7 Ways to Unlock Android Phone If You Forgot the Password or Pattern Lock

Since our smartphones have become an inseparable part of our lives, a password lock is set to ensure that no one else can access and use our devices. It could be a PIN code, an alphanumeric password, a pattern, a fingerprint, or even face recognition. However, at times, we find ourselves locked out of our own devices. Don’t worry as in this guide we will talk about different ways via which you can easily regain access or unlock it. These methods are so easy that you can try them yourself, before seeking professional help from a service centre. So, let’s get cracking.

Unlock Android Phone If You Forget the Password or Pattern Lock

How to Unlock Android Phone If You Forget the Password or Pattern Lock

When too many unsuccessful attempts are made to enter the password, the mobile phone gets permanently locked. It could be an honest mistake of a child trying to play games on your mobile or maybe it is just you forgetting your password. Sometimes the phone’s screen gets locked for a fixed period of time like 30 seconds or 5 minutes after too many unsuccessful attempts. Thus, you need to wait for the timeout period. In this case, the security measures that were installed to safeguard your Android device have proven unhelpful. Well, don’t lose hope as we are going to help you unlock the Android phone without password.

For Android Versions before 5.0 – For old Android versions it was easier to unlock your device if you forgot your password as discussed below.

1. Using Google Account to Reset your Password (Android 4.4 or lower)

Earlier Android phones had the option to use your Google Account to reset your device’s password. However, for this method to work, you need to remember the login credentials of your Google Account used to set up your phone.

  1. Once you have made too many unsuccessful attempts to enter the device’s password or PIN, the lock screen will show a Forgot Password option. Click on it.
  2. The device will now ask you to sign in with your Google Account.
  3. You simply need to fill in the username (which is your email id) and the password for your Google Account.
  4. Then click on the Sign-in button and you are all set.
  5. This will not only unlock your phone but also reset the password for your device. Once you have access to your device, you can set up a new password and make sure that you do not forget this one.

Use Google Account to Reset Android Screenlock Password

If you do not remember the password for that either, then you need to first recover your Google Account using a PC and then try the above-described method.to elapse before you can click on the Forget Password option.

Also Read: How Do I Remove an Account from Google Smart Lock

2. Using Google’s Find My Device (For All Android Phones)

This is a straightforward method that works for old Android devices. Google has a Find my Device service that is useful when you lose your device or it gets stolen to track its location.

  • You can play a sound on the device which would help you locate it.
  • You can also lock your phone and erase data on your device.
  1. open the Google Find My Device on your computer.
  2. Tap on the Lock option.
  3. Doing so will override the existing password/PIN/pattern lock and set a new password for your device. You can now access your phone with this new password.

Using Google Find My Device service

3. Unlock Phone Using the Backup PIN (Old Samsung phones)

If you have a Samsung smartphone that is running Android 4.4 or earlier, then you can unlock your phone using a backup pin. Samsung allows its users to set up a backup just in case you forget the main password or pattern.

1. Click on the Backup PIN option on the lower right-hand side of the screen.

Click on the Backup PIN option on the lower right-hand side of the screen

2. Now, enter the PIN code and tap on the Done button.

Now, enter the PIN code and tap on the Done button

3. Your device will be unlocked and you will be asked to reset your primary password.

4. Unlock Using Android Debug Bridge (ADB)

In order to use this method, you must have USB debugging enabled on your phone. This option is available under Developer options and allows you to access your phone’s files through a computer.

  • ADB is used to enter a series of codes into your device via a computer to delete the program that controls the phone lock. It will, thus, deactivate any existing password or PIN.
  • Also, your device cannot be encrypted. New Android devices are encrypted by default and, thus, this method works only for old Android devices.

Before you begin with this process, you must make sure that you have Android Studio installed on your computer and set up properly. After that, follow the steps given below to unlock your device using ADB.

1. Firstly, connect your mobile phone to the computer via a USB cable.

2. Now, open the Command Prompt window inside your platform-tools folder. You can do this by pressing Shift+Right-click and then select the option to open Command Window here.

3. Once the Command Prompt window is open, type in the following code: adb shell rm /data/system/gesture.key and then press Enter.

Unlock Android Phone Using Android Debug Bridge (ADB)

4. After this, simply restart your device. And you will see that the device is no longer locked.

5. Now, set up a new PIN or password for your mobile phone.

5. Crashing the Lock Screen UI (Android 5.0)

Other phones with older or newer Android versions can’t use this method to gain access to their devices. This is a simple hack that would cause the lock screen to crash, thus, allowing you to gain access to your device. The basic idea is to push it beyond the processing capacity of the phone.

