Did you forget the password of your Android phone? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. I’ll show you how to unlock Android phones.
Passwords serve as your phone’s protection from use by unauthorized people. Although some phones have new security features such as Fingerprint unlock, some people still prefer to use passwords and passcodes. It can be stressful and time-consuming when you forget the password of your mobile device and even worse, being completely locked out of it.
However it happens, it’s frustrating to get locked out of your device. You can always go to a store to get your phone unlocked but it’ll cost you.
But don’t worry! I know a few methods on how to unlock Android phones. So before going for a hard reset and losing all of your data, try these methods first. With these tips, you can get access to your Android phone within minutes. Let’s get started!
Unlock Android phone with your Google Account
What you will need:
- Your Device
- Access to your synced Google Account
This method uses your Google Recovery account to unlock Android phones from your lock screen. One of the perks of Google Account integration is that it’s intertwined with most of your other devices, giving you the capacity to access your phone from your Google Account.
- If you don’t have access to your Google Account, you can skip to Method 3, which uses ABD Commands to unlock your Android phone.
- This option is available only on devices running on Android 4.4 or lower.
1. Tap “Forgot Password”
On your lock screen, tap “Forgot Password” to access the Account unlock menu.
2. Sign in to your Google Account
Enter your Google Account details and tap “Sign in.” From there you can reset your pattern or passcode.
You’ll be prompted to reset your passcode to your device right after you log-in. Make sure to set one that you’ll remember easily.
If your Google Account information isn’t working on your phone, you might need to recover it using your PC. Go to Google’s account recovery page and follow the steps above.
Unlock Android phone using Android Debug Bridge (ADB)
If you haven’t tried ADB before – now is as good a time as any. Using a series of ADB commands, you can unlock Android phones, provided you have USB debugging enabled on your device. If you don’t, then this method won’t work for you.
There are some steps you have to go through first if this is your first time using ADB:
- If you don’t have Android SDK tools installed, or if you’ve enabled your device to accept ADB commands but don’t fully grasp how to use it, check out our article on ADB and how to use it.
You will need to confirm that you have SDK and ADB set up correctly. To do this, open your platform-tools folder, and then open a “command prompt” inside it. If you have done this before, go to step 3.
- You can open the command prompt in a folder with Shift + right-click, then select open command window here. (It may show “PowerShell” on some PC’s)
Now there are two commands you need to enter to confirm your ADB setup.
- ADB version – this will reveal the version number of your ADB software.
- ADB devices – for this one, make sure to connect your device to the PC. If your device is connected, your phone’s serial number should appear in the command prompt window. If you’re unable to retrieve the serial number, try reconnecting your device.
You need to enable USB debugging for this method to work but luckily, there’s a way to work around this. If you boot your phone into recovery mode, you can do these steps as usual, without having to enable USB debugging. However, your phone partition needs to be mounted:
- Go to Mounts and Storage in your recovery.
- Now mount/data.
After you’ve done this, you can proceed as if you have USB Debugging enabled.
For unrooted devices
there are two steps:
1. Open a command prompt
This process is a bit confusing so make sure to follow the steps carefully. With your phone connected to your PC – and the cmd open – enter the following commands in order:
- adb shell
- sqlite3 settings.db
- update system set value=0 where name=’lock_pattern_autoblock’;
- update system set value=0 where name=’lockscreen.lockedoutpermanently’;
2. Reboot your device
After you’ve completed this, reboot your device. If this doesn’t reset your lock screen, continue to the next step.
With your phone still connected to your PC and the command prompt open, enter:
- abd shell rm/data/system/gesture.key
With that done, reboot your phone again.
For rooted devices
with the cmd open in the appropriate place, and your phone connected to the PC, enter the following commands:
- adb shell
That wasn’t so hard, right? In case this method didn’t work for you, there’s still hope! I have one more method which doesn’t require you to erase all of your data. Let’s check that out and see if it’ll work!
Unlock registered Samsung device
If you have a registered Samsung smartphone, then it’s your lucky day. Samsung provides a way to unlock registered Samsung smartphones.
What you will need:
- Your device
- A registered Samsung Account
- A PC
1. Open the Samsung website on your PC and login with your account information.
2. Select your device from the taskbar on the left.
3. Find the option Unlock my screen on the sidebar. Tap it, and your device will be unlocked.
Unlock Android phone with dr.fone
The app I’ll be showing you next is dr.fone – Unlock (Android). This Android Lock Screen Removal tool can remove lock screens with a pattern, PIN, password, and fingerprint.
