How to Remove and Replace a Phone's Glass Screen Protector

Don't go back to the store when you can do this yourself

What to Know

  • Easiest: Aim a hairdryer on a low setting at the screen for 15 seconds to loosen the adhesive. Pull the protector at one corner and peel the sides.
  • Alternate: Pry up a corner of the protector with a toothpick. Peel it along the side. Slide a credit card into the gap to lift it.
  • Peel the film from the replacement's sticky side. Align carefully and apply it beginning at one end, squeezing out any bubbles as you go.

This article explains how to remove a phone's glass screen protector. It also includes information for dry mounting or wet mounting a replacement protector. These instructions apply for most screen protectors on any type of smartphone or tablet, including iPhones and Android devices

How to Remove a Screen Protector

Phone screen protectors last only so long before they need to be replace due to scratchs or cracks. Many users are wary of removing the old screen protector themselves, but the process is simple.

There are two methods for removing the glass screen protector on your phone.

Option 1: the Hands-On Approach

  1. Before you begin, use a hairdryer on a very low setting on your screen for about 15 seconds to loosen the adhesive on the screen protector.

    Don't overdo it; be gentle and use a low heat setting.

  2. Gently try to lift the screen protector up from each corner using your fingernail. One corner should be loose enough to give you something to work with.

  3. Once a corner is loose, pull gently up from the corner.

  4. Begin peeling the protector up along the sides of the protector. This will keep it stable and help prevent it from breaking apart before you can get it completely off. Go slowly as you do this to keep the screen protector in one piece.

Option 2: Toothpick and a Credit Card

If your fingernails aren't doing the trick, try using a toothpick instead.

  1. Use a toothpick to gently pry up the screen protector at one of the corners. If one corner isn't coming loose, try another.

    Make sure to point the sharp end of your toothpick up and away from the screen rather than down and toward it so you don't damage your screen.

  2. Once a corner is loosened, use your fingers to gently pull it up and away from the phone.

  3. Begin peeling the protector up along the sides. Go slowly, as you don't want to rush the job and tear your screen protector into pieces.

  4. Slide a credit card into the gap to gently lift the screen protector off the phone.

How to Replace the Screen Protector on Your Phone

Once you've successfully removed the old screen protector, it's time to replace it. Make sure your hands are clean, and gently clean your phone's screen with a microfiber cloth or appropriate screen cleaner.

If your screen protector didn't come with any special solution, use the dry mounting method. If it did, use the wet mounting method.

Dry Mounting a Screen Protector

  1. Peel the film from the screen protector's sticky side.

  2. Line up the screen protector with your phone's screen, taking extra care to make sure it's perfectly aligned with the device from all sides.

  3. Gently place the screen protector on top of your screen, starting at one end and gradually moving to the other end. Take your time.

  4. Take the film off the top of your screen protector. You should see a clean surface.

    Use a credit card, microfiber cloth, or the installation card that came with your new screen protector to smooth out any bubbles as you apply it; start at the center and push the bubbles out toward the edges of your screen in short, quick movements.

Wet Mounting a Screen Protector

Some screen protectors come with a special solution to use during application. Only use the solution that came with your specific brand of screen protector.

  1. Spray the special solution on the front and back of the screen protector; this will keep it moist during the installation process.

    You might need to spritz it a couple more times as you install the screen protector to keep it from getting too dry.

  2. Gently place the screen protector on top of your phone's screen, starting at one end and gradually moving to the other end. Take your time.

  3. Use the squeegee that came with your kit to squeeze the excess solution out from under the screen protector. Start in the center, then gently push it out toward the edges. Hold firmly onto the protector so it doesn't move around.

  4. Leave the screen protector to dry for at least half an hour so it will fully bind to your phone's screen.

  5. Once you've got your brand-new tempered glass screen protector in place, your phone will look as good as new and you can begin using it again.

Person using a touch screen phone
Balavan / Getty Images
  • How do I get rid of bubbles under my screen protector?

    Some bubbles may be worked out on their own over the course of a couple of days, but if not you'll need to get rid of them manually. In that case, use something like a credit card to slowly work the bubbles out by pressing the edge of the card down and pushing or pulling it to one side of the screen protector. If the bubbles prove to be too difficult to push out manually, you may want to carefully pull up the screen protector and re-apply it.

  • How do I remove a liquid screen protector?

    The simplest way to remove a liquid screen protector is to take it to a professional service location, but you can try to remove it yourself (though it's not recommended as you could damage your screen). Some people have had success with using sanitizer to loosen the adhesive properties of the liquid screen skin, while others claim that gentle wiping with a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser will do the trick.

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