It’s a horrible feeling being unable to unlock your android phone because of a passcode you just can’t remember. It’s even worse when you’re being locked out of your device entirely. However, the usual culprits for messing around with your password are kids and sneaky friends, that probably just want to see your interesting messages and apps.
Related: Best Password Manager Apps
Nevertheless, if you can’t get past the lock screen on your Android device, we’ve prepared a list with 9 methods that should help you no matter what.
Let’s see what they are about!
How to Unlock Your Phone Using Google Account Password
What you will need:
- Your Device
- Access to your synced Google Account
This method uses your Google Recovery account to unlock your phone from your lock screen. One of the perks of Google Account integration is that it’s intertwined with most devices, something that will prove useful here.
Disclaimer: This option is available only on some devices (Android 4.4 or lower).
Note: If you don’t have access to your Google Account, you can skip to Method 3, that uses ABD Commands to unlock your phone.
So let’s get started!
Tap Forgot Password? to open a new menu.
Enter your Google Account details and tap Sign in.
Now you’re all set! Your device will now unlock – giving you full access. The lock code will reset as well, so you won’t have problems in the future – make sure to set a new one, to keep your device secure.
If your Google Account information is not working, you might need to recover it using your PC. What you can do is go to Google’s account recovery page and follow the steps shown to you.
How to Unlock Your Phone if You’ve Entered the Wrong Password/Pattern too many times
What you will need:
- Your Device
- A little patience
This is possibly the simplest method – wait until the timer runs out to input your password or pattern again. If someone has been fiddling with your phone, it usually takes about 30 seconds for the timer to reset – and then you have another 5 tries until your phone is locked again.
But if you simply cannot wait, you can use your associated Google Account, just as shown in method 1:
Tap Forgot Password? to open the menu.
Enter your Google Account details and press Sign in.
Your device is now unlocked, and your password reset.
How to Unlock Your Phone using Android Debug Bridge
If you haven’t dipped your toes into ADB before – now is as good a time as any. Using a series of ADB commands, you can unlock your phone, provided you have USB debugging enabled. If you don’t, no worries, we’ll address this down below.
There are some steps we have to go through first if this is your first time using ADB:
- If you don’t have Android SDK tools installed, or enabled your device to accept ADB command, find out how to do so in our article “What is ADB and How to Use IT”.
- Now you will need to confirm that you have SDK and ADB set up correctly. If you have confirmed before, skip to step 3. To do this, open your platform tools folder, and then the command prompt inside of it.
- You can open the command prompt in a folder with Shift + right-click, then select open command window here.
- 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 if done correctly.
- adb devices – for this one, make sure your device is connected to the PC. If your device is connected, the serial number should appear in the command prompt window. If you were unable to retrieve the serial number, please try reconnecting your device.
- USB debugging needs to be enabled for this method to work, but there is a way to go around this. If you boot into recovery mode, you can do these steps as normal, without the need for USB debugging. However, your partition may need 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:
Go to your command prompt and buckle your seatbelt, because we’re going for a ride. With your phone connected to your PC – and the cmd open – enter these commands one after the other:
- adb shell
- sqlite3 settings.db
- update system set value=0 where name=’lock_pattern_autoblock’;
- update system set value=0 where name=’lockscreen.lockedoutpermanently’;
After you’ve completed this, reboot your device. If this doesn’t reset your lock screen, then please continue:
With your phone still connected to your PC, and the command prompt open, enter:
- abd shell rm/data/system/gesture.key
With that complete, reboot your phone once more. If you’re rooted, these commands will be easier to type.
For rooted devices, with the cmd open in the appropriate place, and your phone connected to the PC, enter the following commands:
- adb shell
Wasn’t so hard, was it? In case this method didn’t work, there is still hope! We still have one more method which won’t delete all of your data, so let’s see what it’s all about.
How to Unlock Your Registered Samsung Device
What you will need:
- Your device
- A registered Samsung Account
- A PC
Disclaimer: This method will only work if you have a Samsung device and also a registered account.
Open the Samsung website on your PC and login with your account information.
Select your device from the taskbar on the left.
Find the option Unlock my screen on the sidebar. Tap it, and the device will be unlocked.
How to Unlock Your Phone using Bypass Apps
Disclaimer: This method will require money, and the results may vary. So if this doesn’t seem like it could help you, feel free to skip to the next one.
