined up in a row and this gives us some wiggle room to reach in and unplug the cables The adhesive holding down the black tape over top of these connectors is incredibly gooey and sticky and near impossible to remove gentlyThanks Tim Apple

Normally alcohol doesn't solve problems, but in this particular case, a drop of alcohol right on top of each of the connectors dissolves the adhesive, allowing the tape to peel back a bit easier It will become sticky again after the alcohol evaporates Once the tape is peeled back over all 3 connectors, I can pop the little black latch up at the top, which unlocks the corresponding cable The latches themselves are extremely fragile, just like everything else we've been dealing with today Finally I'll grab ahold of the ribbons themselves and the top of the screen, and gently but firmly pull the ribbons off of the screen

It's taken me about an hour to get to this point in the process and we haven't even started the complex part yet Going back to our vacuum hot plate screen separator machine This time around I'm going to use some high tensile strength, super thin gold colored wire that I'll wrap around my finger to keep secure This wire is going to be placed directly under the glass layer of the Apple Watch screen, but above the digitizer and screen layers It's a small fragile sandwich of high tech components, and if you pick the wrong layer to slide through, the whole thing is destroyed

I'm not being dramatic, I'm just being realistic You can see the wire sliding and slicing into one of the gooey layers inside the sandwich – that's the adhesive between the glass and the digitizer, and exactly where we want the wire to stay It's like trying to separate the two halves of a very expensive Oreo, but if you break the cookie part, you lose a couple hundred bucks I'll lift the wire over the remaining curved glass chunks so it won't get caught on the edge or start cutting into the sensitive bits, and then gently keep sliding the wire through the gooey warmed up adhesive layer The whole thing is heated to about 80 degrees Celsius right now and that's keeping the Oreo nice and soft for the wire to slide through

The suction of the machine is keeping the watch screen from moving around too much while the wire is sliding through the adhesive Once the wire finishes the cut and pops out the other side, the screen is loose and fully free to pull away from that top glass layer The cracked glass is now removed from the display You can see some of the adhesive residue on the digitizer layer which is sitting on top of the display layer, but that's pretty easy to clean off Nothing looks physically damaged yet so I think we're still good to continue

The hardest part of the repair is now donekind of The little bit of rubbery adhesive that is left on the screen can be gently rubbed off, keeping in mind that this is like trying to rub flavor dust off of a Dorito, and one wrong move can crack the whole thing

A little bit of acetone can dissolve the rest of those lines and residue on top of the display But before I go any farther, I want to test and make sure my little Dorito is still in one piece, so I'll peel back the tape over those connectors and pop each of the three ribbons into their latches on the back of the screen Nudging them into place with the t-shaped bracket on the back of the ribbon I'll turn everything on The Apple Watch should still function at this point even without the glass in place

The touch sensitive digitizer is still layered on top of the screen portion Yeah, it will be a tiny bit finicky because it's designed to have a glass layer on top, but the watch should still function in general at this point So far, so good I'll turn the watch off again and remove the cables from the back of the screen Now it's time to add a new layer of glass to the top

This part is pretty easy actually Adding the glass requires a special kind of glue Once the screen is totally clean from dust or fingerprints, I'll grab a little Lego to prop the screen up I'll explain why in just a second I mostly just wanted to say 'little Lego' though

I'll clean both sides of the replacement glass and add a dollop of Loca: Liquid Optical Clear Adhesive This stuff is pretty cool actually It's what's going to hold the glass layer securely to the display The important thing when setting the glass down is that there are no air bubbles caught under the glass I did catch one air bubble during my first placement, so I pulled that off and popped it with a pair of fine tipped tweezers and then tried setting the glass down again for the second time

Resting the display on top of the Lego allows the display to sit up inside the curve of the glass as it rests down into place But once again, I caught a little bubble under the glass as the adhesive flattened out towards the edges It's not a huge deal, it just means that I have to gently persuade that little bubble to migrate towards the edge of the glass with a tiny bit of pressure This little bit of pressure is also pushing out glue on the under side of the glass that I'll have to clean up later, but as long as the Loca isn't getting on the electronics, I'll be okay The cool part about this glue is that it's not going to dry on it's own, it stays liquid and gives me plenty of time to clear the bubble and make sure the display underneath is totally lined up underneath that glass

The display needs to be centered evenly on every side, without any of the copper edges showing I can shine a light through the underside of the display to make sure everything is proportional, and then I can hit the whole thing with a UV or ultraviolet light These magical rays of artificial sunbeams are what dries or cures the liquid optical adhesive that's holding the glass to the display It only takes a few seconds for the glue to start hardening and then a few more minutes for the glass to become permanently attached to the display again It's pretty crazy stuff

Thumbs up for that I do have to clean out the seepage from under the display from when I pressed out that little bubble, but once that's cleaned up I can cure the underside of the glass to keep the edges from running, and then we're pretty much done I'll grab the screen and pop all three of those ribbons back into their corresponding latches and lock the fragile flaps gently down into place Then after making sure there's no glass slivers or old adhesive or dust resting on that Force Touch ring, I can make sure everything still turns on I'm just as surprised as you are

How's them apples The touch sensitivity still seems to be intact I'll make sure to line the antenna tab on the back of the screen up with the slot on the motherboard and set the screen down into place to test the Force Touch And it looks like the Force Touch works For such a fragile intricate project, we definitely got lucky

I can add some water resistant flexible adhesive to the edge of the display I won't trust the thing to be water resistant anymore of course, but the adhesive is going to hold the glass in place, and it's still flexible enough to allow the Force Touch to work This is an absolutely brutal repair I've done this exact same procedure on a few smart phones in the past so I'm familiar with the process And even with my previous experience, it took me close to three hours to finish this watch

This is definitely my first and last successful glass only Apple watch repair If you're wondering to yourself, 'Who in their right mind would want to do this?' I'll leave a link in the description to my buddy who helped me with this repair He actually does this repair for other people on a regular basis It's kind of nice to save a few hundred bucks by fixing a cracked watch instead of buying a new one Every version of the Apple Watch is going to be slightly different

I'm pretty impressed with how good this turned out though Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find some Doritos and Oreo's that I can go crunch the crap out of Come hang out with me on Instagram and Twitter Hit that subscribe button And thanks a ton for watching

I'll see you around

Source: Youtube

Md. Elias
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