/>
X
Why you can trust ZDNet ZDNet independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNet Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNet's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNet nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNet's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

How to apply a screen protector without making a mess of it

It takes time, and can be frustrating, but it's worth the effort.
adrian-kingsley-hughes.jpg
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributor on

I'm rough with my gear, so I tend to use screen protectors to give my gear more of a fighting chance.

But screen protectors can be a massive pain to apply. There have been plenty of times when, through being in a rush or being careless, I've ended up with dust, car hair, or air bubbles trapped beneath the screen protector. And while this doesn't affect the overall performance of the screen protector, it looks awful.

And you're looking at it every time you use the device. And you'll be annoyed by those imperfections.

I needed to add a screen protector to myDJI RC Pro controller, so I thought I'd bring you along to show you how I do it. This is not a smartphone or a tablet, but the process is the same.

Applying a screen protector

DJI RC Pro display needs a good clean

DJI RC Pro display needs a good clean

  1. First, purchase a decent screen protector. I have had good experiences with screen protectors from companies such as ZAGG or Spigen, but these companies don't make screen protectors for every device, so sometimes you're forced to buy something from an unknown company.
Screen protector kit I'm using

Screen protector kit I'm using

I'll be testing these robustness claims soon...

I'll be testing these robustness claims soon...

2. Good screen protectors will come with things to clean your screen with. Use them. Don't just give is a wipe with a t-shirt and hope that's enough. You'll end up hating the you of the past that took that shortcut.

The kit I purchased came with wet and dry wipes, stickers for grabbing dust and hair, and alignment stickers to help get the screen protector on straight.

Kit contains everything you need

Kit contains everything you need

3. Check to see if the screen protector fits before starting the process. Check the alignment and use the alignment stickers to create a hinge that will allow you to remove the backing off the screen protector and drop it onto the display.

Aligning the screen protector

Aligning the screen protector

4. Clean the screen thoroughly and use the sticker to dab off any remaining detritus. Don't rush this step. The display needs to be as clean and dry and free of detritus as possible.

Cleaning the display

Cleaning the display

5. With the screen clean, peel off the backing, check again for any dust or debris (use the dabbing sticker to remove it, don't blow as that will make a mess) and then flip the screen protector down onto the display.

Peeling the backing

Peeling the backing

6. Use your fingers to walk the air bubbles to the edges where they should disappear. Work slowly from the middle outwards to remove all the air bubbles. It might take time, so be patient.

Walking the air bubbles to the edge

Walking the air bubbles to the edge

And eventually you're done.

Finished!

Finished!

If you do mess up, then hopefully you've bought a kit with multiple screen protectors. Learn from whatever mistake you made and try again!

I was also curious how tough the screen protector was, especially when it came to scratch-resistance.

Turns out it's very hard to scratch or even pierce.

But it's not indestructible.

Related

How to apply for college: Your step-by-step guide
paperwork

How to apply for college: Your step-by-step guide

Education
AI is making the frontline a more compelling place to work
city street outside javits center

AI is making the frontline a more compelling place to work

Internet of Things
How can I keep junk email out of my inbox without juggling two or more email accounts? [Ask ZDNet]
email alias symbol

How can I keep junk email out of my inbox without juggling two or more email accounts? [Ask ZDNet]

Productivity