How To Backup an iPhone With a Broken Screen

If you’ve broken your iPhone’s screen, you need to back it up before it becomes completely unresponsive. Whether or not you can back up iPhone with broken screen depends on how damaged it actually is. If it’s responsive, there are a few methods you can use to back up your iPhone and save your data. If it’s unresponsive, you may have no other choice but to get it fixed.

How To Backup an iPhone With a Broken Screen

This article will give you a few suggestions on how to back up an iPhone with a broken screen. We’ll also talk about your options if the screen is completely shattered.

How to Back Up a Responsive iPhone With a Broken Screen

Dropping your phone is every iPhone owner’s worst nightmare. Despite their stunning, sleek design, iPhones are known to be fragile, and they can break very easily. One drop is enough to break its screen. If this happens, you may not be able to access your phone at all. In other words, all your photos, videos, messages, and contacts will be lost.

That’s why you should back up your iPhone on a regular basis, whether it’s on your Mac or iCloud account. A lot of iOS devices are backed up automatically when they are charging or connected to a power cable, but this may not be the case with your iPhone. Most people don’t remember to back up their iPhones until it’s too late.

After assessing the damage, you need to see whether your screen reacts to your touch. If it’s responsive, don’t worry, it’s not too late to back it up. Before we get into the different methods for backing up an iPhone with a broken screen, here’s how you can make sure your iPhone gets backed up automatically.

  1. Open “Settings” on your home screen.
  2. Head over to “Apple ID” and proceed to the “iCloud” option.
  3. Go to “iCloud Backup.”
  4. Toggle the switch at the top of your screen to on.

Now, every time your iPhone is connected to the power cable, it will automatically be backed up. Even if you manage to back up your iPhone, we still recommend you replace the screen as soon as possible.

Try Doing It the Regular Way

While nobody wants a cracked iPhone screen, this doesn’t necessarily mean everything is lost. If you can still access your screen, here’s how you can perform a regular backup.

  1. Head over to “Settings” on your iPhone.
  2. Navigate to “Apple ID.”
  3. Locate the “iCloud” tab on the list of options.
  4. Tap on the “iCloud Backup” option.
  5. Choose “Back Up Now.”

The backup process should start immediately. The only thing that can prevent you from backing up your iPhone is low iCloud storage, in which case, you would have to back up your iPhone on your Mac.

An iCloud backup includes photos, videos, text messages, iMessages, app data, device settings, ringtones, passwords, home screen and app organization, and other types of data. Information that’s already stored on your iCloud, like your contacts, notes, bookmarks, calendars, and voice memos, will not be backed up.

You need to be connected to the internet to start the backup process. Note that it will take some time for your iPhone to back up all the data. The entire backup process can last from 20 minutes to two hours, depending on the amount of data you have.

Use iTunes

Your second option is to use iTunes on your Mac for the backup process. To back up your iPhone this way, you will need to install the latest version of iTunes on your computer.

This method will only work if you’re using a trusted computer. In other words, if you have never connected your iPhone to that computer before, you’ll first have to pair these two devices.

This is done by tapping on the “Trust” option on the “Trust This Computer” pop-up message on your iPhone. If your screen isn’t responsive, this method isn’t an option for you.

If you’re on a trusted computer, here’s how you can use iTunes to back up your iPhone.

  1. Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to your Mac.
  2. Open iTunes on your Mac.
  3. Under “Devices,” select your iPhone at the top of the window.
  4. Choose “Summary” on the left sidebar.
  5. Proceed to the “Backups” section.
  6. Click on “This computer.”
  7. Select “Back up now.”
  8. Click on “Done” in the bottom-right corner.

Make sure not to turn your computer off during the backup process, as it will take some time. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t unplug your iPhone from your computer either.

Above the This Computer panel, you will see the iCloud option. You can use your Mac to back up your iPhone to your iCloud.

What’s great about this backup method is you can use the backed-up data if you buy a new iPhone. To do this, you will need to follow the same steps and click on the Restore Backup option.

How to Back Up an Unresponsive iPhone With a Broken Screen

An unresponsive screen can mean two things. In the first scenario, you will still be able to see the screen, but because of the cracked glass, the screen just won’t respond to your taps. The second and worse outcome is a black screen that won’t even light up when you press the side buttons. We’ll talk about what you can do in both cases.

If your screen is too damaged, you may not be able to use your iPhone at all. Just because your iPhone doesn’t respond to touch doesn’t mean you’re out of options. Here are a few solutions you can try.

Use the VoiceOver Feature

You can use the built-in VoiceOver feature to back up your broken iPhone. For this method to work, you need to be able to see your screen. If your screen is black, you won’t be able to use the VoiceOver tool. This feature lets you control your iPhone without touching it.

To unlock your phone, you’ll need Face ID or Touch ID. If you have an older model, like iPhone 6S, iPhone 7, iPhone 8, or iPhone SE, you will only be able to use Touch ID. Models with the Face ID feature include iPhone X, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and the newer models that may come out.

Other requirements for this method are having Siri enabled, a strong internet connection, a USB keyboard, and the Lightning to USB adaptor. You can also use a Bluetooth keyboard if you have one, but you’ll need to take a few extra steps to turn on your Bluetooth.

If you have all of these gadgets and meet the requirements, here’s how you can use the VoiceOver feature to back up your broken iPhone.

  1. Use the Lightning to USB adaptor to connect your iPhone to the USB keyboard.
  2. Use Touch ID or Face ID to unlock your iPhone.
  3. Give the following voice command: “Hey, Siri,” followed by “Enable VoiceOver.”
  4. Say: “Open iCloud settings.”
  5. Navigate through the iCloud menu with the USB keyboard to select “iCloud.” To go through lists, you’ll need to use the “Right” cursor key.
  6. Press the following keys at the same time to enable the backup option “Ctrl + Alt + Space.”
    Note: Press “Control + Option + Space” on a Mac USB keyboard.
  7. Use the same combination of keys to go to “iCloud Backup.”
  8. Do the same until you enable the “Back Up Now” option.

Just like with the first iCloud backup solution, you will need enough space on your iCloud to save all your data.

It’s very important not to restart your iPhone or let the battery die before trying this method. If this happens, you won’t be able to use Touch ID or Face ID because your iPhone will ask you to type in the passcode.

If you can’t see your screen, you can still use this method to back up your iPhone. You’ll just have to use the VoiceOver feature for all the voice commands.

Fix the Screen

If your iPhone is completely unresponsive, you won’t be able to try any of the methods we talked about. In most cases, you won’t be able to use your iPhone if the screen is badly damaged. Keep in mind that just because your screen is unresponsive, it doesn’t mean your iPhone can never be used again. You may just need to replace the broken screen.

At this point, the best thing you can do is take your iPhone to an Apple store to get it serviced. You might need to replace your screen or other internal hardware parts you didn’t even know were damaged.

In the worst-case scenario, your iPhone might be totally broken. If this happens, you will need to get a new phone. But don’t worry; it takes more than just one cracked screen to render your iPhone useless.

Secure Your iPhone’s Contents

You can never know when something might happen to your iPhone. When the screen breaks, you have several methods for backing up the data. If the regular method doesn’t work, you can use iTunes or the VoiceOver feature. If all else fails, you will need to get it fixed.

Has this ever happened to your iPhone? What method did you use to back it up? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below.

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