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iPod Troubleshooting & Repair Q&A - Updated December 2, 2011

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How do I replace the glass cover, digitizer and display (LCD screen) in the iPod touch models?

If you are certain that the display in your iPod touch is broken -- if it is visibly cracked, for instance -- Apple can replace the display for a price that generally is not cost-effective.

However, more affordable third-party replacement services also are available and self-replacement is possible, too, albeit challenging.

Identification Help

If you are not sure which iPod touch you have, one way to externally identify these models is via a unique -- but very difficult to read -- model number engraved toward the bottom on the back of the device. Specifically, the original iPod touch is A1213, the 2nd Gen and 8 GB configuration of the 3rd Gen both are A1288, the 32 GB and 64 GB 3rd Gen is A1318 and the 4th Gen and "4.5" Gen both are A1367.

The iPod touch models also can be differentiated by serial number with EveryiPod.com's Ultimate iLookup. Like the model number, the serial number is engraved toward the bottom on the back of the device, is available when plugged into a computer on the "Summary" tab in a modern version of iTunes, and within the operating system on the iPod touch itself by selecting Settings > General > About (assuming that the display still is readable).

In addition to its serial number, EveryiPod.com's Ultimate iLookup feature can identify the iPod touch models by EMC number and order number (referred to as "Model" from within the iOS), as well.

Display Replacement Video Instructions

If you are technically inclined and have the time to do so, replacing the outer glass cover and digitizer (the touch-sensitive layer) -- which are easier to replace as a single piece -- and the generally separate underlying display in an iPod touch yourself additionally is entirely possible. Please note that installation is difficult, particularly for the display itself, and professional installation is recommended.

Nevertheless, for tech savvy individuals, there are a variety of videos available that cover replacement of the iPod touch glass cover and digitizer as well as the LCD itself. Glass cover and digitizer and LCD replacement videos for the original iPod touch as well as the iPod touch 2nd Gen, 3rd Gen and 4th Gen from Repairs Universe, PowerBookMedic and site sponsor Mission Repair follow for your convenience.

Original iPod touch (A1213)

Glass Cover, Digitizer & LCD (Display)

iPod touch 2nd Gen and 8 GB 3rd Gen (A1288)

Glass Cover & Digitizer

LCD (Display)

iPod touch 3rd Gen 32 GB & 64 GB (A1318)

Glass Cover, Digitizer & LCD (Display)

iPod touch 4th Gen/4.5 Gen (A1367)

Integrated Glass Cover, Digitizer & LCD (Display)

Note that the iPod touch 4th Gen/4.5 Gen has the glass cover, digitizer, and LCD integrated as a single part. Unfortunately, this makes the part rather expensive and requires one to replace the LCD even if only the outer glass has cracked.

From reviewing the instructions for your particular iPod touch, you should be able to determine whether or not you would feel comfortable replacing the glass cover and digitizer and/or the display yourself of if you would instead prefer to hire a professional.

Site sponsor Mission Repair provides free iPod touch hardware diagnosis, a professional display replacement service by mail and inexpensive "do-it-yourself" display replacement kits as well.


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