Here's how to replace the battery in an Apple iPhone 6S
Welcome back, I am Bill Dewailer, host of CNet And TechRepublic's Cracking Open.
We're live on the scene at stage at CES 2018 and instead of taking something apart this time, today I'm going be putting something back together.
With our help of iFixit right here.
If you're the owner of an iPhone, you've heard of Apple rolling out an iOS update that slows down the processor on older phones with weak batteries, right?
Apple says they did this to prevent the phones with worn out batteries from randomly shutting down.
Unfortunately, they didn't really tell anyone they were doing this.
Which made a lot of people angry because they may have bought a new iPhone when all they needed to do was replace the battery.
Now the uproar has been so intense that Apple issued a rare apology and lowered the cost of battery replacements for older phones from 79 to $29.
Now if you don't want to wait for Apple to do the job You want to just save a few bucks.
Or you're the person that likes to do it yourself.
Now we're gonna show you just how easy it is to do.
I'm here with Chris Bross from iFixit, who's going to show us how easy.
Is to replace your own iPhone battery.
Now Chris, thanks for coming down.
Thanks Bill, thanks for the opportunity.
All right, so tell me a little bit about what you've got here.
What type of iPhone do we have?
And what's in this box over here?
Sure, well thanks for the great lead-in.
You hit all of the relevant points about why we're here and why we exist.
Well, what we've got today is I've got an iPhone 6S here today, which is a Pretty popular model of the phone as we know.
And we're gonna take this apart and do a battery replacement on it.
Do it yourself battery replacement.
I brought with me today one of our battery replacement kits that's available from ifixit.com that has everything you need in it, tools, parts.
And along with our guides that are free online, you'll be able to do your own battery replacement, just with this simple kit.
Great, and just as a little bit of a preview.
We actually have something special for everyone here in the audience at the CNET stage at the end of the segment, right?
That's correct, a little surprise at the end.
All right, great, so let's get started.
Sure, so we've got an iPhone 6S here.
And well with all the recent news everyone's interested in knowing whether or not they need to change their battery.
And of course you can gauge the health of your battery currently if you connect to a Macintosh with the Coconut application to gauge the usage of your battery so far.
To give you an indication of where it is.
And of course, if you're already experiencing recurring recharge times because the battery's not lasting as long, you might be able to tell already, you need a replacement.
So if it's running more slowly than it used to, and it's a couple of years old.
It might be time to do this battery.
Interestingly, before Apple made this announcement, it was my 14 year old son who told me how slow my phone was running.
And I didn't realize why.
[LAUGH] All right.
But he was right.
It is the battery.
So what we're going to do today is we're going to unbox one of our parts and toolkits for a battery, so you can see what's inside Containing all the components we need and then we're gonna go ahead and tear this phone done and out it back together.
All right let's do it.
Show me what you got in the box there.
So again this is our kit that contains everything that we need.
And these kits are available on ifixit.com
And of course Apple has reduced the cost a battery from repair from $79 to $29
But at IFIXIT, we're selling all of our battery kits lower than that cost to make it even easier for the customer.
And so, we'll open up the box here.
We start with something a little, you got this, a little atta boy.
[CROSSTALK] And inside, we've really got two parts to this.
There's our repair tools, which are all the tools we're going to need,
And then, we've got the repair parts.
Okay, all right.
We'll take a look inside and see what we've got here as well.
This is also a very technical part here as well, a tool, this is the holdy-uppy.
I'll show you how that works in a few minutes.
So I'll unbox these couple of elements, just so we can see what we've got
Now while you're doing this, I don't wanna stop you, keep going.
But what are some of the safety precautions that people need to take before they do this?
Sure, well a couple of things.
One, for sure you wanna backup your data if the phone is still functional.
You wanna make sure you can connect to iTunes and make sure you have a full backup of all the data.
Just in case something goes wrong or just in case you have issues during the repair.
You also wanna make sure that, if a phone is functional, that the battery is drained as much as possible.
Ideally, below 25% or lower.
As we all know, people have a justifyable fear about lithium ion batteries exploding.
