Random Tutorial: How to Control iPhone With Broken/Mostly Unresponsive Screen

Since I let go of my iPhone X and downgraded to my old iPhone 6, which is way smaller, I dropped my phone at least 4 times a day. After a few months of constant abuse, my phone had finally given up. The screen was smashed, some small screws came out of I-don’t-know-where. It is still on, but the screen is unresponsive and I can only touch some parts near the bottom of the screen.

I have been okay with it since I’m using WhatsApp web and as long as my phone is connected to a wifi it ever connected, I’m good.

However, I had to deal with it anyway. I flew back to Perth with another phone (which is also shitty) but I had to back up, restore, and blablabla, but the backups are encrypted and I don’t know the password blablabla. Everything needs to send verification code to my old number which I had lost, and I couldn’t connect to any network so I bought $50 worth of data, but my cellular data was turned off, and many more. It was hell, I tried everything and came up with some ideas but there was always something. I STILL NEED TO TOUCH THE SCREEN.

After 6 hours of struggling, googling, desperately downloading random apps that I’m sure are malicious, I found a way to control an iPhone with just one part of your screen working. I’ve Googled it and almost everyone said it’s impossible, but it is possible.

So, here we go:

You just need iTunes, USB, and a little part of your bottom/middle screen that’s still responsive (just enough to make 3-finger-gestures).

  1. Connect your phone to iTunes
  2. Click the little phone icon to open your phone settings
  3. On the “Summary” tab, scroll down until you see “Configure Accessibility…”, click and turn on the VoiceOver. It will allow you to control your phone with simple gestures. Screenshot 2020-02-14 18.28.20Screenshot 2020-02-14 18.28.35
  4. Learn how to use the gestures here: https://support.apple.com/en-au/guide/iphone/iph3e2e2281/ios
  5. On your phone, see the text that is now highlighted (inside a black square), you can navigate through the whole screen by just swiping left and right or tapping anywhere, you can also do more gestures as on the guide above.

It worked like magic! I managed to change my phone number on WhatsApp, configure my network, and did everything I needed with just swipe left-swipe right-double tap-repeat. It requires patience, but it’s way better than nothing!

P.S you can ask Siri to turn on the VoiceOver if your case is you’re connected to the internet but unable to click on “Trust” when you connect to iTunes.

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