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You cracked your phone screen. Here's what to do

From quick DIY fixes to professional-grade repairs, there's a simple solution for you.

You cracked your phone screen. Here's what to do

From quick DIY fixes to professional-grade repairs, there's a simple solution for you.

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it's no secret that we've become extremely relying on our smartphones. According to Huffpost, people spend an average of three hours a day on their phones. It seems like our whole world revolves around technology, but it doesn't have Teoh. One way to cut back on how much use your phone is to use the screen time feature. You can set time restrictions on certain acts that will notify you once you reach your daily allowance. This takes a bit of discipline, though, because you can get back into the apse with your password. Buzzfeed reports that on average smartphones air dirtier than toilet seats, you can reduce your screen time by not bringing it into the bathroom and avoid all those germs while you're at it. You should also take out any chargers from your bedroom so you're not tempted to use it. Instead of going to sleep and by an alarm clock, huffpost suggest sprinkling in some form free times into your routine. To add on to that, maybe designate phone free zones in your home. These small changes may feel monumental at first, but eventually you'll get into a flow and be able to cut back on how much you use your phone
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You cracked your phone screen. Here's what to do

From quick DIY fixes to professional-grade repairs, there's a simple solution for you.

Video above: Small changes that will drastically cut down your smartphone useYou could almost see it happening in slow motion: your smartphone is in your hand one moment, and the next thing you know, it's barreling toward the ground in a nosedive. Sometimes the layers of glass and plastic will hold up, but all too often, this scenario will lead to a chipped, cracked or smashed screen.Between simple DIY fixes, third-party repair shops, and even manufacturer-sponsored mail-in programs, there's an option for everyone. So take a deep breath before you pick up your phone to examine it. Even if the cracks radiate out like a spiderweb, there's a fix.Why Do Screens Break So Easily? Ah, the perennial question: Why is this $1,000 device so prone to damage in the first place? It all boils down to a difficult-to-reach compromise between consumer desires and engineering reality. In other words, we want phones with maxed out displays that also feature an elegant design. However, those slim edges and nearly bezel-less screens have to make some concessions in the durability department.But regardless of the design specifics, it's really about elastic energy, according to Red Zombie, a Clearfield, Utah-based repairs and accessories shop. "When you drop your phone, elastic energy stored in the phone's glass is converted into surface energy, which is why your glass cracks," the company notes in a September 2018 blog post. "hen you drop your phone, the force of impact will overcome the surface compression, resulting in small stresses that could lead to the shattering of your screen."To combat this reality, manufacturers like Apple and Samsung are constantly experimenting with tougher kinds of glass to absorb the impact. Red Zombie says most companies mix zinc into aluminum to create a strong base for the body of the phone. What to do right awaySmashed screens come in various levels of severity — from light scratches, to spiderweb-like patterns, to entirely missing chunks of glass — and you could be dealing with anything from a shattered display and a broken phone, to a simple cosmetic issue. First, you should assess the damage, which means getting your phone on a solid surface and under a good light, not just giving it a quick glance before stuffing it back in your pocket. With a little bit of stress testing and careful prodding you should be able to work out whether the screen is about to fall off or fail completely. In a lot of cases it will stay in place, cracks and all, so you can at least keep tweeting, as long as the screen is still visible and functioning. If the phone is seriously damaged, back up your data as quickly as you can, making sure all of your photos, videos and important files are saved somewhere else just in case it dies and you can't get the phone working again. If it's already stopped functioning, then a professional repair is probably your best bet. Here are the solutions, in ascending order of professionalism.Option #1: Packing TapeThe name of the game here is, "hold out until I'm eligible for an upgrade." If you want to keep using the cracked phone, and don’t want to risk losing glass or slicing up your fingers, cover the screen with a layer of packing tape. Line everything up carefully and trim it with an X-Acto knife and it may look almost like a real screen protector.Option #2: Screen ProtectorThis is the gussied-up version of the packing tape solution. It ensures you have no seams and a clean line around the edges of the screen. Granted, that might not be much of a concern when there’s a spiderweb of cracks underneath.Option #3: Replace the Screen YourselfIt's possible to replace a phone screen on your own. We’ll refer you to iFixit for their excellent, step-by-step guide with photos. A few key things to keep in mind: Before you decide to go this route, look into the cost of the replacement screen. Today’s phone screens, which incorporate touch interaction and possibly biometric sensors, aren't cheap. You should also look into the warranty situation. If you’re the kind of person who is willing to fix a phone yourself, you’re probably not too worried about maintaining your warranty—but it still can’t hurt to know if you’re going to void it. Finally, unless you’re already accomplished at repairing modern solid-state electronics, you probably lack the specialized tools you’ll need for the job. Luckily, iFixit sells a handy kit that includes pretty much everything you’ll need, with the possible exception of the iOpener, a tube you heat up and apply to the phone to soften its adhesives. Option #4: Call In a ProYou can always just take your phone into the shop. If you're an iPhone person, look for your local Apple Store here or consider trying out Apple's new mail-in repairs program. Best Buy will work on iPhones and Samsung phones. And finally, UBreakIFix has more than 400 locations across the country.

