Whether it's a laptop that won't turn on or a smartphone with a cracked screen, having your electronics break down can be a real pain. The good news is that you can often fix many common electronics problems using simple tools and supplies you probably already have around the house. With a little bit of troubleshooting and DIY repair work, you can save yourself a trip to the repair shop and get your gadgets working again in no time.

Gather Your Toolkit

The first step in fixing your electronics yourself is to gather together a toolkit with the basic supplies you'll need. Here are some must-have items for your DIY electronics repair kit:


You'll want both small and medium Phillips head and flat head screwdrivers. You'll use these for taking apart electronics cases and working with small screws. Make sure to have a few different sizes.


A good pair of sharp, anti-static tweezers will help you handle and manipulate small parts. Tweezers are essential for precision work.


A small LED flashlight or headlamp will help you see inside dark electronics cases and provide directed light where you need it most.

Magnifying glass

Examining small electronic components often requires magnification. A magnifying glass or eye loupe allows you to inspect wires, solder points, etc. in fine detail.

Soldering iron

For electronics repairs involving soldering, you'll need a soldering iron and some rosin core solder. Make sure to get solder meant for electronics, not plumbing.

Wire cutters/strippers

Wire cutters snip wires and cable ties, while wire strippers remove insulation from wires. Combination tools exist that serve both functions.


A digital multimeter measures electrical values like voltage and resistance. It's useful for diagnosing electronics issues.

Clean and Inspect

Once you've gathered your supplies, open up the device and inspect both the interior and exterior. Carefully look over circuit boards, connectors, buttons, screens, etc. for any signs of damage or wear. Use your magnifying glass for a close look.

Check for problems like:

Use a canned air duster to gently blow out any dust and debris. Cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol can be used to clean corrosion on contacts. Fix any obvious issues before moving on.

Troubleshoot and Test

Now it's time to start testing and troubleshooting to pinpoint the issue.

As you troubleshoot, take notes on your findings. Methodically narrow down where the failure is occurring until you identify the faulty component or connection.

Make Repairs

Once you've figured out what's wrong, it's time to make the necessary repairs. Here are some common DIY fixes:

Resolder joints

Reheat and resolder any cracked solder joints on circuit boards using flux and your soldering iron. This fixes faulty connections.

Bypass components

If a specific component like a resistor or transistor is damaged, you can often bypass it by soldering in jumper wires. This creates a working connection without the component.

Replace buttons and connectors

Faulty ports, card readers, power buttons, etc. can be replaced with new compatible parts. Desolder the old part and solder in the new one.

Insulate bare wires

Frayed wires that are shorting out can be insulated again using heat shrink tubing slid over the wire and heated with a hair dryer to shrink it tight.

Clean dirty contacts

Use cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol to scrub and clean dirty electrical contacts that are causing connection issues. Let fully dry before reassembling.

Test Repaired Device

Once your repairs are complete, reassemble the device and power it back on. Thoroughly test it to make sure the issue is now fixed. For example, check Wi-Fi, audio, charging port, etc. Make sure all functions work properly now. You may need to go back and recheck repairs if issues persist. With patience, you can often get your gadgets working again without professional help.

When to Seek Repair Shop Help

While many electronics issues can be DIY repaired at home, more complex problems should be tackled by a professional technician. Seek out a repair shop for issues like:

Leaving tricky repairs to the pros avoids further damaging your devices when doing DIY repairs. For straightforward fixes though, you can often breathe new life into your gadgets with just a little work using everyday household items. With the right tools and a methodical troubleshooting approach, you can save money and extend the life of your electronics by making repairs yourself. Just be sure to take your time and exercise patience when attempting DIY fixes.