My daughter's got a Xiaomi MI2 stock phone with a screen broken in such a way that it can't be unlocked. She already had a new phone on the way but she's devastated at the thought of losing her photos (no backup). Is there any possible way to retrieve the photos short of getting the screen repaired?

I've read around quite a bit but every possibility seems to require ADB enabled. And the Xiaomi MI phone manager can connect but doesn't show any files at all, nor allow backup, so I assume the phone has to be unlocked for this to work.

Oddly, some methods I've tried of retrieving the images (dropbox, windows) activated the camera, where I could see and delete the most recent picture, and also determine the pictures are stored on a path that suggests an SD card, but I understand this is only a virtual SD card so presumably removal is not an option.

So this is my last ditch attempt to avoid a screen repair. Can anyone help, or confirm that I really am out of options for retrieving the photos?

Thanks for your time.

  • Try running this ADB command (for Windows) adb pull /sdcard/DCIM/* C:/camera_backup. If that doesn't work, it is mostly likely because it requires (1) ADB Debugging enabled and/or (2) a confirmation from the unlocked phone to trust the computer.
    – LyricWulf
    Commented Jan 20, 2015 at 21:28

1 Answer 1


You could try and boot the phone into recovery or bootloader mode (using either adb or just turning it off then holding the power and volume up or down keys as it's booting back up) and then use the adb pull /sdcard/DCIM/* C:/camera_backup command (as LyricWulf suggested) to backup all the photos from the phone.

Good luck getting those photos :)


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