The Samsung Galaxy S5 is a phone with a lot of customization capability, but has a tough screen to replace. If you don’t have the right instructions, you could potentially damage your phone even further while trying to fix it. Thankfully, I know the proper and careful way to fix the device.
There are technically two ways to replace the screen on the Galaxy S5, one being much harder but less expensive. Depending on the severity of screen damage, it’s possible to just replace the glass covering the LCD screen. No matter the method you’re carrying out, you’ll need quite the toolkit.
Parts and Tools to Replace the Samsung Galaxy S5 Glass
If you’re just replacing the glass, you’ll need:
- Replacement glass parts, you could find these in multiple places, but here’s a link you could start with.
- A heat source to heat up the glue holding the glass to the screen. A heat gun is recommended, but you could use something akin to a hotplate instead.
- UV glue to apply between the new glass and screen, and a UV light to solidify the glue. Any UV blacklight can be used, not just the one provided in the example link.
- Double sided tape to tape the screen back together against the phone. The brand of tape doesn’t matter; this is just one example.
- A few small tools. Specifically: tweezers, a prying tool, a small knife, a screwdriver, and note cards or playing cards. If you don’t have some of the tools mentioned before, it is recommended that you purchase a cell phone repair kit. You may not need all the tools in a kit for this job, but you’ll be happy to have them later.
Optional: You may also want a temperature sensor. You’ll be heating your phone to very specific temperature levels that will be high enough to melt hardened glue, but low enough to not damage any parts.
Parts and Tools to Replace the Samsung Galaxy S5 Screen
If instead of replacing the glass you’re replacing the entire screen, you’ll need:
- First and foremost, a replacement screen. No matter where you look, these are going to be fairly expensive, unfortunately.
- You’re still going to need a heat source to separate the screen from the phone.
- Double sided sticky tape.
- The tools from the toolkit mentioned above for just the glass repair.
Additionally, the temperature sensor that was mentioned earlier will still be helpful here.
No matter if you’re just removing the glass, or the whole screen, this will be a long and careful process. Damage could occur if you do not follow instructions properly, so be cautious and diligent.
Pre-Method Prep Work
While there are two methods to repairing the Samsung Galaxy S5 screen, the first few steps are the same for each method. I’ll be going over those same steps here, and then divulging into the two methods once the steps start to differ.
First and foremost, power off your phone completely. If your device is plugged in to any outlets or other devices, disconnect it.
I hope you’re not squeamish about prying open your phone, because the second step is to pry off the back cover. Once the back cover is off, place the phone on a flat surface, with the uncovered back showing.
Now remove the battery and set it aside, you won’t want that to stay connected.
On the lower left side of the back of your phone, next to where the battery was, is a tiny plastic covering. You’ll want to use a tool here to take the small square of plastic off of your phone. If you can’t find it, there should be a small screw just below it.
After you use your tool to pry the plastic piece away, you should see a connected ribbon cable. Using the same tool, disconnect the cable by gently digging into the side and pulling the top of the cable up.
I cannot stress enough how gentle you should be with this cable. Be as carefully as you possibly can when disconnecting it.
Next pull out the SIM card and place it aside near the battery. Placing it near the batter isn’t essential, but it could help make sure you don’t lose track of the tiny thing.
Next comes one of many difficult parts to this repair job. You’ll need to heat up your phone to the correct temperature (around 95 degrees Celsius, or 203 degrees Fahrenheit) in order to separate the screen from the rest of the body.
This can be done with a number of heating implements, but the method I recommend is a heat gun.
Pictured, is a heating implement that is applied to the surface of the phone after being heated by other means. You will most likely need to heat the phone multiple times to finish the job, so don’t worry about not being able to separate the screen from the body in one go.
You can tell that you’ve heated the phone to the correct temperature with either a temperature sensor, or if the screen is too hot to comfortably touch for more than a second.
You must be very careful with this next step, especially if you are only intending to do glass repair, and not replace the entire screen.
The overall goal of this step will be to separate the screen from the rest of the phone body. To do this, you must ensure that Step 6 was followed correctly. Once you confirmed the phone is at the appropriate heat level:
- Starting at the corner of the phone with either a playing card, pic, or piece of plastic, carefully insert the tip of the tool in between the screen and the rest of phone. You can use a knife to start the process, but be careful to only insert the blade slightly past the edge.
- You will be doing this for all four corners, and the sides of the phone. Be careful to not dig too deep, or you will sever one of the two vital cables under the surface of the phone.
- Do not pull up with your prying tools. Do slide your tools around just under the surface of the screen to clear away the adhesive sticking it in place.
- On the sides, you can go a little deeper than the corners. This is necessary to clear away the adhesive under the middle of the screen.
This whole process should take at minimum 15 minutes, so take your time and be cautious. As you slowly separate the screen you should encounter a necessary cable on far right side of the phone, under the screen.
Using the same method as the cable you encountered on the back, disconnect this cable.
Do reheat the phone up to the appropriate temperature if separation becomes more difficult. Once you have separated the screen to the point where it’s only being held on by the bottom, advance to the next step.
At this point, your phone should look mostly like this:
Except your screen should still be holding on from the opposite direction, where the back and menu button are located. Two cables should be responsible for holding these in place that you need to disconnect.
- Dig with a tool, such as a knife or some kind of thin tool, in between the cable and the back of the screen to pry them loose and push them back into the phone body.
- Do this for both cables, and you should wind up with something like the picture below.
Once you’ve done this, you can safely separate the screen from the rest of the phone body.
If from this point on you’re only looking to replace the glass of the screen, refer to Method 1: Just Glass Repair. If you’re attempting to replace the entire screen, refer to Method 2: Complete Screen Replacement.
