With most smartphones costing hundreds of pounds, accidentally dropping an iPhone or Android smartphone can be expensive.
A cracked or smashed screen can make your smartphone impossible to use - and even dangerous should shards of glass become loose.
But before you shell out for a brand new phone, there are some simple steps to fixing a broken smartphone screen.
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1. Assess the damage
Small, superficial cracks across the corner of the screen may not interfere with viewing or navigating the phone, but larger, deeper cracks demand immediate action.
If part of the display is missing or the screen’s colours look wrong, then the LCD panel that sits beneath of the screen may have been damaged too.
If your screen is only slightly cracked, you could live with the damage rather than pay to repair or replace it.
With smartphones bought on a contract, consider how much longer there is left to run before you can upgrade to a newer model. If there’s just a few months left, it can be worth waiting.
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2. Temporary repair
In the case of several cracks or a bad smash, apply a screen protector. This prevents further damage to both the phone and you when using the touchscreen.
You can buy screen protectors cheaply online from Amazon and other retailers or from high street phone and electrical stores.
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3. Back up your phone
Back up your smartphone as soon as possible. That way, you won’t lose your precious photos, files and apps should the phone stop working altogether or you need to send it away for repair.
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4. Check your insurance
If your phone is insured – either through your home insurance or as part of a specific gadget policy – check to see if you’re covered for accidental damage.
Paying the excess to get it repaired via your insurance company may be the cheapest way to get the screen fixed.
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5. Find a repair shop
There are lots of services offering screen repairs, so shop around.
Most screen repairs range from £50-£80, depending on the extent of the damage.
You can talk to the manufacturer direct to see what they offer by way of repair – iPhone users, for example, can take their smashed screen to their local Apple store and it can be fixed there and then – but this option is likely to be more expensive than third-party stores or online services.
Most people prefer to take their phone to a well-known high-street retailer for repair work.
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6. DIY repairs
If you want to attempt the repair yourself, look online for step-by-step instructions, such as those on iFixit.com.
However, unless you’re completely confident of your technical ability, this is best avoided as unauthorised repairs will void your smartphone’s warranty.
7. Sell it
If the bill for repairing the screen is just too high, don’t ditch the phone, sell it instead on sites such as eBay.
Many people will buy even damaged phones, usually for spare parts. Check listings of similar phones, and clearly include details of the damage along with photos.
Before sending off your phone, connect it to your PC and remove all storage data and reset it to factory settings so the buyer can’t get their hands on your personal data.
Read our guide to removing your data from an iPhone
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