The app we’ll be talking about is dr.fone from Wondershare. It claims to bypass Android pattern locks, PINs, passwords and even fingerprints, without any data loss.
Note: This is mostly available for LG and Samsung devices, but you can check the developers’ website for the list of supported devices to see if your phone is on the list.
Download dr.fone from the developers’ website.
Launch the app on your computer and click Unlock.
Now connect your phone to your PC with a USB cable, then click Start.
If your phone connected successfully, information about your phone should appear on the screen. If it’s correct, press Next.
Boot your phone into Download Mode, then the recovery package will be downloaded. When it is done, the password removal will begin and a confirmation message will appear on the screen.
How to Unlock Your Phone by Booting into Safe Mode
Disclaimer: This method will only work if your lock screen is a third party app and not stock.
This works by temporarily disabling the third party app and giving you a way to reset it.
Let’s get going!
Boot into Safe Mode. For most phones, this can be done by bringing up the power menu and long-pressing “Power Off”. You will be asked if you’d like to Reboot to Safe Mode, so press OK.
Clear Data from your lock screen app or even uninstall it, then reboot your phone again to get out of safe mode – when you do so, your phone will be unlocked.
How to Unlock Your Phone by Crashing the Lock Screen UI
Disclaimer: This method only works for devices with Android 5.0-5.11, so if your phone doesn’t have this version, please go to the next method.
This not a proper method to bypass a lock screen, but it could be an emergency workaround for the phones in this category.
Tap the Emergency Button once and enter 1- asterisks (*) through the dialer.
Copy the 10 asterisks and paste them on the same dialer app until the paste option no longer shows up.
Return to the lock screen and tap on the camera shortcut icon.
Press the setting option after pulling down the notification bar – now you will have the option to enter the password, and you should repeat the same thing here. Keep on pasting until the lock screen crashes.
How to Unlock Your Phone using a Remote Factory Reset
This method uses Google’s Find my Device to perform a Remote Factory Reset, that will not only remove the password or pattern from your phone but also all the data you have on it.
Disclaimer: This will only work if Find my Device is enabled on the phone and it will delete all the data on your phone. If this is not what you want, we strongly suggest you try any of the methods from above.
On your computer, go to the Find my Device website.
Select Erase my Device from the option on the left part of your screen.
After confirming the Erase function, your phone will boot into recovery and start performing a factory reset. Once this action is confirmed, it is impossible to stop. Even if you shut down our phone – the reset will simply resume on startup.
How to Unlock Your Phone using a 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 also do this the old fashioned way.
Disclaimer: Using this method will erase all the data on your device. If you use this as your last resort, we highly advise you to back up your content.
Unfortunately, if you’re stuck behind a lock screen, the amount of data you can 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
Note: Depending on your device, the steps for the factory reset may differ a little, but the end result will be the exact same. Most devices will let you hard reset by accessing the recovery mode.
Turn on the device and enter the boot menu. If you can’t find the key combination, it should be easy to find it online.
Using your volume keys to navigate up and down, press the Power key to confirm your selection.
Find and select the option that will allow you to Wipe Data/Factory Reset.
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.
Commonly Asked Questions
Can someone unlock my stolen phone?
Yes. By performing a factory reset, everything on your phone will be wiped out – so it will be like the phone was freshly pulled out of the box. On the optimistic side, at least there is no way they could get your personal data that was on the phone.
Does a factory reset unlock your phone?
Definitely. A factory reset deletes any data you have on your phone, including settings. So, technically, after a factory reset, it will be like you opened your Android phone for the first time.
Does a factory reset remove root?
Technically, no. But for this, you have to make sure that the rooting files are stored in system files – that can’t be deleted. Additionally, you’d have to install the superuser in the system folder (this can be done by many apps).
Unlocking your Phone – 9 Methods to Try
Passwords are meant to protect us – but they can turn into a double-edged sword in the wrong hands. Hopefully, we’ve been able to help you get back into your locked device without a factory reset. However, sometimes, you have no other option.
If you have reset your passcode, make sure to set up another one soon to keep your device safe. It can be a pain for forgetful people, but it is the only way to avoid security problems.
If we’ve missed an easy way to unlock an Android phone, or you have further questions, let us know in the comments down below!