Possible Duplicate:
How do I backup data (sms/contacts) from a device with a broken screen?

My Nexus 4 fell and cracked its screen:

enter image description here

One of the caveats in its design is the glass on the back makes it slide down and fall from pretty much any surface.

Another caveat is the curved unprotected glass on the front. If it falls down, it'll most likely crack.


After it fell, the phone "lost its touch" i.e. it does not respond to any "touching".

It is not rooted, the screen is (pattern) locked, hence I can neither see the files via MTP nor can do:

adb shell rm /data/system/gesture.key

since permission is denied. I am also unable to

adb pull /data/data/com.android.providers.contacts/databases

to save my messages, configs, etc.. for the same reason.

The only thing I have backed up is pictures (which of course is "something"):

adb pull /sdcard/ /destination


I need to back up and reset it before shipping it back.

  • How do I go about backing up the "databases" (e.g. SMS, configs, etc)?
  • How do I wipe it clean, so whoever gets it can't get my data?


Since this is closed as duplicate, which it's really not, here is the solution to this problem in case somebody else is looking for it.

  • Also see some of the answers to Broken screen while debug mode was disabled. How can I re-enable adb? which mention options like installing remote control/screencasting software. – GAThrawn Jan 15 '13 at 15:22
  • There are 2 options: a) remotely install software via Google Play, as suggested by GAThrawn or b) repair the screen (or temporarily connect a screen from another N4) c) fastboot unlock is not an option, it does a secure erase first – ce4 Jan 15 '13 at 15:36
  • Also, that is a real bummer. I have a Nexus 4, I will now be very careful with it. :) – Josiah Jan 15 '13 at 15:36
  • Question: is it already unlocked (bootloader)? – ce4 Jan 15 '13 at 15:39
  • no, not unlocked. everything is original, the only cruel additions are cracks on the screen. Debug is enabled, screencastign won't work since "su" is needed to 777 "/data/dalvik-cache". – tolitius Jan 15 '13 at 16:24