Method 1: Just Glass Repair
In this first method we’ll be going over the far more difficult, but much less expensive, glass repair method for the Samsung Galaxy S5. This method isn’t for the faint of heart, and is only recommended if your reason for replacing the screen is just minor cracks in the glass.
After completing Method 1, you will still need to read Method 2. It talks about how to correctly attach the Samsung Galaxy S5 screen to the rest of the phone body. If you believe you can properly reattach the screen by following the prep work instructions in reverse, then reading Method 2 is not necessary.
Just remember, even if you don’t read Method 2, you’ll still need some double-sided sticky tape to apply the screen to the rest of the phone body.
The first step to this process is very similar to Step 6 in the prep work instructions. Heat the phone to the same temperature in Step 6, and have those cards, picks, or prying tools ready to use. It’s essential that the tool you’re using is thin.
Once the phone has been heated, slide the tool you’re using underneath the glass and carefully break it away piece by piece. That can take quite some time, and has high potential for damaging the screen beneath, so please do be careful.
The YouTube channel, JerryRigEverything has a good warning video that anyone attempting this method should watch. It will help you identify a few common mistakes people often make when attempting glass repair for the Samsung Galaxy S5.
Additionally, the video above helps demonstrate proper glass removal techniques. Once you have removed the larger fragments of glass and glue, you can use your fingers to rub away the smaller remains. Make sure the screen is devoid of glass before pressing your fingers against it.
Through the use of denatured alcohol, you can then rub the screen down to clear it completely if your fingers aren’t able to get the job done completely. Apply the solution to a cloth and gently wipe the screen down.
Removing the glass should take around 15 minutes to complete.
Now that the screen is clear, you’ll need to apply a new coating of glue to make sure your replacement glass stays in place. To do this, you’ll need some UV glue that was mentioned beforehand, at the start of the article.
Lay the screen on a flat surface with the black LCD facing upwards. You’ll then apply the glue in line with the crude diagram below:
Hopefully, your lines won’t be as messy as mine. You’ll want the glue in this shape so that as you slowly press the glass onto the screen, the glue will run to the edges. This will, with patience, make a perfect seal without bubbles.
With your glue all set, take out the replacement glass part that you had purchased earlier. Remove it from any package and line up the replacement with the home button. Do not lower the glass onto the screen yet.
Once you have the glass lined up, slowly bring the glass down to the other side, as if you’re closing a clam shell in slow motion. This should take you more than a few minutes to do, so I hope your arms are ready for a slow workout.
When you’ve carefully set the glass down on the screen, you can press against the glass with a few fingers to make sure the glue hits all of the edges, and doesn’t bubble. When all you can see through the glass is the clear glue, you’re done.
Before taking any other measures, wipe down the edges of the screen with a cloth to clear away any excess adhesive.
Now that the UV glue is set, the only job left to do here is use your UV light to finish the task at hand. Exposing the glue to the light for a few a minutes through the glass will cause the seal to form.
You can test the seal by applying some light pressure on either sides of the glass, and when the glass won’t move away, you should be fine.
You’ve now successfully replaced the glass for the Samsung Galaxy S5 screen, now you just need to reattach the screen to make sure everything works as planned. If you believe you can do this on your own.
Method 2: Complete Screen Replacement
Whether you’re coming here from your success with Method 1, or because your screen is too damaged for the first method, this is the easiest part of the process. In this method, we’ll be discussing how to either replace the screen, or reattach your repaired one in just a few steps.
For these first few steps you’ll essentially be doing Steps 1-5 of the prep work, almost in reverse. However, this first step will be about checking the phone connection to make sure everything is working properly with your repair job so far.
Without applying any of the sticky tape yet, slowly put the screen back in place, and connect the two ribbon cables (and the back and menu keys) as you go. Without fully closing the phone back up, reinsert the battery into the back of the phone and power it on.
From here, test your screen to see if everything appears as normal, and is functioning properly. If everything is running as normal, you can proceed to the next step.
Disconnect the two ribbing cables again, as well as the back and menu keys. Set the repaired or replacement screen aside for a moment and disconnect the battery once more. You should now begin applying the double-sided sticky tape to the phone body.
You can apply this tape anywhere around the sides, middle, ends, just anywhere that isn’t covering up anything important. You wouldn’t want to tape over the camera and have a hard time removing it without damaging parts.
Now that the tape is set, you just need to reattach the screen while making sure the ribbon cables, and two buttons at the bottom of the phone, are connected properly.
- Line up the screen with the home button, using the same sort of clam shell technique as before with just the glass repair.
- Next, make sure both the menu and back keys are connected in the same way they were connected before you removed the screen during your prep work.
- Start to feed the ribbon cable that connects at the back of the phone, through the slot it disconnected from.
- Connect the ribbon cable at the front, and then slowly bring the phone down, pressing gently as you go.
Once you’ve pressed the phone into the double-sided sticky tape, connect the ribbon cable on the back of the phone that you fed through. It should connect even easier than you disconnected it.
- Now cover the ribbon cable back up with the plastic covering from before, making sure it’s secure.
- Reinsert the battery, SIM card, and any other storage devices you had removed prior.
The only thing left to do now is to snap the back cover onto the Galaxy S5, turn it on, and confirm that your repair job was a complete success.
Fixing a broken screen on the Samsung Galaxy S5 isn’t easy by a long shot, but can be highly rewarding when completed. Repairing just the glass on the phone is relatively cheap, but can be difficult, and even result in further screen damage.
If you have any doubts about being able to replace just the glass, it might be wise to replace the screen entirely to save yourself some trouble.
Did this repair work out alright for you, or did you run into some trouble? If you have any questions, you can leave them below to get an answer.