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Entering Passcode on a Broken iPhone Screen

Kelly Wilkerson

Categories: itunes, iphone | View Comments

Need to enter your passcode to make a backup of your iPhone with a broken screen? This tip may help you get the passcode entered even if parts of the screen don't respond to touch.

If your iPhone screen is broken, you likely want to plug it into iTunes to make a backup and copy your photos before getting a replacement screen or new iPhone. But, if you haven't plugged your iPhone in and completed the “Trust” dialog with your computer before, you'll need to enter your iPhone passcode (or Touch ID if possible) to unlock your iPhone and make your first backup in iTunes.

But what if your iPhone screen is cracked in a way where some or most of the screen doesn't respond to touch so you can't tap some of the passcode numbers? What if your iPhone screen is broken such that you can't enter the passcode?

If some small portion of the touch screen still works, you should be able to use that working section of the screen to slide around in VoiceOver mode; thankfully, you can turn on VoiceOver with Siri while the iPhone is locked.

With VoiceOver on you can use any portion of the touch screen that works to move a “cursor” around and double tap to “tap” where the cursor is. I found this tip buried here in the Apple Support community forums. (This post is from an older phone so it talks about slide to unlock, but instead we should just need to tap the home button twice to get to the passcode screen.)

If you can’t see anything, VoiceOver should help too, since Siri reads the button text as the cursor moves.

How to enter your passcode on a cracked iPhone screen:

  1. Hold down the Home button to activate Siri. Say “Turn on VoiceOver”.
  2. Press the Home button twice to bring up the passcode screen.
  3. Use the portion of your screen that responds to touch to swipe left and right, which will move your VoiceOver cursor to different passcode number buttons. VoiceOver will also say the button being selected, which is helpful if you can't see the screen.
  4. When the cursor is on the next passcode number you need, double tap to “tap” the selected passcode number.
  5. After the iPhone unlocks, you may need VoiceOver one last time to tap “Trust” in the dialog that comes up when you plug in your iPhone to your computer.
  6. Copy your photos and/or make your backup in iTunes!

To turn off VoiceOver, you can say “Turn off VoiceOver” to Siri, or go into Settings > General > Accessibility to turn it off manually.