Android DIY iPhone and iPad

Cracked Your Screen? 7 Things to Do About Your Broken Phone Screen

Christian Cawley Updated 29-11-2019

You’ve cracked your cell phone screen. Whether it slipped out of your hand while you were on a call or you left it on top of your car when you drove away, the glass is smashed.


Fortunately, the display still works, and perhaps the touchscreen controls too. So, what do you do now? Here are some things to do right after cracking your phone’s screen.

1. Does Phone Insurance Cover a Cracked Screen?

Broken iPhone screen

The first thing to do is check if your phone insurance covers cracked screens, and under what conditions.

If so, arranging a fix should be straightforward. In most cases, the main problem is going to be without your phone for a few days.

That’s as bad as it gets (although you might have to pay an excess charge).


The problems with cracked smartphone screens start when it transpires you cannot get a replacement screen on the insurance. When this happens, you’ll need to take matters into your own hands.

2. Use an Old Cell Phone

You need a phone, but your screen is cracked. So, what can you do? Well, a good option is to just use an old phone instead.

Whether your phone cannot be used due to the smashed screen, or its been sent away for repairs, you’ll need a replacement. The best place to find one is usually stashed away in the back of a drawer.

Even if you don’t have an old phone you can switch to temporarily, a friend or relative might. Ask, and you’ll have a handy replacement until you’ve decided what to do with your phone and its cracked screen.


3. How to Fix a Cracked Phone Screen

By now, you might have realised (or decided) that you don’t actually need a new phone.

Better still, you can fix a broken mobile phone display yourself with the right instructions.

Thanks to the internet, the chances are you’ll find a DIY fix for everything online. iFixIt is a great place to start, as it provides both instructions and extra parts. Our own guide to repairing a cracked smartphone screen How to Replace a Damaged Phone Screen Display Here's how to DIY replace a damaged phone screen display. You don't have to pay for smartphone repairs if you break the screen! Read More is also worth reading.

YouTube is another great resource for repair tutorials. Replacement screens can be bought online, via sites like eBay and AliExpress.


Benefits of a DIY fix include the keeping down the cost of repair, as well as a feeling of accomplishment.

It’s worth keeping in mind that without the right preparation and skills, you might mess it up.

4. Pay for a Broken Cell Phone Screen Repair

How much is it to replace a phone screen?

While you could ship your phone to the official manufacturer, you’re going to pay through the nose for that option. Look at Apple’s repair fees—it’s not cheap to get a repair if you’re out-of-warranty.


There’s probably a local phone repair shop that you can try, and a Google search will show you where to find one, as well as customer reviews. Although you’ll probably be paying by the hour, a skilled technician can replace a screen pretty quickly.

Check the prices and compare the repair shop’s competitors before you try them out. We’ve looked at several places that fix broken iPhone screens 5 Places That Fix iPhone Screens for Cheap Dropped your iPhone, cracked the screen, and wondering what to do? Here are several places that fix iPhone screens for cheap. Read More  to give you an idea.

5. Sell Your Phone to Fund a Replacement

Smartphone listing on Amazon

Thinking about raising funds for a replacement?

Several sites will buy your phone, and even pay for a broken one. These sites include:

But did you know, you can even sell your broken stuff on eBay Sell Your Broken Things on eBay to Turn Them Into Cash Don't throw away your broken items -- turn them into cash by selling them on eBay! Here's how to go about it. Read More ? You probably won’t get a whole lot of money for it, but you’ll get something that you can put towards a new phone.

Many sites will also give you credit for buying a used phone when you trade yours in. You’ll probably get a better deal if you take credit instead of cash, so keep that in mind.

With cash raised, check the web’s most popular online stores for a replacement. The best places to start are eBay and Amazon.

You may even find a version of your own phone in used, but otherwise good condition. Just pay attention to the item description. You don’t want to end up buying a damaged phone!

What should you check? Well, the details should tell you:

  • If the phone is working
  • Does it have a functioning screen
  • If it has any scratches

At the right price, buying a like-for-like, second-hand replacement can be a better option than buying a new phone.

6. Just Buy a New Phone!

And, of course, the most obvious option: buying a new phone. Sometimes you just need to pony up the cash to replace your damaged device.

Sure, it might be painful to spend that much money. But it might be cheaper than buying a replacement and upgrading a few months later anyway. If you were already thinking about upgrading soon, it might be best to just do it now.

