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What to Do if You Forget Your Android Phone Password

by on February 04, 2021
in Tips & How-Tos, Phones and Mobile, Cell Phones, Tech 101 :: 108 comments

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If you forget your Android lock screen password, is there a way to unlock your phone? The short answer is no – you will have to factory reset your device to be able to use your phone again. And because all recent versions of Android encrypt the data on your phone by default, there is no way to recover any photos, contacts or other data that you haven’t backed up to your Google account; they will be gone forever after the reset.  However, at least your phone will be unlocked and you’ll be able to use it again.

There are two ways to factory reset an Android phone if you’ve forgotten the password and can’t get past the lock screen. The first is to use Google’s Find My Device, which allows you to remotely erase your phone online. If you don’t have Find My Device turned on (it should be on by default), you’ll have to use the second method, Android’s “Recovery Mode”.

It’s critical to note that resetting your phone through either of these methods will require you to know your Google account and password that was used to set up the phone. If you don’t have this information, the device will be permanently locked. This security measure is in place to prevent a thief from using your device after factory resetting it.

How to reset your Android phone through Find My Device

  1. Go to android.com/find. If you’re not already, sign in to your Google account that is the main profile on your device. And if you have more than one device, select the phone you want to erase at the top left of the screen.
  2. Select ERASE DEVICE
  3. Click the ERASE DEVICE button
  4. Follow the steps to set up your phone again – note that you will need to verify the Google account information you originally used to set up the phone in order to proceed with setting up the device.

Google Find My Device

How to reset your Android phone through Recovery Mode

The steps to enter Recovery Mode varies by manufacturer, but I’ll provide instructions for the major ones below.

How to reset stock Android phones (Google Pixel 3, Pixel 2, Pixel XL, or Nexus 6P):

  1. Hold down the Power button to power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Power button and the Volume down button until your phone boots into Fastboot Mode. You’ll see a bunch of system info, along with menus option on the right side of your screen.ANdroid fastboot mode
  3. Use the Volume up and Volume down buttons to navigate through the menu options until you get to Recovery Mode, then press the Power Button to select it.
  4. You’ll see the Google logo on a white background, then the Android mascot lying on his back and the words No command.Andouid No command recovery mode
  5. Press and hold the Power button, then press the Volume up button.
  6. A new menu will pop up with a variety of system commands. Use the Volume buttons to get to Wipe data/factory reset and the Power button to select it.

How to reset HTC phones:

  1. Hold down the Power button to power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume down button, then press the Power button.
  3. Continue to hold Volume down until the Download mode is displayed
  4. A screen menu will appear. Use the Volume down button to highlight 'Recovery Mode’.
  5. Select ‘WIPE DATA/FACTORY RESET'. Press the Power button to select.

How to reset Huawei phones:

  1. Hold down the Power button to power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up button and the Power button.
  3. Once the startup screen appears, release the Power button, and 3 seconds later release the Volume Up button. Your phone will enter recovery mode
  4. Use the Volume buttons or touch the screen to select Wipe data/factory reset.
  5. On the screen that says, “Confirm wipe off all user data?” use the Volume buttons or touch the screen to select Wipe data/factory reset.

How to reset LG phones:

  1. Hold down the Power button to power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume down button and the Power/Lock button for approximately 10 seconds.
  3. Release both buttons when the System recovery screen is displayed. (Special note for LG V30: When the LG logo appears, quickly release and then re-hold the Power button while continuing to hold the Volume down button)
  4. Use the Volume buttons to scroll to 'Factory Data Reset’.
  5. Press the Power/Lock button to select.
  6. Press either of the Volume buttons to highlight Yes, then press the Power/Lock button to confirm.

How to reset Motorola phones:

  1. Hold down the Power button to power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power button.
  3. When the options menu appears, use the Volume buttons to scroll to "RECOVERY MODE"
  4. Press the Power button to restart into Recovery mode.
  5. You'll see an image of an Android robot with a red exclamation mark. While holding down the Power button, press the Volume Up button.
  6. Use the volume buttons to scroll to "Wipe data/factory reset" and press the Power button to select it.
  7. Use the Volume buttons to scroll to "Yes" and press the Power button to select it.

