How to replace a cracked or broken Nexus 7 screen and digitizer

May 15, 2013
14 75 93

brokenwelcomescreenN7

Sometimes the inevitable happens — you’re walking along using your Nexus 7, and¬†right before your eyes¬†your favorite Android tablet has a run-in with the sidewalk. As you pick it up you realize that you have cracked the screen, it won’t respond to touches either.

When both of these symptoms occur, it means that you have broken both the glass screen and the digitizer. On the other hand, if your tablet still responds to touches that means you have only broken the screen, and the following guide is not applicable.

Nonetheless, this guide will teach you, step-by-step, how to safely replace a broken screen and digitizer. Remember that this is somewhat of an in-depth process. You should only use this guide as reference, as there is always a chance you may damage your device even further by opening it up.

With that being said, read ahead to learn exactly how to breathe life into your broken Nexus 7! Make sure to also check out the video tutorial, which will make the process a breeze!


Tools needed  

The process of replacing the Nexus’ screen requires very few tools, and many replacement panels even ship with tools included.

  1. Mini Phillips head screwdriver, one with a magnetic tip will help greatly.
  2. A spudger, a tool which is usually static resistant and is used to pry or separate the components in the tablet.
  3. An anti-static workmat is suggested as well in order to protect the tablet’s internals from electrostatic discharge

tools needed

Repair process 

Step 1

After finding a suitable workspace, begin by separating the Nexus’ back shell from it’s bezel by lightly prying with a spudger or guitar pick. The shell is very easy to remove and does not require a great amount of force to come off of the N7’s body.

N7shell

Step 2

Disconnect the battery cable from the motherboard. You can do this by pushing forward and giving pressure to each side of the plug in a rocking fashion.

BatteryCableN7

Step 3

Remove the black tape that covers the LCD display cables. The tape can be folded backwards to remove it from your workspace, but try to let the tape retain its adhesiveness.

TapeLiftNexus7

Step 4

Unplug the LCD data cable and ribbon cables from the motherboard. The data cable can by lightly pried upwards to disconnect, the ribbon cables have two pressure clips that can both be pried upwards as well.

ribboncablesNexus7

Ribbon cables circled, with data cable unplugged to the left

Step 5

Unscrew the 15¬†perimeter¬†screws that surround the Nexus 7’s body. They are all mini phillips screws, and as previously stated are best dealt with by using a magnetic screwdriver. Two black 4.25 millimeter screws will be removed, as well as thirteen silver 3.2 millimiter screws.

DSC_0241

Step 6

Separate the LCD panel and the aluminum body of the Nexus 7 by gently pulling them apart. There is a weak adhesive binding the two. It should split apart with minimal effort, aside from the large yellow data strip that runs down the middle of the body. Also make sure that the small ¬†display data cable passes through its cutout with ease, and doesn’t catch and tear on any part of the body.

Nexus7bodies

Step 7

This is a tricky step, it involves heating up the broken screen in order to separate it from the plastic bezel that surrounds the Nexus. Now, a heat gun or hairdryer will do the trick just fine, but so will leaving the panel in the sun for about 30 minutes on a warm day. After the panel is nice and toasty, begin slowly lifting it from the black glass panel. The goal during this process is to keep the adhesive tape attached to the bezel and not the display when they are separate. If your tape is stuck to the display panel, you can either apply more heat to strip the tape and reseat it on the bezel. If that doesn’t work you will need to cut and install new double-sided adhesive tape to the bezel. Finally, remove any loose pieces of glass that remain attached to the bezel

BezelremovalN7

Step 8

Line up and set the new screen face up inside the bezel. Make sure the tape strongly sticks to the backside of the screen. You can then insert the data display cable into it’s clip connector. If your replacement screen/digitizer panel didn’t come ship with copper heat shielding you can transfer it on from the old display.

Step 9

Attach the bezel/screen combo to the chassis of the N7. You can lay the screen face down and set the aluminum body/motherboard on top of it. Feed the display data cable through the hole in the motherboard as you set the body down onto the screen.

chassisinstallN7

Step 10

Reattach the ribbon cables to the motherboard and lock them in place. ¬†Reattach the black tape from step 3 to the motherboard. After doing this you can plug the battery cable into it’s socket once again.

