How To Get Perfect Alignment

4 Problems With Poor Alignment + How To Get It Perfect, Every time.

Have you ever tried to apply a screen guard, only to realise it’s not properly aligned – then you immediately lift it back up to re-align and watched in horror as a barrage of bubbles materialise in front of the screen? You were probably far too concerned with preventing any bubbles to worry about getting the alignment of your new protector spot-on, but getting the alignment right on the first go can save you a mountain of trouble later on.

Go on, tell me why I should be scared…

Let’s go over the most common pitfalls of a skewed protective cover, then I’ll go through my bullet-proof method of getting perfect alignment, everytime - turning you into a lightning-fast screen protector-applying machine.

1. Obviously the first thing you’ll notice with a poorly aligned guard are any cut out’s in the PET film actually completely covering or (in some instances, worse) only partly covering the proximity sensor/camera. Some devices are more sensitive than others, so this can affect the operation of your device – along with looking terrible. Not good if it’s causing your phone to drop calls randomly.

2. Perhaps the most common trait of a poorly aligned protector are thin bubbles around the edges that just won’t push out. You may have noticed them and no doubt been frustrated that there’s clearly no dust trapped (dust being the leading cause of bubbles in the UK) or apparent damage to the edges of the protector. Among other things, these edge bubbles can be embarrassing and dangerous to the lifespan of your screen cover (see No. 4)…

3. When you’re aligning your protector, if you don’t get it right first time you dramatically increase the chances of contracting bubbles when you have to lift it back up and reapply. So no pressure. The easiest way to apply a protector is the correct way, the first time. You should never have to spend longer than 5 minutes applying one to your device.

4. So the edges haven’t quite adhered properly, but you’re not mega OCD or anything, you can live with that – right? 

No, no you can’t.

If any of the edges aren't adhered completely, it means the edges are raised off the screen slightly. This means it’s far more susceptible to catching on things in your pocket, purse or even your case. Over time this raised section will become dog-eared, curl up and eventually lift away from the screen, either causing the protector to get loads of dust trapped underneath or just coming off completely.

Sometimes this can happen just hours after fitting (have you ever fitted a protector to your screen only to notice it’s removed itself for seemingly no reason?) sometimes weeks or months – but eventually it will happen.

What’s the plan, Stan?

OK, so what’s the fool-proof method to get perfect alignment everytime? You’re just going to need some sticky tape and some patience. Don’t worry though, the more patience you have the less time you’ll find you actually need.

Always start by familiarizing yourself with the screen protector and how it’s supposed to sit on your screen. Before peeling off any of the protective layers, just lay the protector on your screen and slide it into the exact position you’d want it to be in when it’s finally attached to your screen.

Stick a long bit of tape down the longer edge that also has the ‘Step 1’ tab underneath, half stuck to the protector and the other half stuck to the side of your screen. This will act like a hinge, and you’ll now be able to lift up the protector of your screen like a trapdoor, allowing you to clean under the screen while keeping the screen guard perfectly in place.

Now be meticulous, clean each and every last speck of dust and grease off of your screen. It’s a great idea to reflect some light off of your screen; this will let you sort of ‘scan’ across for any last specks of dust as they’re become more apparent in the light.

Once you’re happy with a perfectly clear screen, you can start to peel off the ‘Step 1’ layer of the protector. As you peel it back, begin to lay the protective film down and smooth out the air bubbles with a finger as you go. If you’ve cleaned the screen properly, you’ll be able to chase out all of the bubbles (any bubbles remaining will have trapped dust inside).

Now you’re happy after chasing out the bubbles, just peel off the ‘Step 2’ layer and remove the sticky tape when you get to that side. This is a great technique that helps with alignment, but if you’re not careful you can leave the underside of your protector open to attracting dust from the air around you.To prevent this, it’s best done in a slightly steamy bathroom – the moisture in the air will help settle any dust.

Hopefully this was loads of use to you, if it was – please let me know, I’d love to hear from you. If it wasn’t any use to you (in fact, especially so) please still get in touch with any constructive feedback.