How to reset Samsung phones:

  1. Hold down the Power button to power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume up button, the Power button and the Home button.
  3. When you feel the device vibrate, release ONLY the Power button.
  4. A screen menu will appear. When you see this, release the remaining buttons.
  5. Use the Volume down button to highlight 'Delete all user data'. Press the Power button to select. Press the Power button again to select Yes - delete all user data.

For Samsung phones without a Home button (such as Galaxy S10, Galaxy S11, Galaxy S20, Galaxy S21, Note 20), 

  1. Hold down the Power button to power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume up button, the Power button and the Bixby button.
  3. When you feel the device vibrate, release all the buttons.
  4. The Android recovery screen menu will appear (may take up to 30 seconds). Use the Volume down button to highlight 'Wipe data/factory reset'. Press the Power button to select. Press the Power button again to select Yes - delete all user data.
  5. Note: Some have reported that, starting with Android 11, your device is now required to be connected to power via USB to go into recovery mode. I have not been able to test this.

Updated 2/4/2021 for newer Samsung devices

[Image credit: Josh Kirschner/Techlicious]



Discussion loading

thanks!!!!!!

From Laura Pollard on July 31, 2019 :: 3:30 pm

Thank you so much!!! I was ready to smash the phone with a hammer. It’s my husbands old phone and i had no idea of passwords. 
THE FIND YOUR PHONE WORKED!!
THANKS YOU!!

Reply

Thank you for the feedback!

From Josh Kirschner on July 31, 2019 :: 3:51 pm

Glad it was helpful!

Reply

Excellent

From Pamela Mcilroy on April 02, 2020 :: 1:43 am

Thank you so very much for your help in unlocking phone. Mine was a Hueie sorry i haven’t spelt it correctly.
It worked and you are a genius.
I’d been trying to unlock my phone for 2 weeks, checking out the internet and today i hit the jackpot finding your site. I can’t thank you enough.
Pamela

Reply

You're welcome!

From Josh Kirschner on April 02, 2020 :: 1:58 pm

Happy the directions helped you out!

Factory Reset equals Data Theft?

From RMatrix on April 17, 2021 :: 7:51 am

A weird situation happened to me. Somebody did a factory reset on my phone while it was locked with a pin code and face recognition. I’m learning here, but correct me, the phone goes to fastboot. So in that mode someone can steal my data, yes? Can they alter stuff and get passwords and the like. I do not keep super personal info anywhere online except autofill.

Reply

Factory Reset equals Data Theft?

From john powers on May 18, 2021 :: 6:08 pm

No data can be recovered if you lose your locked phone or forget your PIN. All data is encrypted by default.
A reset deletes all personal data unless the person finding your phone also knows your Google account log in details and you also have saved personal info on Google back up,

Thanks

From RMatrix on May 26, 2021 :: 3:35 am

Thank you for your reply.

Thanks a lot

From Vicky Tonge on August 30, 2019 :: 7:36 am

Wow, I am very happy I found your site. It helped me a lot. How to reset android phone through recovery mode helped me with my Huawei phone, thank you very much.

Reply

It wont work

From Noah Goodsell on October 17, 2019 :: 1:22 pm

i dont wanna try bc i need all my data

Reply

So what is your plan?

From Josh Kirschner on October 22, 2019 :: 2:23 pm

I get it about the data. But unless you have another option, you’re going to have to deal with the loss. Moving forward, this is obviously a pretty good lesson for why backing up your phone is so important.

Reply

The Data!!

From o.O on March 28, 2021 :: 6:02 pm

The Data!! o.O

Reply

how to unlocked my redmi

From Leilanie Alvarez Patolot on November 10, 2019 :: 11:54 am

how to unlocked my redmi 5 device?i alrdy forgot the password of my miui

Reply

Jaheimwilliams394

From Jaheim williams on January 03, 2020 :: 8:54 pm

I want to find my password

Reply

None of these work Or

From Janice on February 02, 2020 :: 10:32 am

None of these work
Or there any way it will unlock. My grandson has a very old fortune phone.  The only thing it does is stay on power off menu.

Reply

The LG instructions didn't work?

From Josh Kirschner on February 02, 2020 :: 1:18 pm

Did you follow the LG-specific instructions above and that didn’t work?