Follow the steps given below to unlock your Android phone without the password:

  1. There is an Emergency button on the Lock screen that allows you to make emergency phone calls and opens up the dialer for that purpose. Tap on it.
  2. Now enter ten asterisks in the dialer.
  3. Copy the entire text and then paste it next to the pre-existed asterisks. Continue this method until the option to paste is no longer available.
  4. Now go back to the lock screen and click on the Camera icon.
  5. Here, drag down the notification panel, and from the drop-down menu, click on the Settings button.
  6. Now you will be asked to enter the password.
  7. Paste the previously copied asterisks from the dialer and press enter.
  8. Repeat this a couple of times and the Lock screen UI will crash.
  9. Now you can gain access to your device and set a new password.

Crashing the Lock Screen UI

For New Android Devices – New smartphones running on Android Marshmallow or higher have much more complex security measures. This makes it extremely difficult to gain access or unlock your Android phone if you forget your password. There are, however, a couple of workarounds and we are going to discuss them in this section.

Also Read: How to Remove PIN Login from Windows 10

6. Unlock Android phone Using Smart Lock

Some Android smartphones have a smart lock feature that allows you to bypass the primary password or pattern lock under certain special circumstances. The following is the list of various options that you can set as a smart lock.

1. Trusted Places: You can unlock your device if you are connected to your home Wi-Fi. So, if you forget your primary password, simply go back home and use the smart lock feature to get in.

2. Trusted Face: Most of the modern Android smartphones are equipped with Facial Recognition and can be used as an alternative to password/PIN.

3. Trusted Device: You can also unlock your phone using a trusted device like a Bluetooth Headset.

4. Trusted Voice: Some Android smartphones especially those running on Stock Android like Google Pixel or Nexus allows you to unlock your device using your voice.

5. On-body Detection: The smartphone is capable of sensing that the device is on your person and, thus, gets unlocked. This feature, however, has its drawbacks as it is not very safe. It will unlock the device irrespective of who is in possession of it. As soon as the motion sensors detect any activity, it unlocks the phone. Only when the mobile is stationary and lying somewhere will it stay locked. Thus, enabling this feature is not usually advisable.

Unlock Android phone using Smart Lock

Take note that to unlock your phone using a smart lock, you need to set it up first. You can find the Smart Lock feature in your Settings under Security and Location. All these settings and features described above require you to give them the green light to unlock your device. So make sure you set up at least a couple of them to bail you out in case you forget your password.

7. Performing a Factory Reset (Last Resort)

The only other alternative that you have is to perform a Factory Reset on your device. You will lose all your data but at least you will be able to use your phone again. Due to this reason, it is always a good idea to back up your data as an when possible. After the Factory Reset is complete you can download all your personal files from the cloud or some other backup drive.

There are two ways in which you can Factory Reset your phone:

a. Using Google Find my Device service

When you open Google Find my Device website on your computer and sign in with your Google Account, you can make certain changes to your phone remotely. You can remotely erase all the files from your mobile with a single click. Simply tap on the Erase Device option and it will reset your phone to the factory settings. This means that the previous password/pin will also get removed. This way you can easily unlock Android phone if you forgot the password. And once you regain access to your device, you can set a new password. 

A pop-up dialog would show the IMEI number of your device

b. Factory Reset your phone Manually

In order to use the above-described method, you need to enable it from before-hand. If you haven’t done that already then you need to opt for a manual factory reset. Now, this method differs from one device to another. Therefore, you need to search for your phone and its model and see how to initiate a factory reset. Following are some general steps that work for most devices:

1. First, you need to turn off your device.

2. Once your mobile phone is switched off, press and hold the power button along with the volume down button as long as it does not start the Android bootloader. Now the combination of keys can be different for your mobile, it could be the power button along with both the volume keys.

Factory Reset your phone Manually

3. When the bootloader starts, your touchscreen won’t work, so you have to use the volume keys to navigate.

4. Use the volume down button to navigate to Recovery mode and then press the Power button to select it.

5. Here, navigate to the Wipe data/ Factory reset option using the volume keys and then press the Power button to select it.

Wipe data or Factory reset

6. This will initiate factory reset and once completed your device will be brand new again.

7. You will now have to go through the entire process of signing in to your device with your Google Account as you did for the first time.

Needless to say, your existing device lock has been removed and you will have no problem gaining access to your device.

Recommended: How to Turn Off Message Blocking on Android

I hope the above guide was helpful and you were able to unlock your Android phone without password. But if you still have any queries regarding this guide feel free to ask them in the comment section.

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