However, the operation we're gonna do today is perfectly safe to do and the less charge in the battery The safe route is.
So we wanna take those two main percautions, okay?
In addition, if you happen to be in a space where you have a proper ESD clean workspace, that is ideal, of course.
Here on the satge we don't have that setup.
We can't do that, but I do have, today with me, a magnetic mat, which allows us to work on and keep all of our parts safe in one location while we're taking it apart.
All right, so we've got our tools already open, and then we've got the parts we're gonna need.
Our battery is right here, and then a couple of other accessories.
Our adhesive strips are also here as well.
Now, how long will this job take?
For DIY repair, the very first time you've attempted this, we estimate 15 minutes to 1 hour to complete the battery replacement.
But for a pro like you, 15 minutes?
Well, we'll see.
So in my kit here, I've got all the tools that I'm gonna need for this repair.
You can see here we've got a couple of driver bits.
A driver, a pry tool, A spudger, one of our very important tools here, and a tweezers and a suction cup.
Those are all the tools that we need.
And now what are some of the reasons that people would want to do this themselves besides just being a DIY-er?
Sure, well, of course there's that aspect that people want to repair their own things.
Currently, you have the option of going to an Apple store, an Apple authorized service provider to have this work done.
But the interweb seems to be telling us that there are very long wait times, in some cases, and some supply problems.
In fact, I think it was mentioned just today that Apple has a shortage of 6s Plus batteries, so that's kind of an issue.
If you don't wanna wait weeks or months to have the repair, you can do this in an hour yourself just after receiving the kit from us.
Great, all right.
Well let's get started.
Sure, so let's take a lookand see what we need here.
Well, with the 6s Apple has done a few things to make it hard for us to get inside.
And they started with creating their own proprietary pentalobe screws.
Remember those from a couple of years ago?
Well we know that they put those screws in to prevent us from getting in because once we get inside they're all standard Philips screws.
Now iFixIt created this tool, the pentalobe driver specifically to be able to get at these.
We're going to go ahead here and pick out one of our bits we need, which is our pentalobe bit.
We got it right here.
This bit will allow me to take out the two screws on the bottom of the phone that are really securing the display in.
These are right on either side of the lightning connector, right?
That is correct.
In this magnetic map that I showed you is really nice because you can place each particular component in the same orientation that you pulled it from,
Without the screws rolling onto the floor and you crawling around trying to find them right?
These are small screws, replacements are available, however you don't wanna lose anything during the repair, so I pulled the two screws from the bottom
Now what I need to do is acknowledge that there is an adhesive strip that Apple has placed around the perimeter of this screen in the frame that holds that display in as well as some clips that are along the sides.
So what we need to do is release the display slightly, get under the display and then release those clips.
So we can get at it.
And what are those seals for?
So those seals are primarily for waterproofing.
And in fact I believe that seal was not in the 6, and started in the 6S if I recall.
And so, what we're gonna do is we're gonna use a suction cup here.
And on this particular phone, we're gonna wanna place the suction cup about in that location.
Just not over the Home Button.
Put just at the bottom of the screen, and a clean screen will help this adhere better.
And if your screen is shattered, which is a common problem these days.
Clear packing tape over the top of the screen will create a surface that this could adhere to.
And that's one of the safety precautions when you're doing this.
You wanna make sure that you don't crack the screen.
So you don't have to press really hard to get this to stick.
Yeah, that's correct.
In fact, this is all about finesse.
And using the correct amount of pressure.
And for a first timer this can be a little intimidating, that's for sure.
But let me show you how the process works.
So we wanna make sure we have good suction on there, and we do.
And my goal now is with those two screws removed is simply to lift until I can see a small gap I know this won't show well on camera.
I can see a small gap forming.
Now just above, well, I lost my suction.
Just above the headphone jack on the bottom of the phone there's actually a little notch right there.
That's what I'm after as my entry point.
My suction keeps losing suction there.
But let's see if we can get that up.
I've got my spudger tool, and I now have it just underneath the display.
What I want to do is move it and keep it horizontal and begin to pry at the screen along the edge first.
Then move back to the bottom.
