I have a laptop with a broken hinge. The broken hinge is cracked and exhibits no friction whatsoever when opening/closing the lid.

For now, the remaining hinge holds the screen in place. My concern is that this will stop working, allowing the screen to fall and crack.

Using only household items, how can I prop up the screen?

  • 2
    Good work for specifying "using household items".
    – hairboat
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 21:33
  • @abbyhairboat, what is considered the definition of household items? Is my answer considered wrong? Is this something we should discuss on the Meta? Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 21:34
  • @KingShimkus I could see how those tools would be household items for some.
    – hairboat
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 21:35
  • @KingShimkus good point, i wouldn't consider a cnc mill or a drill press a household item but others might. Do we have access to a meta yet? I couldn't find it.
    – liebs19
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 21:37
  • 4
    @liebs19 meta.lifehacks.stackexchange.com
    – Bobo
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 21:37

9 Answers 9


The simplest way would be to put something enough heavy behind the laptop screen to make it lean on it.

  • You may have to put something in front of the laptop if it is likely to slide forward. Or put something under to prevent it slipping. A mat to prevent slipping under both laptop and the heavy item behind the screen would be working well.
    – Willeke
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 14:26

I like large binder clips for problems like this. Clip the black part to the edge of the lid, and adjust the silver "ears" so that they prop up the screen. If the ears aren't long enough, use something like a thick book behind the laptop for the ears to lean on.

Binder clips


you could make a hinge much like you find on a photo frame although this would have to be attached to the lid of the laptop and would look unsightly.

if that wouldn't be a problem then all you would need is a stiff piece of card cut into a triangle, and something to attach it eg. duct tape if attached with a couple of millimetres between the lid and card it would fold to the side quite nicely


Use some duct tape and some rubber bands. If you use just the right size, it will apply just enough friction to prop the screen up. If it will simply fall, glue or tape a small metal bar to the back, so it will stop falling if it reaches the case (the part with the CPU, etc).


Try setting it up against a wall. That way, the screen won't tilt backwards.


Get a piece of styrofoam packing (which I suppose counts as ordinary household stuff, no?) Carve it into an angled shape with a recess that holds the screen in a press fit.


I had a similar problem which I initially tried fixing with black electrical tape. However, the tape kept coming undone and the problem got worse. Finally, in frustration, I used superglue. To my surprise and delight, this fixed the problem!


Does Lego count as a household item? I'd build something from Lego to keep the screen in place. With a few Technic beams and pins you can build a support that fits around the laptop, holding the screen at pretty much any angle you want, without risk of slipping away from the laptop and dropping the screen.


Both of my hinges have broken. I am about to order replacements. For a temp fix, I have: black duct tape from the top left of the screen to the surface of my laptop's supporting table (or to anything that it will stick to, behind it), and tape from the top right of the screen to the front right of the base of the laptop. These opposing tapes keep it fixed upright (again, this is temp), and they do not block the screen, although it is awkward getting to the numeric keypad on the right. You will probably want to test the angle you need before affixing the two tape strips.

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