Believe it or not, a cracked or dying laptop screen doesn’t mean a necessary trip to your nearest electronics store for a new computer. In fact, replacing a broken laptop screen is by far one of the easiest repairs just about anyone can do with a bit of money and time. If you take your time, use the right tools and follow the instructions, you may even save yourself some money by skipping a computer repair shop.
However, as a warning, it should be noted that any damage to the machine, yourself, or any loss of data is entirely your responsibility. Techzillo is not responsible for any unfortunate event that may or may not occur. You have been warned.
Should You Fix Your Laptop Screen?
If you read that warning and are having second thoughts, that’s good! While replacing a cracked laptop screen isn’t the hardest task out there, nor does it require a degree, there is one situation in particular that you should be aware of even if you have the credentials.
This is referring to warranty. If your laptop still has a warranty, especially one that covers accidental damage, you should NOT replace the laptop screen. That will void your warranty, and that will be more important if your laptop experiences damage worse than a cracked screen.
So, should you fix your laptop screen? If you have a warranty, then don’t do it, even if you are capable. On the other hand, if you don’t have a warranty, and have nothing to lose, then by all means.
How to Replace a Cracked Laptop Screen
Replacing a cracked laptop screen seems like a rather difficult process, but in reality, swapping a broken one with a brand new screen is rather simple as far as computer repairs go. So long as you have a bit of patience, and a set of small tools, you can make it happen.
What You Will Need…
Replacing a cracked laptop screen is a sensitive process. It requires removing an outer panel, the bezel, in order to reach the screws that keep the screen attached to the laptop.
- Plastic spudger
- A set of screwdrivers
- Replacement screen
Small screwdrivers will be used to remove the screws. A plastic spudger will come in handy to remove the bezel. As for the replacement screen, you’ll need the exact screen. Not sure what it is? When you remove the screen, you can nab the model number and reverse search it on your favorite supplier’s website.
Replacing a Laptop Screen
So long as you have a plastic spudger and a set of small screwdrivers, you can proceed.
1. Start by powering down your laptop. Give it about 60 seconds to ensure all processes have ceased.
2. Unplug the AC adapter and remove the battery from the bottom of the laptop.
3. Press and hold the Power button a few times. This will make sure that any charge is discharged.
4. Now, you don’t want to handle the laptop without grounding yourself. Do not perform the next few steps on, say, a carpet. If you carry a charge, you can short the computer and fry it. Move to a metal table or wooden one. Ground yourself by touching metal.
5. On the bezel, that’s the plastic casing around the screen, you should see a few rubber cushions. Pop them off.
Note: Rubber cushions keep the screen from smashing into the keyboard, but they also double as covers for screws. They’re sticky so they can be reapplied after you’re finished. Also, some computers do not have rubber cushions.
6. With the rubber cushions now removed, you can finally reach the bezel screws. These screws keep the bezel in, which provides extra stability to the screen and prevents it from falling. Use your screwdriver to remove them.
7. Once every screw has been removed from the bezel, take your plastic spudger and remove the bezel. Try starting in one of the bottom corners where the screen meets the keyboard. Follow the entirety of the bezel until it comes right off.
8. Now that the bezel is removed, lay the laptop so that the screen is facing the ceiling. Remove the screws from the mounting brackets.
9. Carefully remove the screen and lay it face down on the keyboard. Behind the screen you should see a few cables—one to two cables—connected to the back of the screen. Disconnect them by gently, but firmly with the tab.
10. Remember how you need the exact same screen? Look on the back off the damaged screen. You should see a manufacturer’s label. That label contains the model number. Go to your preferred retailer and purchase the exact model the number refers to.
11. To double-check that you received the correct screen, place the new screen facedown on the old screen. Make sure everything matches—the mountain brackets, the connector, and the dimensions.
12. Rest the new screen on the keyboard. Start by connecting the cable(s). Then shift the laptop so that the new screen is resting in its final location. The screen should be facing the ceiling.
13. Secure the screen by reinserting the mounting bracket screws.
14. Before you attach the bezel again, insert the battery and AC adapter and power the laptop on. You want to make sure the screen is working. If so, continue. If not, check the cable connection.
15. With the new screen working perfectly, place the bezel back on, reinsert the screws and any rubber cushions.
Now that your screen has been replaced and working good as new, you can rejoice that you did not have to replace the entire computer. If everything was done as instructed, the new screen should work better than your old one.