And do the same process on the opposite side.
Now obviousley when you do this, you wanna make sure that your phone is off, right?
Thank you, for me missing one of the first steps.
After talking about draining your battery, I should have obviously said power the phone off completely.
Don't do this when the phone is powered on.
Thanks for that.
So you can see now that there's actually a gap created that I've been able to do right there.
So that's the first step.
And now we can actually start to lift the display off of the phone.
But when we do that, that adhesive strip that's around there can make it a little bit challenging.
So in this particular case I'm going to go very slowly to begin to lift the display.
And I can take my suction cup off right now.
And now I should be able to, with a little finesse and equal force,
Lift that display right off.
That's pretty simple.
There we go.
Now the display is free.
Now we're inside the phone.
Yeah, and there's aperimeter adhesive that's hard to see here.
But it's right inside the frame that keeps that locked in as we were referring to earlier.
Now ideally we have a special tool here that I was referring to earlier called the holdie-uppie tool.
And in this particular case what we're using is a rubber band Around a water bottle.
And what I'm gonna do is simply support the display like this.
Let's turn this around this way a little bit so we could show everybody in the audience, a little bit sideways.
I know it's a little bit.
Yeah, I don't wanna flex these cables too much.
But yeah, we can work on it like this if that works.
Is that all right?
I think that looks good.
So we're holding the display up here just to make sure that it stays out of our way.
But we have some very important cables here we don't want to flex.
Or cause any additional damage to.
So now we're-
Now what do those cables go to?
Those cables go to-
The display, the digitizer, and the front face.
And the camera right there.
And so we can acknowledge the battery, we see the battery here.
Now we know there's also adhesive holding the battery in and it's very strong.
And that's what we're gonna have to release.
So one thing that we don't have with us on stage here, which is a big help in these processes, is heat.
So this adhesive breaks down quite easily with heat.
And we sell a tool called the Eye Opener, which is a gelatin based device you throw in your microwave for 30 minutes.
And it heats enough, to between 140 and 180 degrees, that you can place under the phone to heat that surface and release some of that adhesive.
It's like one of the neck pads, right, or the eye pads that you heat up in the microwave?
And you can also use a hairdryer or a heat gun if you calibrate it properly to 140.
You don't wanna melt anything.
Right, 180 would be a max and you don't need it that hot.
We did a battery replacement two nights ago here at the show on a cocktail table in the bar area using a candle underneath the phone to heat it.
I do not recommend this to people at home, but it worked.
So what's the next step?
Next up in the phone right here is you're going to want to disconnect the battery.
This is important because, obviously, making sure there's no charge going to the phone while we're working on it is key.
There's a small shield that I already removed kind of to facilitate this for the camera.
That goes over the battery here and it has two screws holding it in place.
Regular Phillips, very easy to remove.
But then and I can't hold this up for the camera right now We're gonna wanna remove the battery connector.
The battery connector is right here, and you can use a spudger tool here, any other anti-static tool.
By antistatic, we mean plastic basically here, or-
Well, you have to be careful with what type of plastic.
So ESD safe plastic-
And that again, referring to ESD.
These tools are all ESD safe.
You can also use your fingernail if necessary.
And by ESD we're talking about electro static discharge.
Yes, thank you.
We don't want any kind of static electricity like don't walk across the carpet and zap your phone because that can damage the electronics.
So now I've just removed the battery cable.
So I've disconnected the battery now from The following.
Ideally, I want to try and move this battery cable out of the way a little bit, so that it will not accidentally reconnect while we are working on it.
So now, battery has been disabled, although this battery is well good in there.
And because I know it is good in there, I am going to have to use a little bit of force to get it out because I do not have my heat So I'm gonna go ahead and remove the rest of the display right now so that I don't **** that up in the process.
So in order to remove the display there's a small shield bracket that goes over this component right here with four small Philips head screws.
I've already removed that and we now have three different cables that we now have to remove.
The camera, the digitizer and the actual display cable.
And they are layered down so you can pull them out in the sequence in which they were set up and again a spudger or a fingernail can usually get under here let's get in a little closer.
