My android phone's screen is damaged and only shows a white pixelated background and does not recognise any touch input (although it does recognise when I swipe on the initial lock screen after I restart the phone, I know this because I can hear the audio feedback). However everything seems intact internally, as I can charge it normally, pull out the battery and put it back in and restart it, the audio feedback when I put in the charger and pull it out work, and I can browse the internal memory by connecting it to the computer.

However, a big problem is that the phone is unrooted. I cannot connect the phone using adb either, since I cannot see the adb authorization dialog box, and just guessing where the OK button should be and pressing there is not working either. Since I can still the internal memory from computer, I have taken most of the basic data backup (pictures, audio recordings, etc) but I am not sure what to do about the contacts.

Is there any way to recover the contacts file from this phone, given that it is not rooted? The contacts are not backed up in google. The phone is Samsung Galaxy S4 with Android 4.4


Create backup using
adb exec-out dd if=/dev/block/(bootdevice/)mmcblk0 > emmc-backup.img

How to take full image backup of partitions or eMMC?

From the image file extract userdata.image. This contains data/data. This will take a while. During this time command prompt will not give any indication something is happening.

  • Did you sync the contacts with a Google account? You may be able to recover them from there.
    – Firelord
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 4:47
  • no the contacts were completely on the phone only, except for may be viber contacts which also used to show up on the phone contact list somehow (not sure how exactly that works)
    – user17915
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 4:48
  • Related: any way to read DATA/ directory's CONTACTS.DB?. The phone's contact data is usually saved in "Contacts Provider", a system app. Normally, you need to be rooted to access it though.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Oct 14, 2019 at 15:11
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 2:01
  • @AndrewT. Does this chatroom get deleted after sometime or can it be accessed at anytime?
    – user17915
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


There is a possibility that the contacts would have been saved on your sim.

Try putting the sim on another phone and importing.

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