Android Screen Broken: How to Enable USB Debugging and Recover Data

By Lois Green, Wednesday, September 13, 2017

What is USB debugging? USB debugging is a way to facilitate a connection between Android device and a computer so that you can access your phone from the computer and transfer data. Normally, you can enable USB debugging on Android in these steps. However, when your Android phone is screen broken, you can't unlock the phone to enable USB debugging and thus are unable to get photos, contacts, etc. off the broken phone. If this is what you are dealing with: a broken Android phone with cracked/black/locked screen and USB debugging disabled, here are tricks to access broken phone and recover important data.

Enable USB Debugging without Touching Screen

If the touch screen on your Android phone is broken, but the display is still on (you can still see the display), you can use a USB OTG and a mouse to control the phone with broken screen and enable USB debugging. Please make sure that your phone(Samsung, HTC, Huawei, LG, Lenovo, Sony, Asus, etc.) is OTG supported.

Tip: If your phone is in black screen and USB debugging is disabled, please jump to how to recover data without USB Debugging.

Step 1. With a workable OTG adapter, connect your Android phone with a mouse.

Step 2. Click the mouse to unlock your phone and turn on USB debugging on Settings.

Step 3. Connect the broken phone to computer and the phone will be recognized as external memory.

Step 4. From the computer, open the file folders of your phone and copy the photos, contacts, videos, music that you need to the computer.

OTG Connect Android with Mouse

Some users have succeeded in connecting a Xbox/PS3/PS4 USB wired controller to smartphone and enabling USB debugging with the controller. If you have a controller, you may want to give this a try.

Enable USB Debugging on Android from Computer

Is it possible to enable USB debugging on Android remotely from a computer? The question has been brought up on various forums. And the answer is yes and no. 

Yes, it is possible to enable USB debugging from PC/Mac using fastboot, ADB command or terminal if you have knowledge about codes and computer. But if you are not a techie and know nothing about ADB, fastboot and command, the answer will be no. It is risky to follow tutorials on forums like xda-developers to enable USB debugging with ADB or other tools without knowing what you are doing. You may end up bricking your phone and turning it into a total garbage.

Obviously, it is very difficult for ordinary users to enable USB debugging on an Android phone with broken screen. But luckily, there is still a way that allows you to access your phone and recover data with no USB debugging.

Samsung Data Recovery without USB Debugging

FonePaw Broken Android Data Extraction is an application for Windows PC that can recover data from Android phone with broken/black/locked screen. With the application, you can access photos, contacts, WhatsApp/SMS messages, music, videos, etc. on your screen-broken phone from PC and save the data on PC. You don't need to enable USB debugging for the application to work. It is a good helper when you need to extract/backup data from the phone with broken screen.

Currently, FonePaw Broken Android Data Extraction supports data recovery from Samsung S4/S5/S6/Note 3/Note 4/Note 5/Tab Pro 10.1. Follow these steps to retrieve data from your phone with broken screen.

Step 1. Download Broken Android Data Extraction on your Windows PC and run the program.

Windows Version Download

Step 2. Connect your phone with broken screen to PC with USB cable. And choose Start.

Choose Start

Step 3. Choose the device name and model of your phone. Click Confirm.

Select Device Name and Model

Step 4. The FonePaw program will guide you to put your phone in Download mode. Follow the guide to enter Download mode with Home + Power + Volume Down button.

Enter Download Mode

Step 5. The program will begin to scan out your phone data. After it is done, all your phone data will be displayed.

Recover From Broken Android

Step 6. Select the data that you need and click Recover to save the data on your computer.

With FonePaw Broken Android Data Extraction, you can also fix the bricked Android phone, such as Android phone that is stuck in boot loop, recovery mode and more. It is highly recommended that the program requires no technical knowledge for ordinary users to fix Android system problems and recover data from Android phone with broken screen. 

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