I wrote battery replacement guide for the iPhone 6 which seems to have helped members of this community so I figured I'd write a guide for the iPhone 5S (the iPhone 5C is almost identical) as well.
The iPhone 5S and 5C are a bit more difficult to open up than the iPhone 6 as the back assembly is holding onto the front assembly much harder, but after this part, the battery replacement is pretty much identical.
Apple charges around $80 to replace the battery and it takes several hours, plus you have to drive to their store. The highest rated battery kit I could find on Amazon ( iPhone 5S battery with tools or iPhone 5S battery without tools) cost $25 with free shipping (Prime) and it's from a brand I've used several times before. The choice was obvious to me, plus I like to fiddle around with phones :-).
I'll copy & paste the same tool list and warnings as I wrote in the iPhone 6 guide: You will need the following tools (all of these are included in the kit):
- Phillips PH00 screwdriver (for internal screws)
- Pentalobe screwdriver (for the two bottom screws)
- Suction cup
- Plastic opening tool (also called spudger)
- Battery (an iPhone 5S/5C battery does NOT fit the iPhone 5, or vice versa)
- Battery adhesive (regular tape can be used as substitute)
Before I begin I want to say that almost all screws inside the iPhone 5S are of different lengths. It's extremely important that each screw is put back into its correct place. If you mix up screws, it's better to proceed with the battery replacement without them. If you put the wrong screw in the wrong hole, it can damage the phone's logic board!
Step 1: Step 1 - Remove Bottom Screws & Separate Front From Back Assembly
Remove the pentalobe/5-star two bottom screws next to the charging port. Proceed by separating the front from the back assembly. This part is quite tricky and sometimes the front assembly can be held very firmly by the back assembly.
Try to carefully pull the front upwards with a suction cup until there's a tiny hole. If the front assembly won't come loose, try to stick the tweezers between the metal back assembly and the plastic frame of the front assembly. This will help loosen the front. Once you have a tiny opening, stick the spudger or a plastic tool in there.
Step 2: Step 2 - Disconnect the Home Button and Lift the Front Assembly
Once a tiny gap has been created and you have wedged in a plastic tool, move the plastic tool along the sides of the phone to fully separate the front from the back. The front is held in place by hatches along both sides and you might need to wiggle the tool to fully separate the front. Be careful! Do not lift the front assembly more than an inch (2 cm). The home button on the front assembly is connected to the logic board at the bottom of the phone. This connector needs to be disconnected before the front can be lifted fully.
Locate the connector (sometimes there's a metallic cover on top of it which can be removed with the tweezers) and disconnect it with a plastic tool. The connector is tiny and fragile, be careful! If the connector is broken, the home button and touch ID will no longer work. A new home button will fix the home button itself, but not the touch ID.
Step 3: Step 3 - Lift the Front Assembly & Disconnect the Battery
Lift the front assembly to a 90 degree angle (no more or the cables on the top right side of the phone can tear!) and unscrew the two screws holding the battery metal plate. Remove the metal place and disconnect the battery connector with a plastic tool. The connector pops up easily, be gentle.
Step 4: Step 4 - Disconnect the Front Assembly
It's not necessary to remove the front assembly completely, but most people find this way the easiest. You can leave the front assembly as it is, but someone must hold it or it needs to be leaned against something heavy. If you do not remove the front assembly, make sure the cables in the top right corner of the phone do not tear!
Unscrew the metal plate in the top right corner. It's held in place by four screws. Make sure to organize the screws as they need to go back in the same holes! Once the metal plate and screws are removed, proceed by disconnecting the three connectors (touch, LCD and front camera/proximity sensor) in the top right side of the phone. Once again, these connectors are delicate.
Step 5: Step 5 - Remove the Battery
There are two tabs at the bottom of the battery. These tabs are the final part of the two adhesive strips that run underneath the battery. The easiest way to remove the battery is by pulling these two tabs. However, both the tabs and the adhesive can easily tear - which it did in my case. This is very common and I would say that most people tear their adhesive when trying to remove it. So. If the adhesive tears, proceed by levering out the battery from its LEFT side - NOT against the logic board!
Use a sturdy tool, the metal tweezers for example, for this job. Keep levering and prying the battery from different angles and positions on its left side. Beware of the volume buttons and their cable. To not lever right next to the volume buttons! If the battery is really stuck, try to use a heat gun or hair dryer (on low heat) and carefully heat the back side of the phone. This will soften the adhesive and the battery can be pried out easier.
Step 6: Step 6 - Place the New Battery Into the Phone
If you have a new set of adhesive, remove the old leftover adhesive and put new adhesive in its place. Place the battery on top of the adhesive and guide its cable along the side of the battery. Do not connect the battery to the logic board just yet.
Step 7: Step 7 - Connect the Front Assembly & Put Back the Metal Plate
Place the top of the front assembly next to the top of the back assembly. Align the connectors from the front assembly with their receiving end on the logic board. When in place, connect the connectors with your fingertips. Make sure a soft "click" is heard, that's when the connectors snap into place. Put back the metal plate covering these connectors and screw it fastened.
If white/semi-transparent bars or lines appear on the LCD after reassembly, the LCD connector has not been reconnected correctly.
Step 8: Step 8 - Connect the Battery & Put Back the Metal Plate
Connect the battery's connector to the logic board. Place the battery's metal plate on top of the connector and screw it fastened.
Step 9: Step 9 - Connect the Home Button & Close the Phone
Make sure the top of the front assembly is adjacent to the top of the back assembly and move them towards each other. When the opening at the bottom is about an inch, connect the home buttons connector. You can do this with your fingertip or a plastic tool. The connector is tiny and can be tricky to connect. Be patient. If your home button or touch ID does not work when you boot up the phone, you have probably not connected this connector correctly.
If you removed a metal cover, put it back now (it's not necessary).
Move the front towards the back assembly and press them together with your fingers. Now you're done!
After a battery replacement, the phone's time and date is rolled back to default. You will need to sync your phone with a wifi-network to automatically adjust the time and date before it finds reception, otherwise it will just say "Searching..." in the top left corner of the screen.
Hope you managed to change your iPhone 5S or 5C battery without any hickups! If you meet any problems, feel free to send me a message and I'll try to answer as soon as I can.