Got two of the cables up and you want to be really careful that you're removing the cable and not the socket itself.
These are fairly fragile but now all three cables are lose.
Believe it or not that's all that's holding the display in place.
So we can take our very high tech holdy uppy tool remove it and the display is now free.
That's it really.
Great so the display is now off.
I know it's indimidating but the display is now free.
And now we have.
Basically the chassis and the battery and the motherboard.
So now we need to get the battery out.
This is where applying heat from the iOpener would work great, but we don't have it here.
So what we're gonna do first is kinda gauge how well this battery is in here by just kinda feeling around a little bit and seeing if it's loose at all.
It is not loose at all.
Speaking of that adhesive, are devices in general getting more difficult to repair?
That's a great question.
So, the iPhone 10 that just came out actually earned a repairability score of six from us, which is pretty good.
The reason it didn't get better is cuz of the back glass display.
This phone receives a seven score out of ten for repairability, which is actually quite good.
I think most people would believe they're less repairable than that, but in fact this phone is a repairability of seven.
So the two adhesive strips that are holding the phone in place we need to remove those.
It's a little hard to see here, but I'll show you.
They're stuck right here.
What we want to do is try our best to release this tape.
I'm using a tweezers in this particular case, or a fingernail.
If you need a walk through of these, The instructions for all of these replacements, they're on the website correct?
On iFixit's website?
In fact, a prerequisite to doing this should be that you have a computer open with our guide in front of you.
We wouldn't want you to try this without a guide unless you're a repair technician who's done it many times.
So right there I pulled up the adhesive tabs that are actually holding the glue to the bottom.
Now this is a little tricky and this is where little finesse comes into play, but we need to now try and remove these adhesive tabs by getting a good grip on it and beginning to pull and ideally continue to pull.
You're pulling these horizontal, right?
Pulling them about a 60 degree angle or so works best.
And trying to keep getting to the root of it as you stretch it.
You can see this thing stretch to a couple of feet in length.
And it's only three inches long.
And these are basically like those strips, the adhesive strips that you use to hang things on your wall.
You only work under the same principle.
And so we may have gotten that one.
There is the first one, completely.
Now, I'm not sure if I got all of it but I got most of it and that's really good.
If we don't get this out, we need heat to get that.
Aha, perfect I failed.
So, what do you do now?
This is where that finesse comes in.
And a little bit of force.
If I had heat to apply, I'd be applying heat right now.
I don't have that, so what I'm going to try and do, in this case, I actually got the strip farthest away from me out.
I wish I had gotten this strip out because this is the side we need to remove the battery from.
So now I'm gonna try and get under this battery with either a spudger or a pry tool to see if I can left it or free it in any way.
I don't wanna break the battery
No no keep going.
And I don't wanna flex the battery too much.
And I certainly don't wanna puncture the battery.
Because it is a fire risk.
So what I'm gonna do it is, I'm going to
Use my spudger in this case just to get under it a little bit.
And then I'm gonna use another extremely high tech tool that I brought with me today, which is my hotel key.
You can see we use high tech tools, and we use really high tech tools.
this is great, a very stiff card that you can use.
We also sell a card specifically for this purpose.
But again, I wanna make sure to try and get under there as horizontally as possible and begin to work that strip.
And I'm slowly feeling it out as I'm going.
So while we're removing the battery, does anybody in the audience have a question?
Just raise your hand.
I've got a mic right here if you've got a question for me, if you've got a question for Chris from iFixit.
Like how much is the kit?
Or how difficult is it?
What happens to the adhesive once you pry everything open?
That's a great question.
And the water-proofing, for example.
Sure, that adhesive is wasted at that point and needs to be replaced.
So we have adhesive in the kit for you, both for the perimeter seal and for the battery.
It's single use.
So looks like I've been successful here, or I'm half stuck.
But pull out my tool, and in fact I can see the battery's gonna come free here.
I wanna make sure that it comes free of all other parts and components.
And it did, okay, you can see the adhesive strips on the bottom.
Now these strips are really good at not coming off, but in this case we would be taking this battery out completely.
And I'm recycling it, and a new battery doesn't come with the strips on it.