Step 11

Secure the chassis in place using the screws removed in step 5. You can snap the back shell in place once again after tightening all the screws. You can then power on your tablet and use it once again!

Success!

finishedresoration

So, after following this guide you will have successfully installed a new screen/digitizer combo onto your Nexus 7. That wasn’t so hard! ¬†Remember to comment if you need any help with the process, as we are willing to guide you through any rough patches.

Cost

As stated before, cost will vary due to differences in what might actually need to be replaced. Digitizers, panels, and combos can both be found on Ebay or Amazon, and are usually sold as spare parts from donor Nexus units. This effects the availability of such parts.  A combo can usually be purchased anywhere between $100-$140, with individual parts landing in the $70 area.

For the time being, here is a link to a Nexus 7 screen/digitizer combo from Amazon. You can find spare parts on Amazon using this link.

Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

Comments

  • nishantsirohi123

    or skip all this
    and take it to the service center

    • SmoothTalkingGuy

      sure, then wait two weeks to hear back from asus and google and only to find out that it will cost you more than a new one.

      Nice thinking man

      • simpleas

        Yeah, that “nice thinking” is what most people do cause we’re not damn nerds trying to fix a circuit board and break even more stuff along the way? Get it now? smh.

        • PersonPosting

          Well, then you’re not who this guide was written for.

        • anon

          nerds who invented, designed and built the very tech you will go and buy, are the similar type of “nerds” who can fix things like this. but we, they, are not nerds. We are merely more intelligent than people like you because we’ve never been scared or systematically burdened by conformism to take every little thing for granted and then belittle the very folk who give you all this great tech by calling them “nerds”!!

          either way, if you’re buying the tech that nerds invented, then it’s a sure fire certainty that you’ll need one of those nerds to fix your peice of broken kit!!

          In short, if you can’t do it yourself, why are moaning because someone posted this for those who can? it’s not the writers problem that you’re incapable of learning!!

          • chiko

            Revenge of the Nerds!

      • Coder

        right, they will charge you approx 10500 rupee for replacing your broken screen.. Its my big mistake to buy Google nexus 7.. At same price i can buy an new samsung galexy phone which is better option. :(

        • nicky

          have you replaced your screen or any other plans ?

          • Ajay

            Hello Nick,

            I have take my tablet back from service center and have to wait till rate goes down, its better to buy other smartphone instead of repairing it. Lets see what happen..(coder)

        • avinash

          oh mine broke too ,,but now new nexus 7 (2012) costs 9999 in india ..:)

        • aj

          I love the legend of zelda

  • kneesus

    There are digitizers for $40 right now. $37 if best offer…

  • http://twitter.com/TechintheRlWrld TechintheRealWrld

    I was excited about doing this, but then I realized the cost of one of these replacement kits is almost the cost of just buying a used N7. Guess I’ll keep waiting to see if Google releases something new soon.

    • Bobby P

      You guys are funny……$16.99 for screen and digitizer on eBay….BRAND NEW! This guide is NOT for you…..go buy a new one if you can’t handle it! Thanks Clayton, YOU ROCK BUDDY!!!

  • Adam Outler

    The way I recommend is to buy an old 8gig for $100 on e-bay, then just swap the boards.

  • galldana

    My screen is cracked and touch is non-responsive. Do I need to replace the LCD as well or just the screen and digitizer? Seems like you said to replace the screen/digitizer but replaced the LCD as well? Maybe I just missed that part or maybe I just don’t understand something?

    • galldana

      BTW color and graphics are fine…as far as I can tell!

  • 180G

    What is the best place to buy a screen and digitizer? I’ve searched the web and all the sites I’ve find look kind of hokey.

  • Manuel Lara

    My screen wont show anything when i try to turn it on. What do i do?

  • Raging_Engie

    Just followed this tutorial, and it saved my butt. I was able to fix by nexus 7 for under a $100, and it works perfectly. Here was the link to the item I bought, it even came with the plastic spudger and screw driver. http://www.ebay.com/itm/221223836642?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

    • Mushfiqur Rahman

      Is the screen same as new. Any color changes or any differences even the slighest of them?

