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 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 many 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.
If your phone is leaking liquid, it could be from the battery. Stop using your phone immediately 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:
Use packing tape. Cut out a small piece of packing tape and place it over the cracks. If the damage is along the phone's side, use an X-Acto knife to trim the tape.
Use super glue. Cyanoacrylate glue, better known as super glue, can seal small cracks. Use as little as possible, and carefully wipe the excess adhesive with a cotton swab or cloth.
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.
Ask the manufacturer to fix it. If your phone is still under warranty, the manufacturer may replace your device for free. Even if it 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 some options to repair crack screens on iOS devices.
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.
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.
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.
- How do I hide cracks on my phone screen?
If for any reason you don't want to fix or replace your phone's screen after it cracks, there are ways to "hide" the damage. It won't actually fix anything, but it may make the cracks less noticeable. Gently apply a small amount of vegetable oil or other products that contain petroleum jelly to help disguise minor cracks. This won't protect against further damage, however.
- How do I stop cracks on my phone's screen from spreading?
As long as the glass isn't chipped or breaking off, apply a screen protector to both safeguard against further damage and slow down or prevent the cracks from getting worse. Or try using a very tiny amount of clear nail polish (containing cyanoacrylate), being sure to carefully wipe off any excess and let it dry, to shore up small screen cracks.
- How do I color in cracks on my phone?
If the glass on the back of your phone cracks it's possible to use something colorful like food coloring or markers to go over the damage, then wipe the excess away with a paper towel or napkin. Be advised that while the results may look interesting, it will not repair any of the damage and will not make the broken glass less sharp. There's still a very real chance that colored-in cracks will continue to spread, and it can still cut your fingers.