Pebble Watch Screen Tearing Fix (with lots of pictures!)

I’m a big fan of the original Pebble Watch. Day-to-day it allows me to keep my phone in my pocket while still getting my notifications and controlling my music and its long battery life at around a week negates the fact it doesn’t have fancy graphics. I’ve even coded an app or two for it.

The only annoying thing about the Pebble is the infamous screen tearing issue. I’m on my third Pebble in three years and every single one has succumbed to this intermittent issue within a year:


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Credit to Pebble – they’ve carried out two free replacements for me so far with no arguments. One of those was out of warranty. They didn’t even want the broken one back the second time around. So now I’ve got two Pebbles with the annoying screen tearing issue.

I was sure Pebble would do a fourth replacement if I asked nicely. However, this seemed very wasteful for what could be a simple issue to fix myself. Indeed I’d seen a few forum threads like this one describing how I could go about making a fix myself. Based on these I set about fixing both my Pebbles with only a few tools. Each Pebble took less than three minutes to fix. With a little care you can do the same.

This is my step-by-step guide to fixing the screen tear issue. I’ve included what I didn’t see in any of the guides I read – lots of pictures covering each step.

1) There’s some stuff you’ll need as pictured. Left to tight we have a small flat head screwdriver (I use an electrical screwdriver), a small Torx screwdriver (I used a size T4), an edged plastic tool, some masking/painters tape and some scissors.

The only stuff I had to buy was the Torx screwdriver and the plastic tool. I ordered a really cheap mobile phone repair kit from Amazon (only £3) to get these.


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2) You’ll also need a broken Pebble. Flip it over and you’ll find four small screws, one in each corner. I believe the original KickStarter Pebbles have no screws and are therefore probably glued together so I’m afraid you are on your own if you’re one of the early adopters.


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3) Use the Torx screwdriver to remove all four screws.


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4) Put them somewhere safe as they are tiny and look really easy to lose.


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5) Next is the tricky bit. Take the plastic tool and prise the back cover off. Be very careful here as you don’t want the back cover to come completely off yet (and if it does your Pebble will be completely broken as a result. You’ll see why in the next step). Just break the seal all the way round and lift the back case no more than a few millimetres.


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6) Slowly prise the back cover away from the top and take a look inside your Pebble. Looking at it from the top you’ll find a small, round vibrator on the lower left-hand corner. This is glued to the inside of the back cover and attached by two tiny wires to the main body of the watch. It looks really easy to snap these wires if you pull the back cover away from the watch too far.


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7) Instead use the small flat head screw driver to prise the vibrator off the back case.


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8) Now completely remove the back case. The vibrator will remain connected to the Pebble by its wires when you do this.


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9) Push the vibrator back down into the case. Then take a length of masking tape and fold it over on itself four of five times. Cut the folded tape to be the same width and height as the bottom compartment of the Pebble not including the tall gold section on the left side.


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10) Place the masking tape into position as pictured.


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11) Finally reattach the back case and replace the four tiny screws using the Torx screwdriver.

You should now have a jagged screen free Pebble. It probably isn’t water proof anymore but at least you can read the display.


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20 Comments on “Pebble Watch Screen Tearing Fix (with lots of pictures!)”

  1. Pasan Says:

    That isn’t the battery, thats the vibrator! The battery is the big silver with gold stripe piece.

  2. JJ Says:

    Thanks for the post, this worked a treat for me. 1 week since the fix and I haven’t had a single tearing issue. I used a cut up piece of credit card in mine.

  3. heppenheimer Says:

    Works fine. Thank you so much.

  4. Thank you for the post. Followed your instructions and it did indeed fix the screen tearing issue on my pebble steel

  5. Question: If you’re putting something (here masking tape; elsewhere I’ve seen cardboard or plastic packing materials used) between the vibrator and the case, doesn’t that cut down on the strength of the vibration? Probably a fair trade-off for being able to actually read the screen but I’m just asking’… 🙂

  6. boTy Says:

    Hey, just wanted to thank you! I used a little piece of a plastic gift card, and it seems to work perfectly. You’ve brought back the fun of using and wearing my Pebble!

  7. Coltari Says:

    Cheers mate! This issue has bugged me for a month or so and your guide was the first hit when I googled it! Took me all of five mins to sort and my pebble steel is working beautifully now!

  8. Joe Vaughn Says:

    Anyone tested the waterproof ness after this? Need to do this for my sons watch, but need it to stay waterproof enough for handwashing

  9. Maximiliano Says:

    Impresive!! Very quick fix that works like a charm! I was thinking in leaving my dear Pebble. Now it is on the work again.

  10. Raz Says:

    This works, Awesome!!!

  11. GerZah Says:

    Awesome! 🙂 My Pebble 2 HR broke (corroding buttons, d’oh!), so I got my self a mint-condition Pebble OG 301PK to stay in the Pebble/Rebble ecosystem. (“PK” as in “pink”, there’s your reason why I was able to pick up a brand new one.) The watch was factory sealed when I got it, but it started to show this exact issue only a week after I started using it. However, I was able to rectify the issue within minutes. … I’m convinced that with the seal ring intact and in place, it should be splash-proof enough for going running with it or for walking the dog in the rain. [Sorry for the double post … I’m not sure if the first one was swallowed. Feel free to delete the dupe.]

  12. ilitch64 Says:

    As long as you didn’t lose the O-ring on the back plate it should be splash proof, just tighten the screws evenly in a crossing pattern

  13. KB Says:

    Why does this work and how did you figure it out? I was so surprised at how effective it was! Kudos!

  14. Greg Howell Says:

    Thanks for this – can confirm the method works on a Pebble Steel!

  15. Sergip Says:

    I just have done it !!!
    I killed my first Pebble trying to fix this issue for there was glue instead of screws. Later I got the next version (with screws) hoping that the bug had gone, but it hadn’t. And now I found such a simple fix! I used a piece of bubble pack – cut off four bubbles. And that’s it!
    Thanks a lot!

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