Tablet and iPad Screen Repair | Problems and Solutions

Of all the problems you can have with your tablet, cracked screen and broken touchscreen seem to be the two phrases used on our pages the most. With all the advances in Gorilla glass and scratch resistant screens, you'd have thought that iPad screen repair services would be all but obsolete.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. iPad screen repair in particular is especially difficult due to the way in which iPads are put together - primarily with adhesive, rather than screws and clips. However, it seems to be such a common request that it really is in everyone's interest that we devote the front page of our tablet section towards addressing this problem right now.

Keep calm!

The obvious thing to say at this point is that whatever your situation, you should be braced for the worst. That doesn't mean your situation will be impossible - far from it. But by taking a step back and calmly understanding that your situation is a serious one, you are less likely to panic and try the first solution you see without thinking about the damage you might do in the process. Take a look at a number of different iPad screen repair solutions and choose the one that best fits your situation. If your screen has a small crack in the corner, is it really worth replacing the entire screen? Is it possible that your tablet was damaged in other ways when you cracked the screen? If so, you should be aware that once the screen has been replaced, you might not have solved the problem.

iPad screen repair

Firstly, make the decision - am I going to repair the screen myself, pay Apple to do it, pay a third-party to do it or simply replace the tablet? Consider all four possibilities carefully; your situation will likely be different from other people's.

1. Repair the screen myself
Do this if: the damage is small or only cosmetic, the screen still functions perfectly well, you are technically minded

2. Pay Apple to repair the screen
Do this if: your iPad is under warranty, you have an Apple Care plan, you want to have the repairs guaranteed

3. Pay a local repair shop to repair the screen
Do this if: you know the local shop by reputation, they are Apple specialists, you want to save a little money

4. Check the cost of replacing the tablet
Do this to: compare with how much repairs will cost, to save you time and hassle of repairs, to keep sensitive data secure

1. Repairing the screen yourself

Small scratches (or even deep ones) can sometimes be repaired using scratch repair kits like this one. Be careful, though - some scratch kits can be quite abrasive and on a sensitive oleophobic screen like that of the iPad 4, can cause more damage than good.

For cracked iPad screens, you need to repair the screen yourself. iPad screen repair kits such as this one for the iPad 2, this one for the iPad 4 and this one for the iPad mini are very reasonably priced - expect to pay between £20 and £50. I'll repeat, they are not that straightforward to replace, you do risk causing more damage and the results won't be as good as professional (i.e. Apple) repairs. However, if professional repairs or a new tablet are simply not an option for you, there are a number of video guides on YouTube that I would recommend you take a look at before trying repairs yourself.

2. Pay Apple to repair the screen

It won't be cheap, but it will guarantee success. If you already have AppleCare, then this is a no-brainer; the £39 excess they charge is nothing compared to the actual cost of repairing the iPad with them. If you don't have AppleCare, you have a sizeable decision to make - repairing at an Apple Store will cost more than £200. Even under warranty, Apple may not repair your iPad due to accidental damage.

You will be without your iPad for a time but when it returns, it will be as good as new. Quite literally in some cases - there are plenty of reports that Apple simply replace the entire iPad, given the cost and difficulty of iPad screen repair. You will receive either a new or, more likely, refurbished iPad (the same model as your old one, before you ask!) as a replacement. This will be guaranteed, so you are essentially paying extra for peace of mind.

Given that you will be without your iPad for a while, you would do well to check the cost of cheap Android tablets in the meantime - not necessarily as a replacement for your iPad, but for situations where you would hesitate to take your more expensive iPad in the future. The Google Nexus 7 and the Amazon Kindle Fire HD both come highly recommended (see our reviews here and here). You might even want to consider buying an iPod Touch if you want something on iOS that is small, portable, but without the security issues associated with losing an iPhone.

3. Pay a local repair shop to repair the screen

This will be significantly cheaper than going directly to Apple and the work will likely be carried out by experienced professionals. However, there are simply no guarantees if you don't know the company you're going with (and in some cases, even if you do). You pay your money and you take your choice.

If you do decide to go down this route, you MUST check reviews of the place you're taking it before you hand over your cash and iPad. If they are simply using an iPad screen repair kit that you could have bought yourself (rather than genuine Apple parts), you might be somewhat disappointed.

In addition, be wary of any sensitive data on your iPad before you take it for repairs. Credit card information, photos of your significant other, or anything else that is recorded automatically by the iPad will be accessible to the shop repair staff. Be very, very careful.

4. Check the cost of replacing the tablet

It goes without saying that if you are thinking of spending more than £200 on repairs only to get your older iPad model back, you should at least be aware of how much it would cost to simply buy a new one. Apple has its latest iPad Air, iPad mini or even the good old iPad 2 for sale from around £230, so I would seriously question the value of spending £200 on repairs when a brand new iPad can be had for just £30 more. And when you consider the cost of good quality Android tablets (such as the Nexus 7, Nexus 10 or Galaxy Tab), it makes even less sense.

As I said before, you should really think about buying something cheaper if you are worried about taking your iPad places where it could get damaged, or if your children play with your iPad. One of Amazon's best selling Android tablets is just £39. For that price, you can't expect iPad quality, but it is exactly the same price as Apple's additional excess charge even if you have already paid the £79 AppleCare initial 2-year fee. So you won't feel quite as bad when your kids crack your iPad screen next time!

The bottom line

Put simply, you have a choice to make. Repair it yourself, pay someone else, or buy a new one. Personally, I would be inclined to repair it myself. Given that professional iPad screen repair is simply too expensive for me to justify it, if the repairs go wrong I would buy a new tablet knowing it won't have cost me that much more than getting it repaired by Apple, with the added bonus of receiving the latest model. The cost of a new iPad screen is absolute peanuts compared to the cost of AppleCare (£79 upfront + £39 excess = £118!) or the stress of finding a reputable third-party repairer. But that's just me - your situation is probably very different, so make your own decision carefully.

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