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How to Open an iPhone Case

written by: luis84•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 8/28/2010

Learn how to open an iPhone case for general maintenance or for a repair in just a few easy steps. No special tools are required and this can be done in just a few moments of your time. Opening an iPhone case is an easy and quick process.

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    Opening the iPhone Case

    There are many different reasons to learn how to open the iPhone case. These reasons include things such as standard maintenance (cleaning) and repairs. Should your iPhone become damaged, learning how to open the iPhone case will enable you to diagnose or even install a replacement part yourself. The process of learning how to open the iPhone case is actually quite simple and does not require any special tools that cannot be easily obtained at a local hardware store.

    Things you'll need:

    • #000 Phillips Head Screwdriver
    • Exacto Knife or thin metal shim
    • Towel
    1. Remove the plastic piece. Locate the black plastic piece on the back of the iPhone. Place thiPhone Internals e towel over the metal parts as to not scratch them. Insert the exact knife under the plastic piece gently and pry upward until the plastic piece comes loose. Gently remove it with your hand and set it aside.
    2. Locate the screws. Look in the bottom center and to the far left. You should be able to identify two small screws which hold the rest of the metal backing in place. These screws are very small and can only be opened with a #0000 Phillips Head screwdriver. Do not try to use a different tool, stripping these screws will make it nearly impossible to open your iPhone case.
    3. Loosen the case. Insert the exacto knife into the space between the rest of the metal case and the chrome edging. Be very careful not to damage or scratch anything when doing this. Gently pry up on the case and you should hear the clips come loose. Repeat this process on all sides of the case and always exercise incredible caution not to scratch or damage the iPhone and be sure not to snap the clips.
    4. Remove the case. Gently lift the case forward and away from the iPhone with your hand. You may have to disconnect the one ribbon cable to lift the case away. Simple push this away from the case gently and it will come loose.

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    General Maintenance & Tips

    Once you have learned how to open an iPhone case you will be able to perform general maintenance or perform a repair. To perform a repair you will need to remove the additional five screws and continue to disassemble the iPhone main board. If you are simply replacing the camera or battery you will not need to open the iPhone any further.

    • Cleaning - When cleaning the internals avoid harsh chemicals. Use only contact cleaner or compressed air to clean the internals. Exercise caution with compressed air as it may blow ribbon cables or connectors loose.

    If you have lost the iPhone screws when learning how to open an iPhone case you can purchase replacements online. They are hard to find and one source to purchase them is SW-Box. They have a current cost of US $3.13.

    For more details on cleaning the iPhone read this article on How To Clean The iPhone.

    Screenshot courtesy of ZDnet.