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Enable USB Debugging on a Broken Android Device’s Screen? Here’s a Workaround

Thanks to the open-source nature of Android, there are a plethora of tweaks that could be carried out. For most of these customizations, accessing the Android Debug bridge environment is a must. And for that, you will have to enable USB Debugging from Developer Options. But here is the thing. If the screen of your Android device is broken, how will you enable USB Debugging? Let’s first take out all the false notions. To being with, you could find tons of third-party apps and Softwares on the internet that claims to enable USB Debugging via your Windows PC or macOS. However, they are bluntly lying- it isn’t possible to do so.

There was a tip earlier, around 7-8 years back that allowed for enabling USB Debugging via the Clockwork Mod Recovery, which surprisingly had a high degree of success rate. However, as you all might very well be aware of, we have already bid adieu to this recovery, and TWRP is the sole standing player in this domain. Unfortunately, enabling Debugging via this custom recovery isn’t possible, as of now.

There exists another method that results in somewhat success. It involves using a USB OTG cable and a Mouse. I tried it on a couple of devices but wasn’t able to enjoy much success. More often than not, the mouse failed to click on the USB Debugging popup that appears on our device when we connect it to our PC. Moreover, I doubt someone would spend a couple of bucks and wait for a few days just for this very purpose. So then how could one enable USB Debugging on an Android device with a broken screen? Well, there are quite a few tips and workarounds that I will be mentioning in this guide and should come in handy. Let’s check it out.

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How to Enable USB Debugging on a Broken Android Device

So the bad news first- you cannot enable USB Debugging on any broken Android device, neither via any mod nor via the unlocked bootloader, root, or TWRP Recovery. But here’s the good news- you probably wouldn’t even require enabling USB Debugging. This is because all the works that depend on USB Debugging do have a substitute way of execution as well.

For the unawares, USB Debugging is required to carry out tons of ADB commands and associated works. However, for each of the ADB Commands, there exists a perfect substitute as well. More importantly. Fastboot Commands always occupy a higher position when it comes to usefulness. Any day of the week Fastboot Commands > ADB Commands. Furthermore, for executing any of the Fastboot Command, you don’t require USB Debugging. Yes, all the fastboot commands are USB Debugging independent.

So the command to unlock the bootloader, boot TWRP Recovery, permanently flash TWRP Recovery, or flash any and every type of ZIP and IMG files doesn’t require USB Debugging. But don’t we use the adb reboot bootloader command to boot our recovery to fastboot? Well, we do. So doesn’t the adb reboot bootloader command itself requires USB Debugging in the first place?

Again, it does. But, you don’t even need this ADB Command in the first place to boot your device to Fastboot or Bootloader Command. If your Android device’s screen is broken and you cannot enable USB Debugging and you still wish to boot your device to Fastboot, well you don’t even require touching your screen. All that is needed is the hardware keys.

First of all, turn off your device. When that is done, long-press the Power and Volume UP or Volume Down keys (check OEM-specific hardware keys combo) for a couple of seconds and your device should be booted to Fastboot/Bootloader mode. Now just connect your device to PC via USB cable, launch Command Prompt or Power Shell inside the platform-tools folder, and execute the desired fastboot commands. When everything is done, you could reboot your device to the system via fastboot reboot or simply use the hardware key for the same.

So with this, we have dealt with all the Fastboot commands. Now let’s turn our attention towards some useful ADB Commands and their substitutes. The most important ADB command, adb reboot bootloader, is used to boot device to Fastboot. Now we have effectively overcome this issue, and you don’t even require this command any more to boot to Fastboot. Next up, the adb push, adb pull, adb install adb uninstall are some of the commands that you could easily live without for a few days. Well, if you don’t end up uninstalling an app from your device, you aren’t going to have a bad couple of days.

One important command that comes to my mind is the adb command to boot your device to TWRP Recovery. Again, you could easily boot your device to TWRP Recovery even without touching your device. Simply power off your device and then use the Power and Volume Up or Down keys (check OEM-specific hardware keys combo) for a few seconds and your device should boot to TWRP Recovery. Or you could boot your device to Fastboot mode and then boot to TWRP Recovery using our guide.

So this was all from this guide on how to enable USB Debugging on any broken Android device. As you might have understood by now, there ain’t no direct workaround for this, but you probably don’t require one in the first place. There exists a substitute for every task that you used to perform via USB Debugging and could now be performed without that. Mentioning each of them is going to take ages. This is where the comments box should come in handy.

Just let us know which of the task or commands you aren’t able to execute on your broken Android device, and we will provide you with an alternative solution. We wouldn’t be making use of any third-party apps, unlocked bootloader, root, or anything else. All that is used would be a few lines of command and Google’s Android SDK and Platform Tools. That is it.

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  • Greg Tyler

    what is the fastboot command to pull all media (pictures, videos, music) from the device?

  • Reymundo mendoza

    Thank you for your help, my phone is poco x3 nfc and the firehose is not included. Can you give.me the file for me to unbrick my device. Thank you very much

  • Thanks for the post! I have a Xiaomi Redmi 3S with a broken screen (I even don’t see anything), which is however recognized by my PC. I need desperately to copy images and pictures to my PC, but I cannot do it since I cannot allow USB debugging or transfer files on the phone. Do you know a fastboot workaround for this? Highly appreciate the help!!

  • Aboubacr Sagna

    Hi dear
    Thanks for your appreciated help for the people..
    I personally need a help hope you can help me.
    I flashed my phone xiaomi redmi note 8 pro with a global ROM but i forgot and active this clean all lock and the ROM that i installed says that ”this Mui version can’t be install in this device” and the bootloader is locked i can’t flash the phone it says ”FAILED (remote: not allowed in locked state)”