Can we unlock the phone with broken screen? Yes! It is possible to unlock your phone, even with a broken or malfunctioning screen (LCD display).
Android Phone Broken Screen Unlock: Data Photo Video Recovery Backup Guide
Watch video tutorial:
Android Phone with Broken Screen: Different Cases
There are essentially 2 possible scenarios when your phone’s screen becomes pitch black, damaged with huge flickering, cracked, shuttered or completely broken:
CASE 1: broken / damaged screen + touch functionality is working
If your phone’s screen is broken / damaged / you see flickering horizontal or vertical stripes without anything clear on the screen, but otherwise touch functionality is working fine, you will be able to relatively easily access your data!
Touch function layer / circuitry is actually completely separate layer from the LCD screen assembly. So, despite the fact that you can’t see a thing, you can still blindly touch and trigger anything on your phone with your fingers.
CASE 2: screen touch function is also broken (complete screen failure)
This is a less favorable scenario because we cannot use blind touches on the screen itself to trigger certain actions (e.g. input unlock PIN/Password or secret pattern, confirm prompt dialogs etc.) and we have to connect external mouse and/or keyboard to do it.
How To Unlock Android Phone With Broken Screen?
Regardless of the scenarios described above (although, first case is definitely a much easier and more desirable outcome), it is possible to unlock your phone, assuming you know the secret password (e.g. it is not stolen or obtained in any illegal way). We do not discuss illegal or unfair methods to access any phone’s data here (such methods do exist, unfortunately).
Use external mouse and keyboard to unlock your phone (this scenario is covered in the video above)
- USB OTG Cable or Adapter
USB micro Male <-> USB Type “A” Female / USB C Male <-> USB Type “B” Female
- Standard wired or wireless USB keyboard or mouse (or keyboard+mouse combo for maximum versitility)
- Common charging+data cable (USB micro or USB C Male <-> USB Type “A” Male, depending on phone model / generation). Note that it must support DATA transfer! All factory cables you get in a box with your phone DO this already! Beware that some cheap replacement cables cannot transfer data over USB, they can only be used for charging! Don’t make novice mistakes like this :)
Another option is to use USB to HDMI MHL adapter and try to connect your phone to external monitor or TV, then unlock it with external mouse/keyboard via USB OTG cable. There are many different “phone to TV” cables and adapters, and you must obtain the one that is SUPPORTED by your phone!
Finally, THE MOST EXPENSIVE option is to replace entire LCD screen assembly, after which you can unlock your phone. This is usually not required, unless you really wish your phone repaired. In some cases, this is not economically justified, though (e.g. replacement costs more than the value of the phone itself).
OK, I’ve unlocked my phone with broken screen – WHAT NEXT?
After you finally unlock your phone and connect it to a computer, you can manually copy (backup) certain folders like music, pictures, camera (DCIM), videos (movies) and downloads.
However, with a dedicated phone backup app, like Samsung’s one below, you’ll be able to extract entire phone content, including contacts list, call logs, messages, phone’s settings, ring tones and other stuff.
Every respectable manufacturer should provide such an app (both for an emergency and convenience reasons). Please visit manufacturer’s website to look for it. Samsung is a leader in this regard and it’s software solution is truly awesome. If that’s not the case, then a 3rd party backup app can be used.
TUTORIAL: SAMSUNG Smart Switch App + SAMSUNG Phone Unlock / Full Phone Backup with Broken Screen
Samsung Smart Switch app is primarily used when transferring your old Samsung phone to a new Samsung phone. However, this app is also excellent for making full phone backups of your Samsung phone device, including apps, SMS messages, contacts, phone call logs, user accounts data and more!
Download and install Samsung Smart Switch app on your Windows PC or MAC Computer
Run app on your computer
Connect your phone with broken/malfunctioning screen to your computer using standard charging+data cable
Smart Switch app will detect your phone and report that it is “Locked”
Disconnect charging + data cable, and connect USB OTG cable + your keyboard or mouse (or combo)
UNLOCK your phone by following this procedure:
Hit several keys first, then delete all entered characters, then enter your PIN / password + ENTER key
Now your phone should be UNLOCKED!
Disconnect OTG cable, and reconnect standard charging + data cable back to your computer
Now, this is the most important and hardest thing to do: you must blindly enable USB Data transfer on your phone, by tapping the appropriate areas on your phone. The idea here is to enable access to phone’s internal memory (common file read/write) or to delegate device control to connected device (COMPUTER) for Samsung Smart Switch app. Watch the reported messages on your Smart Switch app on your computer to figure it out if you’re doing it properly.
Once unlocked and control is transferred to your computer, we are in business! You will be able to access phone’s internal memory using e.g. Windows Explorer or MacOS Finder. In case of Smart Switch app – it will offer you a BACKUP button, which you should immediately press. Just follow the on-screen messages afterwards. Don’t give away too easily. You might need a good hour or so, before you hit the right pattern, but you will succeed eventually!