iPhone 12 Back Glass Replacement
iPhone 12 Back Glass Replacement

The iPhone 12 is a beautiful phone with a beautiful back glass that can crack. With the introduction of wireless charging, Apple had to incorporate a glass back, which, while aesthetically pleasing, also increased the chances of breakage. If you’re looking for info on how to replace the iPhone 12 back glass, this guide will hopefully get you the information you need to do it yourself or at least guide you on the path toward getting professional assistance.

Shattered back glass is one of the most common issues iPhone 12 users face and it can happen to anybody – whether you have a case or not. If you’re one of the unlucky ones who’ve experienced this, don’t worry! This guide will walk you through the iPhone 12 back glass replacement procedure, drawing insights from various trusted sources and our own repair work we do at GadgetMates.

The Need for Back Glass Replacement

Apple’s decision to use glass for the back of the iPhone 12 was primarily driven by the need to facilitate wireless charging. However, this design choice also means that there’s an additional surface that’s prone to cracking. A cracked iPhone back glass can be quite costly to replace, with prices reaching up to $700 or more if done through Apple without AppleCare+ or Warranty Coverage. Luckily prices at 3rd party repair shops are MUCH lower.

Why Consider Replacing the Back Glass?

  • Safety: Broken or cracked glass can cause injuries and cuts.
  • Functionality: A damaged back might affect features like wireless charging.
  • Aesthetics and Appearance: Maintain the phone’s beauty and sleek look.
  • Resale Value: A well-maintained phone fetches a higher price.

Understanding the iPhone 12 Back Glass

Why is it so delicate? The iPhone 12’s back glass, while aesthetically pleasing, is prone to breakage. It’s designed to be tough, but no glass is shatterproof. Accidental drops or impacts can easily lead to cracks or complete shattering.

Professional Replacement vs. DIY

The Professional Touch: Many users prefer to get their iPhone’s back glass replaced by professionals. Here’s why:

  • Precision: Professionals use specialized tools like the Blue Light Laser Separation Machine, which accurately removes the back glass without disassembling the iPhone. This ensures the internals remain safe.
  • Experience: They’ve done it countless times, minimizing the risk of errors.
  • Warranty: Some professional services offer a warranty on their repairs.

DIY Approach: While some brave souls might venture into replacing the back glass themselves, it’s a risky endeavor. The process requires specific tools and a steady hand. One wrong move can lead to further damage.

Professional Replacement Procedure (Using A Laser Machine)

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Safety First: Ensure the iPhone is turned off before starting the procedure.
  2. Laser Removal: Using the Blue Light Laser Separation Machine, the back glass is lasered to facilitate easy removal. This machine is designed to work specifically with the iPhone 12 Pro Max, ensuring precision.
  3. Removing the Shattered Glass: Post-lasering, use tools like a focal length rod to break the glass further, making removal easier. A shovel blade can then be used to dismantle the back cover glass.
  4. Cleaning: Once the shattered glass is removed, clean the remnants using a sponge or brush. Any residual glue can be removed using specific solvents.
  5. Installing the New Back Glass: Apply frame glue evenly on the back of the phone. Carefully place the new back glass, ensuring all holes align correctly. Use LCD fixing clips to hold the glass in place until the glue sets.
  6. Testing: After the replacement, always test the phone to ensure all functions, especially wireless charging and camera, work as expected.

*To remove the back glass without a laser machine is MUCH more difficult, but if you don’t have one that may be your only option. You can use a heat gun and safety blades/razers to strip the old glass off. Be very careful not to apply too much heat (and burn out the internal electronics).

DIY Repair Options

For those looking for alternative methods to replace the back glass without resorting to a complete device replacement, there are a few options available:

1. Replacing the Entire Housing

This method involves replacing the entire back housing of the iPhone. While it guarantees a fix for the broken glass, it’s also quite expensive, with costs averaging around $300.

