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

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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.

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  • 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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