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Have I LOST MY PHOTOS?! How to get photos off a broken phone?

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where your phone is physically damaged, leaving you worried about the precious memories stored in the form of photos?

This guide aims to answer your burning question: "How to get photos off a broken phone?" Here, we will equip you with different methods that you can utilise to retrieve your valuable photos from a broken or damaged phone, whether it's an Android or iPhone.

Can you get pictures off a broken phone?

The initial concern that most users have when their phone breaks is whether they can retrieve their photos. The answer depends on the nature and extent of the damage. It's worth noting that physical damage to your phone doesn't necessarily equate to total data loss. The possibility of successful photo recovery and the method employed largely depend on the type and severity of the damage to your phone.

If your phone is severely damaged, it's often best to approach professional data recovery service providers. However, there are do-it-yourself tools and techniques that you can try out before resorting to professional help. Let's delve into these recovery methods.

Pre-requisites for DIY methods

Before we dive into the different methods of retrieving photos from a broken phone, it's crucial to understand some prerequisites:

  • USB Debugging Enabled: For some methods, having enabled USB debugging on your Android phone is essential. This feature allows your phone to communicate with a computer, which is crucial for the file recovery process.
  • Backup and Sync Enabled: If you have enabled backup and sync features on your phone, such as Google Photos or iCloud, you will be able to access and restore your photos from these platforms.
  • Working USB Slot: To connect your phone to your computer and access its storage, a functional USB slot is necessary.
  • SD Card: If your photos are stored on an SD card, you can remove it from the broken phone and insert it into another working device for recovery. Your SD card data should still be retained which means, your photos should be saved!

DIY methods to retrieve photos from a broken phone

Here are some DIY methods that can help you retrieve photos from your broken phone.

Method 1: Getting your photos back with Third Party Software

The AutoPlay feature on your computer can be used to get photos from your broken Android phone. This method requires your phone's USB slot to be functional, as it involves connecting a USB cable.

Recovering lost photos by enabling USB debugging:

  1. Use a USB cable to connect your phone to a computer/laptop.
  2. Click 'Open Folder' when in the AutoPlay window to see your files and get ready to copy and paste them over to a new device or to your computer.
  3. Copy and paste your photos to a new folder on your computer, and you're done!

Using an OTG (On The Go) cable:

  1. So long as USB debugging has been disabled, you can connect your mouse to your Android phone (providing it has the same USB connection type) and control your phone using your mouse with the use of an OTG cable.
  2. Plug your OTG cable into your phone.
  3. And plug the other end of the OTG cable into your mouse.
  4. Then, recover photos and other media files from the broken phone by locating your phone's files on your file explorer and copying and pasting over to you computer/laptop.

Method 2: Using Google Drive

Google Drive's backup and sync feature can be a lifesaver if you have enabled it on your phone.

If you have Google Drive's backup feature enabled then recovering photos becomes a lot easier! You can easily log into your Google Drive account and your photos and other files that you may have 'lost' should also be accessible there as well.

Using Google Drive to get back your lost photos & files:

  1. Open Google Drive on your computer in a web browser.
  2. Your images and other files should be right in front of you once you've logged into your account. You can also try using the search bar to find the exact image or file that you're looking for. Right-click on the photo(s) and download them onto your computer.

Method 3: Use photo recovery software

Photo recovery software can be a handy tool to retrieve photos from a broken phone, especially if your photos were saved on an SD card. One such tool is Stellar Photo Recovery. It can supposedly retrieve pictures from the storage card of your broken Android phone and even recover deleted photos or lost photos from damaged or formatted SD cards.

Getting photos back from a broken phone SD card:

  1. Download, install and launch Stellar Photo Recovery on your PC or Mac.
  2. Using a card reader, connect the SD card from your phone to your computer
  3. Select your SD card from the location window. Click Scan.
  4. After the scan has finished, you will be able to see all of your recoverable photos.
  5. Activate the software and save your photos.

Method 4: Use a dedicated data extraction tool

Certain software tools, like Broken Android Data Extraction, specialise in recovering data from broken Android phones. These tools provide customised fix packages to resolve Android issues and retrieve files including photos. They're particularly useful if your broken phone is a Samsung Galaxy model, as they're often compatible with these devices.

Method 5: Use cloud backup tools

If you've backed up your photos on cloud storage platforms like Google Photos or iCloud, you can easily retrieve your photos. Tools like CopyTrans Backup Extractor and CopyTrans Cloudly allow you to search for backups on your PC and cloud storage, respectively, and extract photos to your computer.

Method 6: Transfer from SD card

If your phone has an SD card and it's not damaged, you can remove it from the broken phone and insert it into another working device. You can then access and transfer the photos stored on the SD card to a new android device.


