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How to Enable USB Debugging on Android with Broken / Black Screen?

author Lois Green
date Thursday, November 21, 2023

Losing access to your Android device due to a broken or black screen can be a frustrating experience because you just can't get access to any data or files on your phone. If you want to retrieve or recover important data from a broken-screen Android under such a situation, you need to enable USB debugging beforehand.

So in this post, we provide 3 practical ways to enable USB debugging on your Android device with a broken or black screen. Now, keep reading and see how they actually work to help.

Enable USB Debugging on Broken-Screen Android

Use OTG to Enable USB Debugging on Android with Broken Screen

  • Works for: Enabling USB debugging on Android devices with an untouchable screen that can still display content as usual.
  • Preparations: A USB-C adapter and a mouse (with or without wire are both possible).
  • Before you start, notice that not all Android phone supports OTG. So you should check whether your broken phone (Samsung, Pixel, OnePlus, Sony, Asus, etc.) is OTG supported. You can refer to the user manual of the phone or just google if your phone supports USB OTG with the specific device model.

    tips Tips
  • Some users have succeeded in connecting an Xbox/PS3/PS4 USB wired controller to a smartphone and enabling USB debugging with the controller. If you have a controller, you can give this a try.
  • Here are the steps for using OTG cable to enable USB debugging on your Android phone with a broken screen:

    STEP 1. Connect your Android phone with a mouse using an OTG adapter.

    Use OTG and Mouse to Connect Android

    STEP 2. Enable "Developer Options". Based on different Android device models, the operations to enable "Developer Options" can be slightly different:

    Android Devices How to Find Build Number
    Google Pixel
    OnePlus 5T and later
    Go to "Settings > About phone" and you can directly find the "Build number" option.
    Samsung Galaxy S8 and later
    LG G6 and later
    Go to "Settings > About phone". Click into the "Software information" and then you will see the "Build number" option.
    HTC U11 and later Go to "Settings > About > Software information > More > Build number or Settings > System > About phone > Software information > More" to find "Build number".

    Once accessing the "Build Number", tap it seven times until you see the message "You are now a developer". Now you can continue turning on USB debugging on your device.

    Android Build Number

    STEP 3. To enable USB debugging on Android with "Developer Options", follow the options below according to the Android system running on your phone:

    • On Android 9 (API level 28) and higher: directly go to "Settings > System > Advanced > Developer Options" to turn on USB debugging.
    • On Android 8.0.0 (API level 26) and Android 8.1.0 (API level 27): open "Settings" and then scroll down to "System > Developer Options" to enable the USB debugging function on.
    • On Android 7.1 (API level 25) and lower: go to "Settings > Developer Options > USB debugging".

    Turn on USB Debugging

    Enable USB Debugging on Android with Black Screen from PC

  • Works for: Enabling USB debugging on Android devices with black screen.
  • Preparations: A computer and a USB cable.
  • When your Android devices turn to the black screen status, the USB OTG method no longer works to help. Instead, you can try the following 2 methods to enable USB debugging on Android with black screen with a computer.

    Use ADB Tool

    SDK is a default tool pre-installed on Android devices, working to debug sudden problems occurred. If your Android devices turn to black screen and the display is not working at all, by using the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) function provided in SDK tool can help you enable the USB debugging option and then back up or extract data from the broken Android successfully. Follow the steps below to do it properly.

    STEP 1. Install the ADB tool on your PC.

    STEP 2. Normally ADB needs to communicate with a phone with USB debugging. Since USB debugging is off on your broken phone, you need to boot your device into ClockworkMod Recovery mode.

    STEP 3. When your phone is in recovery mode, launch the ADB tool and connect the phone with a broken screen to PC via USB.

    STEP 4. Type this in command prompts: adb devices.

    STEP 5. Then type the command to backup data on broken Android:

    • adb pull / data / media / clockworkmod / backup ~ / Desktop / Android-up

    Use ADB to Turn on USB Debugging

    Use MTP USB Drivers

    Except for the ADB function, another way to enable USB debugging on screen-broken Android is using MTP USB drivers.

    MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) USB drivers are a type of software that allows communication between an Android device and a computer, which are necessary for the computer to recognize the Android device and transfer files between the two. With MTP USB drivers, you can enable USB debugging and access the device's data even when the screen is unresponsive. Follow the steps below:

    STEP 1. Download and install MTP USB drivers for your Android device from the manufacturer's website.

    STEP 2. Connect your Android device to your computer with a USB cable.

    STEP 3. Open Device Manager on your computer, find your device, and update the driver to "MTP USB Device".

    Use MTP to Enable Android USB Debugging

    STEP 4. Open the command prompt on your computer and type "adb devices" to confirm that your device is recognized.

    STEP 5. Enter the command "adb shell settings put global usb_debugging 1" to enable USB debugging.

    To enable USB debugging on Android with broken screen, the above 3 methods are reliable. However, if you have lost any important data while enabling USB debugging and want to recover data on your Android devices, you can read on and we will offer you a professional data recovery tool that can help you recover data and files. Just read on to get it!

    Bonus: Easily Recover Data from Your Android Device with Broken Screen

    When you unexpectedly lose data while enabling the USB debugging on Android device with broken screen, FonePaw Android Data Recovery can work to help. The software is specialized in recovering data from Android phones. Featuring a powerful FREE scanning function, FonePaw can detect all files and data stored in the internal memory or SD card of your devices, and then recover all types of files stored on your Android at a fast speed.

    Moreover, FonePaw Android Data Recovery is up-to-date and supports data recovery from several latest models of Android phones, including devices running Android 14. Follow these steps to retrieve data from your phone with a broken screen:

    STEP 1. Download and install FonePaw Android Data Recovery.

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    STEP 2. Connect your device to computer via USB

    Before that, you should ensure that USB debugging is enabled on your Android Device. If not, check the methods above.

    Enable USB Debugging on Android

    STEP 3. Choose the file type and scan files on your Android device

    You can tick the file types that you want to recover from your phone. For example, if you want to recover photos from your Android phone, tick Gallery & Picture Library, and click Next to start scanning.

    Select Android Data

    STEP 4. Extract the files to your computer drive.

    Extract and Recover Android Data

    FAQs about USB Debugging on Android with Broken Screen

    Here we list some of the frequently asked questions about the technical procedures of USB debugging broken screen.

    Can I turn on USB debugging without screen?

    Surely yes. When your Android screen suddenly fails to be responsive, you can use both the ADB tool or MTP USB drivers to turn on USB debugging on Android directly. Don't worry about losing any data because FonePaw Android Data Recovery can work as a back up to help you retrieve lost data again.

    How do I enable USB debugging with a locked screen?

    Don't worry if your Android screen is locked up but you need to enable USB debugging on it. There are several methods working to help:

    • Use a third-party Android unlocker tool to unlock the device and then manually turn on USB debugging.
    • Try the USB OTG method introduced above to enable USB debugging on a locked device.
    • ADB command is also working to help turn on USB debugging even without unlocking the Android device.
    • Putting your locked Android device into Recovery Mode and also work to turn on USB debugging for you.

    Conclusion

    To sum up, this article is a complete guide on how to enable USB debugging on Android with black screen. Said with no exaggeration, USB debugging on Android with black screen is a lifesaver when it comes to recovering data. Don't need to feel panic if your Android phone's screen has become black. Just follow the methods above, and you’ll be able to retreive the important data with FonePaw Android Data Recovery in no time.

    Android Data Recovery
    Android Data Recovery
    Retrieve your lost data from your Android phone within seconds!