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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

Factory Reset Protection Issue on Nexus 5x

From Erik on May 24, 2021 :: 6:25 pm

I set up my Nexus 5x for my non-english speaking mother-in-law in her language, showed her how to use Google translate, and added the phone back to our Google Fi account while she was visiting in Jan of 2020. When she left I tossed it in my drawer and didn’t think about it; however, a month ago I pulled it out to set it up for my 6 year old to see if it can be used for games. I quickly realized I do not remember the pin, so I decide to hard reset the device and when it comes back up it wants….the pin due to this lovely feature I learned about called Factory Reset Protection. I attempted to log in with my Google account which failed, and through some communication hurdles I was able to get my mother-in-laws Google account info and tried logging in that way and it failed. Those were the only two accounts used on this phone. How do I get access to the device to reset it?

Reply

How is it failing?

From Josh Kirschner on May 25, 2021 :: 1:12 pm

When you say logging in with your Google account is “failing”, do you mean you don’t remember your Google passwords or you enter them correctly but you are getting an error message of some sort?

Reply

I can't get into my

From Tyrone Smith on May 25, 2021 :: 10:14 am

I can’t get into my phone. I forgot my pass word

Reply

Wow, this is seriously sir.

From Pontip danladi on May 31, 2021 :: 1:16 am

Wow, this is seriously sir.

Reply

doesn't work

From S Carpenter- on June 01, 2021 :: 1:19 pm

Tried instructions for a motorola phone and second menu doesn’t show up.  Just get the logo with the exclamation point and at bottom says “no command”.

Reply

You're supposed to see that

From Josh Kirschner on June 01, 2021 :: 6:49 pm

When you see the Android robot with the “No command” message, you’re supposed to continue on with Step 5.

Reply

Hi Do you have any

From Mags on June 02, 2021 :: 10:53 am

Hi

Do you have any advice on how to reset Iphones when you do not know apple password ?

Reply

Yes, we do!

From Josh Kirschner on June 02, 2021 :: 4:32 pm

To reset your iPhone, you will need your Apple ID password. However, if you forget the password to your Apple ID, we have an article on various ways to reset your Apple ID password.

Reply

no email

From Magda on July 25, 2022 :: 9:04 am

thank you , but it is an iphone that belonged to someone else , and the email no longer exists, so cannot use it to reset , is there any other way, when id not known nor password

Reply

Phone not set up ,pin forgotten

From Judr on June 10, 2021 :: 10:25 am

My dad wrote down his pin incorrectly but hasn’t even set up the phone yet so it’s not connected to a Google account.  Will it still ask for details if we do a factory reset? It’s a Samsung a20

Reply

No, it won't ask for details

From Josh Kirschner on June 10, 2021 :: 4:47 pm

I just ran this experiment on a Pixel 4 that I set a PIN for with no email account, then factory reset it using the method in the article. It did not ask for the old pin or a Google account after the reset.

Reply

Lock phone

From Abdul rehman on June 16, 2021 :: 9:29 am

160rs

Reply

Compliments

From Caven on July 10, 2021 :: 5:14 pm

Thank u so much, I’m overwhelmed after six hours of struggle to recover entry into my new android phone.

My phone some way didn’t wanna take neither a password nor my finger prints to gain access without me knowing why. After googling I was enjoying my android again.

Thnx once more

Reply

this is great

From MARK on August 10, 2021 :: 6:37 pm

it works again thank you

Reply

Not working

From Emily Preibe on August 15, 2021 :: 7:29 pm

I have a Motorola moto e it is my ex-boyfriend and I can’t get into it I factory reset it and it is asking for the previous password. I or my ex-boyfriend know the password. What do I do?

Reply

Is there the option to log in with Google account?

From Josh Kirschner on August 17, 2021 :: 4:05 pm

There should be the option to log in with the Google account used to set up the phone initially. Are you sure that option isn’t there?

