I dropped my Samsung J2 Pro and damaged it this morning. Only part of screen responds to touch commands now. So it's almost certainly time for a new phone, but I'd like to get photos and SMS messages backed up first.

Photos were easy; I have uploaded all my photos to my computer via the USB. I'd like to do the same for my SMS text messages, but can't find them in the file system.

I downloaded the app "SMS Backup & Restore", but cannot run it because the "Get Started" button is near the bottom of the screen, and pressing it does not work (groan).

So is it possible to directly access my SMS messages via the USB port, without running a special app? Or is there some other app which makes them visible?

  • I found Vysor, an app to control the phone from my computer. I had to change settings on my phone to allow Vysor access, but fortunately that part of my phone screen worked! Then using Vysor, I could run SMS Backup & Restore.
    – Peter B
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 0:49
  • So my problem is solved; I might delete the question unless other think it might be useful.
    – Peter B
    Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 0:50
  • Welcome to Android Enthusiasts! Good that you find a solution. Can you write it down as answer with the steps you followed. Your answer might be helpful for others who might have the same problem. Commented Apr 15, 2019 at 9:12

1 Answer 1


It's been suggested I post what I did. Note this is for a partly working screen (i.e. some regions detect touch, some do not). There are answers for a completely broken screen here: How do I backup data (SMS/contacts) from a device with a broken screen?

Anyway, what I did:

  1. Download Vysor to my (Mac) computer. (And "Android File Transfer" if it's not there already). Start up Vysor.
  2. Vysor needed USB debugging to be on. For that, on my phone I went into: Settings -> About Phone -> Settings, and pressed Serial Number several times "to become a developer". Then I could go into Settings -> Developer Options, and turn on USB Debugging. In both of those cases, I was lucky in that I could find a part of my screen which worked to select those options. The link above has a away to do this for a completely dead screen.
  3. Plug USB cable into phone and press "Allow" to allow data access to it. Again, I was lucky that "Allow" was on a part of my screen which worked.
  4. Click "Find Devices" in Vysor, and select the phone. I had to repeat steps 3 and 4 a couple of times for some reason, but eventually it found the phone properly, and an emulator started up on my computer.
  5. Then, using the Vysor emulator to control my phone, and I was able to get my SMS's by downloading and running SMS Backup & Restore on my phone.

You must log in to answer this question.

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