$105 iPad 5th Generation Repair: A Journey of Restoration

In the world of gadget restoration, there’s always an element of mystery and excitement. Today, I’m embarking on a repair journey with a 32GB iPad 5th generation, which I purchased for a total of $104.55 online. It was listed under the “parts or not working” category with no specific details about its issues. Upon receiving the iPad, I discovered that while it powered on, the touch functionality was completely unresponsive and exhibited significant glitching. This repair story not only showcases the intricate process of fixing the device but also highlights the affordable services offered by Gadget Kings, a leading phone and tablet repair service.

Diagnosing the Issue

After unboxing the iPad, I was curious to see what the issue might be. The device powered on without any problems, but the touchscreen was non-functional. To address this, I planned to replace the digitizer panel, which, for this iPad model, is not fused to the LCD. This feature makes the repair considerably cheaper compared to models like the iPad Pro.

Tools and Preparation

Before diving into the repair, I gathered all the necessary tools: a hot-air station, protective glasses, alcohol, a suction cup, a Phillips screwdriver, a spudger, adhesive, a microfiber cloth, and a magnetic mat to keep track of the screws. This comprehensive toolkit is essential for ensuring a smooth repair process.

I started by powering down the iPad using the hardware buttons, given the touchscreen was non-functional. Next, I used the hot-air station to heat up the edges of the iPad. For those without a hot-air station, a hairdryer can serve as a substitute. Heating the iPad makes the adhesive holding the screen in place more pliable and easier to work with.

Removing the Display

Once I believed the adhesive was sufficiently heated, I applied a suction cup to the glass and successfully created a gap between the glass and the frame. This allowed me to insert a plastic pick under the glass and begin working my way around the edges, continuing to apply heat as needed. This process can be tedious, especially if the screen is badly cracked, which increases the risk of breaking the glass into small, hard-to-remove pieces. Hence, wearing protective glasses is crucial.

Patience is key in this step, as it can take upwards of 30 to 45 minutes to remove the glass panel. If the screen has been replaced previously, the process is usually easier due to the less tenacious adhesive.

Handling the Touch ID Cable

For iPads equipped with Apple’s Touch ID system, such as the iPad Air and newer models, there is a delicate cable running underneath the glass. It’s vital not to damage this cable during the removal process, as it’s paired specifically to the device. Damaging it would necessitate a costly repair by Apple.

With the display lifted, I removed the four screws around the perimeter of the LCD panel and carefully lifted it, folding it down to access the internal components. I then disconnected the battery and removed the cables for the digitizer and home button, which were taped down. This allowed me to completely remove the display panel.

Cleaning and Preparing for the New Digitizer

After removing the old digitizer, it was important to clear any leftover glass shards from the edges of the iPad. Any remaining debris could prevent the new screen from sitting flush against the device. Additionally, I checked the corners of the iPad for any dents, as these could also affect the screen alignment. Fortunately, my iPad had been dropped face down, so the corners were intact.

Using alcohol and a microfiber cloth, I cleaned the edges and the entire iPad to ensure it was ready for the new components. Next, I removed the old home button from the digitizer, applying alcohol to my spudger to help release the adhesive without damaging the cable. This step requires caution, as the cable is fragile and essential for the Touch ID functionality.

Installing the New Digitizer and Reassembling

With the workspace clean and the old home button successfully removed, I prepared the new digitizer for installation. The first step was to install the Touch ID sensor. After aligning and securing the sensor and bracket, I reconnected the digitizer cables and the home button cable.

Next, I reattached the LCD panel, carefully aligning it and reconnecting its cables. It was crucial to ensure that all connectors were securely in place before attempting to power on the device. Holding the power button, I was relieved to see the Apple logo appear, indicating that the iPad was functioning correctly.

Final Steps

Once the functionality was confirmed, I proceeded to reinstall the four screws securing the LCD and battery connectors. After giving the interior a final clean, I slowly lowered the LCD panel into place, ensuring the digitizer cable was properly aligned and not visible through the screen.

Removing the adhesive backing from the new digitizer, I carefully positioned it over the iPad and pressed it into place, sealing the device. A final clean with alcohol removed any smudges, and the protective film from the display was removed, revealing a pristine screen.


The repair of this iPad 5th generation, which cost a total of $126.55 including the new digitizer, demonstrates that affordable and effective gadget repairs are possible. For those who may not feel comfortable undertaking such repairs themselves, services like Gadget Kings offer professional assistance. Located at https://gadgetkingsprs.com.au/, they provide a range of repair services for phones and tablets, ensuring devices are restored to full functionality at a reasonable price.

This journey not only highlights the repair process but also serves as a reminder of the value in restoring technology rather than discarding it. Whether for personal use or resale, a properly repaired device can offer significant savings and extend the life of our tech gadgets

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