I have an iPad Mini, the screen has broken and is unresponsive. Although the device is still on and getting notifications.

I need to backup the device and download photos, but cannot do this until the device is unlocked using the passcode.

How can I unlock the device without the screen working?

Or how can I back up the device even if its locked?


I was able to connect and browse the filesystem by connecting my iPad via USB to a computer running Ubuntu 14.04 LTS. The photos and videos were in the DCIM folder.

!picture of the Ubuntu filesystem


Since you cannot unlock your iPad, you wont be able to backup your device using iTunes. When you have iCloud backup enabled for your iPad, it will automatically make a backup when you plug in the power cable. The iPad normally does this around midnight I think.

When none of the above works and you have access to a windows computer, you can download your photo's from your iPad using the windows explorer program.

I don't know if this is also possible with iPhoto since I didn't try that.

  • Windows explorer works even if it's locked? – Jake N Dec 25 '14 at 21:01
  • I think it does, but only for your photos – Jules Dec 26 '14 at 0:29

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