How to unlock and backup iPhone when touch is broken

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This shows you how to gain access to your iPhone when the touch digitizer is all broken (also after replacing the screen) and you only have the display, lightning connector, home button, and camera to navigate the dialog boxes and menus.

In my case the touch IC, wifi and Bluetooth IC on the mainboard was broken after being run over by a bus tire.

Unlock passcode

  • Insert a working SIM card with data and no unlock pin code, data needed for Siri
  • Go to Siri by holding the Home button and say Enable VoiceOver to enable USB keyboard access
  • Get the Lightning to USB adapter from Apple
  • Connect a regular USB keyboard
  • Enter the passcode and press the Return-key to gain access to the phone

The same works if you have working Bluetooth and a pre-paired Bluetooth keyboard.

Enable Trust from iTunes computer

This is a bit more tricky as the touch is broken and you can't use the keyboard to press Trust on the dialog that pops up when you connect the phone to a new computer.

If you already have trusted the computer before, you can just click Backup in iTunes and be done.

  • Using the USB keyboard, configure the Accessibility Shortcut on the bottom of the Accessibility menu, to enable Switch Control by three-press the Home-button
    • Use the arrow keys to navigate the options
    • Press both Up- and Down-key simultaneously for Tap
    • Press Escape to go Back
  • Add some Switches; Camera and move left to Tap item, and Camera move right to Move to next item
  • Triple-press the Home button and move your head to the left to enable Switch Control when the dialog box appears - note the USB access/VoiceOver will be disabled
  • Connect the phone via USB to iTunes and when the Trust dialog box appears, move your head to the left to tap the Trust-button
  • Backup via iTunes

Move backup folder to new computer

To upload or copy the iPhone backup to another computer use this method.

  • On OS X, in Finder press cmd+shift+g and enter ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
  • Move or compress the unique numbered folder to the new computer
  • Use iTunes to restore the backup to a new iPhone