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How to mod an iPad mini back cover to keep SmartCover in place

This simple mod adds two magnets to a back cover for an iPad mini, allowing the Smart Cover to stay in place magnetically when folded around the back.


  • A Smart Cover compatible back case (the one in the image was $2 on eBay and works great)
  • A tiny bit of sugru
  • Two small magnets, as flat as possible. You can get these magnets easily on eBay.
  • Two small pieces of tape
  • A Dremel or similar cutting tool. An exacto knife might work too.

Step 1

Magnets positioned on top of smart cover

Lay out the two magnets on the Smart Cover and familiarise yourself with where they attach. There are several magnetic spots, so pick two that, when the cover is folded around the back, put the magnets well inside the confines of the flat part of the case. Mark the spots in some way (pen, tape, paint, glue, or just eyeball it)

Step 2

Holes cut in cover

Cut holes in the case that will fit the magnets. Don't worry about getting it too exact, we're sugru'ing those things anyway! Do make sure you clean the edges for any debris though. I used a Dremel for the holes and a scalpel for cleaning them.

Step 3

Tape covering holes

Take two pieces of tape and place them on the inside of the case, covering the holes on the inside.

Step 4

Magnets placed inside holes

Place the magnets inside the holes and test their placement by folding the cover around the back to see that it attaches straight. A good tip is to simply slide the Smart Cover off down the surface of the case when you've achieved a good placement, allowing you to get the cover to let go without taking the magnets with it.

Step 5

Sugru applied over the top of magnets

Apply sugru! Make sure to squeeze some in the cracks between the magnets and the larger holes, and simply use your finger to "paint" the sugru down to a thin layer as flush to the surface as possible while still covering the magnets.

Step 6

Smart cover with magnets and Sugru applied

Assuming your case colour matches your sugru colour, the finished result should look pretty good in natural light (i.e. when not exposed to a camera flash!).

Step 7

Back of iPad with smart cover held in place

All done! The same slender case as before, but now the Smart Cover snaps onto the back instead of flopping all over the place. Some commercial cases have this feature, but surprisingly few!