Why my Nintendo Switch screen scratches?

As far as we are aware there are commonly 2 different cases of Nintendo Switch screen scratches. The first is a commonly known fault, some people call it a design flaw, which is when the scratches appear on the sides of your precious Zelda machine’s touch screen from inserting it inside the dock. Apparently if you aren’t super careful the “rough” surface of dock rails can scratch the plastic touch screen. The second case is much more obvious and it usually happens when you mix your Switch screen with sharper objects.

The reason why your Nintendo Switch scratches so easily is do with touch screen manufacturing technology. Nintendo actually made the digitiser (otherwise known as touchscreen) from plastic, which is good option for longevity considering it is a portable console targeted to humanoids with active lifestyle. However, as always there’s a compromise to be made and it’s scratch resistance. Just to compare iPhone screens are made from hardened glass and they still scratch, so imagine what your handheld will look like few years down the line if it won’t bore you before then…

What to do when your Nintendo Switch screen scratches?

Nintendo Switch Digitiser Replacement

Well, there is no way to perfectly prevent your handheld Mario Kart gateway from scratches and if you’re anything like us you probably don’t want to wrap it half an inch thick rubber cases and install cumbersome screen protectors. Nintendo created the design to be used and abused in it’s most prime form, which is just how we love it!

So, the scratches… They not only compromise the sleekness of Nintendo Switch but can also obstruct that beautiful BOTW scenery and disable parts of screen touch function as well.

Good news is that the screen is replaceable and aftermarket screens started to appear in our European markets. However, the replacement is not as easy as re-installing screen protector and requires special tools and some skill to carry out successfully.

Need to get your Nintendo Switch screen repaired?

Basic steps to carry out Nintendo Switch touch screen replacement

Nintendo Switch Digitiser Replacement

At TFix, we only know how to do things like pros therefore the following guide might not be very helpful to everyone, especially for someone who is trying to save few pounds by doing it himself. We also as always suggest to take serious precautions when it comes to ESD, as you will be handling bare circuit board and exposing it to electrostatic discharge can pretty much kill it completely. So, if you do decide to go for it, it’s at your own risk!

Tools you will require:

  1. Programmable silicone based heating platform
  2. Various plastic screen removal tools
  3. Triwing screwdriver, we used JM-CRV Y0.8
  4. Philips screwdriver, we used PH00
  5. Study black tweezers
  6. Scalpel
  7. 6.5mm double sided tape
  8. Compressed air
  9. Screen cleaning solution
  10. And obviously, new touch screen

Remove all accessories from the Nintendo Switch, so only the console itself remains. Then start removing the screws by starting with 4 x tri-wing screws located on the back of the console using appropriate screwdriver. Remove further middle screw located inside the Joy Con rails using PH00 screwdriver and do the same on other side. Leave outer screws in place, as they not required to be removed when replacing touch screen. 2 more PH00 screws are located on the bottom of the console as well as 1 more screw on the top of the console. Remove them and place into some sort of screw container, to prevent them rolling of the table. The last screw is located just behind the latch, which acts as a kickstand and sd card cover for the console (we love Nintendo ingenuity).

Once all outer casing screws are removed, carefully pry-off the back using picks and set it aside. You should now see a aluminium shielding exposed. This will have to be removed in order to access the touch screen flex cable.

The shield is held down with 7 silver PH00 screws. Remove all of them and disconnect memory card slot PCB, which is connected via FPC connector to the main board. Remove the shield and instantly disconnect the battery to completely shut off the console. This will help to prevent shortages on the main board.

Looking for Nintendo Switch touch screen repair service?

More from the Blog

Nintendo Switch LCD Replacement at TFix Electronic Equipment Repair Centre
Damaged Nintendo Switch charging port repair
Nintendo Switch Touch Screen Digitiser Replacement - Console Repairs
Nintendo Switch Digitiser Replacement
Nintendo Switch Touch Screen Digitiser Replacement - Console Repairs

In order to start removing the screen from the console firstly disconnect touch screen flex cable which is located located next to a rail, which on the opposite side of the battery. The flex cable is connected to a daughter board and is 15.5mm in width.

Place Nintendo Switch face down on the heating platform and set the temperature to 80C with timer to run for 10 minutes, this step is required to make sure the glue between digitiser and the shell softens and screen can be removed for replacement.

Once time passed, the glue is soft and we can start removing the screen. Pickup a corner of the digitiser using screen removal tool. You can use one of the speaker slots to give you a kick start, however ensure you don’t damage the cosmetic condition of the digitiser if you plan to re-use it, for e.g. in case of LCD-only replacement.

Carefully pry-off the digitiser by using levers and picks slowly  cutting through adhesive all around the screen. Take care with screen removing tools and do not slide them too deep to avoid damaging LCD itself. Also make sure you are aware where digitiser’s flex cable is and work around it to avoid damage to it.

Once the glue all around the screen has been peeled off, remove the digitiser completely. Keep in mind the flex cable has to come out via a cut out in the shell.

Nintendo Switch Digitiser Replacement

Once old digitiser is removed, you most likely will have a lot of adhesive left on the shell, where the touch screen sits. Remove all of it as we will be placing new adhesive in there.

Ideally we would use a pre-cut adhesive template, however at the time of writing there simply isn’t any available on the market, so using 6.5mm double side adhesive tape lay the touch screen area with new adhesive. Make sure the new adhesive does not cover the LCD, where it could be seen through digitiser once assembled. Also bear in mind digitiser flex cable location and work around it. Super important; make sure speaker locations are not covered in adhesive.

Prepare new screen and clean the digitiser from any dust particles or smudges. Use lint free wipes, screen cleaner and compressed air.

Remove the film from the inner panel of the new digitiser and feed the the flex cable through a cut out slot in the shell so it comes out to the back of the console.

Place new digitiser in place by firstly tightly aligning the corner next to flex cable and then laying down other 3 in place. Double check for dust, remove the outer protective film and place it on the heating platform for 10 minutes at 80C.

Once platform is cool, remove the console and put it back together following the steps backwards.

So, as you can see it’s pretty complex. Let us do it!

Nintendo Switch Digitiser Replacement
Nintendo Switch Digitiser Replacement