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How to unlock Android if you forgot your password

Have you managed to lock yourself out of your phone? Don’t panic, we’ve all been there before and will probably be there again someday. We’re going to show you how to get yourself back up and running.

If you forgot your pattern, pin or password and can’t log in to your phone, don’t worry, all is not lost. While lock screens are intentionally hard to hack, we have a few potential ways to bypass them.

Most phones these days allow you to use biometrics to log in, so try using a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition software first. If you don’t have this setup, you can try other things.

Google find my device

The fastest solution that comes to mind is to use Google Find My Device (formerly Android Device Manager). To do this, you need to sign in with your Google account and it will only work on more modern devices, but you can access this service from any device.

You will also need to enable location and connect to data/wifi.

Click on the device you want to unlock and then click Protect Device. Then click “Erase device” and confirm your choice. From there, you will be able to set a new password.

You may lose some of your photos and apps at first, but they will be saved through your Google account.

If Device Manager doesn’t see your device, refresh the page or app several times. He must eventually get there. You can also try performing a hardware update on the PC (CTRL+F5) which will clear your cache as well.

Check if Smart Lock is enabled

google smart lock

Smart Lock is a feature on Android phones that allows your phone to open without a password if it is in a location it recognizes. However, this feature must be enabled before you lose access to your PIN.

If you want to protect your device in the future, you can enable smart lock by going to Settings > Security & Screen Lock > Smart Lock.

You can choose from three Smart Lock options:

  • Body Detection – Keep your device unlocked while it’s on you
  • Trusted Locations – Add a location where the device should be unlocked.
  • Trusted Devices – Add a device to have it unlocked when it’s nearby.

“Forgot template” function

If you are using an older version of Android, namely 4.4 or lower, you will be able to use the Forgot Pattern feature. If you failed to unlock your phone 5 times, a pop-up message will appear. In the lower right corner of the screen, you will see the message “Forgot your pattern?”. button. Touch it.

You can then enter your Google account details and Google will email you a new unlock code.

Samsung Find My Mobile Service

If you have a Samsung device this will be a good option, however if you haven’t set up your Samsung account before then this won’t work.

Below the page, click Unblock. This will erase any other passwords you have set on the phone. Confirm your choice and sign in to your Samsung account if prompted. Your device should now be unlocked.

Reset to factory settings

Reset to factory settings

We’re moving on to more drastic measures now, but if you have a backup of all your data and there’s nothing on your phone that you can’t live without, a factory reset is a good way to start fresh.

However, there are checks to stop a factory reset, so you’ll need your Google login information to complete this step. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Make sure your phone or tablet is at least 30 percent charged.
  • Open the Settings app
  • Scroll down and select “Backup and Reset”.
  • Click Factory Data Reset.
  • Select Reset Phone
  • Select Erase All
  • If you have a Google password, you will be prompted to enter it now.

You can then sign in to your Google account to recover any lost data and set a new password you’ll remember (or set up biometrics for your password to avoid being blocked in the future).

Bypass a custom lock screen using Recovery Mode

If the lock screen you’re having trouble with is a third-party app and not the standard lock screen that comes with the phone, you can work around this by booting the phone into recovery mode.

This method will differ depending on which device you have. We suggest looking for your device on the manufacturer’s website for exact instructions.

In most cases, you can bring up this option by pressing and holding the power and volume buttons at the same time. You will then see the talisman and options will appear on the screen. You can switch between options using the volume up and down keys.

When you get to Recovery Mode, press the Power button to confirm your choice. When the phone boots up, the lock screen will be disabled.

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