5 tech companies with official self-repair programs


Ah, darn. Your phone, laptop, or tablet is on the fritz. What now?

Depending on which company made it, you might be able to avoid the hassle of dropping it off and paying for repairs. That is, if you’re brave enough to bust that device open and fix it yourself. Over the past couple of years, some tech companies have made it easier to do self-repairs on certain devices. Microsoft, Samsung, Google, and others come to mind. 

Why are these companies doing this? Years of persistence by the “Right to Repair” movement, mostly. Right to Repair activists have pushed laws over the years requiring tech companies to offer resources for self-repair, winning legal victories in places like New York in 2021. Sure, repairing your own devices might be fun in and of itself, but it’s also good for the planet; billions of electronics are simply thrown away each year, contributing to massive amounts of e-waste. A repaired device is a device not thrown away.

If you’re in need of a quick fix for your device, there’s a chance you may be able to buy authentic repair parts and find easy online instructions to make it happen. Here are how some of the biggest tech companies (as well as one nifty startup) handle self-repairs.

Microsoft

Surface Pro 8

The Surface Pro 8 has a service guide on Microsoft’s website.
Credit: Molly Flores/Mashable

Microsoft was one of the first big companies to allow self-repair of its devices, back in late 2021. At the time of writing, this exclusively applies to Microsoft’s Surface line of tablets and laptops, and only certain models.

Thankfully, there’s an easy way to find out if your device is eligible for self-repair. Microsoft has a website with downloadable PDF service guides for every eligible device. These include, but are not limited to:

As for where to get parts, the online device repair hub iFixit is going to be your best friend, be it for Microsoft or any of the other companies on this list. Screens, batteries, kickstands, and more components for various Surface devices are available via iFixit. 

Samsung

Samsung Galaxy S21 and S21 Ultra side by side

You can get some replacement parts for your Galaxy S21.
Credit: Zlata…

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