If you do decide to buy a new phone, don’t automatically buy one from your carrier. Buy an unlocked version Never Buy a Phone From Your Carrier! Buy Unlocked Phones and Save Hundreds Unlocked phones can cost a fortune, but the savings more than make up for it. You can save thousands by not signing a contract. We've got six phones that come contract free! Read More instead; it’ll save you a lot of money, even though it seems more expensive.

7. Deal With Your Broken Phone Screen

Cracked iPhone display
Image Credit: whatleydude/Flickr

Short of money? Not keen on DIY solutions or paying for repairs?

If your phone is still working, and the screen doesn’t appear to be in danger of completely falling apart, why not just keep using it? Sure, it’ll be annoying to look at for a bit, but you’ll get used to it.

Saving the money it would cost for a new phone is always nice. If you’re on a contract that’s soon expiring, this is your best option.

Adding a screen protector might help keep the glass from cracking further, too. A glass protector might prevent further spidering.

It largely depends on how extensive the damage is but adding a protector certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Maxboost Screen Protector for Apple iPhone Xs & iPhone X & iPhone 11 Pro (3 Packs, Clear) 0.25mm Tempered Glass Screen Protector with Advanced Clarity [3D Touch] Work w/Most Case 99% Touch Accurate Maxboost Screen Protector for Apple iPhone Xs & iPhone X & iPhone 11 Pro (3 Packs, Clear) 0.25mm Tempered Glass Screen Protector with Advanced Clarity [3D Touch] Work w/Most Case 99% Touch Accurate Buy Now On Amazon $12.55

Don’t Let a Broken Screen Ruin Your Day

While broken smartphone displays are frustrating, ugly, and kill your phone’s resell value, don’t let it cast a shadow. A broken smartphone screen is merely a challenge to be overcome.

As we’ve seen already, you have several options:

  1. Claim on your phone insurance
  2. Find or borrow an old phone
  3. Repair the cracked screen yourself
  4. Pay for the screen to be repaired
  5. Trade in or sell the phone and buy a replacement
  6. Contact your carrier for an upgrade
  7. Carry on using your phone

Eventually your phone is going to be replaced, so if the other options don’t work out, have a fall-back plan. You might contact the carrier for an upgrade, or simply carry on using the phone with the damaged screen.

When the time comes to move on from the phone, don’t just throw it in a drawer. We have plenty of suggestions on how to keep using an old smartphone 10 Creative Ways to Use Your Old Smartphone Why sell or throw away your old smartphone when there are so many ways for you to reuse it? Some of those reuses might be more creative than you thought. Here are some ideas. Read More .

Image Credit: Lolostock/Shutterstock

Related topics: Recycling, Smartphone Repair.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. D
    May 29, 2019 at 8:36 pm

    The fact that someone spent time to write this is beyond idiotic. What's next a tutorial on seeing in a dark room first walk to wall that has light switch flip light switch up.... Cmon I'm ashamed for y'all usually this is one of the most useful sites but clearly this story idea was an April fools joke, result of Marijuana legalization, take your kid to work day, chimpanzee work exchange.... Nope probably not any of those just plain stupidity.... Fyi great way to infuriate someone who prob is in a bad mood because of a cracked screen looking for help mission accomplished!!!

  2. abel
    May 4, 2019 at 1:40 am

    wtf is this !!!
    i had no use with this article
    i know how to buy a new phone
    i came for solutions to my existing phone!!!

    • Kingston
      April 23, 2020 at 2:01 pm

      Thank you but I still think it is heat what do I do now? 😭😭😭

  3. devi
    January 3, 2019 at 11:09 am

    Why no information about ways to use the smartphone remotely - you can connect an external monitor to at least SOME smartphones, or stream their contents to a window on your desktop.

  4. Anon
    January 3, 2019 at 9:17 am

    Came here to say this article is the stupidest thing I've read so far

  5. Summer Maddox
    December 15, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    Nah I'm pissed of bc I just got this phone the other day and I already dropped it and wasn't able to afford a case or screen protector so the mf cracked already. Couldn't afford warranty or liability insurance nothing. So I'm stuck. 38 HOT RITE NOW¡!!!!

  6. Jaye
    November 23, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    This was a completely pointless article. Seriously, who doesn't already kow u can either deal with it, get it fixed ,or replace it? Really?

  7. Bob
    September 16, 2018 at 8:41 am

    Ha funny I can’t read half of this because of my screen ?