Recover photos from a broken iPhone using iCloud backup

If you have an iPhone Insurance policy with us here at Gadget Cover, it's best to get in contact with us before looking at other methods of repairing your iPhone. Depending on the type of damage and the level of coverage you have within your policy, we may be able to help you out and repair your iPhone or replace it for a like-for-like model!*

*Terms & Conditions apply, please contact our customer service representatives or refer to your policy documents for more information

If you had the foresight to enable iCloud backup on your iPhone, you have a high chance of recovering your photos. Follow these steps to retrieve your photos from a broken iPhone using iCloud backup:

  1. Log into iCloud: Visit and log into your account using your Apple ID and password.
  2. Access Photos: Once logged in, click on the "Photos" icon to access your photo library.
  3. Select Photos: Browse through your photos and select the ones you want to recover.
  4. Download Photos: After selecting the desired photos, click on the download button to save them to your computer.

Section 2: Retrieve photos from a broken iPhone using iTunes backup


If you regularly back up your iPhone using iTunes, you can easily restore your photos from a backup file. Follow these steps to retrieve photos from a broken iPhone using iTunes backup:

  1. Connect your iPhone: Connect your broken iPhone to your computer using a USB cable and launch iTunes.
  2. Select Backup: In the iTunes interface, locate the "Restore iPhone" option and click on it.
  3. Choose Backup: From the list of available backups, select the one that contains the photos you wish to recover.
  4. Begin Restoration: Click on "Restore" to initiate the restoration process. This may take some time depending on the size of the backup file.

Section 3: Recover photos from a broken iPhone without backup using Anyrecover

If you don't have a backup of your broken iPhone, don't panic. You can still recover your photos using a professional tool like Anyrecover. Here's how:

  1. Install Anyrecover: Download and install Anyrecover on your computer.
  2. Launch Anyrecover: Open the Anyrecover application and select the "Smart Recovery" mode.
  3. Connect your iPhone: Connect your broken iPhone to the computer using a USB cable and let Anyrecover detect the device.
  4. Select File Types: Choose the file types you want to recover, which in this case are photos.
  5. Scan and Preview: Allow Anyrecover to scan your broken iPhone for recoverable photos. Once the scan is complete, you can preview the photos before recovering them.
  6. Recover Photos: Select the photos you wish to recover and click on the "Restore to PC" option to save them to your computer.

Section 4: Seek assistance from Apple support

If none of the above methods work for you, it's time to seek assistance from Apple Support. You can reach out to Apple Support through their website or visit an Apple Store near you. The experts at Apple Support can assess the condition of your broken iPhone and provide guidance on photo recovery options.

Section 5: Preventive measures to protect your photos

While it's crucial to know how to recover photos from a broken iPhone, it's equally important to take preventive measures to protect your photos in the first place. Here are some tips to safeguard your photos:

  1. Regularly Back Up: Make it a habit to regularly back up your iPhone using iCloud or iTunes. This ensures that even if your iPhone gets damaged, your photos are safely stored elsewhere.
  2. Enable iCloud Photos: Enable the iCloud Photos option to automatically sync your photos across all your Apple devices. This way, even if one device gets broken, you can still access your photos from another.
  3. Use Third-Party Cloud Services: Consider using third-party cloud services like Google Photos, Dropbox, or OneDrive to backup and sync your photos. This provides an extra layer of protection and accessibility.
  4. Handle with Care: Be cautious while handling your iPhone and invest in a sturdy protective case. Avoid exposing your iPhone to extreme temperatures, water, or physical impact.

Section 6: What to do when your iPhone is broken

When faced with a broken iPhone, it's essential to know the appropriate steps to take. Here's what you can do when your iPhone is broken:

  1. Assess the Damage: Evaluate the extent of the damage to determine if it's a hardware issue or just a broken screen. This will help you decide whether to seek professional repair or replace the device.
  2. Contact Apple Support: Reach out to Apple Support for guidance on repair options. They can provide information on authorised repair centres or advise you on the best course of action based on your specific situation.
  3. Consider Third-Party Repair Services: If your iPhone is out of warranty, you may explore third-party repair services. Ensure to choose reputable repair shops that use genuine Apple parts.
  4. Backup and Secure Data: Before sending your broken iPhone for repair, make sure to back up your data to prevent any loss. You can do this using your iTunes & iCloud account as well if you're an Apple user.

A few more FAQs to help you out

stack of broken phones

How can I recover data from a dead phone without a battery?

Recovering data from a dead phone might seem daunting, but with the right steps, it's totally achievable. Here's a guide on how you can do it:

The first thing is to acquire a new, compatible battery for your phone. Replace the dead battery with the new one, then try to power your phone. If the phone powers on, you can now connect it to your computer using a USB cable and access its internal storage.

How do I access internal storage on a broken phone?

If your phone is broken, you can still recover data by using a USB cable to connect the phone to your computer. Your computer should recognize the device and allow you to access its internal storage. You can then copy the files you need over to your computer.

However, if the phone is too damaged to be recognised by your computer, you'll need to use a data recovery tool. There are several apps and software on the market like Dr.Fone or iMobie PhoneRescue that can help you retrieve your data.

How do I connect my dead phone to my computer?

If your phone is dead and won't power on, you'll need a data recovery tool. These tools can access the phone's memory and recover your data even if the phone itself doesn't turn on.

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