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How to recover contacts on Samsung with a broken screen (without USB debugging)

Written by: Ilia

Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.

There are several more or less working methods of to retrieve deleted contacts on Samsung, if your phone with a broken screen still functions and allows you to gain access to its memory.

One of the aspects that may complicate the whole thing is that when you connect your phone to a PC in order to to be able to perform actions with its files and have access to Android file system, you have to enable USB debugging. Needless to say that there is no way you can do it on a phone with a broken screen or non-working touchscreen.

We're going to describe a method of “retrieving” contacts from Samsung without enabling USB debugging. One of the pros of this method is that you don't have to root your phone or install questionable apps.

Warning. This method won't help you if didn't previously enable data transferring via USB on your phone.


A step by step guide for recovering

Owners of Samsung devices are quite lucky: there is excellent software for recovering and creating contacts backup copies.

Everything you'll need is two official Samsung programs:

  • Samsung Smart Switch which is a precanned program for saving backup copies of messages, SMS and Android user data on a PC
  • Samsung Kies which works in conjunction with Smart Switch and its functions are the same.

It's lovely, if those programs have already been installed and you've worked with them before. If not, you should follow the guide.

  1. Download and install Smart Switch and Kies (the order isn't important) on your computer.

  2. Run Smart Switch and create a backup copy of Android user data.

Note! If you can't install Smart Switch, most likely you need to download it on your mobile device too. In order to do this, after you install Smart Switch on your PC, click on the screen center (you'll be asked to confirm the downloading of the files onto your phone). Perhaps, you won't be able to do it at the first attempt as you have to perform the actions blindly. If you do everything right, the process of Smart Switch installation will end in success. 

  1. You can find backup data file named Contact.spb at: C:\Users\[Username]\Documents.

  2. File with contacts "Contact.spb" can be opened via Samsung Kies program which is located in the tab “Contacts”.

Via the program main menu you can specify the file with contacts backup stored on a PC. As we've already mentioned, it's available at C:\Users\[Username]\Documents\Backup\.

  1. In the end Samsung Kies displays all phone numbers and contacts stored on your phone, which you can observe with all supplied information.

  2. In order to save these contacts, click "Save as.." button and choose a convenient format for saving.

You can select from the following extensions: .spb, .csv and .vcf. This file can be easily imported to another mobile device or saved onto Google Contacts service.

And that is the final step of

Samsung contacts recovery. By the way, the same method can be easily applied to creating backup copies of your phone book on a computer. We suggest doing it on a regular basis.

If Samsung precanned software didn't manage to

restore contacts

You can also give a try to contacts recovery apps from 3rd party developers:

There are both free and paid tools among them. Root access is required for their operation. In most cases, they only work if device home screen functions.

Have you come up with any questions? Ask them via the feedback form.

Questions - Answers

In my Samsung j6+ I can reset my app data to default options then my contact was also deleted from my contact list after that I was recover my contact but the contact has shown only name not the number of people what can I do?

Please help me!

[can i recover my contact file or number]

I have a Samsung Galaxy Duos GT-S5282. I forgot my screen-lock PIN and had to do a hard reset. My photos, videos and other data are lost now. How to retrieve deleted contacts on samsung after factory reset? Tried a bunch of mobile apps but they weren’t helpful.

My Samsung s4 phone heated up and died cannot turn on cannot charge how can I recover contacts and photos to transfer to new phone?