  • Jay Goods

    Thank you very much. I just fixed mine! It was pretty simple Thanos to your guide.

  • Jay Goods

    Thanks*

  • aar0n5

    My screen just flickers really bad. I don’t know what I did wrong with the replacement :(

  • Adam

    My old screen has this rectangular brick attached to it, and no new one was sent with kit. How do I get that thing off old one, and on to the new one. You totally skip this part!

  • Mushfiq
  • Sol

    Is it possible to change the digitizer on N7 only rather then change whole lot including lcd?My lcd is fine just digitizer is cracked.

  • jtoem

    i tried this repair. Actualy, I followed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygut0Z4vxBE untill taking the motherboard off, then I put everything back and just took the frame and the board out together. I had no trouble getting the screen separated from the bezel using a hot plate; I know my tablet turns on becsause i hear the email notifications. but the screen doesnt light up. suggestions? one thing that was different with my screen digitizer combo is that i had to take stick the circuitry on the back of the digitizer as it was shipped with a throw away cover on the sticky bottom. I think the placement is fine because everything lines up with the frame.

    • NexDroid

      Did you ever get a fix for this. I had the same problem after replacing mine.

      • matmax54

        the same for me tonight!!! any suggestions ?
        Please help !

        • bart

          when your android version was not 4.2 there could be problem after replacing complete LCD. nothing appears on the lcd.

          I had the same issue:)

          • Alex

            my nexus 7 has 4.2 and is in the same condition. other than android version do you have any other suggestions?

    • Yetter

      Same with me! I hope somebody see this and we can get a solution

    • Alex

      Did you ever find a solution for this?

    • jignaysh

      my tab nexus 7 fell down on the floor and screen is brken but touch senstivity is lost where it has been broken remaining part touch senstivity is functioning ..so can anyone tell me should i change only the screen or the whole

      • AJ

        screen and digitizer.

  • kbg102806

    This question may seem silly however I need to know, on the tutorial your screen is at the setup stage does this mean doing the lcd digitizer replacement will erase the tablet? I am willing to do the work if everything is still on the device when done. Other wise I might as well buy a new used one.

  • Bryce

    @disqus_Q31Lu040wD:disqus where are you based as I am looking for someone to change my screen as well. Are you in India or Pakistan?

  • Greg

    Any link on a screen only replacement or replacing both the only option ?

  • jmunro

    I replaced LCD and digitizer. Following a step by step. Pretty basic. However when I powered up nexus the screen was distorted. Half green half black and white with a black bar running down the side. Any ideas why

    • lewis

      Mine is exactly the same. What was the fix?

    • Geekonabike

      Same thing here, is one of the three cables not making good contact? Should I try alcohol & Qtips?

    • Geekonabike

      My issue is with the cable connector in the middle of screen back. My replacement didn’t come with the cable & I must have damaged the little black plastic flip locking peice. I have had very limited success placing shims underneath the cable inside the connector, but the results are a tad psychedelic for my taste.

  • Ron Shurtz

    I got my wife’s fixed in about 30 minutes. All thanks to this tutorial that kept me from doing the wrong things. My wife is happy now which means so am I. Many Thanks!!

  • Quenita

    The screen cracked on my Nexus 7. It was only 3 months old. I called Asus and they told me that the cost to fix the screen is $208 total ($15 shipping + $128 parts + $65 labor). A new nexus 7 cost $269.
    :-/
    I did not know that Nexus 7 was a disposable device.

  • Montez

    Found an LCD digitizer combo on Ebay for under $70. The harder part of the install was getting all the glass off the adhesive on the frame. Good as new.

  • Bob Thairacer

    i received yesterday in very good box protection and followed your tutorial and it’s fine !! it’s was paintfull to remove the screen (i used a hairdryer), it took me about 15 minutes to finished this part ! cause my screen was broken in many pieces :( , but
    keep cool and everything wiil be ok !

    i paid 72 euros on Amazon, now the same kit is at 110 !

    thanks for your help ! really ! cause my nexus is 32 gygabytes and it costed me a lot if lost…
    – sorry for my english, i french lol !