2. Heat and Pry Tool Method

This method involves using extreme heat to soften the adhesive holding the back glass. Once softened, a pry tool can be used to remove the glass. This method is cost-effective and has been found to be the most suitable for many repair shops, but it won’t be as cleanly done as the laser method outlined above.

a) Before embarking on this repair journey, ensure you have:

  • Precision screwdrivers
  • Heat gun or hairdryer
  • Suction cup
  • Plastic spudger or pry tools
  • Replacement back glass specific to iPhone 12

b) Preparing Your Workspace and Setting the Stage

Choose a clean, well-lit, and dust-free environment. Organize your tools, lay them out, and keep screws in labeled containers. Perhaps play some calming tunes to set the mood.

c) The Step-by-Step Replacement Process

  • Step 1: Always start by turning off your iPhone.
  • Step 2: Gently warm the edges of the back glass using a heat source to loosen the adhesive.
  • Step 3: Attach the suction cup and gently pull up or use pry tools to lift the broken glass.
  • Step 4: Clean the surface meticulously, removing any residual adhesive and old adhesive remnants.

d) Setting the New Glass in Place

  • Step 1: Apply a fresh layer of adhesive to the phone’s back.
  • Step 2: Carefully align the replacement glass with precision.
  • Step 3: Press down ensuring a snug and secure fit.

e) Post-Replacement Care and Tips

  • Test all functionalities of your phone, especially wireless charging.
  • Avoid exerting pressure on the newly replaced back glass for a few hours.
  • Always work with patience to avoid further damage or mistakes.

Tips and Considerations

  • Wireless Charging: Ensure the wireless charging coil isn’t damaged during the process. If damaged, the wireless charging function might be compromised.
  • Water Resistance: While the back glass replacement can restore water resistance, remember that iPhones aren’t waterproof. It’s always best to avoid submerging the device in water.
  • Third-Party Services: If opting for third-party repair shops, ensure they have a good reputation. Some users on platforms like Reddit have shared positive experiences with third-party repairs, especially when they use the laser machine for the procedure.

Apple’s Repair Methodology

Interestingly, Apple’s method of “repairing” a cracked back glass isn’t exactly a repair. Instead, they offer a replacement of the entire device, which explains the high cost. However, recent developments suggest that Apple is expanding its rear glass repair method, allowing repair teams to replace just the back of the iPhone without having to replace the entire device. This is a significant shift from their previous stance and is applicable to the entire iPhone 12 lineup.


Replacing the back glass of an iPhone 12 might seem daunting, but with the right tools and expertise, it’s a manageable task. Whether you choose to go the professional route or the DIY way, always prioritize safety and precision. With this guide, you’re now equipped with the knowledge to make an informed decision about your iPhone 12 back glass replacement.

Invest in protective gear like high-quality cases. Prevention, as they say, is better than cure.


Q: Can I use my iPhone 12 while the back glass is shattered? A: While the phone might still function, it’s not advisable to use it with a shattered back glass. Sharp edges can cause injuries, and internal components are exposed to potential damage.

Q: How long does the replacement procedure take? A: Professionals can typically replace the back glass in about 2 hours. However, if you’re attempting a DIY, the time might vary based on experience.

Q: Is the replacement back glass as good as the original? A: If replaced by Apple or a reputed third-party service, the quality is usually on par with the original. However, always ensure you’re getting a genuine product.

Q: Will the replacement affect my phone’s warranty? A: If your phone is under warranty, it’s best to get it repaired by Apple. Third-party repairs might void the warranty.

Q: What precautions should I take during DIY repair? A: Always turn off the phone, work slowly, and avoid using excessive force or heat. It’s very easy to burn out an internal component when using a heat gun or blow dryer. It’s also easy to cut yourself when removing the glass.

More FAQs

  1. How long should I wait before using the phone post-repair? A few hours to let the adhesive set.
  2. Are there risks associated with DIY repairs? Yes, including potential further damage or voiding the warranty.
  3. How can I ensure the longevity of my iPhone’s back glass? Use protective cases and handle with care.
  4. What’s the difference between the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro glass? The 12 Pro often has a frosted finish.
  5. Can I also replace the camera lens using this guide? No, the camera lens replacement is a different and more intricate process.
  6. How do I ensure the success of my replacement? Test all functionalities, especially wireless charging, post-repair.
  7. Is it worth replacing the back glass? Absolutely, for safety, functionality, and aesthetics.
Eric Chan

Hi! I’m Eric and I work on the knowledge base at GadgetMates.com.  You can see some of my writings about technology, cellphone repair, and computer repair here.

When I’m not writing about tech I’m playing with my dog or hanging out with my girlfriend.

Shoot me a message at ericchan@gadgetmates.com if you want to see a topic discussed or have a correction on something I’ve written.

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