Reply

None of these work for my LG phone

From Yaya on May 28, 2021 :: 7:47 am

I need more help to find my password

Reply

Good info

From Sean on February 15, 2020 :: 5:32 pm

Thank you very much for your well written and valuable info you are the only site that was straight up and to the point
Thanku Sean

Reply

Factory reset didn't work

From Kim on March 23, 2020 :: 1:59 am

I did the factory reset on my lg tracfone and when I start it back up it still ask for the lock pattern or to sign in to a previously used Google account. I don’t know either one I got the phone used.

Reply

You have to contact whomever gave you the phone

From Josh Kirschner on March 23, 2020 :: 9:42 am

As I mention in the article, you have to have that information to factory reset the phone. This should have been done by whomever sold you the phone. This is in place to prevent people from selling stolen devices. The only way around this is to contact the person who gave you the phone and have them reset it for you.

Reply

Bought a used galaxy pin code on it

From Shellimun on June 01, 2021 :: 4:13 pm

Pin on Galaxy and seller doesn’t know the pin. Or last email. So how I get it to Open

Reply

You don't

From Josh Kirschner on June 01, 2021 :: 7:54 pm

If they don’t know the pin or prior email, then it is quite possible you are buying a stolen or lost device and there is no way to unlock it. You should get your money back from the seller since they essentially sold you a brick.

Factory reset didn't work

From john powers on May 18, 2021 :: 6:11 pm

If you do not know the Google login details associated with the phone when it was owned by the previous person, it will remain locked even after a factory reset. This is to prevent misuse and theft.

Reply

Now my HTC doesn't show

From Opio Nathan on April 10, 2020 :: 3:53 am

Now my HTC doesn’t show the command what step should I go for to accomplish this hard reset

Reply

Did you follow the steps for HTC above?

From Josh Kirschner on April 10, 2020 :: 9:53 am

Did you follow the steps for resetting HTC devices I listed above? If you did and it isn’t working, can you tell me what model HTC phone you have and what version of Android you’re running?

Reply

password

From Adebayo samuel on June 03, 2020 :: 12:38 pm

pls how can i reset my samsung galaxy note 3 without the home button because the home button isn’t working pls help me out.

Reply

You may be out of luck

From Josh Kirschner on June 03, 2020 :: 1:08 pm

Why is the Find My Phone option not working for you? If that doesn’t work and the Home button isn’t working, you may be out of luck until you take the phone in for repair to get the Home button fixed.

Reply

Locked out of phone

From Mrs E J Forster on July 13, 2020 :: 4:07 pm

I have a Samsung j5 2017 phone did a factory reset now can’t switch off phone or get passed the pattern lock which I didn’t set to get into phone.

Reply

Did you follow steps above

From Josh Kirschner on July 15, 2020 :: 9:49 am

Did you follow the specific steps for Samsung phones above to try factory resetting again?

Reply

Yes have tried everything but

From Mrs E J Forster on July 15, 2020 :: 9:53 am

Yes have tried everything but can’t get passed pattern lock to get into phone. I can’t switch off phone lock won’t let me.

Reply

Try long press on power button

From Josh Kirschner on July 15, 2020 :: 10:04 am

You should always be able to turn off your phone, even when locked. Try holding down the power button for a few seconds - you should see the power off option come up. If not, you may have bricked (permanently corrupted the hardware) your phone somehow during your first reset.

If that doesn’t work, eventually the phone will run out of battery. Let that happen and recharge. I doubt it will fix things but it’s worth a try.

Let me know.

Moto Z2

From James on July 23, 2020 :: 10:34 am

I reset my moto Z2, but I don’t know my google account or google password and it keeps asking for one.  What can I do?

Reply

phone locked

From Graham Evans on August 18, 2021 :: 3:17 am

i remember the password but it wont work

Reply

Please help me out, I

From Prince Ril. O on September 02, 2020 :: 6:56 pm

Please help me out, I have an zte phone I was using before I dropped it and now I need some things from the phone and now I forgot the password. Please what can I do

Reply

Need help and assistance to unlock security pattern

From Amelia Nobesuthu Ntlangano on September 14, 2020 :: 1:12 pm

Hi
Need help from anyone to assist me to unlock my security pattern from Hisense mobile phone

Amelia

Reply

I forgot my password

From Abubakar Umar on October 06, 2020 :: 8:06 am

I forgot password

Reply

Help me

From Skyler phillips on October 17, 2020 :: 9:34 pm

My lg k31 glitched and now it asks me for password Before i use finger prints i never set password and i cant power off or reset

Reply

Tablet so can't work.

