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I have a sony xperia z and the screen recently smashed. Touch screen capability has also gone. As such I can't even unlock the phone. Does anyone know of an app or a method for connecting it to my laptop and gaining full control of the phone through the laptop? I need to unlock it and access an app that's installed. I've been through the folders on it using the laptop but need access to the app itself to get the data I need.

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Since your screen is smashed and touch screen capability is gone, you may not be able to use apps like AirDroid, as VarnerBeast14 has suggested. Instead you can use a service like Droid@Screen. Follow the steps below to view your screen.

  • Install Java JRE (or JDK), version 6 or later

  • Install Android SDK

  • Run its SDK Manager and install the Platform Tools

  • Set the environment variable ANDROID_HOME to point to the installation directory of the Android SDK

  • Install USB drivers for your own Android device, by getting it from the vendor’s support web page

  • Download and install the latest version of Droid@Screen

  • Configure your device to allow USB Debugging (Settings-> Developer options -> USB debugging)

  • Plug in the USB cable between your device and PC

  • Launch Droid@Screen

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    Configure your device to allow USB Debugging (Settings-> Developer options -> USB debugging) How to do that with a smashed screen he cannot even unlock? ;) Just a side-note. My answer also requires USB Debugging to be turned on -- but it looks like chances are good Oliver already has it on. – Izzy Jul 3 '13 at 18:48
  • Alas, no. I don't already have it on. And my screen lock is a pin code. I'd literally just got it so had yet to start delving into hacking it. The worst part is (and it's also quite funny) there was an alarm set for 5.30am, so if I power it up to try anything it gets charge and the alarm goes off every 10 minutes. I can't take the battery out, because it's a z, and it doesn't seem possible to do a factory reset. So essentially I have an expensive lump of (broken) glass at the moment. – Oliver Burdekin Jul 8 '13 at 16:01
  • Looks like it's the sony shop for this then. How very annoying – Oliver Burdekin Jul 8 '13 at 16:19
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    You can only see the display, you cannot use touch functionality using Droid@Screen :), wasted my time. – Waqas Ali Khan Puar Dec 12 '13 at 12:42
  • is there a way to really control my smartphone from laptop? – Waqas Ali Khan Puar Dec 12 '13 at 12:43
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If you've got a separate device running the same (or higher) version of Android, there would be an option alongside Sid's answer. You wouldn't need the full SDK, just ADB itself (see: Is there a minimal installation of ADB?). Then you could use adb backup -f myname.ab -apk <com.app.name> to backup your app and its data (replace <com.app.name> by the app's package name, to be found e.g. in its URL on the Google Play page, following the id=), and adb restore myname.ab to install it on the other device.

However, some conditions must be met:

  • your Xperia Z must at least run Android 4.0
  • USB debugging must already be turned on on your Xperia Z (from your description, it sounds like that could be the case: been through the folders on it using the laptop)
  • the second device also must run Android 4.0+ -- best the same as or a higher version than the source device

That provided, and followed above steps, you then could start the app on the second device and access its data.

EDIT: From ott's comment below I just notice I've missed an important point: the entire procedure only works if you've used adb backup before, and set up a desktop password for it (e.g. Holo Backup works this way). So this will probably be no solution for you in your current situation -- but you might wish to be prepared this way for (hopefully never happening) future cases.

  • I'm faced with this problem today, too. The touchscreen isn't smashed, it just doesn't work. The screen is locked, and adb backup -all just tells me to unlock and allow. Very funny. I still can do adb logcat and even adb shell works. – ott-- Jul 3 '13 at 19:26
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    Oh crap -- I forgot about the "authorization screen". So my answer is only valid if one used adb backup before, and set up a "desktop password"... – Izzy Jul 3 '13 at 19:55
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The Xperia Z supports USB OTG so you can use a computer mouse to access the screen by connecting it to the phone with a 'male micro USB to Female USB OTG' cable. No setup required just connect it up and use the mouse to enter your passcode and do anything else you need to.

Once unlocked you can connect it to your PC to copy everything across or use the mouse to access an app.

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I use an app called AirDroid. You install it on your phone, and then also install a Chrome extension (there may be other versions for the computer, the Chrome extension is the most universal for me).

This app lets me see the screen of my phone, receive messages, and operate apps. I don't know the full reliability of it because I still use my phone by itself most of the time since I can, but you can look into it and see all that it really has to offer. I think it could really help you out.

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    This app, too, needs to be installed before the problem happens. – ott-- Jul 3 '13 at 19:28
  • So? If you're phone is properly set up, you have a google account active on it. If so, you can push-install apps to your phone from the pc. Just did it with this app. This might not have been possible in the far past of 2013. However, these days, this answer is fully valid! The only question is, wether it can be used without any actions on the phone, with only the app installed. Seems unlikely... – Kjeld Schmidt Jun 28 '16 at 13:32

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