How to Fix a Cracked, Shattered or Broken Smartphone Screen
We’ve all been there: maybe we were in a rush, trying to carry too much at once, or we just missed our bag or pocket when putting our phones away, but everyone can relate to that awful, slow-motion moment when a smartphone drops to the floor.
If we’re lucky, it might land on carpet or the case might do its job, but many of us have experienced that excruciating noise of phone hitting concrete and the damaged screen that follows.
So, what can be done about it? There are many ways to prevent smartphone screens from cracking, shattering or smashing in the first place (we’ll come on to those later) but for now we’ll look at some of the top solutions for fixing a cracked phone screen. You can also read about what to do if you break your smartphone screen here.
How to fix a cracked phone screen
1. Check your insurance
First thing’s first, check your insurance or warranty. While there are options for fixing a broken phone screen either yourself or through a third party (more on those in a second), an often much easier, safer and convenient option is to claim it back through your mobile phone insurance.
While manufacturers or providers may cover you for faulty devices, most of the cracked screens around are, unfortunately, nothing to do with a fault with the phone. If, as is more likely, your screen cracked or shattered as a result of accidental damage, you can factor that into smartphone insurance, which can be available for as little as a few pounds a month. If you’re a notorious butterfingers, or the member of your friendship group who’s always the one with a crack on your phone screen, then insuring your device is a great way to guarantee peace of mind.
2. Speak to your phone provider or manufacturer
While there may be a bit more waiting around on hold or online chat than claiming through your insurance, it can be worth speaking to the manufacturer or, as a first step, your phone provider, to see if there’s anything they can do to help. Depending on the amount of damage suffered, the device and the provider you use, they may be able to provide some assistance.
In such a competitive market, your ongoing business is important to providers, so many will go above and beyond in terms of service and, at the very least, give you several options that may be more reliable than home remedies or third-party repairs.
Most manufacturers can replace screens, although the average cost for doing so for a premium, top of the range phone is around £170.
3. Try using superglue
We would recommend proceeding with extreme caution with any DIY phone repairs, but minor cracks can be filled and repaired by applying a small amount of superglue. This won’t fix smashed or shattered phone screens, or indeed any internal damage if the screen itself has stopped working, but it can seal small cracks. We would recommend using the absolute minimum amount of this sticky substance, and carefully wiping off any excess with a cloth.
It’s worth mentioning that any home remedies can affect your warranty or insurance, so always read the small print in those documents before you attempt any smartphone surgery yourself.
4. Replace the screen yourself
If your smartphone screen is smashed or shattered, it’s safe to say that a blob of superglue won’t cut the mustard. Once a phone reaches this state, whether it’s one very unfortunate incident or after an accumulation of drops, the entire screen will likely need replacing. This is a bigger job but can still be done at home. We would recommend checking out both online tutorial videos and, again, the terms of your warranty and insurance, as this is a considerably bigger job than just sealing an individual crack.
5. Use a third-party repair service
When you speak to your phone provider, they may point you in the direction of a reputable repair service, who have slightly less rudimentary methods than superglue and YouTube tutorials. When it comes to using third parties to fix a phone screen, make sure you do your due diligence and research them in detail, especially if your quote is significantly cheaper than the manufacturer’s cost. Ideally use a business that you know multiple people have had a good experience with or, failing that, do your research online to make sure the repair service near you is reputable.
6. Consider trading in your phone
Finally, if your contract is up for renewal and you can hold out with your damaged phone screen until the due date, consider trading it in for part exchange against your new device. That way, you don’t have to go through the process of fixing the screen and, providing the rest of the phone is in good condition, you may still get a reasonable amount of money off the cost of your shiny new device.
How to prevent your phone screen cracking
So, there you have it: a selection of options for fixing damaged phone screens, whether yours is cracked, smashed or shattered. But there are also steps you can take to prevent your screen from getting damaged in the first place:
1. Invest in a quality case
While it may be tempting to invest in a fashionable, stylish phone case from high-street stores, it’s worth looking into more robust phone cases if you’re prone to dropping your device. Search online for the best phone cases that can comfortably survive big (and regular) falls without a scratch. They might not be as svelte or pretty as some cases you can pick up, but your screen and wallet or purse will thank you for it!
2. Make sure you get a screen protector
The absolute minimum everyone should be using is a quality screen protector. These are available for as little as a couple of quid online, take seconds to apply, and can be the difference between having to replace a screen and saving it. They’re often available in multipacks as well, so if you drop your phone regularly, you can just peel off the damaged protector and apply its replacement – ideal!
3. Invest in phone insurance
Okay, so while this last tip might not prevent accidental damage, it will make it an awful lot less painful if you do damage your device. The dreaded moment of picking your phone up off the floor and turning it over to find your screen cracked or smashed is devastating, but having insurance means you can replace it for just a small excess, rather than having to pay an often-extortionate amount for repairs.