How to Fix a Cracked Phone Screen

From DIY to professional grade solutions for broken phone screens

If your smartphone doesn't have a protective case, scratches and cracks on the screen are inevitable. There's no shortage of screen repair shops, but knowing how to fix (or at least deal with) a cracked phone screen yourself could save you a few hundred dollars.

Instructions in this article apply broadly to smartphones made by various manufacturers.

Causes of Cracked Phone Screens

No matter how careful you are, you can accidentally damage your phone's screen in a number of ways:

  • Dropping it on a hard surface.
  • Sitting on your phone when it's in your back pocket.
  • Bumping into things while your phone is in your pocket or purse.
  • Using anything other than a stylus as a stylus.

The best way to prevent a cracked phone screen is to use a protective case. There are innumerable iPhone cases and cases for Android phones designed to protect your screen.

Several broken smartphones and tablets with cracked screens on a table.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

If your phone is leaking liquid, it could be from the battery. Stop using your phone right away and put it in a plastic bag until you can get it professionally fixed.

How to Fix a Cracked Screen on a Smartphone

You may have several options for repairing your cracked screen depending on the severity of the damage:

  1. Use packing tape. Cut out a small piece of packing tape and place it over the cracks. If the damage is along the sides of the phone, use an X-Acto knife to trim the tape.

  2. Use super glue. Cyanoacrylate glue, better known as super glue, can seal small cracks. Use as little possible, and carefully wipe up excess glue with a cotton swab or cloth.

  3. If the touchscreen still works, you can replace the glass yourself for about $10-$20. The tools required will depend on your type of phone.

  4. Ask the manufacturer to fix it. If your phone is still under warranty, the manufacturer may replace your device for free. Even if the warranty has expired, the manufacturer may fix it for a price. Most manufacturer warranties don't cover accidental damages, but you can purchase secondary warranties that do.

    If you have an iPhone, Apple offers a number of options to repair crack screens on iOS devices.

  5. Ask your mobile carrier to fix it. Your mobile provider may offer phone repair services at a discount to customers. Call customer support or visit a local store for help.

  6. Take it to a repair shop. Depending on your device's model, screen replacement can run about $50-$200. If the touchscreen functionality is damaged, there will be an extra charge.

  7. Trade-in your phone. If you're due for an upgrade, you might as well trade-in your broken device and use the money you get to buy a new one. Websites like uSell and Glyde will buy your broken phone for about half the price you paid for it. There are also sites specifically for selling used iPhones.