Restore your charge
If your phone won’t charge when plugged in, the cord might not be the problem. The charging port often accumulates lint and debris from your pockets and bags, which can block the connecting pins, causing it to charge more slowly or not at all. Fortunately, there’s a low-tech solution. “You can use a safety pin and run it around the inside of the port on your phone to clear it out,” recommends Shayne Sherman, CEO of TechLoris. “If your phone isn’t charging, give this a try before buying a new cord.” You can also use a flat toothpick to remove anything that’s blocking the pins that connect to the charging cable.
Clean up fuzzy noise
Turned off by inferior sound when you plug speakers into your headphone jack? Just like with your charging port, dirt or debris can cause your device to stop turning on or prevent you from hearing your phone calls, says Liz Hamilton, director of People and Customers at Mobile Klinik, a mobile phone repair business. “Cleaning out your ports can be done carefully with a few quick blasts of compressed air to the area, or even with a cotton bud (remove some of the cotton if you have to get it to fit) and use a high alcohol content cleaner to wipe out the area,” Hamilton says.
Replace a shattered screen
This one is only for the DIY-confident. “If you’re tech-savvy and willing to risk your expensive device that has many fragile and tiny parts, you can probably fix a screen yourself,” Hamilton says. But you’ll need the right tools for this smartphone repair job, she adds.
And it’s easier to replace the screen on some devices than others. For iPhones, for example, iFixit.com recommends applying some heat to soften the adhesive, keeping the screen on, and using opening picks to slice the adhesive apart in order to carefully pry the screen off. That said, replacing a cracked screen is more involved on Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy series, says Craig Lloyd of iFixit. For example, you’ll need to take the back glass panel off first, which adds steps and complexity to the repair. You’ll probably need to invest in a new case, too.