From Nathan Mansour on November 08, 2020 :: 11:01 pm

I have a Samsung Galaxy tab a which is a tablet so it can’t work.

Reply

Try this

From Josh Kirschner on November 09, 2020 :: 3:24 pm

Here’s how to reset a Samsung Tablet, from the Verizon help site:

1. Press and hold the Volume Up and Power buttons until the Android Recovery screen appears (about 10-15 seconds) then release both buttons.
2. From the Android Recovery screen, select Wipe data/factory reset.
3. Select Yes.

Reply

Unexpected locked phone

From Mahmoud AbdelAzim on November 09, 2020 :: 6:13 pm

My wife didn’t put any locking I was beside her she get up doing something while the mobile in her hand she suddenly found that her phone is locked and have been asked for password
Is that common !?

Reply

Lost password

From Juanita Clarke on November 10, 2020 :: 4:04 pm

My husband let his niece borrow phone until she got one. We found out she was involved in drugs so we took it away from her.she changed password and won’t tell us what it is. I have her Google account info but don’t want to loose pictures on phone, Samsung 7. Is there anyway to unlock without losing pictures

Reply

No.

From Josh Kirschner on November 10, 2020 :: 6:38 pm

There is no way to unlock it unless you have the password. I would see if you can convince her to give it to you by mentioning the photos. Though it’s possible she doesn’t want to unlock the phone because there are things of hers on there she doesn’t want you to see, so keep that in mind with your discussions.

Reply

Thank you!!

From M on November 23, 2020 :: 3:05 pm

Thank you so much! My phone broke down so I needen to use my old phone again but I forgot the password (of course). Thanks to you I can log back into my old phone!

X M

Reply

Does not work for my old Samsung

From Em on December 05, 2020 :: 10:15 am

Have a Samsung Galaxy from a while back and cannot recall the password. Tried this, it freezes on the system recovery screen, when I select wipe data factory reset, press the power button to activate but nothing happens.

Reply

Help

From fran on December 29, 2020 :: 11:26 am

How can I open my phone when I can’t remember the lock screen password and email.  But I can remember the email password? I reset the phone to factory settings but it keeps asking for pin number or Google account username. It’s a new phone and I have not used the email. Please, can someone help?

Reply

You need to log in to the Google account

From Josh Kirschner on December 30, 2020 :: 1:41 pm

To access the phone, you need to log in to the Google account that it was originally set up with.  Is the issue you don’t remember the Google email address that was used to set it up? If not, you’re out of luck, so really try to figure that out.

Reply

Phone problem

From Bhekokwakhe Hlongwa on January 27, 2021 :: 7:33 am

I m forget my email address

Reply

Won't turn off w/o lock code

From Lisa Campbell on January 07, 2021 :: 4:49 pm

I have run into the same problem. I have a Samsung Galaxy A10e. I set a screen lock, now forgot it. The phone will not turn off without the lock code or taking the battery out which on this phone is not an option.

Reply

hi..

From Natalie burns on January 14, 2021 :: 2:32 pm

so i got a v mobile and how do you reset that

Reply

still not working

From Marvin Wilson on February 03, 2021 :: 4:38 pm

My galaxy samsung A11 Android 10, forgot my password, when i power off it asked for password, so i use volume down and power to restart it but just keeps coming up with enter password after restarting, this A11 has no bixby or home buttons only has volume up/down and power, any idea how i can get back in?

Reply

Added info above

From Josh Kirschner on February 04, 2021 :: 11:58 am

Hi Marvin,

I added details to the article for how to reset Samsung phones without a Home button (such as Galaxy S10, Galaxy S11, Galaxy S20, Galaxy S21, Note 20). Look in the Samsung section above.

Best,
Josh

Reply

working now

From Marvin Wilson on February 06, 2021 :: 4:34 pm

Thank You!

Reply

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