iPhone 5S / 5C – Step by Step Guide
Before you start:
General tips before you get started with your battery replacement
We recommend reading through the whole guide before performing the battery replacement. This will give a general idea of what you are up against and you will feel more comfortable when disassembling your iPhone. We’d like to begin by issuing caution throughout the battery replacement process.
The front is mostly made out of a glass screen and an LCD underneath it. If this part is not handled with care, the glass can shatter and/or the LCD can break.
Almost all screws inside of the phone (not the bottom screws next to the charging port) are of different lengths. After the screws are removed, they need to go back into the same place they were removed from. Pay attention to this during reassembly. Organize the screws when removing them!
The connectors connecting various parts (touch, LCD, battery and the home button on iPhone 5S’s) to the logic board are fragile and can be damaged if they are not handled with care. Always disconnect and reconnect these connectors carefully and preferably with a plastic tool or your finger.
We recommend removing the battery (Step 7) by pulling out the adhesive from underneath it. However, this is the step most people fail. The adhesive tears easily when pulled. Thread slowly!
If the adhesive tears, the battery needs to be pried out. This process is much easier if either a hair dryer, heat gun or a warm halogen lamp is used to soften the adhesive. More info under Step 7.
Keep in mind that much like other delicate electronic devices, complications can arise. If you are uncertain how to continue, message our support.
It’s also a good idea to make a backup before replacing the battery. If everything is done correctly, no data will be lost during or after the repair process, but to be on the safe side, making a backup is recommended. Let's Get started!
We will be using an iPhone 5S in this guide but the removal of the 5C battery is exactly the same. Along the way, there is one significant difference between iPhone 5S and 5C but this is explained in Step 2.5. iPhone 5S users have a cable running from the home button to the logic board that the iPhone 5C users do not have. Once again, more about his under Step 2.5.
Detailed guide to replace battery on iPhone 5S / 5S
Turn off your iPhone. Locate and unscrew the two pentalobe/5-star bottom screws next to the charging port.
Separate the front assembly from the back assembly by pressing the suction cup against the glass as closely to the home button as possible, but not on the home button, and gently pulling the front assembly upwards from the back assembly. Lift the front assembly only a tiny bit to expose a small opening between the front assembly and the back assembly above the charging port. If the front assembly does not separate from the back assembly when pulling it with the suction cup, the tweezers must be used to separate them. If your front assembly is cracked or if the back assembly is bent or dented, using the tweezers could be the only way to separate these two assemblies. Put the tweezers between the front assembly and the back assembly (between the metal and the plastic frame – not between the glass and the plastic frame) just by the speaker/mic holes. Make sure to put it right in the middle or else components inside the phone could get damaged.
* Sometimes the glue that's holding the glass to the plastic/metal frame has softened. In these cases, the glass could come loose from the frame when pulling with the suction cup. If this happens, simply lower the glass back into the frame and proceed by working the frame with the tweezers instead of the suction cup.
If the glass comes loose completely, as shown in the last picture of this step, try to hold it or secure it against a solid object without tearing the cables in the top right corner of the phone. These cables connect the LCD, touch and ear speaker to the motherboard. Proceed by disassembling the frame from the metal back cover by inserting the tweezers at the yellow arrows and carefully prying the frame up. The frame is held in place by notches, marked with red squares. Work one tip if the tweezers near these notches to separate the frame from the metal assembly.
* The tweezers can leave a tiny mark on the back assembly, be careful!
Stick the spudger into the opening and slowly move it along the side to further separate the front from the back assembly. If the front assembly frame is stuck to the back assembly, wiggle the spudger to separate them. Broken or damaged front assemblies are in general more fragile and could crack if too much force is applied!
Step 2.5 (Only for iPhone 5S. 5C users can move on to Step 3)
Once the front assembly is loosened from the back assembly lift it only a tiny bit, less than an inch, from the back assembly. You will find a ribbon running from the home button and connect to the logic board. This connector is covered by a small metal plate. The plate is held in place by fishhooks. Remove the plate with the tweezers by levering it up and counterclockwise from its left side.
Disconnect the connector from the logic board with a plastic spudger or the tweezers.
IMPORTANT: While the home button itself can be replaced if the ribbon/connector is broken, the touch-ID function of the new home button will NOT work after replacement. Be careful during this step.
Lift the front assembly to a 90 degree angle from the back assembly and hold it at that angle with one hand.
With your other hand, unscrew the two screws holding the battery connector plate.
Keep holding the front assembly at a 90 degree angle and lift off the battery connector plate from the battery connector with the tweezers. Continue by separating the battery connector on the battery from its connector on the motherboard with either the spudger, the opening tool or your fingernail.
Test the new battery!