Reply

Acct recovery w/o password on new device

From LisaDang Hill on September 09, 2021 :: 11:34 pm

For months I have been trying really really hard to recover my list primary Gmail account on a new device but I have forgotten my password. Everytime I seek help online the directions never lead to success. I’m at my wit’s end with it. My primary account is so very important because it is in a lot of cases my only way to connect/communicate with certain people and/or companies. Please give me help successfully.

Thank u,
at my witts end

Reply

Need additional step for Samsung S10e mobile

From Vinai on October 03, 2021 :: 1:42 pm

Hey Josh,

I followed the steps you mentioned above for Samsung S10e mobile. After factory reset, it is again asking to enter password or PIN to access the device. The whole purpose of factory reset was, i forgot the pin. After loosing all the data, again i have to recollect the PIN :(

Reply

Option for Google login?

From Josh Kirschner on October 03, 2021 :: 4:47 pm

Are you sure there isn’t an option below it to log in using your previous Google account? It’s not always easy to notice.

Reply

‘No Data’?

From Lillian on October 29, 2021 :: 1:16 am

On my Motorola I got to the last part of the 6. To clean it off and all that came up was ‘no Data’.. not sure what to do now? Do you have any idea why this happened or what I can do now with it? Would appreciate some wisdom… thanks

Reply

Thank you so much!!

From Ega on November 19, 2021 :: 10:07 am

I completely forgot the password on my old phone and now that I had to use it for something I was pretty stressed but thanks to this I was able to make it work!! I used the “Find My Device” method.

Reply

প্রতারনা করছে

From ss.ahmed.3348 on December 24, 2021 :: 2:09 pm

my account is hacked

Reply

I have an Oppo android

From Kepas Maibon on December 24, 2021 :: 6:46 pm

I have an Oppo android locked with pin and I almost find it difficult to unlock without password. It takes almost a week

Reply

Forgot password

From Drvijay Choudhary on January 29, 2022 :: 7:10 pm

I have redmi note 4 phone I reset this phone and now asking mi account password for start but I forgot that what should I do now

Reply

did auto upgrade like it says

From dave on February 15, 2022 :: 4:36 pm

Now when done it has a lock on phone,no clue,how or what it could b

Reply

how to charge dead android cell

From joseph chatman on February 17, 2022 :: 2:06 am

.... my Android Stylo 5 stop charging about 3 months ago or more was working one day the charger charging port then it stopped the next day I couldn’t charge it any longer for whatever reason I don’t know I cleaned it blowing it bought a new charger a new brain still nothing to get to this door Metro and they told me that they charging port went out is there any way for me to charge this phone I have my information in there what I could get out of there it’s dead now and I’ve been researching and looking and asking I just found this site and I’m hoping that maybe you have some information I can refer you somewhere I can send it in somewhere our shop you can recommend I’m in Carson California I appreciate any and all information we’ll have to do this thank you again I have my medical information in there and the mother-daughter that just can’t get back I really need I know I know my password and all the other stuff that we need to get in the phone I just need to charge it how do I do this or how do I transfer that information out for me like my account to another phone with it being dead thank you

Reply

Perhaps Best Buy

From Josh Kirschner on February 17, 2022 :: 9:17 am

I can’t recommend specific places to get it repaired in your area, though Best Buy Geek Squad should be an option near you. The repair may be expensive, but it sounds like you have important photos on there your really need. Once it get’s fixed, make sure to always have your phone automatically back up to Google Cloud so you don’t lose any precious items in the future.

Reply

Restarts asks for password - don't have password

From Rogostar Josho on February 22, 2022 :: 9:59 am

Just restarts the phone and asks for password which I don’t have

Reply

Do you see option to login with Google account?

From Josh Kirschner on February 23, 2022 :: 6:51 pm

There should be an option to log in with your Google account on that same screen. Are you not seeing that?

Reply

Question

From Phil on February 23, 2022 :: 9:27 am

How can i unlock my Itelp33 plus Android if i forget the password?