  8. lindsay
    May 18, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    In order to trade your iphone in, the cracked screen needs to be fixed anyway, if you want to get the credit for it. I would wait as long as possible and then fix it close to when you plan to trade it in, so you don't crack it AGAIN and have to pay to fix it a second time before trading in.

  9. Khabar
    May 2, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Nice article

  10. Khabar
    May 2, 2018 at 5:21 pm


  11. Sarah
    December 10, 2017 at 12:39 am

    This is a terible report.

    • Colin Hostetter
      December 29, 2017 at 4:48 pm

      I agree

  12. Freda Prokop
    November 11, 2017 at 7:48 am

    I used packaging tape and it last way longer then a screen saver. I have even dropped and thrown phone and no new damage has been done. Not to mention it's way cheaper then screen savers and is usually around the house anyways.

    • FPK
      November 14, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      does the itouch screen still work with the tape over it??

      • Freda Prokop
        November 18, 2017 at 5:16 am

        Yes it still works. Even if you end up getting a bubble or two in the tape . I'm useing my phone that i used the tape on right now. ?

        • NeonHD
          January 13, 2018 at 11:58 pm

          I'm pretty sure tape does nothing to hold in the cracks. Assuming that your phone is already cracked, it's better to use superglue or a clear nail polish to seal in the cracks.

    • Jaye
      November 23, 2018 at 3:06 pm

      Ignore that person's comment about using su per glue. They're either trolling or just stupid af.

  13. yan bellavance
    July 29, 2017 at 1:33 am

    This is the stupidest DIY I ever read -25 IQ points for being abunch of retards

    • MaggieMae
      December 10, 2017 at 6:38 pm

      I absolutely concur with you!!

  14. Kimbly
    June 28, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Dollar store. Clear packing tape. A few bubbles don't bother me since the upper left corner of the phone has a lovely spiderweb crack ...

    • Freda Prokop
      November 11, 2017 at 7:49 am

      Haha I just suggested the same . Haven't heard anyone else use this before.

  15. C morgan
    January 10, 2017 at 5:24 am

    I cracked my screen when phone fell out of my pocket. Fortunately phone still worked but glass splintered. £190- 300 quotes too high to replace.

    I purchased a screen cover and it has created a new smooth surface that is safe to use and is helping keep the screen together. It will keep this samsung 7 edge going a while longer. Cost £12.99

  16. Kyle
    December 9, 2016 at 1:32 am

    I broke my phone at Disney World. LPT: Don't stay for the Magic Kingdom fireworks and expect to leave the park at closing time with everything intact. It was a madhouse.

  17. Brandon Acosta
    October 18, 2016 at 2:02 am

    The way I cracked my phone is completely irresponsible of me. First of all, I have an iPhone 5c and I know that it is a really crappy phone, including the cheapest one Apple has ever sold ever! So, I always like flinging it around and catching it in the air again. Don't judge it's so fun to do, and since I don't care about my phone, I did whatever I want. So, yesterday, in the library at CSUF at a Speech and Debate Tournament I decided to throw it into a lamp. The guy, a custodian dude, got it for me and it was completely unresponsive. BTW, it was already cracked and it was just a minor one, just across the top of the front of the phone and like a line across a centimeter of the edge, which happened earlier this year. It was really warm after being in the lamp.

    Today, this is the exciting part, for you guys and not me, I was bored. I threw my phone in the air about 4 times in my 4th-period class. I failed. I didn't catch it. It hit the corner of the desk and then fell face first on the floor. I was shocked, and I went to go get it. I got it and the blue part of the phone, the plastic "cover" that is connected to the phone was a little popped out and it was creepy. So, I just saw that and fixed it by pushing it in. By turning it on, I noticed the worst thing ever. It's screen, like the inside of it, broke. Now it has like rainbow lines across the top covering the bottom of the screen until the top of the time. I can see the battery, that's all and all the Verizon LTE stuff. Then there was this black liquid like across it. So, my phone didn;t crack, the screen just broke. I was so shocked at that moment that I lost control if my hand and dropped my phone. Tada, my screen shattered as well. Completely top to bottom. I started crying.

    My mom knows cause I had to tell her. She says I'm not getting a new phone even though my contract ended today and my birthday is tomorrow. WOW! She wished me good luck telling my dad. He is about to get home from work. Wish me luck! Worst day before my birthday ever, and I'm not getting the iPhone 7 PLUS 128GB Jet Black, which is the phone I AM DYING TO GET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BYE!

