How To Fix a Cracked Phone Screen in 2022

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Crack phone screen

We’ve all cracked our phone’s screen. Whether your headphones got caught on a train terminal, you forgot your phone was in your pocket or dropped a weight on it at the gym (yes, these all happened to me) it’s going to happen at some point! Phones are just getting more and more crucial to our way of life – and they’re only getting more expensive. This means it has never been more important to know how to handle it if you’re unlucky enough to find a crack in your screen.

This guide will teach you how to handle any damage to your screen, no matter the level. Whether you’re a chronic dropper looking for repair tips, searching for the toughest phones on the market or you’re just preparing for your inevitable first crack, everything you need is here.

Supply:

Phone

Laptop/Desktop

Tools needed:

Screen Protector kit

Backup your phone

Before you even read this guide (make sure to come back!), your first step is to go and back up your phone! There is a reason insurance companies account for ‘acts of God’ because crazy things happen all the time that there is no rhyme or reason. You never know when something will happen, leaving your phone unusable – losing all your precious photos and memories in the ether.

If you have an iPhone, it couldn’t be simpler. Plug your phone into your Mac or PC, open iTunes and select back up. Once it is complete, all the data on your phone is now available on that device. If your phone ever breaks or you get a new one, you can restore that data quickly onto your new phone.

For other phones, the precise procedure to back up your phone varies. Be sure to follow the instructions on your phone. It will be as simple as tapping into your phone settings, heading to ‘accounts and back up’ and selecting ‘Back up and restore’.

It couldn’t be easier and makes your life much more pleasant in a disaster.

Assess the damage

There are four different levels of damage to a phone. While this guide holds valuable information, no crack is the same.

Before moving on with the rest of your day, take a good look at your phone and assess what care your cracked screen needs.

1. Minor Damage

  • A small crack
  • The phone and screen still work fine
  • Mostly an aesthetic issue

2. Moderate Damage

  • Multiple cracks or one large one
  • Phone and screen still work fine, but you may have trouble reading or viewing things

3 . Severe Damage

  • Cracks across most/all of the screen
  • Screen still lights up, but it doesn’t respond to touch as it should

4. Critical Damage

  • Significant cracking
  • The phone doesn’t turn on, OR
  • The screen is static/unreadable

Minor Damage - Repair Options

If this is where your phone is, then take a breath. It isn’t so bad. While you might want to hide your phone from your parents if they bought it for you, your phone is still in pretty good nick.

A crack of this severity might only affect how pretty your phone is, but it can be the impetus for a much more severe issue. A small crack can quickly spread across your screen if not taken care of properly. The best option is to grab a tempered glass screen protector to best take care of your phone and make the screen last as long as possible. This will protect the screen from any outside forces and means your fingers won’t be pressing directly on the fragile screen.

You can purchase screen protectors nearly everywhere these days. Here are some of the best deals for Australian Amazon Prime subscribers.

iPhone Jtech Screen Protector From $10.19
Google Tersely Screen Protector From 10:99
Samsung T Tersely Tempered Glass Screen Protector From 12.95
Huawei amFilm Screen Protector From 12.99

Moderate Damage - Repair Options

If your cracked phone screen fits the bill of ‘moderate’ damage, you’re in for a tough time. Your number one enemy at this stage is the possibility of water or dust seeping into your phone through the open crack. Even if it looks like nothing could get in, it can.
Luckily for you and your cracked screen, a screen protector is still your number one bet.

Eventually, though, it will get worse, and you will need to either get your cracked screen repaired or purchase a new phone.

Total Screen Repair

If money isn’t tight or using the phone while the screen is cracked is too debilitating for your phone use, getting the screen repaired is your next option.

If your cracked screen has turned into more than that – struggling to turn on, cracked camera lens or anything else, the repair is your best bet.

Both have their benefits, whether you elect to get it repaired through your manufacturer or a third party. If you have AppleCare+ or SamsungCare+ insurance, it would be silly for you to go to a third party. But, if you don’t, the extra cost of getting it repaired at the manufacturer may be a deterrent; thus, third-party repairs exist for a reason.

Unfortunately, third-party repairs usually void any warranty over your phone, so make sure you weigh up your options and make an informed decision.

