Is Your iPhone 5 Screen Lifting Up and Away?

Due to a problem with my billing address and the popularity of the iPhone 6+, I have to wait another month to get my phone. That isn’t a huge problem in the grand scheme of things, except I have an issue with my iPhone 5 screen lifting! The top side of my screen is literally lifting away from the phone. 

The problem began just about the time I placed the order for the iPhone 6 Plus. I wasn’t sure if my iPhone 5 was angry with me, or if this is a known issue, but through some of our Gear Diary back-channel discussions, I discovered that the same thing was happening to Mitchell’s iPhone 5.

Is this something other owners are seeing at the end of their iPhone 5’s life, or are Mitchell and I just two people who happen to know each other with the same problem?


My iPhone 5 screen lifting issue began from the top left corner and it didn’t occur after any unusual use or because of any drop. I first thought something was wrong with my case and the entire phone was somehow lifting up. Pressing that corner of the screen led to an audio click, and it put the screen back into its proper place; other than the click, there were no ill effects. The problem quickly spread to the top right corner making the entire right side “spongy”. When pressed, it drops down a considerable amount then springs back up. The screen now begins to discolor when pressed, and the touch screen response has begun to have minor problems.


While this is definitely annoying, I am still able to use my phone. While using it at night in a dark room, I can also see light on the left edge of the screen. It seems that the screen has lifted so much that the backlight was now visible through the edge of the screen. That cannot be good!


As you can see, the light shines bright through the edges of the screen and can be pressed down to place it back where it belongs. The newest issue I have found is specks of dirt getting in through the opening and becoming visible under the screen. I first thought the screen was just dirty, but the dirt is definitely under the screen and does not move. You can see the dirt under the screen on the last photo about midway up the left side of the screen.


I have not contacted Apple about this issue since my phone is well past the warranty period and my iPhone 6+ should be arriving before Thanksgiving. Getting into San Antonio to visit an Apple Store is also not in the cards during football season.


What about you? Is anyone else having this strange issue with their iPhone 5 screen lifting?

My fingers are crossed that the phone will last until my 6 Plus comes in, and I am still unhappy about the ridiculous address rules that coupled with the popularity of the iPhone 6 and its general scarcity are part of the reason I’m another month out from phone arrival. If the iPhone 5’s screen eventually falls off — or the problem renders my iPhone 5 useless — then I will have a follow-up post with all of the details.

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About the Author

Travis Ehrlich
Travis is a high school teacher and coach in a small South Texas town. His love for gadgets began at a very early age, and he has been a cross between a jock and a geek for most of his life. He has two boys and a wonderful wife who lets him be a gadget freak. He is a Mac convert and has drank the whole pitcher of Kool-Aid! He is also an avid guitar player and loves the outdoors, especially hunting with both a bow and rifle.

13 Comments on "Is Your iPhone 5 Screen Lifting Up and Away?"

  1. thenikjones | October 7, 2014 at 3:09 pm |

    Not seen this on mine nor my wife’s (both from late September 2012). Then again, neither of us had a crack on the back of our 3GS and I have never, ever heard of anyone breaking a lightning connector in their phone.

    Maybe Gear Diary staff are unlucky with their iPhones?

  2. Maybe we are extra hard on our gear! But I refuse to believe that we are unlucky. 😉

  3. I have been happy with the life of this iPhone 5. Two full years of hard use is pretty good.

  4. I had a similar problem with a 3Gs, the battery was dying, it expanded and popped the screen out. Not sure this is happening to you but I would considered having it repaired ASAP, and meanwhile acting as if it may become very (very) hot.

  5. That is an interesting thought! No heat issue yet, but I will watch it closely.

  6. I had this issue 3 months ago with the iPhone 5. Apple diagnosed it as a “swollen battery” and replaced the phone even though it was out of warranty. The phone was perfect otherwise, never dropped and in use for 18 months (moderate to heavy use).

    It is worth a visit to an apple store to have it looked at

  7. I just purchased an iPhone 5 and have the same problem with the top corner of the screen popping up! I hadn’t noticed when I purchased the other day. Am I totally out of luck or is it possible that I can get a replacement even though I’m not the original owner? Totally bummed!!

  8. Im using iphone 5 yeah lame.. is it to late to go to apple for repair please help me

  9. You should check with Apple. Hopefully they can help.

  10. It’s not a known problem with the iPhone 7; the few times I have seen where it happened, it was due to a “blown battery” that needed replacement, like in this post:

  11. This has happened to me two times on my old and new iPhone 5 i thought its was because of all of the phones were bad but i then realised that it wasn’t because of that its was the iPhone 5’s fault so i panicked. Do you think an iPhone 7 is better?

  12. It’s not a known problem with the iPhone 7; the few times I have seen where it happened, it was due to a “blown battery” that needed replacement, like in this post:

  13. My sister’s phone just started having the same problem that’s why I’m researching to see if anyone else has had this problem… Since there’s no visible damage on the outside of the phone and she denies having an incident the only thing I could think is that the battery may be swelling but I have no idea that’s just a guess anyone know for sure?

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