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How can I access the photos taken on an Iphone 5 that now has no screen? The phone was never 'paired' with a PC. The problem is that any form of interaction with a PC requires use of the phone screen e.g. to confirm pairing.

I use Linux but have access to a Windows machine. Please let me know any hacks. I have tried to install Itunes on the Windows machine but can't pair due to a lack of screen access. It would probably be quicker for me to completely circumvent Itunes and Windows and plug into the linux machine and work from the command line if anything along those lines is possible.

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    The phone is hardware-encrypted. Any interaction will require the passcode. The FBI recently had a similar problem, & that was on an old iPhone 4. The new ones are even harder to crack. Your best bet may be to get the screen replaced, which should be possible without having to delete the data. – Tetsujin Aug 24 '16 at 10:03
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iOS requires screen interaction on iPhone 5 to enable the USB port to access data.

Unless you have FBI budget to buy an exploit, the cheapest path forward is to pay someone to get a screen connected long enough to trust your chosen computer. You mOught spend $50 for that service, so it's really a matter of are the photos worth anything. If so, worth sacrificing something else in the family budget since backups were not kept.

Once the pairing record is set - you can browse the device without a screen attached - this allows your screen repair to be very temporary. At that point, your recovery proceeds like unprotected devices of old.

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  • OK-- thanks. I had no idea it was so arduous (I'm not an Apple user--this is for family). In hindsight the question seems naive, and yes I recollect those news stories. Thanks – Sav-econ Aug 28 '16 at 21:44
  • @Sav-econ walk through a new device setup with your family some time. See how many times they have to take action to opt out of backup - getting an iOS device to not back up isn't an accident. They intentionally opted out of default settings. – bmike Aug 28 '16 at 21:46
  • Mostly - sorry you're in the clean up / deliver bad news spot. I hope they're glad for your work finding options. – bmike Aug 28 '16 at 21:51
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Unfortunately as you said that you'll need to access your screen priorly and in order to achieve that you'll first need to repair your iPhone.

Apple offers a Damage Screen repair program but they do indicate that you should perform a full backup as they can't guarantee that you won't lose the information on the phone or that they will swap it out, but if they can replace the screen then so can you if you're a bit handy, there are many places where you could buy a replacement screen repair kit for cheap like this one or this one on Amazon.


Please note that I'm not affiliated with any of these links nor do I endorse any of them.

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  • I would agree Apple would be the wrong place to have the repair done. OP will want a temporary screen put on with limited chance of erase. Apple focuses on a permanent repair that may involve an erase and with their 90 day warranty on repairs - might cost more than a repair that's temporary or without any warranty. – bmike Aug 24 '16 at 12:32

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