How to Remove a Glass or Plastic Screen Protector Safely

Screen protectors are great at keeping our phones scratch and chip-free, adding another layer of protection when the phone suffers a fall (let’s be honest, it happens all the time). Modern screen protectors are usually made from durable plastic or tempered glass that can take the impact of a phone being dropped. They’re generally easy to apply but not quite so easy to remove safely, particularly when cracked or shattered.

Why would you need to remove a screen protector?

Hopefully, you don’t need to make a habit of removing the screen protector from your phone, but there are a couple of reasons why you may need to remove it.

  • You’ve cracked your current protector and need to replace it
  • You don’t like your current screen protector and want to swap it out for a different one
  • You want to sell your device and need to clean it up before sending it on to a phone recycling company like Mazuma Mobile

How to remove a plastic or tempered glass screen protector

It’s really important to take care when removing an old screen protector to make sure you don’t end up hurting yourself or damaging your phone’s display. To start, make sure you have the following to hand:

  • An old bank card
  • A hairdryer
  • Duct tape

You first need to soften the adhesive under the screen protector to help lift it easily without damaging your phone’s display. To do this, heat the screen protector with your hairdryer set to its lowest heat for 15 seconds. It’s very important only to use the lowest heat setting so you don’t damage your phone. Keep the hairdryer moving over the phone for the whole duration to avoid focusing the heat on just one area of the phone.

Now that the adhesive has been softened, get your old bank card, slide it under each corner of the protector with care, and gently wiggly your chosen tool to encourage the protector to detach from the screen. Once all four corners are loose, push the card along the length of the display to completely remove it.

You will only need the duct tape if your protector is particularly stubborn and you can’t find a way in with your card. Roll a strip of duct tape around two of your fingers with the adhesive side facing out and press down on each corner. When you lift your fingers, the tape should pull the protector up enough for you to slide a bank card underneath.

It’s wise to clean your phone’s display once you’ve removed an old protector, and it’s certainly one of the things to do before selling your phone. You can do this using a microfibre cloth or cleaning wipe, being careful to avoid any ports.

Removing a broken screen protector

If your screen protector is cracked or shattered, you need to take extra care when removing it, particularly if the glass underneath is also broken. If the screen protector has done its job, fingers crossed it won’t be, but even tempered glass isn’t bulletproof.

The easiest way to protect your fingers when removing a damaged screen protector is to lay a strip of sticky tape over the cracks in the protector whilst you’re using the method above to remove it. Using sticky tape means the cracks will be covered, but still visible to you. If your screen protector has taken a big hit and is completely shattered, you might want to consider wearing rubber gloves whilst you remove it.

What to do if the phone screen is also broken

Screen protectors are great, but they’re not perfect, and a really heavy fall or an impact at the wrong angle could also damage your phone’s screen. If this has happened to you, it’s okay to be annoyed; phones are expensive!

What you do next will depend on the damage your phone has sustained. If it’s just cosmetic scratching you can live with, you’ll be fine to put a new protector on. However, if you’ve damaged the screen to the point where chunks of glass are falling out, you’ve got the dreaded spiderweb pattern across the display, or the touch screen is affected and won’t respond, well, it might be time for a new phone.

If that’s the case, why not head to the Mazuma Shop and browse our range of refurbished phones? You could get up to 40% off the retail price on your next device by choosing to go for a refurbished phone.

As for your old phone, we’ll gladly take it off your hands and give you some cash for it too! You can sell your broken phone to us, we’re not fussy – in fact, we encourage it! We have the tools to make sure your device is recycled correctly and doesn’t end up in a landfill. We make it easy to sell any device and have loads of handy guides to help with the process, like how to find out the model of your phone. If you’re ready to sell your broken phone (or any phone, we’ll take the non-broken ones, too!), head over to our Sell My Mobile page and see how much you could get.

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