Cracked iPhone screen? Here are 9 hacks to keep using it

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There are few things in life more frustrating than a cracked iPhone screen. Those cracks, scratches, and dents all serve as a painful reminder of a previous blunder. 

Not only is a broken phone screen a problem aesthetically, but it can also have serious implications on the usability of a device. When a screen is broken, it often becomes less responsive to touch, prone to further damage, and can throw up several other quirks and irritating errors. 

What’s more, on a modern smartphone, a screen crack is rarely a cheap fix. And that means lots of us are forced to persevere with a damaged phone, despite its glaring fragilities.

Thankfully though, all hope is not lost. With the following simple hacks, you can ensure your damaged iPhone screen remains usable while you wait for that eventual visit to an iPhone repair shop.

Entering your passcode with a cracked iPhone screen

When working with a damaged screen, the first major hurdle is unlocking your phone. With damaged screens, entire sections can become unresponsive to touch, meaning inputting a passcode can suddenly become an almost impossible task!

Fortunately, Siri and VoiceOver offer a workaround for iPhones.

Siri and VoiceOver workaround

  1. Hold down the Home button to activate Siri (On an iPhone X/XS/XR/11/12, press and hold the lock button until the Siri icon appears).
  2. Once Siri is activated, say “Turn on VoiceOver.”
  3. Press the Home button twice to bring up the passcode screen (on an iPhone X/XS/XR/11/12, if this brings up Apple Pay instead swipe up as you usually would and leave your finger on the screen until Siri says “Lift for home”).
  4. Use the screen section that is still responsive to swipe left and right — this will move the VoiceOver cursor to different passcode number buttons. (VoiceOver will announce the button being selected — helpful if you cannot see the entire screen because of damage).
  5. When the cursor is on the passcode number you need, double-tap to ‘tap’ select that passcode number.

Getting files off your phone

Depending on how severe the damage to your screen is and the phone’s age, you might decide it’s time to upgrade to a newer model.

Even so, chances are you’ll want to retrieve files from your current phone to transfer them to your new one — those holiday photos are priceless, after all!

Again, Apple has some handy ways to do this, even with an incapacitated screen. The method you use will depend on the method you used to back up your iPhone.

Use iTunes backup and a trusted computer. 

(For those who have backed their iPhone up to iTunes)

Thankfully, if you regularly back up your iPhone to iTunes, all of your data is already securely stored and free to access via iTunes. And that means all you need is a trusted computer and an iOS device to access it all!

Transferring the data to a new, replacement device:

  1. Start up the new device and follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the ‘Apps & Data’ screen option.
  2. Select ‘Restore from iTunes backup.’
  3. Choose your broken iPhone’s backup and follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. Voila – your new device has all of your damaged device’s data on it.

Transferring the data to a used device:

  1. Reset the iPhone to wipe all existing data. You can do that by going to Settings > General > Reset, and tap on ‘Erase All Content and Settings’
  2. Start the device as usual and follow steps 2, 3, and 4 above.

Using iCloud backup and another device

(For those who have backed their iPhone up to iCloud)

If you back up your iPhone to iCloud, all of your data is stored virtually and readily available to download to a second device. That means all you need is access to Wi-Fi and a new or spare iPhone.

Transferring the data to a new, replacement device:

  1. Start up the new device and follow the on-screen instructions until you reach the ‘Apps & Data’ screen option.
  2. Select ‘Restore from iCloud backup.’
  3. Log in to your iCloud account and follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. Your device will download the iCloud backup and import the saved data to your new device!

Transferring the data to a used device:

  1. Reset the iPhone to wipe all existing data. You can do that by going to Settings > General > Reset and tap on ‘Erase All Content and Settings’
  2. Start the device as usual and follow steps 2, 3, and 4 above.

DIY hacks to fix your broken phone screen

As mentioned above, fixing a broken phone screen can be an expensive undertaking. A broken screen also tends to strike when you’re least expecting it, meaning you don’t always have a reserve of cash ready and waiting to fix it. 

Fortunately, there are some home hacks that you can use to keep your phone operational until you’re in a position to get it fixed.

Use a transparent plastic bag. 

Using a transparent plastic bag can help stop any cracks from getting worse and extend your phone’s lifetime.

Simply wrap a thin, transparent bag tightly around the device. This will help keep any water out and prevent further damage.

Fill the crack with toothpaste.

Yes, you really can use toothpaste to help fix your phone!

This one is great for those tiny hairline cracks that have the annoying habit of catching your finger and growing over time.

Grab a cotton bud and apply a little toothpaste to it, then slowly rub it on the crack – as the toothpaste dries, it will fill the crack! Just make sure to be mindful of any open ports on the phone, like the headphone socket. 

Polish phone scratches by applying vegetable oil

If you are the proud owner of a brand new model and don’t want to sully those sleek lines with a case or screen protector, you can polish out scratches with a little vegetable oil.

The oil doesn’t stay forever, though, so you’ll have to be prepared to polish semi-regularly. 

Remove unwanted scuffs with sandpaper. 

There are few certainties in life, but you can guarantee that no matter how careful you are with your phone, scratches are inevitable!

Before you go hunting for a replacement, try using some sandpaper to remove them. But bear in mind that this will only work for tiny scratches, and be careful of what grade sandpaper you use and how intensely you rub — otherwise, you might do more harm than good!

Fix your mobile screen with baking soda 

If you’re not quite ready to take to your screen with sandpaper, baking soda can offer a less drastic alternative.

Mix 2 parts baking soda to 1 part water and stir until you have a thick consistency. Then, use a clean piece to wipe the mixture onto the phone’s surface before wiping the screen with a slightly damp cloth to remove the sticky excess.

Replace your phone screen yourself

Depending on how significant the damage to your phone screen is, replacing the screen at home can often be the cheapest option.

In fact, with a little patience and some clear instructions (YouTube is your friend here), replacing a screen yourself might not be as tricky as you think.

Screenworks offers affordable replacement screens for every type of iPhone, plus they come with a lifetime warranty and no-hassle returns — giving you peace of mind.

Are you still having trouble fixing your iPhone screen?

If you’ve tried everything from toothpaste to baking soda, and you still can’t get your screen back to a usable condition, don’t panic!Screenworks phone repair service is on hand to fix even the most severely damaged iPhone screen. Far more affordable than an Apple Store phone repair, we provide quick, affordable repair options for all devices, including phone screen repair. To find out how we can breathe new life into your damaged iPhone, get in touch with the ScreenWorks phone repair service today!

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