How to Backup a Broken iPhone

A broken iPhone can be quite tricky, especially considering the cost of repairing the thing. Whether you plan to fix or repair your iPhone, you need to know how to backup your phone and restore all your data. If you are wondering if this is even possible, it depends on the state of your iPhone.

In this guide, we will show you different methods to backup your broken iPhone. Once you have successfully backed up your data, you will be free to replace your broken screen.

Backup iPhone with Broken Screen

Dropping an iPhone even once can cause the screen to break completely. Whether you have trouble backing up your iPhone depends on the condition of the screen. If he's sensitive to touch, that's great news. Otherwise, there are other methods and external devices you will need to use to save your data.

If your screen is responsive, here's what you should do:

  1. Go to "Settings" on your home screen.
  2. Tap your "Apple ID" at the top of the settings menu.
  3. Scroll down until you find the "iCloud Drive" tab.
  4. Switch to "iCloud Backup".
  5. Select the “Back Up Now” tab.

Give your iPhone time to back up all your data. To speed things up, make sure you're using a strong internet connection.

If you can't use your screen at all, you'll have to do something else. The most common and effective way to back up your broken iPhone is through iTunes. Before trying this method, make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer. You will also need a USB cable. To backup your broken iPhone with iTunes, follow the steps below:

  1. Connect your iPhone and computer/laptop via USB cable.
  2. Launch iTunes.
  3. Click your iPhone under "Devices" in the left sidebar.
  4. In the “Settings” section, select “Summary”.
  5. In the "Backups" panel, check the "This computer" option.
  6. Click the "Back Up Now" button on the right side of the panel.
  7. Go to the "Done" button.

It will take some time for iTunes to back up all your data, which will be stored on your computer. If you decide to buy a new iPhone, you can transfer all your backed up data from your computer by clicking the “Restore Backup…” button on the same panel.

Keep in mind that the iTunes method only works with trusted computers. If you're using a computer that you've never paired with your iPhone before, you won't be able to pair those two devices without being able to use your iPhone screen.

Backup iPhone with Broken Screen without iTunes

If you don't want to use the iTunes method, or you can't access your computer right now, there are other things you can try to backup your broken iPhone. If you want to use any of these workarounds, you need to meet a few requirements.

For starters, you need to be able to see your screen, even if you can't touch it. Second, you need to unlock your phone. Since you can't enter your passcode or PIN, you'll need to use Face ID or Touch ID. Older iPhones, such as iPhone 8 and earlier, do not support Face ID, so you will need to use the Touch ID feature. Third, you need to enable Siri on your iPhone so you can use it to activate VoiceOver, which is especially handy if you can't see the screen at all.

More importantly, you'll need one of the following Apple accessories to access your iPhone: a USB keyboard, a Lightning to USB adapter, and a Bluetooth keyboard. You will also need an iCloud account with enough space for your backup, as well as a stable internet connection.

To back up your iPhone with VoiceOver and a USB keyboard, here's what you need to do:

  1. Connect your iPhone and USB keyboard with the Lightning to USB Adapter.
  2. Unlock your iPhone with Face ID or Touch ID.
    Notes: Remember that if you restart your iPhone or if it turns off due to low battery, you will not be able to use Face ID or Touch ID to unlock it. When you turn your iPhone on and off, you need to enter your passcode or PIN to unlock it.
  3. Say, "Hey Siri, turn on VoiceOver."
  4. Give this voice command "Open iCloud Settings".
  5. Press the "Right" cursor key on your USB keyboard until you select "iCloud Backup". (If you can't see your screen at all, press the key 22 times)
  6. Simultaneously press the "Ctrl", "Alt" and "Space" keys. If you're using a Mac USB keyboard, press "Control," "Option," and Space. This will take you to the "iCloud Backup" screen.
  7. Use the same keys to activate the "iCloud Backup" option.
    Notes: If you cannot see your screen at all, press the “Right” Cursor key three times. The VoiceOver feature will say "iCloud Backup On/Off" to let you know if this feature has been enabled or not.
  8. Select the "Right" cursor key two more times.
  9. Simultaneously press the "Ctrl", "Alt" and "Space" keys. For a Mac keyboard, press "Control", "Option" and "Space" simultaneously.
  10. Wait for your iPhone to back up all your data.

Your iPhone data will be backed up to your iCloud account. If you want to use a Bluetooth keyboard, you'll need to use Siri, VoiceOver, and your USB cable to turn on your Bluetooth and connect the two devices. The reason having a Bluetooth keyboard is useful in this situation is that you will be able to connect your iPhone and computer through the Lightning port.

Backup iPhone with Unresponsive Broken Screen

All the above methods are applicable if you can use your broken screen even if you can't touch it. But what if your screen is black and you can't even see anything? The good news is that you can use VoiceOver, with Siri and a USB keyboard. That's what VoiceOver is for, telling you exactly what's going on even when you can't see it.

However, if your screen is completely unresponsive, your only option is to have it repaired or replaced. If you have tried all these methods and none of them worked, you should take your iPhone to the nearest Apple Store or affiliate. It is possible that not only the screen is broken, but also part of the internal hardware. If so, it is highly unlikely that you can back up your iPhone and restore all your data.

Save all data on your iPhone

Just because you broke your iPhone screen doesn't mean that everything is lost. If you haven't damaged any internal hardware, you can back up your iPhone and restore all your data using a variety of methods. Once all your data is safe, you can repair or replace your iPhone screen or buy a new one. Now all you have to do is import all your data to your device.

Have you ever broken your iPhone screen? What did you do? Did you manage to back up your iPhone? Let us know in the comments section below.

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