Note: You will need a computer to use this method.
1. Download the app
Download dr.fone from the developer’s website.
2. Open the app
Launch the app on your computer and click Unlock.
3. Connect your device to your PC
Now connect your phone to your PC with a USB cable, then click Start.
4. Verify your phone’s information
If your phone connected successfully, information about your phone should appear on the screen. If it’s correct, press Next.
5. Begin password removal
Boot your phone into Download Mode, and then the recovery package will be downloaded. After that, the password removal will begin, and a confirmation message will appear on the screen.
Unlock Android phone by booting into “Safe Mode”
Please note that this method will only work for phones that use a third-party app as its lock screen. This method works by temporarily disabling the third party app and giving you a way to reset it.
1. Boot into Safe Mode
For most phones, you can do this by bringing up the power menu and long-pressing “Power Off.” A notification will pop up, asking if you’d like to Reboot to Safe Mode, press OK.
2. Clear your lock screen app’s data
Clear Data from your lock screen app or uninstall it, then reboot your phone again to get out of safe mode – when you do so, your phone will be unlocked.
Crashing the lock screen UI to unlock Android phone (Android 5 only)
Before trying this one, please note that his method only works for devices running on Android 5.0-5.11, so if your phone doesn’t have this version, please go to the next process.
This method to bypass a locked screen is just an emergency workaround for the phones in this category.
1. Tap the “Emergency” button
Enter 10 asterisks (*) through the dialer.
2. Copy the asterisks
Copy the asterisks and paste them on the dialer until the “paste” option no longer shows up.
3. Tap on “Camera”
Return to the lock screen and tap on the camera shortcut icon.
4. Tap “Settings”
Press the settings option after pulling down the notification bar – now, you will have the opportunity to enter the password, and you should repeat the same thing here. Keep on pasting until the lock screen crashes.
How to unlock Android phone using Android Device Manager (ADM)
This method uses Google’s Find my Device to perform a Remote Factory Reset. It will not only remove the password or pattern from your phone but also all the data you have on it.
Note: This will only work if you enable Find my Device on the phone, and again, it will delete all the data on your phone. If this isn’t what you want, I strongly suggest trying any other of the methods from above.
1. Find your device
On your computer, go to the “Find my Device” website.
2. Select “Erase my device”
You will see this on the left side of your screen. After confirming the Erase function, your phone will boot into recovery and start performing a factory reset. Once you approve of this action, it is impossible to stop or cancel. Even if you shut down your phone – the reboot will resume on startup.
Unlock Android phone using “Factory Reset”
What you will need:
- Your device
- A USB Cable
- A PC
If you don’t have the “Find my Device” option enabled on our phone, you can do this the old fashioned way.
Unfortunately, if you’re still stuck behind a lock screen, the amount of personal data you you’ll be able to save is limited. However, here’s what you can do to save what you can:
- Connect your device to your computer
- Find your phone and open the main folder with your PC
- Copy any folders you’d like to keep and save the files
- Depending on your device, the steps for the factory reset may differ a little, but the results will be the same. Most devices will let you hard reset by accessing the recovery mode.
- Using this method will erase all the data on your device. I highly advise you to back up your content if you use this as your last resort.
1. Enter the boot menu
Turn on the device and enter the boot menu. If you can’t access it using the method above, do a quick search of your phone model and how to access its safe mode.
2. Access safe mode
In safe mode. Use the volume keys to navigate up and down, press the Power key to confirm your selection.
3. Reset your device
Find the Wipe Data/Factory Reset option.
After you confirm the option, your phone will begin the process – it can take several minutes. When completed, your device will restart without your passcode, but also without your data.
Frequently Asked Questions
To sum it all up
Passwords protect our device from unauthorized users but sometimes we get locked out unintentionally. Forgetting your password can be pretty annoying, especially if you’ve just changed it.
Hopefully, I was able to help you get back into your locked device without a factory reset. However, sometimes you’ll have no other option.
If you’ve reset your passcode, keep notes on your latest change and put it in your wallet or send an email to yourself, that way you’ll have a better chance of getting back into your phone.
If I missed a way of unlocking an Android phone, or if you have any questions, let me know in the comments section down below!