So the battery's now free, this is ready to recycle.
So we got our...
So let's get the new battery, or are we ready to put the new battery back in?
We sure are.
We sure are.
So there we've got a case.
So now, let's look at our, the parts that came with it.
Here's our battery.
So let's go ahead and open the package here, the anti-stat package.
I want to make sure we get this in, the time we have left.
Here's that new battery.
And we've got our adhesive for the battery as well, those strips that need to go on there.
So let's go ahead and work the battery just for a moment and get these strips on.
Now there's a placement kind of trick with this, we want to orient the battery, just like we know it's going to go in.
Okay, so you're gonna stick these here, and then fold them around.
Yeah, that's correct.
Okay, ideally if we get them right, okay.
Flip the battery over.
We got this backwards.
So while you're doing this, I just want to tell everybody, I've worked with Kyle, Luke, and everyone at ifixedit for many years, and I often use their tools for my own cracking open video.
And not only does ifixtit sell the tools and the components to help you repair your own devies.
They're big advocates for making the electronic devices that we use everyday easier to repair.
So Chris, I don't wanna stop you, keep doing this.
But can you tell everybody why it's so important that the devices that we have are easy to repair, or we can repair them ourselves?
Well, absolutely, the reality is-
Keep going why you're doing it.
Yeah, the reality is we don't need to replace our phones every 18 months.
We need to keep these out of landfills and keep them functional for longer.
So that's what we're really trying to do is, Save the digital world one device at a time.
So we got the battery in place, I wanna make sure it's fitted into the space correctly.
So I'll actually kind of wedge it in upfront, make sure everything looks good.
This is single opportunity to stick this correctly, then we've got it in.
So it's down.
The new battery is in.
The battery is in?
And now we just need to put everything back together, right?
So, it involves putting the seals back on around the glass, we're going to reconnect the display, and then we're going to reconnect the battery and seal everything back up?
Yeah, that's exactly correct.
And we can go ahead and do that quickly, I'm not going to reinsert the parameter adhesive right now, for time.
Right, we're going to skip that in the interest of time.
But let's go ahead and just reassemble this if we can here.
And I'm not connecting the battery yet.
We're gonna do that last.
Yep, and we got the connecter off to the side.
So let's get the display back in place first.
It should go quickly for me.
And these are really small.
The little ribbon cables that hold the display-
They sure are.
To the circuit board.
So you have to be real careful when you push them down, not to tear them, not to rip them.
Cuz you don't wanna replace this screen as well as just replacing the battery, right?
And while you're doing this, where can people actually get the kits?
So you can get the kits at ifixit.com and all of our kits are currently available, including the ones that Apple's apparently having a hard time supplying right now.
And like any good demo it becomes more challenging on camera.
So I'm trying to reconnect the digitizer display, digitizer cable, right now.
So once you get these reconnected, so what's the next thing?
The next step is we're gonna, basically, button this phone up and put her back together.
Let's see if we can get to that stage.
And ff we can get there, that's great.
If not, we can just show everybody how we sort of reattach.
Okay, so now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna go ahead and reconnect my battery cable, in this particular case.
Come on, baby, get in there.
They are hard, they are little connectors but it doesn't take very much to push them back down.
So we have everythign connected and where going to slide the glass back down.
That's exactly correct.
Now the glass will go into place and that new perimieter adhesive seal would be in place.
And as we set this down, again, signle use, you want to get it aligned correctly the very first time.
So now we'll put pressure from the back because we've got a couple of clips that we want to clip in place.
And squeeze it shut?
Work all the way to the front.
Put the screws back in.
I'm going to give it a quick visual.
Okay looks like we're in.
And we're all done right?
That's it, we've got two screws to put back in.
Now these batteries come roughly at about 50% charged typically.
But you're gonna wanna really go through a full battery cycle, once you do a forced restart, the very first power on, to drain it all the way down and then charge it all the way up, for a little conditioning.
And we've got our other little **** and we'll be done.
All right, well Chris, thanks for joining us here.
Now, see how easy that was?
Now, get out there and fix your own iPhones.