    • El
      November 1, 2016 at 4:58 pm

      You're dumb and you don't deserve a phone. Get a job and buy it your damn self.

      • freemod
        May 13, 2017 at 9:48 pm

        And you're probably smart and do deserve a good phone, but even so I'd love to put your head into a large vice and crank it until your brains started squirting out of your ears.

        • Luckee
          June 29, 2017 at 5:29 am

          So tough, you comment a year later to anonymously threaten someone you probably don't know. We're shaking in our boots.

  18. Miss You-Don't-Need-To-Know
    October 17, 2016 at 11:52 am

    The way I broke my phone screen is..... I threw it on the wall cause I found out it wasn't CHARGING... I'm not proud of it either. Now I'm only a kid so I have to talk to my mom about it anyway. If I don't get a phone well it's not the end of the world. Plus it's good that I can't use my phone now cause my tests are ahead. If only the laptop was out of the way as well... Lol!

  19. sharissa
    June 12, 2016 at 11:47 am

    dropped my tradie proof phone like 30 centimetres into wet mud with the cover on but the front part was open... i nearly cried because its unresponsive to touch :( cant even unlock it...

  20. Pingpong
    June 8, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    I completely shattered my phone. Everything else still works. But it's just that... There are pieces that have fallen out, so now I can see the inside of my phone.

    One side has already popped out, as in my screen can just get ripped off if I just used force, I've already tapped it against a hard surface so the excess glass can come out. Please note that there are still some pieces left to be taken out, so I can still cut myself.

    So I'm not exactly sure if I should replace the glass or just get a new one. Please help me.

    • Pingpong
      June 8, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      And also. The crack is spread across my phone. But thankfully it didn't crack by the camera.

    • Nick
      July 18, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      dropped my phone while walking and the top right of my phone cracked now It cant do anything and when i turn it on it looks like a hacking rainbow

  21. Azmat
    June 2, 2016 at 5:23 pm


    • Jerbear
      June 3, 2016 at 2:01 am

      Same I broke mines today too

  22. mik
    June 2, 2016 at 3:17 am

    This really sucks for me because my phone is cracked and I still have 2 more years left on my contract?

    • JustMe
      June 7, 2016 at 12:47 pm

      my friend too. If someone has any advice please, you are welcome.
      She doens't have much money and she just bought it. She is too scared to tell her familiy. PLEASE SOMEONE HELP!

      • SvotwaaLAD
        July 9, 2016 at 8:39 pm

        Buy a tempered glass screen protector, as long as it is cracked and not shattered or smashed, it will make the crack invisible and prevent further damage.
        You're Welcome

        • NeonHD
          January 14, 2018 at 12:01 am

          You need to seal in the cracks firstly or else they'll keep spreading when met with force regardless of what is on top of it.

  23. Anonymous
    May 9, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    The worst thing about iPhones is that even if you just try taking the glass protector off it cracks even if type actual phone screen doesn't crack!?..?...?...?...??...?...???

    • NAHHHHhhh
      December 23, 2016 at 4:27 am

      Why would you take it off anyway, unless it's already cracked and you're replacing it?

  24. Anonymous
    October 18, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    I actually called Radioshack about my cracked Samsung Galaxy s3 screen, and the guy told me that no Radioshack performs that service.

  25. Anonymous
    September 26, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I cracked my phone and I havent got much money. Should i buy new or fix this?

  26. HAHA_No
    May 20, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    i just cracked my phone **tear tear** so this helps sooo much!!!

  27. nanoBorg
    May 13, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    You can now get glass screen protectors. Id like to think that it protects my phone that little bit more.
    If your looking for help fixing your screen there's an exciting new movement of volunteers helping you get you electrical items in order. The Restart Project host events called restart parties in which people with broken stuff are paired with repair enthusiasts to help them fix their stuff. . Its an open movement so if there's not one in your area then get people together and make it happen.

    • NAHHHHhhh
      December 23, 2016 at 4:28 am

      They really do protect your screen though, my phone would have been broken a loooooong time ago without it

  28. lasttatu
    March 19, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    My Samsung s3 isn't cracked to the touch, but its unresponsiveness . you can't feel cracks but the touch screen is not working and it's shadowed or splatty looking underneath the shadow ??? I've already been trying to deal with a battery drain issue, even after trying 3 new batteries. The phone insists I'm out of juice after I unplug from a full charge or goes to 40% level. It just plummets. I bought it on eBay 6 mos ago, no insurance, no warranty other than 30 day. I'm desparate and broke...any ideas, suggestions. I'm disabled and need my phone

    • Anonymous
      May 10, 2015 at 11:25 pm

      Are you sure it wasn't a shady seller?

