Transfer data from Android Google Pixel with broken display but working touch


Revision as of 16:57, 11 May 2021 by Falz (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)

The Issue

The phone screen on my Google Pixel 4a stopped displaying, but the touch sensor still worked. One can long press the power button to turn it off, short press to turn it on. It asks the pin code with a pad on lower half-ish of screen, if careful enough you can enter it to finish booting.

I did this, got a new phone (another Pixel 4a) and wanted to be able to transfer data with a USB C cable between them. Doing so requires you to confirm something on the broken phone. I couldn't find any screenshots of what it wanted, was pressing all over the right side of the screen but never found it until..


  1. Set everything up from scratch. Would have spent a few more hours futzing and come back to this
  2. - Use AirDroid (only works if you already had it installed, which I didn't)
  3. Laptop with ADB command line to control screen - won't work because phones are directly connected


I came to the realization that Google Photos was still auto syncing on this phone. When you unlock, you can get a screenshot with VOL- and POWER. So the fix was easy - do this, wait a few minutes to it to sync, check, press the area of the screen that seemed right.


This is Android 11 from May 2021.