How to Back Up an iPhone with a Broken Screen: A Step-by-Step Guide

Backing up an iPhone with a broken screen may seem like a daunting task, but it’s quite achievable with the right approach. Essentially, you’ll need a computer with iTunes installed, a USB cable, and a bit of patience. After following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll have a full backup of your iPhone, ready to be restored to a new device or the same phone after repair.

Once you complete the backup process, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your data is safe. This includes your contacts, photos, messages, and any other important information you had on your iPhone before the screen broke.


Crack! The sound nobody wants to hear – you’ve just dropped your iPhone and now the screen is a spiderweb of shattered glass. Panic sets in as you realize all your precious photos, messages, and apps could be lost forever if you can’t get the phone to work. But wait, don’t despair just yet. If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, knowing how to back up an iPhone with a broken screen can save you a lot of heartache.

This topic is particularly important because accidents happen, and they often occur at the least convenient times. Whether you’re about to upgrade to a new iPhone, or you need to send your current one in for repairs, having a backup of your data is crucial. It ensures that you don’t lose any essential information. This guide is relevant to anyone who finds themselves with a damaged iPhone screen and needs to secure their data quickly and efficiently.

Step by Step Tutorial to Back Up an iPhone with a Broken Screen

Before diving into the steps, it’s good to know that backing up an iPhone with a broken screen involves using iTunes on your computer. This process will ensure that all your data is securely transferred and stored.

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to your computer

Plug one end of your USB cable into the iPhone and the other end into your computer’s USB port.

Connecting your iPhone to your computer is the first step in the backup process. Make sure that you’re using a cable that is in good condition and that the USB port on your computer is functioning properly. If iTunes doesn’t open automatically, go ahead and open it manually.

Step 2: Trust the computer

On your iPhone, if the screen is still partially visible, tap “Trust” when prompted to allow the computer access to your iPhone.

In many cases, if you’ve connected your iPhone to your computer before, you may not need to perform this step, as your computer is likely already trusted. However, if this is a new computer or you’ve never synced with iTunes, you may need to interact with your iPhone. If the screen is totally unresponsive, you can try using voice commands with Siri or an external keyboard if you have one.

Step 3: Select your iPhone in iTunes

Look for the small iPhone icon in the upper-left corner of the iTunes window and click on it.

Once you select your iPhone, you’ll be taken to a summary page where you’ll find options for backups and other settings. If you don’t see your iPhone listed here, check your USB connection or try a different port.

Step 4: Start the backup

Click “Back Up Now” to begin the backup process.

Once you click “Back Up Now,” iTunes will start backing up your iPhone data to your computer. This process can take some time, especially if it’s a large backup or your first time backing up to this computer. Make sure not to disconnect your iPhone during this process.


SecurityBacking up your iPhone ensures that your data is safe, even if the device is damaged beyond repair.
ConvenienceYou can back up your iPhone from the comfort of your home without needing to visit a store or repair shop.
Peace of mindKnowing that your data is backed up can provide relief in a stressful situation like dealing with a broken screen.


Limited accessIf the screen is completely unresponsive, you may not be able to “Trust” the computer, making the backup process challenging.
Time-consumingDepending on the size of your backup, the process can take a significant amount of time.
Physical connection requiredYou need to have access to a computer and a USB cable, which may not always be available in a pinch.

Additional Information

When backing up an iPhone with a broken screen, it’s important to understand that the process can vary slightly based on the extent of the damage. If your screen is completely black or unresponsive, you might have to use additional tools or methods to trust the computer or enter your passcode.

One such method involves using VoiceOver, an accessibility feature on the iPhone, which can help you navigate the phone without seeing the screen. You can activate VoiceOver via Siri or by connecting an external keyboard and using specific key combinations.

Another tip is to ensure that you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer. This can help avoid any compatibility issues and ensure a smoother backup process.

Lastly, if you’re planning to get your iPhone screen repaired, remember to mention to the technician that you’ve performed a backup. This information can be helpful, as they may need to completely reset your phone during the repair process.


  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Trust the computer if prompted or use alternative methods if the screen is unresponsive.
  3. Select your iPhone in iTunes.
  4. Click “Back Up Now” to start the backup process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I can’t see or use my screen at all?

If your screen is completely unusable, you may need to use VoiceOver or an external keyboard to interact with your iPhone. You can also try connecting to a computer that was previously trusted, which might not require any interaction with your iPhone to start the backup.

Can I back up my iPhone without a computer?

Yes, if you have iCloud backups enabled and your iPhone can still connect to Wi-Fi, it may back up automatically. However, with a broken screen, you may not be able to confirm if the backup is happening.

How long does it take to back up an iPhone?

The backup duration depends on the amount of data on your iPhone and the speed of your computer. Expect anywhere from a few minutes to several hours for large backups.

Will I lose any data if I back up my iPhone with a broken screen?

No, as long as the backup process is completed without interruption, all your data should be securely stored in the backup.

Is it possible to back up only certain types of data?

Yes, you can choose to back up only specific data like photos or contacts, but this requires a functioning screen to select these options in the iPhone settings.


Dealing with a broken iPhone screen can be a nerve-wracking experience, but knowing how to back up your iPhone can alleviate some of the stress. Remember, the key is to act swiftly and follow the steps outlined in this article to ensure your data is preserved. Whether you’re getting your screen replaced or moving to a new phone, having a recent backup will make the transition seamless.

For those who completed the backup process, congratulations on securing your data! If you encountered difficulties, consider seeking professional help, especially if you’re unsure about the extent of the damage. Remember, backing up an iPhone with a broken screen is possible, and with the right steps, you can protect your valuable information.