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Apple Now Lets You Repair Your iPhone 13, iPhone 12 and iPhone SE. But It's Not Easy

A Genius Bar appointment might be faster, easier and even cheaper.

Four iPhones of different models and colors
You can now repair your own iPhone without voiding your warranty, but should you?
James Martin/CNET

Apple officially launched its Self Service Repair program last week, a move that's arguably a capitulation to the "Right to Repair" movement -- a push toward legislation that would force manufacturers to provide consumers with affordable spare parts and repair tools for their electronics. Whatever the reason, you can finally replace your iPhone's display, battery, camera and more, without voiding your warranty, but should you do it?

The program is very new, and so you probably have many questions about it all, especially if you're considering fixing your iPhone yourself. Is it expensive? Is it easy to do? Is your phone covered through the program? Would you even save money doing it? Here's everything you need to know about Apple's new DIY repair program.

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What is Self Service Repair?

The Self Service Repair program provides repair manuals and hundreds of authentic parts and tools, such as displays, batteries and cameras, for Apple devices, all of which you can order through the Self Service Repair Store online for a price. Once you receive the necessary documents and equipment, you can attempt to repair your own device.

Where is Self Service repair available?

The program is currently available only in the US, but will expand to other countries, including in Europe, later in 2022.

Which iPhone models can be repaired?

Currently, the Self Service Repair program only provides parts and manuals for the following models:

What is the cost for repairing your own device?

Depending on what iPhone model you have and which repair you need to do, the price can range from 20 cents for a couple of security screws for the iPhone SE to $312 for a display bundle kit for the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Apple also offers tool rental kits for $49, but it's possible that you might be required to put down a $1,300 hold.

What do you need before you can use Self Service Repair?

Aside from having a supported iPhone model, you'll need a product serial number or IMEI to purchase any of the genuine Apple parts through the Self Service Repair Store. On your iPhone, launch the Settings app and go to General > About to find the IMEI, which should be a 15-digit number.

Is Self Service Repair easy to do?

In short, no. For now, it's not exactly "easy" to repair your own device, because you'll need read through manuals, analyze what's wrong with your device, purchase parts, rent tools and then wait for them to arrive to your home. Then you must take apart your iPhone and make the repairs. If you're comfortable with all of that, then DIY repair is the way to go. But if you have any hesitancy at all, it might be better to have Apple or a third party repair your device.

How to order parts and tools through the Self Service Repair Store

Go to the Self Service Repair Store online and purchase the parts and rent the tools you need for the repair. You'll need your IMEI number to successfully make any purchases. Once the purchase goes through, you can monitor the status of your order through the Self Service Repair Store.

Repairing your device

Once you receive your Apple parts and tools, use the repair manual to guide you through the repair process. Also, certain repairs require a System Configuration step, which is a software tool that completes the repair. The manual should explain the process and what you'll need exactly, but it does require contacting the Self Service Repair Store support team to initiate this final step.

What do you do with your damaged parts?

Let's say your repair has been successful, but now you have all these extra, damaged parts. What do you do with them? You can return any used or damaged parts replaced during your repair, which Apple then refurbishes or recycles. Customers can also get a credit back on the final cost by returning certain parts to Apple.

Will repairing your own device void your warranty?

As long as you repair your iPhone with parts from the Self Service Repair program, this will not void your warranty. However, any potential hardware damage that occurs during the repair will not be covered.

Is Self Service Repair only available for the iPhone?

For now yes, but later this year the Self Service Repair program will expand to repairs on any Mac computers with Apple silicon, such as the M1 or M1 Max chips.

Do you save money by repairing your own device?

For now, that may depend. For example, the cost to replace the display of the third-generation iPhone SE is roughly $191 for the parts and tools needed. If you want Apple to replace that same iPhone SE display, it charges $179 without warranty. If you do have a warranty, the cost could be much less.

If you don't have insurance, but own the tools needed to replace the iPhone SE display, you could potentially save money, because renting out the tools costs about $50, so you could potentially only spend $141 if you do your own repair. However, this all varies depending on your device and the type of repair you're doing.