How to Get Pictures Off A Broken Phone or PC

Knowing how to get photos off a broken phone or computer is an important skill.

For many people, having access to a powerful camera has never been easier than the ones found in cell phones. Some people might even choose a specific phone because of the camera upgrades and quality it might have over their current one. This, along with many photo-sharing platforms, has paved the way for many to pursue their photography ambitions. But even as phones continue to advance each year, they are not impervious to damage, and the likelihood of losing all of the saved photos in your camera roll is very real.

Thankfully, there are a few ways you can rest easy knowing that not all hope is lost and it is possible to retrieve those sphotos from a phone or computer. Today we will be sharing various tips on how to get pictures off a broken phone or PC.

Close up of broken phone and tablet resting on a silver partially broken laptop, before the user learns how to get photos and other files from broken devices.

Manually Backing Up

One of the more antiquated but still viable ways of getting your pictures off a broken phone is to download them directly onto your computer. It is also one of the fastest methods of transfer.

This is usually done by connecting your device through a USB cable, often the same one you use to charge your phone with, and moving them into a folder on a PC. You can also take another step and have a dedicated external storage for photos in order to save space on your personal computer, especially if you have a lot of photos you plan to back up routinely. The external storage also eliminates the chance of losing them on your computer if something were to happen.

Removable Memory & Bluetooth

Just like a memory card found in professional cameras, some phones also have removable memory as well, though this has begun to disappear over the last few years. They often come in the form of a microSD card– a very tiny card that pops out of an insert on the side of compatible phones. All photos and videos on your phone can be stored on it and from it can be connected and downloaded to your computer for safekeeping.

As more companies slowly move away from this method, the practice of removable storage is becoming seemingly obsolete. Many now offer instant ways of transfer via Bluetooth or AirDrop from one device to another– phone to phone, phone to PC, PC to phone, etc. Still, this can be time-consuming and a bit tedious when sending a large amount of data. Bluetooth and AirDrop can be handy for quick interactions with family and friends, but not quite as useful and practical as other methods.

Cloud-Based Services

The most convenient and reliable way of backing up and getting pictures from a broken phone or computer nowadays is through cloud or online syncing services. This has become standard for most smartphone devices like Apple iPhones or Google Androids. Generally speaking, a default amount of limited storage is included for free with these phones and services. The online cloud storage is compatible with multiple devices such as tablets, PCs, and other smartphones. It’s also important to note that cloud storage can store more than photos and videos; it can store documents, emails, programs, etc.

Most devices that are attached to cloud services can be set to automatically back up your files and save them in a secure digital space. This is all done in the background every time you take a photo or write something in your notes app and can be accessed from any of your synced devices at any given time.

Some of these services are already built-in with your phone’s manufacturer, but other third-party services exist and can do the same thing as well. Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox are programs that can sync files from your device(s) to their online storage, and from there you can access them from any device you are logged into.

Many of these services, however, only allow limited space most often around 15 GB.

Alongside your phone’s primary cloud service, additional memory from any service will come with a price, resulting in a monthly subscription. Some can go as high as 2 TB (terabytes) and depending on your photo usage, may or may not ever be used up to the fullest. Even with a subscription, the peace of mind knowing the images on your phone are stored safe and securely in one place can be well worth the price.

Data Recovery Software

Knowing how to get pictures off a broken phone or computer has become a lot easier thanks to automatic backups and cloud services. Although external storage solutions are still viable options, cloud services have changed the game for recovering lost files on your computer or phone. However, there are situations where backups may have been turned off and photos or other important files are still missing. In this case, you may want to consider utilizing online software recovery programs specifically designed to restore and recover lost files from various devices.

Gone are the days where a broken device results in tragically losing photos and other important files. As technology advances, learning how to get pictures off a broken phone, PC, or other device becomes easier and more convenient. So remember, with today’s backup technology and recovery options, there will always be a way to recover your items.

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The Whole Home License® is iolo’s licensing policy that allows you to install and keep your software running on all of your compatible devices within the same home. Previously, users were allowed to install and license their iolo software simultaneously on a maximum of three PCs. Under the Whole Home License, a single activation key allows you to use your iolo software on all of your PCs, other than any PCs you use for business purposes. What you need to know about Whole Home Licensing

  • You, your spouse, and your relatives living within the same household may use the same license on any number of PCs that you own which are not used for business.
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You can view the Activation Key on the original computer from within System Mechanic > red menu bar > key icon > Activation Key.