Having searched through other Q&As on backing up damaged phones, I can't seem to find a solution for my little problem, so I'm really hoping that by asking directly someone will have an answer!

I dropped my phone and the screen has smashed quite spectacularly. I can still view half of the display (notifications are still showing, etc.) but all control of the screen has been lost. Unfortunately, so has the touch unlock feature.

I'm desperate to be able to back it up before I send it to iPhone heaven, but am having real difficulties. I've tried a couple of the apps such as DrFone, but they all require a passcode.

Has anyone got any ideas please?

  • Does the screen still react to touches?
    – idmean
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 18:39

3 Answers 3


Unfortunately, there are not many options available should the screen be shattered. Depending on how valuable the data on your phone is (photos, texts, etc). then you might want to check into having the screen repaired.

An iPhone 6 screen can be repaired Out of Warranty by Apple for $106 + tax at a local Apple store, and there are also Service Providers (authorized) and third-parties which will also fix the screen at similar costs which may be closer to you. I'd recommend you look into that option, as

  • you will be able to retrieve your data (assuming no further damage than the screen)
  • You won't have to get a new phone over the issue, since the old one would be fixed

Beyond a physical repair of the device, your options would be limited. I might also suggest reaching out to a local third-party service as they might be willing to hook up a spare screen to your phone for the purpose of unlocking and backing up the data, but not a repair, at a lower cost should the full repair be too expensive. Of course, note that any 3rd-party repairs done by a non-AASP and/or non-Apple would void the warranty, should you have one.


In order to backup your iPhone, you need to be able to unlock it. This you have already discovered. Unfortunately, the iPhone has some quite good security, and you have run into some of it here: there is just no way around entering your password.

My suggestion is to do something completely different: replace the screen. There is risk that you lose your data with this approach, but if you replace your phone your data is gone with certainty. You can find a local service or visit someplace like iFixit where you can purchase a new screen, and view videos of how to do it yourself. For less than $100, you can restore your screen, unlock the phone, back it up, and get a replacement. Not the cheapest alternative, but perhaps worthwile considering.


Had a similar problem. I used an old iPad dock with keyboard and an adapter for the lightning port. I was able to enter the passcode and unlock the phone without using the touchscreen or any button. Maybe you can get such dock from eBay etc.


There is no serious way to do it by software or such without unlocking it first. Forensic software is needed to decrypt the unlocked data partition of the device.

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