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How to fix a broken phone because coronavirus closed the stores

A broken iPhone screen or bad Android battery shouldn't keep you from staying in touch with friends and family. Here are your options.

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A broken phone right now isn't something any of us want to deal with, but accidents happen. 

Jody Gianni

The last thing any of us wants to deal with right now is an iPhone or Android phone with a broken screen or software glitch. As we all stay home and practice social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, being able to communicate with friends, loved ones, and colleagues is invaluable.

But in an effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 disease, retail stores across the country have closed, including Apple Stores and wireless carriers have closed the majority of their brick and mortar stores, too. So where do you go to get your phone repaired? 

If your phone breaks, don't panic. You still have several options to get it fixed. 

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Apple support has a few different options for you. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Fixing a broken iPhone

If your iPhone isn't physically broken, and you're experiencing software or performance issues, use the Apple Support app to talk to an employee who can help troubleshoot your issue. The app allows the support representative to run diagnostic reports and guide you through any potential fixes. 

For physical damage or an unresponsive device that needs to be fixed or replaced, you can find a list of authorized Apple service providers by visiting this support page and click on Schedule a Repair. You'll be asked to sign in to our Apple ID and select a device that's linked to your account, after which you can search for an open store. 

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Using an Apple-approved repair center will allow you to take advantage of lower repair fees if you have AppleCare Plus on your iPhone. 

It's a good idea to call the store before you finalize your appointment, as some stores may have adjusted their hours or temporarily closed due to being nonessential services

If you don't feel comfortable going out in public, or lack a nearby repair facility, you can also mail your phone to Apple in for fixing. Visit this support page and click on Send in for Repair the follow the prompts. Of course, this is a less than ideal solution, because you'll be without your phone for up to five days. You can use an old phone or buy a cheap backup phone to keep you connected while your device is in the shop. 

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Use Samsung's search tool to find a nearby repair business.  

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Android phone repairs

As a whole, Android owners don't have a central location, like an Apple Store, that they can go to for repairs. Don't let that stress you. For software and performance issues, contact your wireless carrier or your phone maker to troubleshoot. Most of the time, those types of issues can be resolved over the phone. 

Samsung users can visit some Best Buy locations for troubleshooting and repairs, but that service isn't widely available. So your best bet is to use a third-party repair service.

Samsung has a search tool on its site for device repairs that will show you all nearby uBreakiFix locations, an official Samsung repair partner. uBreakiFix repairs all types of phones, tablets and even computers -- including Apple products. Visit the uBreakiFix site to find the nearest location and schedule an appointment. 

Again, it's probably best to call the store directly to confirm they're open, especially as more cities continue to shut down nonessential services, and make sure they're taking appointments and have the parts in stock to complete your specific repair. 

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You can also repair your phone yourself. 

iFixit

Fix it yourself

If you're out of warranty and feel comfortable attempting to repair your phone on your own, you can always order a repair kit from iFixit. There are kits that include everything you need -- including the tools -- to replace a broken iPhone screen, swap out an Android phone's battery or more. 

iFixit has posted guides that go with each kit, walking you through the entire process. 

If your movement isn't restricted, it'll save you a trip out, and potentially save you some money in the process.

While we all try to do our part to stop the spread of coronavirus, there are some myths you should be aware of. And if you absolutely have to go out, use these best practices to keep yourself safe. While you're at home, take the time to sanitize all the things in order to ensure you keep yourself safe.