Here are some comparisons between the manufacturer and third-party costs for popular phones:

Phone Manufacturer Repair Cost (without warranty) Third-Party Repair Cost
iPhone SE (2nd Gen) $219 From $109
iPhone 11 $309 From $125
iPhone XR $309 From $115
iPhone 8 $249 From $75
Galaxy S10 $395 From $349
Galaxy S21 $415 From $379
Google Pixel 5 Google allocates authorised repairers on their behalf From $329

*If you hold either SamsungCare+ or AppleCare+ or an equivalent, you may receive repair through your manufacturer at a reduced cost. Make sure to look at all your options, and it isn’t cheap!*

Severe Damage - Repair Options

If your cracked screen is at this point, it’s time to take it out of its misery. You don’t want it to suffer anymore, right?

The issue is no longer just a severely cracked screen at this stage. Whether you can’t turn it on, the home button no longer works, or the battery barely lasts an hour before screaming at your to charge your phone – it’s time to move on. That doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t be fixed.

If your phone’s screen is severely damaged, your first point of call is your manufacturer. It could be as simple as replacing the screen and the battery. Depending on the cost, it could save you a pretty penny compared to a new phone’s price. Whatever the case, you’ll have to call to know your options.

If your manufacturer explains what’s wrong with it and repair is a solid option, hooray! Take a look above, decide what route you want to go to get it repaired and enjoy a phone screen with a new lease on life! If the diagnosis isn’t as positive, or the repair price rivals the cost of a new phone, trading it in might be the next step.

Sell your broken Phone

No matter what state your phone is in, do not just let it sit in your draw! Phones are anything but cheap these days, and every little bit helps. Even if your phone is an unrecognisable hunk of metal and broken glass, it could still have value.

Companies can sell your phone at a reduced price, refurbished, or, if it is destroyed, even the gold used on the inside can be scrapped and used in the manufacturing of other phones.

You’re in no rush – your phone is dead. So take your time, shop around, and see what deal you can get for yourself.

Instead of getting your phone repaired, be prepared!

This guide has explained the ins and outs of every kind of scenario your cracked phone screen could go through, but this is the last resort. In a perfect world, your phone’s screen would be as pristine as the day you bought it after three years of use. While that might not be realistic, there are a few things you can do.

Put a case on your phone.
I know. You got the beautiful blue iPhone, and it looks great – you don’t want to cover it in a case. I get it. However, it’s not worth the superficial beauty of your uncovered phone if it means it’s severely damaged by one drop.

Here are a few recommendations for iPhone and Samsung users

Name Benefits Price
Pelican Shield Case (iPhone)
  • One of the toughest phones on the market
  • Tested for heights over seven metres
  • Belt clip and Kickstand
From $39.95
Lifeproof Wake (iPhone)
  • Drop-proof from up to 2 metres
  • Unique and clean design
  • Made of 85% recycled plastic
$38.56
Otterbox Galaxy S21 Defender Series Pro Case
  • Polycarbonate shell wrapped over a soft foam insert keeps your phone safe.
From $54.25
Samsung Galaxy S21 5G LED Wallet Cover
  • While still recommended, a screen protector is less necessary. You are leaving your fingers touching the excellent screen of the S21.
  • Pocket for a card
  • LED Display
From $55

Consider a tougher phone
If cracked phone screens are standard and you don’t trust yourself, even with a screen protector and phone case, it might be worth purchasing a phone that is made to hold up, even after being dropped.

The iPhone 12 is the toughest iPhone on the market at the moment. The phone is marketed to be able to be dropped 2.7m onto concrete without the screen cracking.

If you don’t trust mainstream phone brands with your slippery fingers or dangerous work environment, here are some of the strongest phones on the market.

Nokia XR20
  • As tough as you’ll need, while still being a normal phone.
$779
Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
  • Designed to withstand harsh environments
$776
Doogee S97 Pro
  • If you’re a tradesman who doesn’t mind a reduced resolution and have broken some screens in your time, this is the one for you
$428.99
Motorola Defy
  • Dust-proof, waterproof and drop-proof. This is a phone you don’t need to worry about.
$366.99

Max Delaney

Max Delaney is a Journalism student at Macquarie University, joining Gadget User in 2022 and reporting on a variety of topics. Only early in his career, Max is excited to write guides, reviews and more to help you make informed purchases!