Video above: Small changes that will drastically cut down your smartphone use

You could almost see it happening in slow motion: your smartphone is in your hand one moment, and the next thing you know, it's barreling toward the ground in a nosedive. Sometimes the layers of glass and plastic will hold up, but all too often, this scenario will lead to a chipped, cracked or smashed screen.

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Between simple DIY fixes, third-party repair shops, and even manufacturer-sponsored mail-in programs, there's an option for everyone.

So take a deep breath before you pick up your phone to examine it. Even if the cracks radiate out like a spiderweb, there's a fix.

Why Do Screens Break So Easily?

mobile phone with broken screen display
Getty ImagesArtur Debat

Ah, the perennial question: Why is this $1,000 device so prone to damage in the first place?

It all boils down to a difficult-to-reach compromise between consumer desires and engineering reality. In other words, we want phones with maxed out displays that also feature an elegant design. However, those slim edges and nearly bezel-less screens have to make some concessions in the durability department.

But regardless of the design specifics, it's really about elastic energy, according to Red Zombie, a Clearfield, Utah-based repairs and accessories shop.

"When you drop your phone, elastic energy stored in the phone's glass is converted into surface energy, which is why your glass cracks," the company notes in a September 2018 blog post. "[W]hen you drop your phone, the force of impact will overcome the surface compression, resulting in small stresses that could lead to the shattering of your screen."

To combat this reality, manufacturers like Apple and Samsung are constantly experimenting with tougher kinds of glass to absorb the impact. Red Zombie says most companies mix zinc into aluminum to create a strong base for the body of the phone.

What to do right away

Smashed screens come in various levels of severity — from light scratches, to spiderweb-like patterns, to entirely missing chunks of glass — and you could be dealing with anything from a shattered display and a broken phone, to a simple cosmetic issue.

First, you should assess the damage, which means getting your phone on a solid surface and under a good light, not just giving it a quick glance before stuffing it back in your pocket. With a little bit of stress testing and careful prodding you should be able to work out whether the screen is about to fall off or fail completely. In a lot of cases it will stay in place, cracks and all, so you can at least keep tweeting, as long as the screen is still visible and functioning.

If the phone is seriously damaged, back up your data as quickly as you can, making sure all of your photos, videos and important files are saved somewhere else just in case it dies and you can't get the phone working again. If it's already stopped functioning, then a professional repair is probably your best bet.

Here are the solutions, in ascending order of professionalism.

Option #1: Packing Tape

The name of the game here is, "hold out until I'm eligible for an upgrade." If you want to keep using the cracked phone, and don’t want to risk losing glass or slicing up your fingers, cover the screen with a layer of packing tape. Line everything up carefully and trim it with an X-Acto knife and it may look almost like a real screen protector.

Option #2: Screen Protector

glass shattered on a smart device touch screen
Getty ImagesDouglas Sacha

This is the gussied-up version of the packing tape solution. It ensures you have no seams and a clean line around the edges of the screen. Granted, that might not be much of a concern when there’s a spiderweb of cracks underneath.

Option #3: Replace the Screen Yourself

collection of tools for fixing mobile phone
Getty ImagesMirageC

It's possible to replace a phone screen on your own. We’ll refer you to iFixit for their excellent, step-by-step guide with photos. A few key things to keep in mind: Before you decide to go this route, look into the cost of the replacement screen. Today’s phone screens, which incorporate touch interaction and possibly biometric sensors, aren't cheap.

You should also look into the warranty situation. If you’re the kind of person who is willing to fix a phone yourself, you’re probably not too worried about maintaining your warranty—but it still can’t hurt to know if you’re going to void it.

Finally, unless you’re already accomplished at repairing modern solid-state electronics, you probably lack the specialized tools you’ll need for the job. Luckily, iFixit sells a handy kit that includes pretty much everything you’ll need, with the possible exception of the iOpener, a tube you heat up and apply to the phone to soften its adhesives.

Option #4: Call In a Pro

You can always just take your phone into the shop. If you're an iPhone person, look for your local Apple Store here or consider trying out Apple's new mail-in repairs program. Best Buy will work on iPhones and Samsung phones. And finally, UBreakIFix has more than 400 locations across the country.