The screen on my Samsung Galaxy Ace 4 broke (running Android 4.4) and I really, really wish to get all my photos and other data off it. The phone has a pattern lock screen as well as an additional PIN if the pattern is entered wrong. I've tried numerous methods:

  • I can turn my phone on, hear the startup sound, all the buttons work (even the two touch buttons for back and menu)
  • when I plug in my phone onto my PC, the device shows up but is empty - need to unlock the phone first.
  • Touch doesn't respond, so no vision and no touch => no way to normally unlock phone.
  • Galaxy Ace 4 does NOT support USB OTG, so plugging in a mouse to TRY to do something is out of the question as well.
  • I don't have USB debugging enabled
  • The device was never rooted
  • Maybe that is why I cannot get ADB to work either...
  • There are a few software solutions available that claim to be capable of unlocking your phone's screen through USB, or being able to get your data off your phone, but NONE of them support Galaxy Ace 4 explicitly.
  • I DO have Airdroid installed on the phone, but WiFi and other means of connectivity are turned off on the device and I know of no way to re-enable them with a broken screen
  • therefore Google's Android Device Manager was of no help

At this point I feel I have tried everything. Is there anything else I can do? Screen replacement is roughly $100, and I don't care about this phone anymore as a device, I just want the data. Maybe it's possible to somehow connect a different screen (from a cheaper/older phone? Not just this exact model), it doesn't have to fit perfectly, it can even hang loose on a thread, I just need to unlock the device.

Recently we can often hear in the news how governments hacked someone's phone (a captured terrorist or such), so is there literally any other way I could get into mine? I do know both the PIN and the pattern, and of course credentials to my Google account.

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    There are tools that can dump data from the eMMC directly through JTAG. (paid tools though) – esQmo_ Dec 24 '16 at 20:42

AFAIK Samsung phones have WiFi option in their power menu so if that is true in your case and also if you have Airdroid configured to connect on having proper connection to a server i.e., PC than you may have a chance of communicating with the device.
Do try and report back

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    Sadly, this is not the case for such an old model. There are only three options in the power menu (power off, reboot, airplane mode). Nevertheless, I've had the screen replaced a few months ago, so I'm able to use the phone now. I've had tried many things, but in the end wasn't able to recover anything from that phone without having to pay for a screen replacement. – pKami Apr 16 '18 at 21:28

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