Can You Remove iPad Engraving?

Martin Ekse writes:

I have the third generation iPad with my name and phone number engraved on the back. I now have a new phone number. Is it possible to remove the engraving?

EngravingPersonalization such as engraving on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch is a hard thing to remove and/or change. You can pay for a local shop to replace the back of your unit, but that could come at a cost of your warranty in addition to the service/parts costs that the shop will inflict on you. The Apple Store can perform this service as well, but it certainly wouldn’t fall under warranty repairs and will likely cost you quite a lot.

Removing the engraving on the back of your iPad can also be accomplished by buffing out the engraving with a light abrasive. This can and will scuff/scratch the surface and leave it looking very bad if not done properly. It will also completely void any warranty you might have on the device.

For the most part, I’d say you’re out of luck there. It’s one of the reasons engraving is not recommended unless you absolutely know the information on the back of the device will be relevant for the duration of the time you intend to use it.

Here are some of the things that you could have engraved on an iPad that are less likely to be a problem down the road. None of these options will be particularly helpful if you intend to sell the device.

  • Inspirational Quote
  • Date of an Important Event (Wedding Date, Graduation, etc.)
  • Name of a Specific Company, Group, or Team
  • Name of the Owner
  • Personal Statement

Information that can and possibly will change such as phone numbers, addresses, the year of purchase, or even your name combined with a boyfriend/girlfriend would be asking for regret down the line. This information can and will change. This is probably best handled through a removable sticker, case, or a background image at the lock screen.

More often than not, you’ll want to sell or trade your device when a new/better one comes along down the line. In these cases, engraving is akin to scuffs and scratches. People want to buy something that looks and works as new and off the shelf as possible. They may not appreciate your clever senior quote or your name scrawled across the back.