Anyone who has broken a phone understands the agony of losing data that has not been backed up. Contacts, messages, call logs, and media files can all vanish in an instant if your phone becomes unresponsive. If this has happened to you, keep reading to learn how to recover data from a broken phone.
Data recovery may still be possible if you have an iPhone with a damaged home button, an Android phone with a broken screen, or your device is completely unresponsive. This is because recovering data from a broken phone requires no action on the device itself. However, you will need the proper data recovery tool as well as the knowledge to use it.
Before you begin, check the iCloud or Google account associated with your phone. Backups are always preferable to data recovery, and most phones will backup things like photos, videos, and other personal files automatically. Simply go to Google Drive or iCloud, sign in, and search for the data you're looking for.
However, if the data you require is not included in the automatic backup, data recovery is your best option. Depending on how damaged the device is, this may not get you everything you want to recover, but if it is salvageable, you should be able to get it with one of these methods.
Table of Contents
How to Recover Data From a Broken Phone
Although all broken phones are problematic, not all damage is the same. If you only have a broken screen or home button, finding another way to control the device is often sufficient. If your phone becomes completely unresponsive, you'll need to use a computer or a second phone to remotely retrieve any remaining data.
Video Guide: How to Recover and Replace your Data from your Broken Device
Recovering Data From a Dead or Broken Android Phone or iPhone
You'll need to use a second device to recover data from a broken phone that doesn't have a working display. If you have an Android device, you may be able to save the data from your SD card by transferring it to a new phone or computer.
Android Phones: Check the SD Card
The data on your SD card may vary. Most people save music, videos, and photos to their phone, but depending on your Android version and the settings you select, you may also save apps and other data. This may not be everything you're looking for, but it's usually a good start, and it only takes four simple steps to obtain this information.
1. Remove Your SD Card
You can usually find your SD card with your SIM card, either in a tray on the side of your device or behind the battery.
2. Insert It in Another Device
We’ll use a microSD adapter to put the SD card into a laptop, but you can also move it to a new Android device and connect it to the computer with a USB cable.
3. Open the SD Card Drive
Open Windows file explorer and find the new drive that contains your SD card’s data.
4. Find Your Data
Search for the folders you need, such as “pictures.” It’s worth copying all the data to your computer, so you can access it all at any time.
Third-Party Recovery Software
If you don't have an SD card and need something that wasn't saved to it, you'll need data recovery software that doesn't require USB debugging. There are a few options here, but we'll go with Dr.Fone because it works with both iPhones and some Android models.
Read Also: How To Reset A Samsung Phone That Is Locked
However, keep in mind that these apps can only do so much, and there's a chance you'll brick your phone if you do it incorrectly. It's especially important to choose the correct phone model if you're asked, because safe data recovery is only available for certain phones.
1. Download the Data Recovery App
Go to the website of your chosen app and download it. When the installer has finished downloading, run it and follow the installation guide.
2. Go Into the Data Recovery Section
Most data recovery software will have a range of modules you can use, but to get files from a dead device, you should use “data recovery.”
3. Connect Your Phone to the Computer
Connect your Android phone or iPhone to the computer via a USB cable, then choose whether you want to recover iOS or Android data.
4. Choose What to Recover
The software will select everything by default, but for a faster scan, you can deselect the things you don’t want. Once you’ve done this, click “start scan.”
5. Allow the Scan to Complete
Depending on how much data is on the device, this may take some time. When it is finished, you will be able to preview and recover any data that it discovered. It's worth noting that, while most data recovery software allows you to scan and preview files for free, you'll usually have to pay to recover them.
Recovering Data From a Phone With Broken Screen
Although a cracked screen is unlikely to render a phone unusable, if it prevents the touch controls from working, the device is effectively rendered useless. As a result, there are apps that allow you to control your phone from a computer. We'll concentrate on Android phones, but the recovery process for Apple devices is similar — you can even use Vysor for both.
Recover Data From Android Phone: USB Debugging With PC Mouse
You can use programs like Vysor to use your Android phone through another device as long as you have enough control to enable USB debugging. This will require your phone's system software and some touch screen functionality, but if you can do it, you'll be able to recover the majority of your files with ease.
1. Download the Vysor App
Go to vysor.io and download the app for your computer.
2. Connect your Phone to the Computer
You’ll need to connect your Android phone to your computer. If it isn’t recognized, make sure you download the ADB drivers and enable USB debugging on your phone — if you’re unsure about these, follow the steps in the links that Vysor gives you.
3. Manage Your Phone
Once connected, Vysor will open a new window with your phone's display, which you can control with your mouse and keyboard. You should now be able to do anything on your phone, even if the screen is damaged.
Recovering Data From an iPhone With a Broken Home Button
Given how important the home button was on iPhones prior to the iPhone X, it stands to reason that Apple included a method to use your phone if the button broke. You can enable this through the "assistive touch" settings, which were designed to help people use iPhones even if they had difficulty with certain controls.
Enable Assistive Touch on iPhone
This "assistive touch" mode functions by displaying a docked menu with a variety of options. You can put any custom settings you want here, but by default, a button that takes you to the home screen will be there. Simply follow these steps, and that broken home button will no longer be a hindrance.
1. Open Your “Settings” App
Unlock your iPhone and open the “settings” app.
2. Enter the "Accessibility" Settings.
Scroll through your settings until you find "accessibility" and tap it.
3. Find the Touch Options
In the accessibility settings, tap on the option labeled “touch.”
4. Turn Assistive Touch On
Tap the button next to “assistive touch” to turn assistive touch on. This will create a small black button on your screen.
5. Return to Your Home Screen
Tap the black button and then select "home." From this menu, you can also access the notification center and Siri.
Final Thoughts on How to Recover Data From Android Phone or iPhone
Hopefully, you've recovered all of your phone's data. Once it's safely on your computer, simply plug in your new phone and everything will be transferred over. You can even upload these files to your iCloud or Google account, then download them directly to your new phone while keeping a backup online.
However, once you've recovered data in this manner, you should do everything possible to avoid having to repeat the process. This entails creating backups. Fortunately, making a good Android backup or an iPhone backup is fairly simple, thanks to programs like IDrive that can do all of the work for you.
Have you shattered your smartphone? Have you ever needed to recover data from a broken Android or iPhone? Have you now backed up your replacement phone? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Thank you for your time.