How to Access an Android Phone with a Broken Screen

Dealing with a broken screen on your Android phone is a hassle. Although phone screens are pretty tough, one nasty drop can shatter them completely. Given that most people have a lot of irreplaceable content on their phones, it is crucial to know how to access the content in an unforeseen incident.

How to Access an Android Phone with a Broken Screen

If you have a broken screen on your phone, you have several ways to recover the data. For some of the steps, you will need extra equipment. The method you choose for data recovery depends on whether your screen is still visible, has touch functionality, or has neither.

Note: Many readers state that the article is useless because you have a broken screen that doesn’t work and cannot do anything because of it. Pay close attention to the section titles and the solutions. The article explains what to do when you have a broken screen, lost touchless functionality, or have a combination of sorts. Sure, you cannot use the phone effectively, but recovering essential data from these situations is possible. Keep reading for more information.

How to Access Android Phone with Broken but Visible Screen

A broken yet visible Android screen with touch functionality is the best possible scenario for recovering valuable data. The best thing you can do is transfer all your data to your computer before the crack spreads and you need to replace your screen. You don’t need any additional equipment, except the USB cable you usually use to charge your phone.

  1. Unlock your phone using your pin, fingerprint, or whatever you use.
  2. Connect your phone to your computer using a USB cable.
  3. Tap the file transfer mode option. It may have a different label depending on the make and model of the phone.
  4. Use your computer to access your phone and retrieve all your files.

How to Access Android Phone with No Touch Function

You’ve dropped your phone but can see everything on your display, yet your touchscreen isn’t functioning. If this sounds familiar, there is a way you can access your phone, but you need extra equipment: a USB mouse and a USB hub with an HDMI port. Here are the steps you should follow:

  1. First of all, check if your phone is unlocked. If you’re lucky and have the fingerprint/face unlock option enabled, you can unlock your phone. If you have to open it by entering a password or a pattern, check out the following steps.
  2. Connect your USB cable to your phone and the other end to the USB hub.
  3. Connect your USB mouse to the hub as well.
  4. Since you can see the screen on your phone, use the mouse to navigate, enter the password and unlock your phone.
  5. Once you’ve unlocked your phone, connect your USB hub to the PC.
  6. When you connect it, you will see a message on your phone saying File Transfer Mode or something similar. Tap this option using the mouse.
  7. Your phone will now connect to your PC. You can use your PC to navigate through the phone and save all the essential files to the computer.

How to Access Android Phone with No Screen

The lack of a display on your Android phone can happen due to physical damage, so how do you know your phone is functioning at all? You should hear the notification sounds and feel the vibrations. If you try to unlock your phone by memory, you may also hear sound. Fortunately, there is a way to retrieve the data from a phone in this situation. In this case, you will need another Android phone, as explained below.

  1. Connect your phone to a charger as soon as possible. Your phone needs to be turned on and charged.
  2. Take the other Android phone. Preferably, this phone is the same model as yours. If not, it should run the exact version of the operating system.
  3. Connect the other Android phone (the good one) to your computer using a USB cable.
  4. You might see a pop-up screen where you should select File Transfer Mode or whatever your phone says for the option.
  5. Remember where you pressed the screen on this phone.
  6. Now, take your broken phone and connect it using the USB cable to the computer.
  7. Since your screen is black, you won’t be able to see anything. Luckily, you’ve practiced this on the other Android phone, and now you know which part of the screen to tap.
  8. If you’ve managed to connect it, you should hear a notification sound.
  9. Now, you can access your phone from your computer and save all the essential files.

Note: If your phone is locked using the face recognition/fingerprint option, you’ll be able to easily unlock it since your phone still functions even with a black screen. If you use a pattern to unlock your phone, try practicing it on the other Android phone before entering it by heart. The same goes if you have a password you need to enter.

How to Access Android with No Screen and No Touch Function

An Android phone with a damaged/unresponsive screen and no touch functionality is the worst-case scenario for recovering precious files. Saving data from a phone in this condition is complex, but it’s not impossible. There are several things you can try.

1. Connect Your Phone to a TV to Access Your Phone

To connect your Android smartphone with no screen or touch functionality to a TV, you need a USB mouse, USB hub, a USB-to-HDMI adapter, and an HDMI cable.

  1. Connect the USB hub to your phone and the HDMI-to-USB cable (HDMI end) to your TV.
  2. Connect the other end of the HDMI-to-USB cable to your USB hub.
  3. Connect the mouse to your USB hub.
  4. Turn on the TV and select the correct HDMI input.
  5. Now, you can access your phone through your TV. You can back up your files, adjust your settings, or try and install one of the backup apps available on the market.

2. Connect your Phone to a PC to Backup Important Files and Data

If USB Debugging got enabled before your screen broke, it allows you to access your phone through a computer with a USB cable without asking for permission. However, the function is not on by default and is usually disabled. You need USB debugging activated to connect your phone to your PC. However, a broken and unresponsive black screen lacking touch functionality makes it almost impossible to enable debugging. First, you must connect the device to your TV to use it as the display before you can connect it to your PC for data backup. Therefore, ensure you check out the steps mentioned above before connecting your phone to your PC.

