I have a Samsung S5 and without no reason the screen has stopped working, its totally black the lights are still active. I have taken it to the mobile retailer and they have tried to reset it by taking the battery out etc but with no joy its not fixed the problem. They have said it needs to go for repair. But I have photos on the phone that I would not want to loose. I was advised by the shop to download Kies onto my lap top and then I could back up my phone data. Having downloaded the software today and plugged in my phone I am still left with the problem of unlocking the phone with a totally black screen I cannot see the keyboard on the screen to type in my password. Therefore my question would be how can I unlock the phone with a totally black screen?. And is there a way to save my data and my photos?

  • Welcome to the Android Enthusiasts! Though it's probably not a "dead screen" issue, results are much alike. Please take a look at our broken-screen tag-wiki, there's a data-recovery section which might be helpful in your case.
    – Izzy
    Dec 11, 2015 at 11:14

1 Answer 1


You can definitely back your data up. Even if the screen is broken or black.

First, boot your S5 into recovery mode like this:

  • Switch your Samsung Galaxy S5 completely.
  • Boot into Galaxy S5 recovery mode by pressing and holding Volume Up, Home and Power keys at the same time.
  • Release all three buttons when Samsung Galaxy S5 screen flickers and the main screen of Recovery mode appears.

Your phone should now be in recovery mode. If your phones' screen doesn't show any signs of life during this process like some sort of flicker, repeat the process and check through adb with

     adb devices

until it shows your device id.

Once it shows your device id, enter the following in the command prompt

    adb shell
    echo "persist.service.adb.enable=1" >>/system/build.prop
    echo "persist.service.debuggable=1" >>/system/build.prop
    echo "persist.sys.usb.config=mass_storage,adb" >>/system/build.prop

Once you've completed that, you can download a free software that when run on your pc allows you to control your android device. Including touch response and swipe for screen unlock or password entry. The software is available at the link provided. I've personally tested this with multiple android phones including s3, s4, and s5 and it does work. (kids can be dangerous around phones :/).

Hope all this helps


Boot S5 into Recovery

Control device with broken screen

  • Many thanks for getting back with a reply to my question. But the screen is totally black and does not come on or illuminate, it makes all the right sounds when turning off and on but the screen still appears not to have life. I don't know what else to do sorry I do not understand the adb device shell information you have very kindly shared.
    – Tinks
    Dec 11, 2015 at 21:36
  • Basically, the adb shell enables USB debugging on your device. Since you stated that it isn't enabled. Add long as your phone vibrates when you press all three buttons, then it should work
    – Steve C.
    Dec 11, 2015 at 21:39
  • Thanks Steve C. I am sorry not too sure what I have to do next do I need to download a program to enable USB debugging.
    – Tinks
    Dec 11, 2015 at 22:12
  • No. You can enable debugging through the adb command prompt like above then download a software that let's you control your device from your computer. If you lived in LA, then I would just do it for you
    – Steve C.
    Dec 11, 2015 at 23:58

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .