If the battery in your iPhone 5c just isn't what it used to be, it may be time for a new battery. If you aren't under warranty for some reason or you didn't opt for AppleCare, a battery replacement is one of the easier DIY repairs where the iPhone 5c is concerned. Not only can we walk you through every step of the way, we can link you to quality parts and tools we've tested and used ourselves.
What you need to replace your iPhone 5c's battery
You'll need some tools and parts in order to repair your iPhone 5c. If you're in the United States or Canada, we highly recommend checking out eTech Parts as we've had lots of good experiences with them and know their customer service is out of this world. All the links below will route you to the direct item you need on eTech's site.
iSesamo Opening tool (not necessary but awesome for prying up cables and getting under adhesive) - Buy Now
1. Power off your iPhone 5c
Before performing any repair on any iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch you should always remember to power it off. Simply hold down on the Power button until you see Slide to Power off. One you're sure your iPhone is turned off, proceed to the next section.
2. Remove the two security screws on both sides of the dock connector
There are two security screws that secure the screen to the frame and they sit on each side of the dock connector. Use your 5-point security screwdriver to remove them. They are both the same size so it's okay if you mix them up.
3. Remove the display assembly
Place your suction cup slightly above the Home button assembly and secure it to the screen.
Holding the iPhone in place with one hand, gently pull upwards on the suction cup until you free the bottom of the screen. You should now be able to use your fingers to slowly raise up the screen and expose where the front assembly is connected to the logic board.
Remove the four screws holding down the shield that covers the display cables. To do this, use your #000 screwdriver. These screws are different sizes so make sure you keep them organized in a way you can remember for re-assembly.
Once all four screws are removed, carefully remove the shield and set it aside.
Now use your spudger tool in order to remove the three cables shown in the image below.
The display assembly should now be free from the body of the phone. Go ahead and set the display assembly aside.
4. Replace the battery
Remove the two screws holding down the battery cable using your #000 Phillips screwdriver.
Gently lift the battery shield out of your iPhone 5c and carefully set it aside.
Use your spudger tool to carefully pry up the battery cable.
Along the bottom of the battery above the dock, there is an adhesive tab. Use the pointed end of your spudger tool to unfold it.
Pull on the tab at both sides just enough to where you can use scissors to put a cut in the center.
Starting on the left side of the iPhone 5c battery, carefully start pulling the adhesive. It should start coming loose from underneath the battery. You'll hear a creaking/cracking noise. This is normal and is just the adhesive pulling up from the casing.
Slowly and carefully pull sideways and along the left hand side of the battery. Take care not to tear any components. At the same time, don't pull too quickly or the adhesive tab will tear, making it hard to get the rest of it out.
Perform the same action along the right side of the iPhone 5c battery. Take tremendous care not to snag cables or the logic board. Pull away from the logic board.
Keep a finger or two over the battery as it may come with the adhesive when you're done removing it.
Once both sides of the adhesive strip are removed, simply lift the old battery out of your iPhone 5c.
Your new replacement battery should have adhesive pre-installed on the back of the battery. If it doesn't, use two strips of double-sided tape that are a little shorter than the length of the battery. This will work just fine.
Place the new battery in your iPhone 5c.
Replace the battery cable on the logic board.
Replace the battery shield and the two screws you removed earlier.
5. Re-connect the display assembly
Carefully reconnect the three cables running from the display assembly to the logic board.
Reposition the metal shield that sits over the three cables and replace the four screws that hold it in place, remembering where each one came from — they are all different sizes.
Line up the top of the screen carefully and make note of the teeth that line up to the top of your iPhone 5c's frame. Once the top of the display is lined up, carefully snap down the remainder by moving your fingers along the edge.
6. Replace the security screws on each side of the dock connector
Once you are confident that the display is seated correctly again, use your security screwdriver in order to replace the two screws on either side of the dock connector.
7. Test the new battery
It's now safe to turn your iPhone 5c back on. If all went well, you should see an Apple logo. Once your iPhone finishes booting up, make sure you check the following functions to test the new battery:
Fully charge your iPhone 5c and make sure it doesn't get any warmer than usual, as that could be a sign of a defective battery
Monitor usage over the first few days with the replacement battery to make sure your battery life has improved
If all of the above checked out okay, you're good to go!