At this point it is very easy to connect the new battery without removing the old one. It’s a good idea to do this in order to verify that the new battery is performing as it should without taking the phone fully apart. In case the new battery is damaged or faulty in any way you have saved yourself the trouble of taking the phone apart twice.
To test the new battery, just place it over the current battery (without removing the current battery from the phone) and connect the new battery’s connector to its connector on the logic board. Once the battery is connected, start the phone. You can either hold the front assembly at a 90 degree angle during this process or you can lower it in a similar fashion as when rising it up.
Once the phone has booted up with the new battery, plug in the charger to the phone and let the phone charge at least 3%. If the phone charges the battery should be fully working and the replacement process can be continued. If the phone does not start right away when the new battery is put in place, it is possible that the new battery is completely discharged. In this case, let the phone charge for at least 15 minutes – that’s how long it can take before something shows up on the screen.
Sometimes the 5S freezes when the home button connector is not connected. If your phone behaves this way, reconnect the home button flex that was disconnected during Step 2.5.
Once the new battery is tested, turn off the phone and unplug the new battery’s connector, remove the new battery and continue following our guide.
At this point you can either skip directly to removing the battery (Step 7) while holding the front assembly with one hand (or leaning it against a stable object) or you can remove the front assembly to have both hands free. Both ways have up- and downsides;
NOT removing the front assembly and skipping to Step 7:
– Downside: You only have one hand to work with. You could risk damaging the front assembly if you do not hold it securely.
– Upside: You will relieve yourself of the hassle of disconnecting and reconnecting the front assembly, which could get tricky, especially to reconnecting the flexes. During this process the flexes could also be damaged. You save yourself a few minutes of the whole repair process.
We recommend disconnecting the front assembly as the cables connecting it to the motherboard easily break under stress, and it is tough to hold the phone still while removing the battery. However, you could try to go ahead without removing the front assembly. If you do this and change you mind, you can at any point come back to this step and remove the front assembly completely.
Removing the front assembly
Keep holding the front assembly at a 90 degree angle and remove the four screws (the top right side screw is non magnetic!) holding the metal LCD connector cover. Proceed by removing the metal LCD cover. Make sure to organize these screws in the order you remove them. It’s important that each screw is put back in its respective place.
Keep holding the front assembly at a 90 degree angle and separate the LCD connector, touch connector and the sensor/front camera connector from their connectors on the motherboard. Once they are separated, the front assembly can be lifted off safely.
Use caution during this step as there are components (controlling rotation and touch functions) close to the connectors that are easily damaged. Use plastic tools to disconnect the connectors and avoid levering with force against components on the motherboard.
Remove the battery. The battery is held down by double-sided adhesive. These adhesive strips need to be pulled out from underneath the battery. The adhesive strips end at the bottom side of the battery and sometimes need to be gently scraped up/unfolded from the battery. There are two white adhesive strips connected with a black cover/strip. You will only be able to see the black strip at the bottom of the battery before it’s unfolded. Locate the gap between these strips and cut the black cover with scissors, a knife or a razor blade in two. Be careful when pulling the black strip. It easily tears and complicates things if torn/broken. Do not pull it out more than necessary to cut it in two.
Step 7 (& 7.1)
From here on there are three ways of removing the iPhone 5S/5C battery. We recommend the third option and last option (7.3) but please read and consider all of them.
7.1. The most common way: Grab the end of the adhesive (both the black and the white part – if only grabbing the black part, the strip rips easily) and pull the adhesive down and outwards from the phone, in the direction of the charging port. Before pulling the adhesive, it helps to heat lightly the back (outer) side of the back assembly with a heat gun or a hair dryer. Do not heat it too much! If you can not hold and keep your finger on the back assembly, it is too hot!
– Disadvantage: The adhesive strips rip easily and they often rip in a way in which they are irremovable afterwards. If this happens, the only option is to move onto Step 7.2.
7.2. The less common and more troublesome way, only attempt this is if the other two (7.1 & 7.3) fail: Lever the battery up from the back assembly. Use your tweezers with its broad (dull) base downwards and lever the battery up. The adhesive is very strong and makes it difficult to loosen the battery. Try lever the battery from various points along the left side of the phone. If the battery will not come loose from the adhesive, use a heat gun, hair dryer or warm halogen lamp to lightly heat the back (outer) side of the back assembly. An elevated temperature makes the battery loosen easier from the adhesive when levering. Do not heat it too much! If you can not hold and keep your finger on the back assembly, it is too hot!
Keep levering from different positions until the battery can be lifted out. The battery might only loosen a tiny bit each time you try to lever it up. Be patient and work the battery slowly and carefully. This process can take up to 5-10 minutes in total.
– Disadvantage: The battery is held very tightly to the adhesive and is often very troublesome to remove, even with heat applied. There is a risk of damaging the battery if levering it upwards uncarefully.
