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What to Do if You Forget Your Android Phone Password

by on January 26, 2023
in Tips & How-Tos, Phones and Mobile, Cell Phones, Tech 101 :: 162 comments

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Updated on 1/26/2023 with current instructions for resetting phones and a new screenshot

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.

Hand holding phone showing a Wrong Pin notification

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 erase your phone online remotely. 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 thieves 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 into the 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 screenshot showing a map with the location of a Samsung Galaxy A52 5G and the option to Play Sound, Secure Device, and Erase 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 phones):

  1. Hold down the Power button to power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Power and Volume down buttons for 10 to 15 seconds.
  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 words No command.
  5. Press and hold the Power button, then press the Volume up button.
  6. A new menu will pop up. Use the Volume buttons to scroll to "Wipe data/factory reset" and use the Power button to select it.
  7. Use the volume buttons to scroll to "Factory data reset" and press the Power button to select it.
  8. When the reset is finished, you'll see "Data wipe complete." Using the volume buttons, scroll to and select "Reboot system now" and use 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 (for some HTC models, it's the volume up button).
  3. Continue to hold the Volume button until you see a menu.
  4. Use the Volume buttons to select "Factory reset" and use the Power button to select it.
  5. If you are prompted to confirm the factory rest, use the Volume buttons to select "Yes" and 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 and Power buttons until your phone goes into Recovery mode. (If your phone doesn't have physical volume buttons, press the Power button five times after the phone vibrates while powering on.)
  3. Use the Volume buttons or touchscreen to select the option to clear data. If you're using the buttons, use the Power button to select it.
  4. Use the Volume buttons to select "restore your device to its factory settings" and use the Power button to select it.
  5. Once your phone is restored to factory settings, you'll see the Recovery screen. Select the option to restart your device.

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 boot menu appears, use the Volume buttons to scroll to "Recovery Mode" and use the Power button to select it.
  4. Select "Factory data reset" using the volume buttons and press the Power button to select it.
  5. Select "Reboot system now" and press the Power button.

How to reset Samsung phones:

  1. Power down your phone by waiting for it to run out of battery. (You can't power down your phone when it's locked without inputting your password.)
  2. For Samsung phones without a Home button or separate Power button (such as the Galaxy S20, Galaxy S21, Note10, Note20, Fold, and Z Flip), press and hold the Volume up button and side buttons until you feel the device vibrate and you see the Samsung logo. For Samsung phones with a separate Power button (Galaxy S8, Galaxy S9, Galaxy S10), press and hold the Volume up button, Power button, and Bixby button until your phone vibrates and goes into Recovery mode. For Samsung phones with a physical Home button (including the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7), Press and hold the Volume up, Home, and Power buttons until your phone vibrates, and then release just the Power button.
  3. A screen with the recovery menu will appear. When you see this, release the remaining buttons.
  4. Use the Volume buttons to highlight 'Wipe data/factory reset.' Press the Power button to select. Press the Power button again to select "Yes," "Yes - delete all user data," or "Factory data reset."

    Note: Samsung reports that for some devices running Android 11, you will need to connect your phone to power via USB to go into recovery mode.

[Image credit: Josh Kirschner/Techlicious, screenshot via Techlicious]

Josh Kirschner is the co-founder of Techlicious and has been covering consumer tech for more than a decade. Josh started his first company while still in college, a consumer electronics retailer focused on students. His writing has been featured in Today.com, NBC News and Time.



Discussion loading

thanks!!!!!!

From Laura Pollard on July 31, 2019 :: 2:30 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 :: 2:51 pm

Glad it was helpful!

Reply

Excellent

From Pamela Mcilroy on April 02, 2020 :: 12:43 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 :: 12:58 pm

Happy the directions helped you out!

Factory Reset equals Data Theft?

From RMatrix on April 17, 2021 :: 6:51 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 :: 5:08 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 :: 2:35 am

Thank you for your reply.

Won't power off without

From Rogostar Josho on February 22, 2022 :: 10:02 am

a password which I don’t have

Reply

Hi, I have completley forgotten

From nozuko mlata on April 07, 2022 :: 9:46 am

Hi, I have completley forgotten my google verification credentials and have formatted my phone and now cant access my phone. urgently help please

Reply

it doesnt work

From Vanessa Castro on April 25, 2022 :: 12:42 pm

i have the 2021 version of the Motorola and it doesnt work

Reply

It should work

From Josh Kirschner on April 27, 2022 :: 7:44 am

According to Motorola, the process listed in my article is correct. What step are you getting stuck on and what model device do you have?

