How I Repaired my Cracked iPad Screen

By | November 2, 2016

I’ve had an 4th Generation iPad since the year they were released. It has always worked well and I’ve been pleased with its longevity. Well, last month, something tapped the corner of my screen a little too hard.

As you can see from the picture at the right, it was hit pretty good. (click pic to see it close up)

cracked iPad screen

glass missing from iPad screen

I’m not sure what hit the screen, but it dug a chunk out of the glass about a half-inch long all the way to the bezel. Fortunately, this area of broken glass wasn’t important to touch input or display, that part’s very relevant. I was still able to use the iPad, everything including the display, digitizer and home button worked just fine. As a matter of fact, I used it for a few weeks with clear packing tape over the crack. After replacing the tape a couple of times and dealing with little shards of glass flecking off, I knew I had to do something.

After checking around online, I did find that replacement iPad screens were available, and not really that expensive, but I didn’t really need a new digitizer, this one was working fine. I also called local repair places only to find the cost of someone else have repair it was over half the cost of buying another of the same iPad. So I got a little creative.

Using a few pieces of tape, I finished pulling all the loose shards of glass out of the chipped area, then took a toothbrush to it lightly to get everything loose out of the way.  Then I went online and bought a pack of two-part Gorilla Epoxy. It said it was for glass, right? Fortunately, the 4th Generation iPad’s screen is just tempered glass, not the special glass the newer models use. I suspect this repair wouldn’t work with that material.

After the spot was cleaned of loose glass, I mixed up a small amount of the two-part epoxy with a toothpick. I slowly and carefully dabbed a few drops into the crack to start filling it. After a few tries, the crack was about half filled(vertically). I let it set for a few hours so the epoxy would bond with the glass and harden a little. I then went back, mixed another small batch and filled in the rest of the crack.

I let it set overnight and then used my iPad the next day.

crack completely filled

crack completely filled

the partially filled crack

the partially filled crack

As you can see in this picture, the epoxy really did the trick for a ~$5 repair that will most likely last as long as the iPad will. The completed photo really doesn’t do it justice. The epoxy reflects light at an angle like that, and it’s much more even with the rest of the display surface than it appears.

In all, for the money and ten minutes that went into the repair, I am happy with the way it turned out.


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