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How to Get Files off a Mac When the Display is Broken?

I want to recover data from my Intel-based Mac. The bad situation are, the SSH and RDP are both disabled, my screen is broken, and my SSD is encrypted by FileVault. I prepare to use the external monitor, but my Mac will not turn on until FileVault has decrypted the hard drive. Is there a way to automatically select a user by pressing Enter? I think I need to boot into Single User Mode, but I don't know what prompts I'll encounter until they will display on the external monitor.

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Connie Yang

Connie Yang

Answered on Monday, February 19, 2024

According to your description, your Mac has two users so you can't select your account and enter your password to unlock your Mac as the screen is broken.

You can use Target Disk Mode to get off your data. Here's how:

  1. Connect your Mac to another healthy Mac using a USB, USB-C, or Thunderbolt cable.
  2. Press the power button on the Mac with the broken display while holding down the T key.
  3. After the Mac with the broken display booted up, it will as an external hard drive show up on the desktop of the other Mac. Then, you can unlock it and transfer files from it by dragging them to the healthy Mac. 



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