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Unfortunately I dropped my phone (galaxy S3) and the screen is black, so I cannot do anything on the phone. But other than that, it is fully functioning, and I can see the files when connected to a pc. There is this question which states that the phone needs to be rooted in order to access the database where the contacts are stored. Is there an other way to retrieve contacts when the phone is not rooted? The gmail sync was unfortunately not enabled. Is it possible to turn this on remotely?

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    If you have access to an identical phone, you might be able to place them next to each other and replicate all activtites on the dark screen (blindly, without seeing what you do). That way, you might be able to mail your contacts out or something similar. That assumes that the screen still takes touch-input, of course. – Aganju Mar 26 '16 at 17:05
  • unfortunately it doesnt take touch-input, otherwise that would be a great tip! – ylka Mar 26 '16 at 17:14
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Can you use Kies to backup the contacts from the phone and access them on the PC?

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/owners/app/kies

Or maybe even the new SmartSwitch software that has replaced Kies, although I have never used it.

  • this worked, many many thanks! I was able to export the contacts to a .spb file, then downloaded kies 2.6, opened the .spb with it and exported it to vcf/csv format. – ylka Mar 27 '16 at 11:00
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  1. If the contacts were in SIM memory then you can insert the SIM card in another phone and get them back.
  2. If you say the phone is functional then you should consider replacing the Display Hardware and get your whole phone back.
  • unfortunately they weren't on the sim. replacing the display is the next step, but we needed some of the contacts immediately. thanks anyway :) – ylka Mar 27 '16 at 11:01
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You can buy a 11-pin MHL to HDMI adapter and hook your S3 up to your TV. Since your touchscreen doesn't work either, you'll have to buy an official "Samsung" MHL adapter along with an OTG adapter so you can hopefully use a USB mouse along with the TV output. (Not tested)

Another idea with a guarantee of working, you can just buy the $2.00 OTG adapter to hook up a USB mouse, and use the hardware keys to take screenshots within 3 seconds of moving the mouse, then copy the screenshots onto your computer to check your mouse position before clicking. It will take a while, but you will have a couple bucks into it with 100% success rate.

Finally, you could just get the screen fixed.

Hope this helps

  • thank you for the creative answers, I was able to get the contacts with the Kies software, but otherwise this would have been the next step. thanks :) – ylka Mar 27 '16 at 11:03

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