Introduction: Fix Your Broken Kindle Keyboard Screen

Picture of Fix Your Broken Kindle Keyboard Screen

After falling in love with my new (used) Kindle, I sat on the screen and cracked it. Strictly adhering to my DIY, minimal waste ethos, I found a YouTube video made by the good people at PowerBook Medic with clear instructions to replace the screen instead of dumping the whole Kindle. 

It struck me that Instructables had no such guide so I set out to make a step-by-setp for other people with the same problem. I ended up learning an important lesson in the process. 

Step 1: Order a New Screen

Picture of Order a New Screen

Where can I get a new screen? What will it cost?

I found no e-ink screens for  less than $50. After some careful perusing, I ordered my new e-Ink screen from eBay and it arrived from the kind people of Shenzen in about 2 weeks.

Fifty dollars was worth it to me considering the price of a new Kindle and my desire to fix rather than trash. Everyone will have to evaluate this for themselves because as you will see, the repair process is not for the faint of heart. 

Step 2: Tools Required

Picture of Tools Required

-Set of Electronic Screw Drivers, both flat head and Phillips          
(I highly recommend the Stanley set I use which have spinning tops, magnetic tips, and come with a sturdy case)

-Soft Plastic Pry Tool aka Spudger          

Step 3: Begin Disassembly: Pry Off Rear Cover

Picture of Begin Disassembly: Pry Off Rear Cover

When  you have your new screen I hope you will refer to this instructable for help. 

I would also recommend watching the YouTube video made by the PowerBookMedic group which can be found here:

STEP 1: Pry off the plastic rear cover. Best tool for this is a flat head electronic screw driver because the cover fits very tightly in the back of the Kindle; This step requires a surprising amount of force but be courageous because you are not in danger of damaging anything....yet. 

Step 4: Remove Battery

Picture of Remove Battery

STEP 2: You will immediately see the large black battery which has "" labeled on it along with the other disclaimers. This is the first component to remove which is held in place by 2 Phillips screws at the top left. 

Step 5: Disconnect 4 Cables and Wires

Picture of Disconnect 4 Cables and Wires

STEP 3: Disconnect 4 cables and wires that originate from the screen and keyboard and are plugged into the logic board. I have labeled them in the picture with red circles. Also remove the red and black speaker wire with white socket which easily unclips. 

Some are held in place with a brown lock bar. The lock bar can be released with the flat head screw driver but is sometimes easiest done with your finger! 

Each cable will simply slide out of the socket they are plugged into with a little help. 

Step 6: Remove Grounding Mechanism & 3G Card

Picture of Remove Grounding Mechanism & 3G Card

STEP 4:  Remove the 2 screws that hold the small ground piece down and then remove the 2 screws that hold the silver 3G card down. Next, unclip the black cable which is plugged into the 3G card. These are all circled in red in the image. 

Step 7: Undo Screws Holding Logic Board

Picture of Undo Screws Holding Logic Board

STEP 5:  Begin by removing this black component with 4 screws on the corners. Next, look for approximately 12 screws holding the Logic Board to the Mid Board. You will be sure you have removed all of them only when you can lift the Logic Board off. This takes some trial-and-error and some prying. 

Step 8: Remove Midboard

Picture of Remove Midboard

STEP 6: Now that the Logic Board is out, the Mid board is exposed and can be removed. This also required some patience and experimentation but can be removed with the (black) speaker module still attached. 

The keyboard will likely fall out at this step. 

Please pay attention to the rocker knobs for the On/Off switch as well as the Volume because they are not permanently attached and can simply fall out without being noticed! See picture. 

Step 9: Replace the Screen!

Picture of Replace the Screen!

STEP 7: Congratulations you've taken the Kindle totally apart and you're ready to replace the broken screen with a new one. 

You MUST be very careful during this step because the e-Ink screens are surprisingly delicate. The back of the screen is made from a very very thin piece of glass and any torque or torsion will crack it. Normally the case of the Kindle will prevent this kind of damage but when it is out as a separate piece it is extremely vulnerable. Actually the first time I did this procedure, I broke it !! 

Step 10: Reassemble

Picture of Reassemble

Now that you have replaced the screen, you must do the whole ordeal backwards which will be much easier. 

A few things to keep in mind:
 Don't forget the Keyboard
    Don't forget the Volume rocker
     Don't forget the On/Off slide switch

When you put the midboard back onto the screen, BE CAREFUL, please be delicate or it could crack the screen, I can't emphasize this enough or the whole repair will be botched. 

Before you screw down the midboard, make sure the Cables are sticking up and clear of their respective holes in the midboard or you won't be able to connect them later. 
The lock bars can be replaced onto each of the cables 

This is my first Instructable so thank you for reading, hope it can help someone, and look forward to any feedback. 


MillieMole (author)2017-05-05

huge thanks, with the help of your guide, I have replaced my kindle screen and now have a working kindle again :-)

LisaB277 (author)2016-06-07

I replaced my screen with no problems, but now my keyboard controls aren't working! Any suggestions?

screwright (author)2016-02-23

I followed the instructions to the letter, but now my kindle won't turn on at all. It is not recognized by my computer when plugged in with a cable. The switch shows an orange light light when plugged in, but it goes out when unplugged. Total failure

Belfrey (author)screwright2016-06-06

It it has been completely discharged for a long time, you need to let your battery charge for quite a while before the system will turn on. It took an hour or so of charging before mine would start up (after being unused for years due to the broken screen).

Belfrey (author)screwright2016-06-06

It it has been completely discharged for a long time, you need to let your battery charge for quite a while before the system will turn on. It took an hour or so of charging before mine would start up (after being unused for years due to the broken screen).

EesaA1 (author)screwright2016-03-29

Same thing happened to me. I let it charge and then did a hard restart and it said the battery was dead and shut itself down. So I let it charge overnight and did another hard restart and now it works.

JoeF110 (author)2016-05-17

I think I also have a faulty mainboard. Is there any way to recover the memory if I replace the mainboard too or is it lost?

AlysiaG (author)2015-08-02

While the instructions were seemingly clear, a little more clarification on the removal of the cables would have been useful: I broke one of the connections to the circuitboard on one of the tinier cables and now the Kindle's useless.

conundrum2142 (author)AlysiaG2016-04-29

Which one?

BenoitB8 made it! (author)2016-03-30

Thanks for your help! Old Kindle is now back in service, almost feels like new.

Victor Inox (author)2015-01-12

can i use the screen from a working kindle 3 wifi to replace the broken one of my kindle 3 3g or might there be issues? Anyone knows if they are exactly the same?

EesaA1 (author)Victor Inox2016-03-29

I did. It works

Bungy.heart (author)Victor Inox2015-01-30

It appears that you should be able to, Victor, but be careful removing the good screen. I was in the process of doing this, but couldn't get one of the screws holding in the logic board; I pressed too hard and the good screen cracked. *sigh*

Victor Inox (author)Bungy.heart2015-01-30

I already exchanged a kindle 3 wifi screen into my kindle 3 3g. It worked fine. Thanks for your answer!

Obscureed (author)2016-03-21

Good instructions and pictures - thanks. But BrendanF4 makes an important point: no need to separate the two boards. In fact, the only connection you need to unplug is the easy one: bottom left in the first image in step 5. This flips right up, easily. Don't mess with the others, which don't seem designed to unhook without damage. You can leave the speaker cable and the 3G slab as well, and move on to the screws. Also, don't forget (as I did) to check the screen for protective plastic film.

slc12312 (author)Obscureed2016-03-25

Just accidentally broke my Kindle today. So if take your and BrendanF4 comments to heart, I should only have to unplug the screen, the keyboard, and remove the screws that hold BOTH the circuit board and mid board to the Kindle body? I do not have to remove the screws that hold the two together? Looks fairly easy, either way. The replacement screen comes from China for a little less than $20. At least that is what is says where I'm at (Thailand).

GaryH8 (author)2016-03-08

The Fire 7 inch sells for 29 to49 bucks. Unless you want a big one these are easier than replacing a screen. I bought the 7 HDX and 1 year later toast. $300 gone. Now I just go for the 7 HD not much difference in my my opinion. Drop the Amazon software and go Cyan Gen Mod. Reads like a droid now and I get both Amazon and Google Apps.

himeg1 made it! (author)2016-02-26

Thank you. I just fixed my kindle keyboard yesterday after receiving the replacement screen by following exactly as you said and now I can used my kindle again. Your step by step instruction is very helpful,

RayW10 (author)2016-01-31

Excellent and clear instructions from someone who has obviously done it :-)

sdigioia (author)2015-09-06

Thanks, you're instructions were great. My Kindle 3 does not have 3G so it looked slightly different inside. I used another Kindle 3 that I bought on eBay to replace this Kindle. It was supposed to be in "great" condition. However the text to speech didn't work and after a few weeks it quit turning on altogether. I had looked on line for screen replacements and they were, as you said, around $50. I figured that I had nothing to lose, so I used the screen from the eBay purchase. Works great now. I really appreciate the circles around the screw and cable connections. It made it easy to find all the screws and get them all back in place.

Juan C.S (author)2015-08-29

Thank you! I fixed my kindle with your guide. I have bought a nook touch when my kindle got broken but I never really came to like the nook as much.

JoeJ18 (author)2015-08-06

A fantastic guide. I've successfully merged 2 faulty Kindles (1 with a cracked screen) into one working unit.