  1. Connect your broken phone to a TV using the previous instructions.
  2. Using the phone’s display on your TV and the connected mouse, go to Settings.
  3. Scroll down and select About phone or About.
  4. Choose Software information.
  5. Find and click on the Build number option seven times to unlock the developer options.
  6. Go back to the main Settings and tap Developer options.
  7. Slide the toggle switch to turn on USB debugging.
  8. Once you’ve enabled USB debugging using your TV’s display, disconnect the phone and connect it to your computer. On the PC, access your phone and retrieve your valuable data.

3. Connect to Your Android Google Account using a PC to Recover Phone Data

If you have the same Google account on your phone and computer, you can access the account from the computer and try to save the files you need. However, if you haven’t synced your phone, this method won’t be successful, and you won’t have access to any non-synced or non-syncable data on the phone.

  1. Open your browser.
  2. Type google account and open it.
  3. Log in to your Android primary Google Account.
  4. Access the synced files.

4. Use a Third-Party App to Recover Data

Some third-party apps, e.g., Vysor, can help you access your phone. However, if you didn’t have them installed on your phone before breaking your screen, it would be almost impossible to do it with a black, unresponsive screen. Furthermore, these apps require you to connect your phone to your computer, and for that, you’ll have to enable USB debugging, as previously instructed.

When it comes to third-party apps that recover data from a damaged phone, most users find them too complicated to use, especially with an entirely nonfunctional screen.

5. Use a Phone Repair Shop to Recover Data

If you’ve tried all of the above and still can’t access your phone, unfortunately, it looks like your phone’s been seriously damaged. In this case, the best thing you can do is take it to a professional who might be able to replace your screen or recover the lost data.

Essential Preventive Measures to Protect Your Phone or Recover Data

Breaking a phone screen can happen to anyone. Your files can stay trapped in your device with just one drop.

Overall, it is essential to maintain phone backups. This way, you can keep valuable files and photos in one place. You can use cloud services such as Google Drive, iCloud, Mega Uploader, etc., and set up automatic backups. Furthermore, you can regularly transfer the files from your phone to your computer with a USB cable or keep them on an external hard drive or USB flash drive.

To prevent your phone from getting damaged if you drop it, ensure you have a phone case and a durable protective screen. These will help you keep your device safe and prevent severe damage to your phone.

If you’ve ever had a broken screen, you are familiar with the feeling of dread when you think about all the files that might’ve gotten lost. Fortunately, there are ways you can access your phone, even if you have a broken screen. In this step-by-step guide, you’ve read several tips and tricks to extract valuable files from your phone. Regardless, remember that prevention is always better! Try to keep your data backed up frequently and your phone protected.

29 thoughts on “How to Access an Android Phone with a Broken Screen”

noel lapatis says:
hi guys my android phone lcd broken blackscreen how can remote using other device pc tv ect help me please asap tq
Ricardo Ribeiro says:
Hi! I´m trying to do the step “How to Access Android Phone with No Touch Function” with a HUB without HDMI port, and it isnt working, althouth i have a normal HUB with only USB ports, and i conected a mouse and the phone.
It´s because i´m using a HUB without HMDI port? Thank you!
Steve Larner says:
Yes, it most likely won’t work without HDMI.
ihatethiswebsite says:
This is useless for someone with a broken google pixel 3a…
besy says:
how am i supposed to do that when my phone’s screen is burned? is there a tutorial for burned screen???
Steve Larner says:
No, I don’t think you can do anything unless the debugging mode is on, which it’s usually not by default. Try the “How to Access Android with No Screen and No Touch Function” steps for connecting to a TV. That’s about all you can do.
Bya says:
Tx alott!
Manage to get into the mobile phone tru ? using method ‘How to Access Android Phone with No Screen’
Mk says:
Lol on display broken mobile how to tap file transfer mode
Phil B says:
Finally retrieved my data from my broken phone. Thankyou so much for posting, a real life saver, thanks.
Phil B says:
Very concise and well explained. Without this wouldn’t have been able to retrieve my data. Thankyou so much for posting, a real life saver.
How did you do that?
roman says:
is it possible to turn on the debugger with a completely non-working sensor? I don’t see any information on the screen.
pierce says:
You can’t connect an HDMI cable to a USB hub
Steve Larner says:
Thank you for the feedback! The section was supposed to include a USB-to-HDMI converter as well. The content was updated on Dec. 17, 2022.
Awini says:
An important trick for those who their android phone screen is totally broken but their usb debuging is on
if your usb debuging is on use scrcpy software in windows for seeing and clicking your phone in pc
saved me today
jansel says:
Thank you so much you save me the day
Sophia says:
Hello, is it possible that you could further explain how to exactly do this? I am not really good with computers so it would help me a lot. Thank you
Greg says:
I have a usb-c hub and working pixel6 and a pixel3 w broken screen. Plugging HDMI to usb-c hub and phone to usb-c hub (usb-c type c hub pro) ucn 3281 shows no signal on TV. Even tried using surface dock as that has ac power but nothing. This is on working phone w screen, to test before trying the broken one…

Remarks are this should work. That HDMI cable works fine w dvd player so the inputs and cables are functional, and usb-c hub works on my computer.

