I am going to put a protective cover on my iPad. What I need to know, is how to put on the cover without air bubbles.

I do not own this photo. Credit- galaugadget

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Things I have already tried:

  • Placing it on slowly

This did not help at all


6 Answers 6


The best way to do it would be in a vacuum, but you probably don't have that. The second best thing is to put it on slowly, and then use a paint roller to squeeze out the bubbles.

You could also use the instructions here:

  1. Take the stock screen protector off the iPhone.
  2. Do not bend the new screen protector.
  3. Put scotch tape nearby.
  4. The screen protector is labeled 1 and 2. The side that has 1 on it will be peeled first.
  5. Side 2 will be peeled after you have laid side 1 on the phone.
  6. Grab a piece of tape.
  7. Use the sticky side of the tape to pick up any dust particles that could cause bubbles under the screen protector.
  8. Make sure to get every bit. Take your time on it.
  9. Once clean, start peeling side 1.
  10. Align the blue lines with the lcd screen of the iPhone. Lay it down slowly and carefully.
  11. Allow it to lay down on its own. Do not use a credit card as it will scratch the screen protector.
  12. There may be a few air bubbles. Don't worry though!
  13. You can smooth out the bigger bubbles with your fingers.
  14. Don't peel side 2 yet. Use a piece of tape to re-align the screen protector in case it didn't get placed right the first time.
  15. Keep aligning it until you get it right.
  16. Once it is laid down, remove the piece of tape.
  17. Now, peel side 2.
  18. You will probably see a few bubbles here and there.
  19. Take a cleaning cloth and slowly push them to the edge of the phone.
  20. If any dust particles are visible under the protector, use a piece of tape to lift the screen protector and take another one to grab the piece of dust that got stuck.
  21. Work the last few bubbles out...
  22. Check it under a light.
  23. You're done!
  • I have never had a credit card scratch a screen protector... If you're doing it correctly it should be perfectly fine, with the added benefit of squeezing out air bubbles as you go. Air bubbles are not always caused by solely trapped air. A tiny piece of dust under the protector can cause a bubble to stay which will not be able to be fixed with a paint roller. Which is why the environment/equipment need to be spotless. May 4, 2016 at 16:11

The best would be to use tempered glass screen protector instead, so you won't get much air bubbles. You can also use liquid screen protector which is basically a super ultra-thin silicone dioxide surface coating.

Whatever you've one or not, here are few steps how to do it:

  1. Use a dust-free environment.

    • For example in the kitchen under extractor/exhaust fan.
    • Wash your hands thoroughly.
    • You may cover your face (e.g. hygienic mask).
  2. Clean and dry your screen with thoroughly with the alcohol pad and microfiber cloth before beginning installation to remove any dust, dirt or lint.

    • Use wipes or cleaning cloth to remove the excess dirt. First use the wet one (alcohol based), secondly use the dry one.
    • You can use dust absorption sticker to clean the screen again if it's still not clean enough.
  3. Gently peel off the protective layer on the adhesive side, carefully align it correctly with the screen, speaker grill and holes, then lay down the screen protector gracefully and slowly begin the application process starting from one side (slightly pressing the centre) and spread to over all smoothly by pressing on it. This will allow adhesive properties to stick onto your screen.

    • Don't touch the sticky side.
    • Some protective screens have liquid included, so it can be used before applying the screen protector.
    • For squeezing you may use a squeegee card.
  4. Finish by using a squeegee card to get rid any additional bubbles.


The easiest way is to leave the protective film on the back of the screen protector and place it over the top of the screen. Then slowly peel the back of the film off on one edge and carefully align it to your device and stick it on. Slowly peel the film off from underneath and work out the air bubbles if any appear. That way you won't have to lift off the protector to reposition it, and you will have a minimal amount of air bubbles.


The cheapest/easiest/fastest way to do this is with Windex. I own a tech company - we install thousands of them..

  1. wipe the ipad down clean (and by clean, I mean, clean it, then turn it off, hold it to a light at an angle so you can see the reflection, and slowly inspect every square millimeter)...

  2. step back 24-36" away from it, spray it 1x with windex. I recommend "wasting" a few shots to make sure your windex is spraying very evenly and not 'squirting'...

  3. apply the cover, curling it and applying from the middle out, or curling it up and working across from one side to the other.

  4. generally you can slide it around for a few seconds to get it right.

  5. 'roll' out the excess moisture. windex is alcohol-based, and will simply evaporate after a few minutes...

  • I tried a Zagg screen protector that was a "wet" application and I was skeptical. But after putting it on, and waiting the 48 hours like they said, that is the ONLY screen protector that I didn't have 1 single air bubble. I used one on my next phone and planned on it for my third, but it came with the thin glass with the case you sat your phone inside to apply the glass screen cover. Wet application really is the best method IMO and so easy. Jun 17, 2016 at 16:03

If you haven't yet removed the stock screen protector, you could try cutting off any protruding tabs and wiping off any logos and the like with tissue and a few drops of paint thinner. Saves you money and the hassle of putting on a new screen protector.

If it is too late for that, or you need to swap screen protectors, or the stock screen protector is unusable, the following has usually worked well for me:

  1. Make sure the screen is clean. The best time to put on the screen protector is immediately after removing the old/stock screen protector. Else/additionally, wipe the screen with a lint-free cloth.
  2. Make sure you're in a low-dust environment.
  3. Apply the new screen protector. Start in one corner, then work your way from there slowly in one direction. Do not "slap" it on – this is what will get you air enclosures. You can use a credit card to put it on – if you don't press too hard, you should not have any issues with scratches.

As you put it on, "wipe" back and forth with a soft, blunt instrument to push out air bubbles before they get trapped in. A wooden chopstick can work pretty well.

Another possibility, however, is to eschew screen protectors entirely - modern device displays are glass, which doesn't scratch very easily at all (being anywhere from 5.5 to 7 on Moh's hardness scale depending on the particular formation), so unless you frequently have your iPad rattling around in a bag with diamonds and corundum you probably aren't actually at any risk of damaging your screen. In any case, anything that can scratch glass would easily rend whatever protector is on top of it, and would then scratch the glass anyway.

Obviously this doesn't apply to older devices with resistive, plastic screens, but screen protectors were invented for that day and age and are basically obsolete today (despite the protectors' manufacturers' marketing otherwise) and also generally make modern capacitive screens harder to use and far less responsive.

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