BrendanF4 (author)2015-07-17

Thanks, great pictures, and a lot of fun to take apart. I discovered through laziness that I didn't have to remove the logic board from the midboard. This means you could skip steps 4, 5, and 6 -- except removing the cables for the screen and the keyboard -- and once you take out all the screws in step 7, the logic and mid boards come out together.

MarieT88 (author)2015-07-14

Is there a web sight i can order a new screen

bidalah (author)2015-05-06

This was a great father-son project. Many thanks!

kreeekeer made it! (author)2015-03-17

Thanks! It really helps me to fix mine + it's amazingly easy to walk through the steps!.

karen.carlow.9 (author)2015-02-20

Brilliant! Thank you so much. I was suffering without my kindle!

default_character (author)2014-11-13

Thank you so much! This was a great help, more so than the Youtube video out there (the two I checked out). I think my Kindle had more screws or something... to help figure out if I put all of the screws back right, I took a pic of the board after I removed the battery (using my phone) before I did anything. That helped a lot when I had to reassemble; I also replaced the battery as one of the reviewers on Amazon suggested. ANYWAY, thanks so much for the clear instructions; my Kindle started up immediately with no issues (I was really surprised!!!).

BTW, I wished I would have known that I could even replace the screen before I replaced my entire Kindle a few months ago with the new "paperwhite" (which I think is inferior to the keyboard model!).

mousegan (author)2013-10-28

hey thanks for the great instructions... I have changed my screen successfully with your tips but I encounter another issue which my kindle keyboard now couldn't display figures, pictures and symbols clearly, meaninng they all fade out. Howerver all the text characters are perfectly ok. Can you advise me?

grunthaner (author)mousegan2014-11-08

I have the same problem and found an amazing solution on the Kindle Developer Forum, I'll be trying this out when I pick up my old screen from work. If you still have your old screen you can do a swap to access the eprom chip on the ribbon cable of the old broken screen and loading the good waveform that resides there. The full instructions are located on the link below under the post from tccsargent, although I do not fully understand why the good waveform is only on the old screen eeprom and not the new eeprom (chip on the ribbon of your kindle screen). My guess is inferior parts from other countries that did not fully do all their homework and add this code to their eeproms. I could be wrong but I would like to hear from others regarding this assumption.

See pg 1 post from tccsargent for full details.

kioleanu (author)mousegan2014-02-21

I was able to fix this problem after replacing my screen following the instructions from here:

As far as the guy says, you have about 90% chances of succeeding.

What seems to happen is that the kindle needs to get the waveform from the screen, but the new screen doesn't provide the necessary output. Before trying this, I contacted the seller I got the screen from and he asked to send it back so he can "upgrade the wf file"

filipspää (author)mousegan2013-12-17

I have the same problem.

Interestingly enough as I change pages and the page is being redrawn I can for a fraction of a second see the picture/figure perfectly. But once the page is finally finished the image looks unclear i.e. many shades of grey are missing from the picture. The same is true for the Kindle 3 screen saver picture (it looks perfect as it is being drawn but the finished page is missing a lot of pixels just like in mousegan's picture).

Either my replacement display isn't totally compatible with my Kindle 3 after all... or perhaps I didn't properly reconnect all the parts of the Kindle during reassembly...

Killler07 (author)mousegan2013-10-31

I have the exactly same problem after replacing my screen :(
Does anyone have a hint?
I only found this forum thread:
Unfortunately it's not too helpful.

Phil B (author)2014-11-05

The back may come of some Kindles a little differently. I have a Touch and the bottom half of the back pulls upward from the Kindle, but then the top half slides toward the bottom. I had watched a video of this once, but then my Kindle took an accidental bath in some water. In my hurry to prevent damage to circuitry due to the water and the battery, I forgot the sliding part and pulled the whole back from the Kindle. That did damage to one of the catches, but my Kindle has a simple case on it and the damage does not really matter.

110Toby (author)2014-10-27

Thanks :) much simpler than fumbling around on my own :)

ryan.daniel.fretz (author)2014-10-01

Just finished the replacement! Thank you so much. A great walkthrough!

TakA1 (author)2014-08-31

Very well written instructions, thanks! I followed the instructions and was able to replace the screen of my Kindle (w/ keyboard). Good write up.

Note that the screen is glued on to the front bezel. It is likely to break the old screen while removing it.

Also, there is something either magnetic or static about the screen. Screws tend to attach to the new screen is exposed. Just watch out before installing the new screen.

boris.lebedinskiy (author)2014-08-19

I am going to give everyone some helpful advice, If you are a prime member contact support and say your kindle is broken and you did not break it yourself. They might try to charge you, they tried me then i said I spent thousands here blah blah and got a brand new kindle paper white. Before i got a brand new kindle keyboard doing this too. No calling just chat online with the kindle team. It works mostly if you purchase alot on amazon and you are a prime member. Try it it works thank me after you have your brand new kindle in 2 days :)

Basically just say it wont turn on even if you broke it they don't even want the old one back please don't abuse this though.

