DIY battery swap can bring new life to your old phone

After a few painful years of very cheap android phones, we finally gave my mother-in-law an old iPhone 5 that we were no longer using.

I bought it new in 2012. I handed it down to my wife in 2014, and we handed it down to my mother-in-law last fall.

The phone still has plenty of life left in it, although it will likely stop getting iOS updates when Apple introduces iOS 11 this summer. And it’s plenty fast for phone calls, texting, Facebook and Words with Friends, which is all she needs from a phone.

But in the last month or so, she’s been complaining about the battery not lasting through the day, even with very limited use.

I’ve always wanted to open up an iPhone, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity.

I got online and ordered a battery from The battery, along with all the necessary tools for installation, cost just $19.95.

Lithium-ion batteries can’t be shipped via air, so you need to factor in ground shipping time.

The phone was much easier to open than I expected.

I’m comfortable taking things apart, and I’m Apple-certified in Mac repair, so this was a fun project for me.

The entire operation took about 5 minutes from start to finish, and I’m happy to report my mother-in-law’s phone now runs all day again.

If you’re not technically savvy, you can pay $60 for a place like Batteries + Bulbs to replace the battery for you, which is a pretty good deal.

But I encourage you to try it yourself.



Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at