We’ve all been there. You’re walking down the street listening to music or picking up your morning coffee, when: CRASH. Your iPhone slips out of your hand and smacks into the ground. There’s a brief moment before you pick it up again where it’s Schrödinger’s phone – is the screen cracked? If I never look then it’s both broken and fine…
But sure enough, there it is. An iPhone turned into a gloriously depressing work of art; a glass spider web covering your screen threatening to hide all of your data from you – unless you can find a way of backing it up before anything worse happens.
Clearly, backing up your phone data regularly gives you a better chance of reaching those important documents or sentimental photos, but we’re not always prepared when our phones break or the screens crack. Fortunately, we’re here to help you keep your data safe.
How to Back Up an iPhone
Backing up a working iPhone is a very easy process, so you should back up your data as often as possible to avoid having to deal with trying to recover your data after your phone or phone screen is already broken. It’s hard to predict when you’ll break your phone – if we could predict it, we’d surely avoid doing it – but unless you’ve already set up your automatic iCloud backup, here are some of the best times to backup your data to prevent losing any through an avoidable mishap:
- Before you go on holiday
- Before you do any extreme sports
- Before you take it to the beach
- Before you use a waterproof phone case
- Before you head to a party
However, since our lives aren’t always so predictable or easy to organise, you should set your iPhone to automatically back up. Then, whenever you have a WiFi connection, are connected to a power source and have a locked screen, your data will automatically back up to the cloud.
Otherwise, manually backing up your working iPhone is easy: just unlock your phone, connect to a WiFi network, go to your settings, tap your name, tap iCloud, tap iCloud backup and then tap back up now. Once the backup is done, which doesn’t usually take more than an hour, depending on when your last backup was, the screen will display the date and time of your last backup so you know it’s done.
And that’s that! So, where possible, back up your data as often as you can, so you don’t have to go through the ordeal of accessing your data with a cracked screen.
How to Back Up an iPhone with a Broken Screen
If you’ve just got a few lines running through your screen and you can see what’s on it and the screen still recognises your touch, backing up your phone shouldn’t be an issue. Just go ahead with the above steps and your phone data will be backed up to iCloud.
However, the first thing you should know is that you cannot back up an iPhone if you can’t unlock the screen. With Touch and Face ID, it’s now much easier to unlock broken phones, however, if you don’t have these enabled, you’ll simply have to replace your phone screen and hope that your data is still on the phone afterwards.
In many cases, your data will be fine because replacing an iPhone screen is relatively easy, you can even do it yourself provided you have the right tools. But repair shops and even Apple Repairs don’t guarantee that your data is protected and will be on your phone after the screen is fixed. Moreover, even if you have Touch or Face ID enabled, if your phone turns off or restarts, you won’t be able to unlock your phone this way as all phones require a PIN or pattern to unlock the phone when it has restarted.
That’s why if you break your phone screen badly, never restart the phone, and where possible, keep the phone plugged into a power source so it never runs out of battery and you can still use your face or fingerprint to unlock the phone.
Backing Up an iPhone with a Cracked Screen: Step-by-Step
- A wireless keyboard
- A screen reader app
- Siri enabled
- Storage space in your iCloud account
The first step to backing up your phone is always to unlock it. If it’s completely obscured or won’t recognise your face or touch, you simply need to replace your iPhone screen.
Once your phone is unlocked, you’ll need a way of knowing what’s behind the mesh of broken glass: fortunately, there are screen reading apps like VoiceOver for the visually impaired which can read aloud what’s on your screen for you. Ask Siri to install or enable the app for you to start using. Then, with an external keyboard connected to your iPhone via USB or Bluetooth, you can both know what’s on your screen and interact with it.
Control+Alt+Space works to click on specific buttons just like tapping your finger on the screen.
Next, ask Siri to open your iCloud Settings and press the right cursor key 22 times to reach the iCloud Backup. Some iPhones have slightly different layouts, however, the VoiceOver app will be able to read each heading to you as you click through so you’ll know when you’ve reached the backup option. Press Control+Alt+Space to click on the iCloud Backup, then press the right cursor key twice followed by Control+Alt+Space, and your backup will start!
You won’t be able to see how long it will take for the backup to be complete, so you can either wait for around 3 hours to be completely sure everything has backed up or use your keyboard’s right cursor key again to highlight the words onscreen for the VoiceOver app to read aloud.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully backed up your data to iCloud!
Can You Backup a Broken iPhone to a Computer?
Another way of backing up your phone which is a great alternative if you don’t have any iCloud storage space yet, is by backing up your iPhone to your computer. The difficulty is if you’ve never plugged your phone into your computer before, because a pop-up button appears on your phone screen to accept the computer as a trusted device, which is hard to click if you can’t see it. You can, however, use the above method to press the button, so you can then go ahead and back up your iPhone data to your PC or Mac via Finder for newer models and iTunes for older models.
Is it Worth Fixing an iPhone Screen?
Fixing an iPhone screen isn’t that expensive. At IMFixed, we just charge £90.00 to replace an iPhone 12 screen, which is considerably cheaper than going out and buying a brand-new iPhone. Even refurbished iPhones can set you back a few hundred pounds, so monetarily, it’s definitely worth fixing your iPhone screen rather than buying a new one.
However, if your phone is very old and you were going to buy a new one soon, or if you’re due an upgrade with your phone company, then you might as well just get a new iPhone. You can then migrate your data from your iPhone with the cracked screen to the new one without needing to back up the phone first. Just unlock your old phone and ask Siri to turn Bluetooth on; then you can move your data to your new iPhone within a couple of hours.
Get Your Phone Screen Fixed Today
Even once you’ve backed up your data, you’ll still need to get your screen fixed, and – you can do it yourself, but it’s risky if you’ve never done it before as there are many small parts that can get lost or broken. So, it’s best to turn to the professionals for help.
At IMFixed, we have a team of experts ready to help you with all your phone fixing needs, whatever the model. Simply pop into our shop in Wigan, Bury and Greater Manchester, or post us your phone from elsewhere in the UK for a quick,