Beef Eater (author)2014-06-24

Extremely helpful! With your guide, it took me half hour to take my Kindle apart and another half hour to put everything back together with the new screen. My Kindle now works as if nothing happened with it!


dherrera18 (author)2014-06-21

I'm not sure what e-ink screen I should get. Can someone help me out a little? Thank you.

bwalters4 (author)2014-05-14

Could not have done it better. Brilliant instructions. Must now repair my own Kindle.

ThaddeusSwarfburnIII (author)2013-08-01

Great stuff! Just replaced mine last night with a screen I found from a seller on aliexpress. Cost US$39 shipped.

Couple of additions, (going by steps labelled on photos)
Step 4: Under my battery screws were two silver cup-shaped spacers that could be easily lost - watch for those.
Step 5: The connector for the screen (the only one that doesn't have a flip-up clamp), pulls straight up - try fingernails or tweezers.
Step 7: One of the screws for the main board is hidden by the screen connector wire in this photo (two inches up from bottom on left edge).
Step 9: The old screen is stuck in lightly with adhesive, just slowly work around it twisting gently (don't need to worry about cracking it, right?).

For those over forty I strongly recommend strong lighting and tweezers for putting screws back where they need to be!

Thanks for great instructable.

Thanks for pointing that out!

I should add my Kindle had sat for a couple of months before this repair. When I first powered it up after the repair (plugged into USB) it didn't work. I was bummed but left it on charge overnight and the next day, hey presto, it worked.

LaForge (author)2014-03-11

Thank you very much for the excellent photos and descriptions. I was able to replace the screen in my 3rd gen Kindle Keyboard for $29 +$11 shipping from China, so I saved a ton thanks to you! You were exactly right in your descriptions of amount force to use when spudging open, etc. descriptions such as you provided are often missing from instructions.
The only possible thing I would add would be, when removing the PCB from the midboard, there are 3 screws not circled in your photo that must also be removed in order to remove the PCB. This isn't something I knew bc I'm some sort of expert, I only noticed them by following your "trial and error" method of prying the PCB up gently, from there it was easy to figure out where the logic board was being held down.

The first screw is one of the smaller screws, on the left side of your photo, obscured by the largest of the 4 cables unplugged in the previous step. The second screw is a larger one just to the right of the connection for the WiFi antennae. The third screw is another smallish one on the midplate on the right side. That being said, I had no problems following your instructions, and I greatly appreciate your expertise. Thanks again.

ohanoko (author)2013-12-16

Thank you so much for this. I just sit on my kindle and broke the screen. I nearly passed out. My question is, will my books be affected? I don't know how this works and I'm worried about my bookmarks.

naxa (author)ohanoko2013-12-28

just plug in the kindle into a computer via usb like you normally do. the broken display should not be a problem for copying all the files. just make sure you are set to show hidden files also. and extensions. i'm not sure about bookmarks but for example highlights are stored in the "documents/My Clippings.txt" file, and notes in *.pdr files in the same folder. But I just back up *everything*, not only documents but *everything*. can be done many ways, here is my method detailed:

I use "total commander" program for this job on windows. on windows 7 it may be a good idea to start it as administrator elevated privileges. if your user is admin, you can do this by ctrl+shift+clicking the total commander icon. and there in menu/configuration/options/display, "file display", "show hidden/system files" should have a tick. (then "ok" it). then I select my kindle with alt+f2 for the other panel. then I go to the top of the kindle's drive - there is a "\" button for this on the far left for the second panel (there is one for each). then I select all files and folders either with mouse-rightclick or by the Insert key, when they are red they are selected. I chose a target folder in the another panel. now I put the cursor-bar into the kindle panel with the files and folders still red (= selected), and press F5 (a "virtual" button is also available for the mouse on the center bottom). this gives me the copy dialog. I copy all my kindle to my hard drive. this allowed me to restore my notes and highlights in the past. I think it will restore bookmarks. when restoring, first try the "document" folder only. and remember that the restered kinlde probably also will need a complete restart, available from kindle's menu / settings / menu again / restart.
hope it helps! (probably a question on would pinpoint which files store the bookmarks. - copying everything is just trying to be better safe than sorry.)

naxa (author)naxa2013-12-28

ps. sorry the "\" icon is on the far *right*. whoops. :) well, after a bit testing maybe you will see your way around anyway, or a calm and caring local IT best friend can lend a hand to be 100% confident.

rmarcelo1 (author)2013-11-21

Hello i have my own problem, where the kindle screen fades away. I didnt use it for about a year. Can someone help me to 'wake up' the kindle? Thanks

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