    • Bearded Nemisis

      you French indeed, my friend

  • mike-v

    Wish you had been more specific about the fact that the LCD and glass are inseparable. I bought the replacement glass and digitizer on ebay, got through most of the repair, then realized there is no way to separate the two. Now I’m out $30.

  • moeez

    I just broke the screen of n7
    its touch is working
    but at few points touch is fine but it takes very long to process
    like lag in working

  • bdog

    Does anyone know if the digitizer and LCD display in the link is the one he used in the video?

  • Bobby P

    You guys are funny……$16.99 for screen and digitizer on ebay….BRAND
    NEW! This guide is NOT for you…..go buy a new one if you can’t handle
    it! Thanks Clayton, YOU ROCK BUDDY!!!

  • Ann

    Thanks a lot for this. My husband just fixed my cracked-screen-tablet using your explanation … and it works perfectly fine again. You’re both heroes!

  • Chantelle Lamphier Ponak

    My screen is cracked throughout from falling on my tile floor. It responds to touch but not in the cracked areas. Do I need an LCD screen also?

    • bart

      just the touchscreen / glass

  • myjess

    ARRGGHHH, You need top make sure you tell p[eople it’s the white parts of the ribbon connectors that can be unlocked. I just broke the black bits by trying to raise them!

    • 1abnerd

      thanks for tip–just ordered screen/digitizer.
      What kind of socks do pirates wear?
      ARRGGyle
      Sorry after reading all the repair guides, comments and watching repair vids I needed …

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  • yau_yao

    Thank you, got mine fixed in no time. was thinking of trowing my Nexus 7 away till I found this tutorial. thanks again Clayton

  • Vimal Kothari

    Hey so I fixed my N7 using the video from your youtube channel as a guide. I followed all the steps as mentioned. My LCD screen was broken and the touch screen was unresponsive. So i got a new LCD screen + digitizer from fixez.com. However, after having fixed it, my N7 is still unresponsive. It boots up just fine but I cannot interact with it since the screen is unresponsive. Is there any solution for this?

    • Alex

      Did you find any solution for your problem
      I have the same.

      • Vimal

        Hey yes my N7 is working now. I’m not sure there was a “solution” to it. At one point, the screen became responsive for a few minutes but as soon as the screen would turn off, it became unresponsive again. I tried refining it many times but the same problem persisted. I left the tablet the way it was for a while. I got in touch with the technician at fixez.com and he concluded that there must have been internal damage due to which the digitizer is responsive for brief moments and that there was nothing they could do about it. I almost gave up. But two days ago, I picked up my N7 to just try it and the screen was responsive. I was totally surprised. And it still is. I know this is not the response you were looking for but this is my story and this is how my N7 started to function properly. Try aligning the digitizer pins until the white line on the pins are slightly pushing into the connector. That is one of the things i did most. I hope it works for you. Good luck.

  • LoonQ
  • Jason

    @180g
    I found it was in eBay and some come with tools, for around $30-$60 US dollars I bought mine from lucror.

  • Retina

    I broke ASUS NEXUS 7 on right side. The touch is working fine only on non broken parts. So, I would like to know do i need to replace only glass plate or i need digitizer aswell? Please reply fast since its not available in my country and need to ask other to bring from US. he is coming back in a week or 2.

    • bart

      just the touchscreen not a complete lcd!

      • Utsav

        By touchscreen, do you mean just the digitizer?

        I have the same problem, and while the non broken screen works fine, the other 20% above the crack doesn’t responds to the touch.

  • Gustavo

    I replaced my screen and digitizer and the screen won’t come on. I do, however gear a beeping that let’s me know that the battery took charge after I reconnected it. Any advice on checking something else to see why the screen won’t come on? Is there a possibility that it is a compatibility issue? How to tell?

    • Nexus7Fix

      I had a similar problem, and then I realized I had to pull the original ribbon cable (shown pulled away on the left of the 2 piece ribbon connector cable on the right in step 4) from the broken LCD to place onto the new LCD assembly. It was the only step I missed, and it appears to be used to power the new LCD. The new part did not come with this cable for me. I had to reuse the one that was on the original.