Phone testing with is working pixel6.

Mary says:
I have black screen of death on my Samsung S21+. I plugged the phone, mouse and tv into hub as suggested. I can now see the phone screen on the TV but the mouse doesn’t appear…? The hub and mouse both appear to have power. Any suggestions?
Steve Larner says:
Perhaps try a different mouse and also try tapping the phone’s screen.
Jayden Maybury says:
is there anyway to see my phone screen from my laptop the touch dosent work at all the screen dosent work at all my phone does support otg i also need to controll my phone i used samsung sidesync but it didnt connect to my phone i dont have a usb hub or anything and i cant get one because im 13 and dont have a bank card so i cant order or buy one
Steve Larner says:
I don’t think you have any options unless debugging is on, but it is usually off by default.
Trev says:
The title says “broken screen” but how can you select file transfer with a broken screen? What a waste of time.
Steve Larner says:
through your TV or PC
Kris says:
this has nothing to do with a broken screen, its just the touch screen not working, my screen is broken and i need to know how to connect it up to my pc with USB because i cant see anything on my screen
Steve Larner says:
Debugging would need to be enabled on the phone, but it is off by default.
Critic says:
WHAT an idiotic response.
no screen yet you instruct for pin ? or code?
Steve Larner says:
Yup. Read it closely. You’d have to be able to use touch on the screen or hook it up to a TV with appropriate devices.
Thomas Woodard says:
This is EXACTLY why eliminating SD cards is a disservice to the the customer.
Daniel says:
Thank you again. Got another question, the old phone showed well on TV with the method above. With the same connection, I tried to connect a brand new Motorola Android phone to TV, but TV shows “weak signal” and would not display the phone interface. It has Android 12. Any suggestions?
Steve Larner says:
Your Motorola android 12 phone probably has the prompt to choose your experience: Mobile Desktop, TV, Game, or Video Chat, which means you can;t do it if that is the case.
Daniel says:
Thank you so much for such detailed instruction. My phone can connect to TV and shows the screen on the TV, however, it requires a pattern to unlock, when I click on the hint, hope to see the unlock screen it turns to black, if I right click the mouse, it goes back to the previous screen (hint again), so I guess my question is how to see the unlock screen (the nine dots that allow me to draw my pattern). Thanks.
Steve Larner says:
It’s most likely because you have to do it from the phone for security reasons, kind of like how you can’t take screenshots of login pages in apps. That is why the article says you need a similar-sized phone where you could practice your pattern. However, your touch screen still needs to function or you are out of luck.
koumeles says:
Your mobile must have MHL support for any connection via TV/HDMI, and the MHL support list is short so you should be a lucky b***ard to possibly use this method…
Riana says:
I have a Samsung Galaxy A32, tried all the docking stations all the hdmi cables, everything cant see nothing displayed on my tv / pc screen. The only thing left is to enable usb bugging from my computer, and I do not know how to do this. Any advise. And some apps like fone dr does not support the Galaxy A32 device
Rob says:
This is useful. Thanks. I’m going to try the tv method. Once I access my phone through the tv, how would I transfer data to my new phone?
Steve Larner says:
You can try using wireless LAN through a file browser, Bluetooth, or send files to the cloud for easy retrieval.
Patrick says:
im about to try this. Galaxy A20something…destroyed screen. Non op. Hub and cables and mouse arrive tomorrow. I just need some app data from Ping Me app on my phone, i backed up my photos and videos so i’m good there. THe phone works, but the screen is toast. Got calls coming in last night, couldn’t answer. This phone was only dropped about 3 feet. Earlier Galaxy models were great! Newer ones are flimsy junk…
Annoyed says:
Completely agree. I have a “screen protector” but it didn’t matter. The screen didn’t break. The ink inside the phone, or whatever it is in there, just started making the whole screen blank. Now I need google authenticator app but can’t recover it. Gonna have to buy a new screen.
brit says:
Thank you, this was very helpful! I just bought a USB hub on Amazon and will update when I get it and try that method
Harry says:
Trying the TV method but it’s saying there is not signal. Any thoughts?
Steve Larner says:
I would guess that the phone does not support micro-HDMI, requires actions you can’t access due to the broken screen, or doesn’t feed enough power to the hub. To test this theory, you can try connecting a ‘micro-HDMI to HDMI’ cable and see if the phone appears on the TV. If it does, something must not be compatible (hub, cable, etc.) Also, the phone needs a good amount of power to power the hub and the devices connected to it. Some can, and some can’t. The PlayStation 3 was an example of not having enough power. You had to use a USB 3.0-to-micro USB cable with a second USB 3.0 plug for power to drive a WD PassPort portable HDD. For a hub, it is possible that it may need a power plug of sorts to give it enough juice to drive the accessories connected to it (depending on what power the TV supplies through the USB input). Just a thought.
MichaelG says:
You wrote a very informative and thoughtful process less tech savvy readers can follow with ease.
Steve Larner says:
Thank you, Michael. On a side note, there was a couple from the same one and then another that was more aggressive.

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