How To Replace Screen Protector

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How To Replace Screen Protector

There comes a time in the life of every device when you need to replace the screen protector. The one you have may have come to the end of a long and distinguished career, but has started to show signs of wear and tear. If it has a crack in it or has some chips around the edges, then it's probably time we retire that screen protector.

A screen protector that already has damage won't be as effective as a brand new one. It's done its job, but there's only so much it can take. So when the time comes, how exactly do you replace a screen protector? How do you fix the screen protector with bubbles? Here's everything you need to know.

How To Replace A Screen Protector

In good news, replacing a screen protector isn't a particularly difficult task to perform, whether for a phone, a tablet, or an iPad. A few simple steps will enable you to do everything you need. We'll start by discussing how to remove the old screen protector. Then we'll look at how you prep your screen for the new one. In no time, your screen will look pristine again.

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How To Remove The Old Screen Protector

There are two main methods you can use to remove an old screen protector. Depending on how well it was applied to begin with, some will take a little more effort than others. But none should be difficult to remove.

Option one is the good old-fashioned brute force method. We'll call this, 'option one'. Option two involves using tools. We say tools. We really mean things like duct tape and toothpicks. We'll call this option, 'method two'.

Option 1

While we suggested this is a brute force method, we don't recommend being too rough. But it is still a very simple method:

  • Start by using a hairdryer on a low heat setting to loosen the adhesive on the screen. Do this for 15-20 seconds. You can skip this step if you don't have a hairdryer, but heating the glue will make it easier to remove.
  • Next, use your fingernail on a corner of the screen protector, and gently try to prise it off the screen.
  • Once the corner has lifted, begin peeling down the sides of the screen protector. Go slowly and carefully to minimise the risk of the screen protector cracking or fragmenting.
  • You should manage to remove the screen protector as a single piece. If you find the protector breaks at any point, you can apply the hairdryer to weaken the glue on any pieces that are still stuck.
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Method 2

The alternative method is to use a toothpick or duct tape instead of your fingers. This method can also be useful if your screen protector has broken, as it reduces the risk of any shards getting under your fingernails.

  • We'd still advise using a hairdryer to soften the glue, if possible.
  • Then, instead of using your finger, get a toothpick and gently slide this under one corner of the screen protector. You can then either use your fingers to pull the corner up and away from the device, or get some duct tape, stick it to the corner, and pull it up and away.
  • Once again, go slowly and carefully to try to keep the screen protector in one piece.
  • You can use the toothpick or something like a bank card to work your way under the screen protector and lift it away from the device screen.
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Once you've removed your old screen protector, it's time to get your device ready for the new one. Here's what to do.

Prep The Screen For A New Screen Protector

Apple pencil being used on Zagg screen protector for iPad.
click to enlarge
Credit: Zagg

Having successfully removed the old screen protector and sent it to that farm upstate for retired screen protectors/binned it, you need to make sure the screen is ready for a new one to go on.

  • Start by making sure your hands are clean and dry.
  • Ideally, apply a new screen protector in a dust-free environment.
  • Your next step is to clean your phone screen. We recommend a cleaning wipe and microfiber cloth. Use these to remove any residual glue or dust from the phone screen.
  • Make sure you align your screen protector correctly and then place it down on the screen. Many screen protectors come with application tools to help with this.
  • Give the screen protector some time to settle, then you can use the microfiber cloth to wipe it and remove any small air bubbles that may have formed.
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At this point, it's worth mentioning that some screen protectors come with a special solution to use when applying it to your device. Only use this solution with the associated screen protector. If yours didn't come with a solution, you won't need to use one.

  • With these, clean the screen as we mentioned before.
  • Then spray the solution as advised by the manufacturer. Some will suggest you spray the device screen, others may want you to spray the screen protector itself.
  • Place the screen protector on your screen, and gently apply it.
  • You'll probably have some sort of squeegee in your screen protector packaging. Starting from the centre of your device, use this to push any excess solution to the edges of the screen protector. Hold onto the screen protector to stop it from slipping.
  • Let the device and screen protector dry before using it or putting it in a case.
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Whichever method you use, by the time you've finished, you'll have a pristine new screen protector to go with your pristine device.