  29. Yuvina
    March 11, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I also had a android phone which is now in service center as my nephew throw it to the wall and the glass cracked although it does work but who wants to use a cracked phone. So it is now in service center and it costs me too high and after being put the screen protector.
    And without repair can' t sold it also.
    So, in my experience android phone is little handle with care thing.

  30. Anonymous
    February 10, 2015 at 1:20 am

    A screen protector doesn't help......I have had one on and my tablet has cracked 3 times since I have had it on

    • Rressa
      March 4, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      I think they were saying for after it cracked.

      Screen protectors are for preventing scratches and whatnot. A case would be the best way to help prevent cracking

  31. Rafid
    December 11, 2014 at 3:26 am

    1. GPS Tracker. 2. Connect to TV and make it smart. 3. MP3 Player (always keeping the earphones attached) 4. Desk clock 5. Backup phone

    August 3, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I'm surprised to see that getting a case for your phone is not suggested.

  33. Robert
    July 31, 2014 at 11:06 pm

    I drop my galaxy s3 6 days before the upgrade I switch my motherboard with my wifes phone. Every day for a week we shared the same I'm looking for a replacement on eBay with a bad esn and a good screen or one with water damage that I can place my motherboard in and resell on ebay

  34. Fart Sniffer
    July 31, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    That was the most useless article I've ever seen. Gee, fix it, hire someone to fix it, or buy a new one?! I would have never thought of those! I hope you don't get paid for this. Because it's slap in the face of every garbage man and blue-collar worker out there to get paid to write common sense.

    • J.c. R
      July 31, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      Not everyone knows you can replace the screen yourself for less than $10.

    • Joshua Lockhart
      July 31, 2014 at 10:57 pm

      Do you actually sniff farts?

    • Anonymous
      August 1, 2014 at 2:34 am

      Since people either don't have common sense anymore or refuse to use it, they need this.

    • Fart Sniffer
      August 1, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      @Joshua Lockhart, Yes I do. Maybe Makeuseof will allow me to write an article about the proper way to sniff them.

    • Anonymous
      August 1, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Now that would be an article worth reading!

    • Joshua Lockhart
      August 3, 2014 at 11:44 am

      More importantly, do you get paid to sniff farts?

  35. Shawn D
    July 31, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    THE first thing you should do is back it up in case it gets worse or goes south fast. I've seen someone loose everything after their screen cracked because all of a sudden they could not enter their password to unlock the encrypted device (only half the keyboard worked onscreen). If he had plugged it into a PC before it locked and started backing up what he could like photos he would have been good to go.

    • Robert
      July 31, 2014 at 11:12 pm

      I've switched. Motherboards in a droid x and. Galaxy s3. Because the LCD was shattered to then you can back it up if your borrowing someone's. Phone. Or buy a for parts phone on ebay

  36. henry kale
    July 31, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Modulates is really a strong partner for anyone interested in activating their video commerce campaigns across multiple networks.

  37. Zhong J
    July 31, 2014 at 2:42 am

    There might be someone you know that own unused phones, consider to ask them for donation.

  38. DeeDeeDee
    July 30, 2014 at 11:28 pm

    My screen was cracked and the cracks were spreading and catching on my fingers. A screen protector handled both problems.

    • Edward V
      August 1, 2014 at 5:47 am

      Yes, I think a screen protector can save a lot of trouble!

  39. jestermx6
    July 30, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    On your second (or sixth I guess) point about pushing through, if the glass is scratching/cutting fingers during use, a strip of clear packaging tape is usually perfect to keep the screen usable and safe. I've done it in the past and it protects the screen from further cracks or losing little shards of glass and protected my fingers from having those shards embedded in my skin.

    • Hildy J
      July 30, 2014 at 7:14 pm

      You might do better with an inexpensive screen protector that's designed to fit you phone.

      • Anonymous
        March 16, 2018 at 1:58 am

        I shattered my phone a few weeks ago when I had it in my back jeans pocket and I fell on the ground. I had it in a good case and a tempered glass screen protector. I went to Apple to see how much it would cost and they said it would cost $170-$200. I have a few months left on my contact so I will just wait and see what upgrades are possible and how much an upgrade costs