IMPORTANT: Do not lever the battery up from the right hand side where the motherboard is. By levering against the motherboard there is a significant risk of damaging components.
Do NOT puncture the battery. It can combust if punctured.
7.3. Our recommendation – A combination of both previous steps: Lever the battery’s bottom left corner upwards a little bit, just enough to create a tiny gap between the battery and the back assembly. A little bit of heat from a heat gun or hair dryer can be used as explained in Step 7.2.
Gently pull the left adhesive strip, while holding its black and white end part, around the battery’s bottom left corner. Keep slowly pulling the adhesive down and outwards from the phone. Pull it slowly and work your way down the adhesive with your fingers while pulling. After the first adhesive strip is removed, remove the second one the same way.
Pull gently or else the adhesive can tear or break. If the adhesive strips rips, try to grab the end of it with the tweezers and keep pulling it like before. If the end piece can not be grasped with the tweezers, move back to Step 7.2.
IMPORTANT: Do not puncture the battery or bend it too much as it can combust if doing so. Take your time and do it slowly and gently.
Step 8 (Updated instructions)
8. Once the old battery is out, it's time to work on the new one. If there is a see through plastic film/cover on the new battery, remove this film. Now, we'll install the adhesive. This process can be a bit tricky so take your time. The adhesive is very sticky and will easily stick to anything when its wrapper is removed. Once the wrapper/film is removed, it can not be put back on the adhesive. Make sure you’re ready to install it when you remove its plastic wrapper. If there is a see through plastic film/cover on the new battery, remove this film. Start at the pointy end of the adhesive and hold the end of each film. When slowly separating, one film will come off easily without stretching the adhesive or leaving bubbles. This is the film you want to remove. Separate the film from the adhesive slowly. Once the film is off, take the battery and align its bottom end to the black strip. Proceed by attaching the rest of the battery’s body to the adhesive. Then remove the two blue films that cover the adhesive on the black strips. Fasten the black strips to the end of the battery and then remove the last protective film. Now, put the new battery in the same spot (for illustrating purposes we will be using the same original iPhone 6 battery as we just removed) as the old one. Make sure the battery is spaced out and not directly adjacent to neither the metal assembly or the motherboard. Also make sure the battery’s connector is aligned to its receiving end on the motherboard. Then press the battery firmly down to the back assembly with your fingers to make it stick to the double-sided adhesive.
Do not connect the battery connector to the motherboard battery connector just yet, we will do this in Step 10.
If you removed the front assembly (Step 6) it’s time to reconnect it (if you haven’t removed the front assembly, move on to Step 10). Reconnect the front assembly in a similar fashion as when you disconnected it. Hold it in place so that the top of the front assembly and the top of the back assembly are next to each other. Connect the LCD, touch and front camera connectors to their respective connectors on the motherboard by putting them in place with your spudger and then connecting them with your index finger or the spudger. You will hear a soft “click”-noise when they are properly connected. If the LCD, touch and/or sensor/front camera connector are not connected properly or if they get damaged, the LCD, touch and/or sensor/front camera functionality can be compromised.
If there are white lines/squares on the LCD after the battery replacement, the LCD connector has most likely been disconnected improperly or damaged. If the lines/squares appear, disconnect the LCD connector once again and reconnect it again. Make sure that it snaps into place correctly. It can take a while (15-60 minutes of use) after the connector is reconnected before the white squares/lines disappear entirely.
Connect the battery connector to its connector on the motherboard.
Put the metal plates (one covering the LCD, touch and front camera connector and the other plate covering the battery connector) in place and screw them fasten.
Put the top side of the front assembly to the top side of the back assembly at a 45 degree angle. Move the bottom side of the front assembly downwards towards the back assembly while making sure the top side of the front assembly is next to the top side of the back assembly.
(For iPhone 5S users only, 5C users move on to Step 12)
Lower the front towards the back assembly until the gap is about an inch. Reconnect the ribbon from the home button to its connector by pressing with a spudger, the tweezers or your finger. This connector is tiny and fragile. It can be difficult to get it right so take your time and do this slowly and carefully.
Put back the metal cover by putting it in place with the tweezers then gently pressing it down with the tweezers or your finger.
Gently press the front assembly downwards and click it together with the back assembly.
Screw fastened the two bottom screws.
- After a battery replacement the time and date will be reset to factory default, 1st of January 1970. Because of this the phone will not detect the SIM-card and will say “Searching…” in the top left corner.
- Connect your phone to iTunes or a WiFi network and wait a few seconds until the time and date are automatically set.
- Restart your phone. It is now ready to be used.
- If the battery is completely discharged upon assembly, it can take 15 minutes of charging before anything is indicated on the screen