  • Camila Namor

    I have androir 4.3.3, will I have a problem? I dropped my nexus on the floor today and it hitted a table :( The touch still works on 2/3 of the screen but not where its cracked (bottom 1/3, so I can’t unlock it!).
    Will this guide work for mine, then?

  • Sonam S Diwate

    I am from india how do i buy this product
    Please tell me

    sonam diwate
    sonamsdiwate@gmail.com

  • MCMaestro

    My screen is cracked, and the touch is unresponsive, however the display is fine (LCD display). Do I need a new complete assembly, or just the digitizer and the screen?

  • Kimberley Williams

    forgot where the black screws are supposed to go… help please…

  • keith

    Green screen after replacement on a N7

    • Michael Diaz

      Did you ever get an answer for this? I’m having the exact same problem.

  • Jonas

    I did this repair, but when i booted it up, it gave me a red screen where it is supposed to be black (image of bootanimation attached). I opened it up again and made sure the ribbon cables were attached decently, but that didnt cure the problem. any help?

    • Hackstuart

      Did you ever get this fixed? I replaced mine and have the same problem!!!

      • Jonas

        I was not able to get it fixed. I bought the replacement screen from Amazon, so I filed a ticket with them and got a full refund.

  • Gordon Stewart

    Tried this earlier this week. Main problem for me was how broken the screen was at the bottom. Little to no adhesion left on lower section.. May end up replacing the bezel if I cannot replace the tape. Its working and back together, screen did not work at first, but you need to ensure that you can see the white line on the wide connector when you clamp it in place.
    Also moving the foil from the back of one screen to the other was really tricky.

    Great video and instructions, just if your screen is really mashed buy a bezel too. It will save you a lot of swearing and cursing.

  • Abhinav Aggarwal

    what if when the screen responds to touch

  • Megan

    HELP! lol
    I got the screen but it didn’t come with a digitizer (I think) bc the glass on the front of the screen is clear. So I pulled the digitizer off the old one but the black glass was left behind on the cracked screen. Did i f it up?

  • Carlos Correa

    Long ago I broke the screen of nexus 7 model 2012 although this, i could even use half of the screen and handle it, now there are spares. My question is what should I get. the “Touch Screen Digitizer” or “LCD Screen Display Replacement” or “Touch Screen LCD Digitizer Glass with LED Replacemen”.

  • http://www.cuckoldingprincess.com/ Karin King

    I just dropped mine and the bottom half won’t work. I guess I’ll just have someone buy me a new one :)

  • http://rockyroads.net/pl KuFeL

    I followed your video, step by step. Unfortunately after replacement the screen is not working properly. You can see it in the video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-O4yXqfdOQ

    Any idea what could went wrong?

  • Simon

    I tried the fix. All seemed to go well, but when I turned on the device, half the screen was washed in red, the other half washed in blue and the touch screen wasn’t as responsive as it should be. I opened it back up again and realised the data cable was not seated correctly, I reseated it and also reseated the ribbon connector to be certain, restarted the device and it now works perfectly. Great tutorial, thanks a million for enabling me to return my beloved nexus to fully functional status.

  • AJ

    I think I may have shorted it out. I did everything, and turned it on, half of the screen was red but it did boot up just fine. someone said to reseat the video cable, so I went to do it. but me not paying attention I unplugged the cables first without disconnecting the battery. now it wont boot at all. did I fry my poor little nexus??

  • kg

    OMG it works again. My girlfriend will be happy, THANK YOU so much!

  • J Perez

    im gonna try this in a couple days will get back

  • Em

    I bought my screen/digitizer + tools from Ebay for a little less than $50. If I didn’t already have so much into this one, and if I was one of those people with loads of money, I probably would have just bought another one. That was not the case, however. My screen came in today, and I fixed it successfully, thanks to this article and video. It was definitely an experience and a half, but I am glad to have my tablet back in working order after not being able to use it for several months. Thanks!

  • Donitza

    I think I broke the battery cable during the fixing process. I’d that something that is fixable? I didn’t realize it has a little cover guard….