Samsung j7 crown sm-s7677VL

From Lisla on May 16, 2022 :: 5:11 pm

I have tried. I don’t know if I’m just not waiting long enough or just doesn’t work for my phone???

Reply

unlock password for oppo

From Michelle Ann on November 10, 2022 :: 10:58 pm

Hi. The thing is, I bought a second hand oppo phone and my son played with it and even set up a password. He can’t recall the password. I watched so many videos on how to unlock the password and followed the steps but unfortunately none of it worked. Please help. Thank you.

Reply

CHEATING SPOUSSE

From Frank Howard on May 29, 2022 :: 3:09 pm

The break down of communication is the start of the infidelity. in the case of emotional infidelity where the spouse puts more energy in a new person rather than having a conversation with their partner about their needs,concerns etc.. why is it so difficult for 2 people to communicate their wants, needs, etc.? I also believe with some people they are extremely lazy and hate conflict. They feel they should be continuously entertained and make very little effort on keeping a marriage It was like performing a circus that’s not interesting in my relationship my Husband started portraying this kind of attitude that made me shook my head saying THIS Husband IS REALLY SOMETHING ELSE… I informed a computer geek and he told me about Samsmithcyberhost(AT)gmail,com, I went up to him,i just gave him her username and in 30mins he got me into his account without notifying him and then found out that he was seeing another girl..
Contact him via email:Samsmithcyberhost@gmail.com
whatsapp: +1 (747)345-9036.
tbt

Reply

Thanks a lot

From Vicky Tonge on August 30, 2019 :: 6:36 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 :: 12:22 pm

i dont wanna try bc i need all my data

Reply

So what is your plan?

From Josh Kirschner on October 22, 2019 :: 1:23 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 :: 5:02 pm

The Data!! o.O

Reply

how to unlocked my redmi

From Leilanie Alvarez Patolot on November 10, 2019 :: 10:54 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 :: 7:54 pm

I want to find my password

Reply

None of these work Or

From Janice on February 02, 2020 :: 9:32 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 :: 12:18 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 :: 6:47 am

I need more help to find my password

Reply

Good info

From Sean on February 15, 2020 :: 4:32 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 :: 12:59 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 :: 8:42 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 :: 3:13 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 :: 6:54 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.

Forgot password

From mohanyash on December 12, 2021 :: 4:19 am

Sir I forgot my oppo a9 2020 (android 11) screen password so I format my phone through pressing power button and volume button and wipe all data ..After, i give it to the mobile to repair shop and they flash and install new software now my issue was solved but I have much fear because of i have some sensible data and photos in my mobile so, is? anychance to they recover my data or stole my data? Please reply sir…..I have so much of worry about this

Reply

No, they can't recover your data

From Josh Kirschner on December 12, 2021 :: 11:49 am

All user data on Android devices is encrypted using the user’s login information. Once the phone is reset there is no way to recover any data from the device.

Factory reset didn't work

From john powers on May 18, 2021 :: 5:11 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

I can’t remember my pattern so I reset it.

From Beth on October 26, 2022 :: 6:09 pm

I can’t remember my pattern so I reset it. Samsung A12 I think. It still wants my pattern or to open with my Google account, which I have done, and it loops over and over and over and over into wanting my email and password for that account. I cannot get past that page. And it still wants my pattern? That’s why I reset it bc I don’t remember it! I haven’t used this phone for many months. iPhones are so much easier to use. Dang this thing.

Reply

Now my HTC doesn't show

From Opio Nathan on April 10, 2020 :: 2:53 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 :: 8:53 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 :: 11:38 am

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 :: 12:08 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 :: 3:07 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 :: 8:49 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 :: 8:53 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 :: 9:04 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 :: 9:34 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 :: 2:17 am

i remember the password but it wont work

Reply

Please help me out, I

From Prince Ril. O on September 02, 2020 :: 5:56 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 :: 12:12 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 :: 7:06 am

I forgot password

Reply

Help me

From Skyler phillips on October 17, 2020 :: 8:34 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 :: 10:01 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 :: 2:24 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

Can't click Factory reset

From Kate on November 29, 2022 :: 6:09 am

I have gotten all the way tothe factory reset screen while not having a password with the keys. But it won’t continue on to the next option for me it’s just stuck on factory reset wipe data. It highlights it in green when I hold the power button down but won’t proceed. What do I do?

Reply

Unexpected locked phone

From Mahmoud AbdelAzim on November 09, 2020 :: 5:13 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

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