Tips & Tutorials

How to Unlock Android Phone with a Broken Screen

Have a phone with a broken screen? Here is how to unlock Android phone while the touch becomes unresponsive. Since the display no longer responds to touch, we have to get creative in order to access the main UI of the phone so that data can be retrieved or any other function from the system can be executed. There are a couple of ways through which you can unlock your Android phone with a broken screen and we have all of them listed ahead.

Most Android phones do support input methods other than the standard touch screen. Also, if you had USB debugging enabled on your phone, before the screen cracked, that opens up Android Debug Bridge (ADB) which is a great utility to interact with your phone via your computer. Once unlocked, your phone’s data would be easily retrieved hence you can take it out before sending it ahead for replacement or switching to a new device.

Unlock Android Phone with Broken Screen

How to Unlock Android Phone with a Broken Screen

A broken screen can leave you without the ability to access your phone and its services. While the device itself can be repaired, crucial data within the phone can’t be accessed immediately. For that, you can implement the following procedures.

There are couple of remedies you can try in order to unlock your phone with a broken screen or faulty touchscreen.

Method 1: Attach a USB keyboard / mouse with OTG cable

Resorting to accessories, you can simply attach a mouse and use it just as you would on a computer to unlock your phone. However, for this method, we are assuming the display itself is working — enough to see the pointer.

Most Android devices support a mouse through USB On-the-Go (OTG). You would need a wired mouse (wireless will also work but depending upon the power it utilizes) and an OTG cable. Depending upon your phone, you would either need a microUSB OTG cable or a USB Type-C compliant.

Step 1 – Connect OTG Cable to your phone.

Step 2 – Connect the mouse to the OTG.

Step 3 – The mouse should power up and as soon as you move it, you will see a cursor on the screen.

Step 4 – Use the mouse just as you normally would to navigate the phone and unlock it. Right click will act as your regular tap.

Use microUSB / USB-C to HDMI Dongle to Connect to TV or Monitor

Once you unlock your phone, you can go ahead and connect it to a monitor using a HDMI adapter. As you would be disconnecting the mouse to make way for the microUSB to HDMI or USB Type-C to HDMI converter, for input, you would need a wireless Bluetooth mouse or an adapter that can split into a USB port as well as HDMI. This is great if you don’t want to repair your phone or want to use it as a laptop replacement.

Samsung Dex

If you have a Samsung phone, services like DeX come pre-installed on modern devices. DeX emulates a desktop UI making it quite easy to use on larger displays.

That’s all! This method requires you to have an extra OTG cable which you might not have lying around but other than that, it is easy to implement.

Method 2: Use Android Debug Bridge (ADB)

ADB can also come in handy to unlock Android phone. For this, however, you should have enabled USB Debugging beforehand — when the phone was working. If its enabled, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Connect your phone to your PC which should have ADB configured.

Need help configuring ADB? Read: How to Configure ADB on PC

Step 2 – Now, depending upon whether you had a passcode or a simple unlock swipe, execute the correct command ahead:

For Simple Swipe Unlock

adb shell input keyevent 82 && adb shell input keyevent 66

For PIN Unlock

adb shell input keyevent 82 && adb shell input text **** && adb shell input keyevent 66

NOTE: Replace **** within the code with your PIN.

That’s all! You should have your phone unlocked once you enter the commands successfully. Unfortunately, for pattern unlock, it is best to use the mouse method.

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About the author

Taimur Akmal

Devoted writer, enjoys developing code. Appreciates excellent food, exceptional coffee and great company. He is also into sublime design and nicely built cars.