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Sunday, September 13, 2009

How to fix Iphone (3g) Home Button/ Replace Iphone 3g home button/ how to replace iphone 3g home button

My Girl friend decided to "test the durability" of her iphone one day by running it over with her car (don't ask), and effectively shattered the glass. Naturally it was my job to fix it, so after receiving a new touch screen I removed the old one (you can find these videos all over youtube) and heated up the adhesive and slow picked off the glass, piece by piece. Somewhere in the process I pick off the home button, and when I reassembled the phone it did not work. F*ck!. So, I took off the screen again, and noticed how the home button is assembled. Basically beneath the home button there is a little toggle button with a ribbon attached to it with adhesive. on the back side (behind the home button) the ribbon is adhered to the back of the frame and has two gold/copper pins that are sticking out. So I tried to bend the two pins out a little to make sure that there was a good connection to the other side (where the pins communicate with the phone). Bad Idea because I broke one of them F*CK!!
---Now I am faced with a few options. Send it out to get fixed for 60$
---Assume that a new home button and ribbon will work from a random online store, and that I don't have to solder it (maybe that is why it cost $50 to install it?) but I suck at soldering things. $10.00 shipped!
---Or buy a whole new frame with home button preinstalled-- $160

So, I did some research and I could not find instructions on how to do this ANYWHERE on the interwebs! And the interwebs always answers all my questions!
So, f*ck it, if it does not work, I lost ten dollars, but hey I have lost more money and less constructive ways.

So I get the part and I am very anxious to install it, I rip open the package and rip the ribbon (just kidding). Take it out inspect the parts, everything looks good.

I take apart the phone, and I VERY CAREFULLY pry off the new glass (it was easy because it was new, if you glass was not recently installed USE HEAT, be careful. Also you might have to remove the whole glass panel, and there is good chance you MIGHT crack the glass, so be EXTRA CAREFUL )

I attached the ribbon to the button with the adhesive it came with (I got from ebay BTW)
and made it look identical with the old one.
Put it in, threaded the ribbon through to the other side of the phone and put the glass back on the phone and line up the new pins with the adhesive strip it came with. Made sure everything was in place. Reassembled the phone and Voila. Home button works again! It was way easier than I thought, hopefully those companies that charge $50 for a 5 minute job won't come after me lol.
Please note: You should be sure to get some sort of adhesive to re-adhere the glass to the frame.

I received and email from a person who dropped their phone in a beer, I responded and I thought this would help clarify things for others as well.
Hello, thanks for checking out my blog, I made it because I know what it is like to be in that position. If I were you I would try to lightly sand the little pins on the backside of the phone with high grit sand paper or a rough sponge, sand paper will be easier. See if that helps, because what kills phones (from a reasonable inductive standpoint) is mold, which seems to cause unnecessary arcing, and affects the ability of the phone to communicate with parts properly, whenever I dropped my phone (old phones, not Iphone) In the water I would grab them, and if I could spray or pour or dunk if ether/rubbing alcohol (or aether if you have access to it) put it somewhere the phone will be able to heat up (the over on a LOW LOW temp, closely watched), then brush out the charge port of phone with a steel brissle brush. I am not sure if I would recommend this for an Iphone, moreover my recoveries would vary, but the phones would consistently work, albeit not the same.
Things you are going to need.
1)Iphone tool kit is nice to have, a little suction cup is the easiest way to get the screen off
2) A need Home buttom and ribbon with tiny adhesive strip.
3) New adhesive strips for the frame and the screen, I have use double sides tape before, it is not the same.
4) Some time and patients.
5) Blow-dryer heat gun, heat in general
6)Some good music (optional)
It looks like you have a number of questions here, have you watched this ( ? If so that is a great start to solving some of your issues. The best way to get the screen lifted is with a suction cup ( some of the ebay kits will provide you with one). The worst part of replacing the home button comes after this. The video (at 2:10) will show you how to remove the digitizer and screen from the LCD, you may not have to do this, I might recommend you do this, if you have never replaced the digitizer for a couple of reasons: 1) the adhesive that apple/china uses it very good, and it will require the use of heat some people use hairdryers, if you don't have one use a stove or a heat gun but be VERY CAREFUL, you don't want to melt anything. 2)using heat might cause damage to the LCD, better safe than sorry 3) Less to break, just keep track of the tiny screws. So one you have your digitizer alone from your LCD and phone, you are going to use the heat to separate the screen from the frame this is the hardest part, you have to be patient or else you will crack your screen and will need to buy a new one $30-40, Also I prefer a razor blade, again be careful don't try to pry to much let the heat do the work just slowly start to pry the screen from the frame, this is the ONLY way to access the home button. Once they are separated, you will see the home button and be able to remove it along with the only ribbon and replace it with the new one which should come with a tiny strip of adhesive that attaches to the back of the frame that holds the ribbon in place. Put the button on ( you could probably use the old button, I wouldn't just to be safe) put new adhesive strips on the frame, you are going to need to peel the old stuff off, use some Isop. alcohol to help clean off the adhesive (feel free to drink alcohol too, just not too much). Adhere the screen to the phone, reassemble and test it out. I hope this helps!


Anonymous said...

so did it require any soldering or no. I am in the same situation.

mikelebp1 said...

No there was no soldering what so ever. I thought there would be.

John said...

You should emphasize that u have to be really really really really careful when taking off the lcd screen cuz i gotta get a new one all this work just to replace a home button is rediculars! Good guide tho.

Anonymous said...

Where can I purchase the button? I'm in the same situation too. great if you can provide the link to get the cheapest replacement button. thanks.

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Anonymous said...

So, you just slot the button right in? no glue etc?