How to Open an Otterbox Case for an Apple iPhone 6s or 6s Plus

Otterbox Case for iphone 6sI have purchased many an Otterbox case over the years and after upgrading to a brand new Apple iPhone 6s Plus I instinctively ran out and purchased a new Otterbox Defender Case for the Apple iPhone 6s Plus.  That’s the new case right there in the photo to the left prior to opening it.

Like I already said, I have been through quite a few Otterbox cases over the years.  This one however stumped me a bit.  As I went to take the rubber case off the plastic shell, I took notice that the rubber was somewhat more stiff, rigid and textured than prior Otterboxes I have owned.  I thought that was a good thing as it would add to the durability of an already quite durable product.  I was surprised however that it also added a tremendous amount of complexity in removing the outer rubber case from the inner hard shell.

I sat at my desk for fifteen minutes attempting to remove the outer shell using my fingernails.  It couldn’t get it off.  So off to Google I went to find if anyone had the same issue.  Apparently, I wasn’t alone.  In fact, I’m guessing Otterbox got a lot of questions because they went to the trouble of making a Youtube Video and posting it here.  I watched the video and guess what?  It didn’t help mostly because the Otterbox Defenders have a thin film where the home button is located and you can’t stick your finger through it the way the video suggests.  While this may work well on older models of iPhone, it will not work on the 6s and 6s Plus lineup (nor the 6 or 6 Plus since it’s the same Otterbox case).

There is no simple way to separate the skin from the case.  So I got a steak knife and very carefully slid it under the skin at the side of the case and was able to lift it just enough to separate from one of the tabs on the plastic case.  I then carefully continued to lift it from each of the tabs on the hard case and got it off.

After owning the Otterbox Defender for some time, I have learned of another method, which is to lift the small rubber case strip that is between the side button and the top bezel of the case.  Do it on each side, then use that to separate the soft outer shell from the hard inner shell.  Otterbox really should put some instruction in the package to tell you this.  It would save them a lot of customer support effort.

Now I had to open the case.  You will see each tab has a small arrow on the plastic case and you will need to get your fingernail beneath each of the tabs and pull it up.  After you pull one tab to the open position, continue to grasp it open with your hand or it will automatically close.  There were four tabs, one on each side and the top and bottom.  Now the case is open.

Be careful not to touch the clear screen protector or your fingerprints will be left on it and it’s a real pain to get fingerprints off an Otterbox lens.  Carefully place your phone back in the Otterbox and snap it closed on all sides.  Then you get to place that skin back over the plastic case.  Fortunately it is much easier to put on than take off.

While it truly is a pain to open an Otterbox, it’s still a great product.  I recommend using an Otterbox for all smartphones.  Yes, it is slightly more expensive versus many of the competitors and with the exception of the Lifeproof series, the Otterbox Defender series might among the most expensive out there.  However for the protection it provides, it’s worth the money.  You are paying hundreds of dollars for your smartphone.  In the case of my Apple iPhone 6s Plus, it’s $750.  The Otterbox will keep it safe and sound.

You can read our review on the Otterbox Defender here.  Choosing the Best Cell Phone Car Mount is a great article and can be read here.