Reply

No guarantees, but you can try this

From Josh Kirschner on February 23, 2022 :: 6:50 pm

That device is, I believe, running Android 8.1 Go Edition. That’s a pretty old and unusual OS here in the US, but it appears the steps are similar to the stock Android process I laid out in the article above.

Let me know if that works for you.

Reply

Thank you!

From Marina on March 02, 2022 :: 2:23 am

Thank you so much! 🙏🏻🙏🏻

Reply

Samsung S20+ Factory reset

From Matt Donohoe on March 05, 2022 :: 6:15 am

This does not work on my Samsung S20+.
Is there another way as I’ve tried more than several times and I’m about to lose my shit.

Thanks

Reply

Samsung no password

From krishna on May 05, 2022 :: 10:01 pm

Hi, im sure this is a common question but I lost my password for a galaxy s21 and went through w/factory reset.  The problem is once I select my old galaxy to to restore data from (Galaxy S21 5G backup) the next page says to enter my old devices screen lock on the next screen.. however this repeats my original problem, not knowing the screen lock password.

Reply

Samsung A3 without a home button

From Leonard Gezi on May 19, 2022 :: 7:04 pm

I found this article so helpful. Thank you so much. But my question is how do i put a samsung A3 on recovery mode since it doesn’t have a home button?

Reply

Use the power button

From Josh Kirschner on May 27, 2022 :: 8:57 am

You use the power button on your Samsung A3 to put it in recovery mode. See the specific instructions in the article for Samsung devices.

Reply

Accidentally locked out of phone

From Amber Sweet on May 19, 2022 :: 11:48 pm

Hi I had a seizure while I was on my Samsung Galaxy a-12 and got locked out of my phone and can’t do anything except receive phone calls but only if I get them while ringing but can’t do anything else please help thank you
Amber Sweet p.s I’m using a friend’s phone to write you but I put my email address in his phone to receive messages and hopefully help with my phone

Reply

Possibly automatic factory reset

From Josh Kirschner on May 27, 2022 :: 9:02 am

If you had Auto factory reset turned on in your phone’s security settings (secure lock settings), the phone will automatically factory reset after 15 bad attempts to log in.  In that case, you will need to go through the factory reset procedures above to get your phone working again, though you will have lost any files/photos on your device.

Reply

Hire an ethical hacker

From Frank Howard on May 29, 2022 :: 3:05 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.
rerev

Reply

How to recover oppo

From Alan on June 13, 2022 :: 5:16 pm

My device is oppo a15s i can’t wipe out/ factory reset without password can u help me how to solve this

Reply

No command response

From Charles Macharia Wa Nyambura on June 26, 2022 :: 10:07 pm

I am trying to restart Tecno phone following the process but the phone shows a no command response on the screen.
Help

Reply

Samsung S20 FE 5g

From Tony on July 24, 2022 :: 4:10 pm

Hi, bought above from a community site from person who was selling for a deceased brother in law with no pin for phone. I have factory reset the phone but it asks for phone number r that it was used with which I asked for and was given but it still wants the google account and password that it was synced with. If I cant get those details, will a pin unlocker software work, ie. Passfab or tenorsoft, or should I see it as money down the drain ? Thanks

Reply

No, likely won't work

From Josh Kirschner on July 25, 2022 :: 8:30 am

There is no way to reset the device unless you know the original login details. This is specifically to prevent selling of stolen or lost devices and you can not get around it with a pin unlocker program or any other means.

Reply

Samsung s20

From Tony on July 25, 2022 :: 3:47 pm

Thanks Josh, I thought as much, thanks for the blog and helping people out, much appreciated, Tony

Reply

it isn't working

From kiana on August 30, 2022 :: 9:17 am

hi i need help i can’t get my Movitel M9102 to manually restart and i tried it 4 times and nothing is working it just keeps on telling me to put my pin in. i really hope i can get help with this so i don’t lose this phone

Reply

Pattern Lock

From Mal Benn on September 13, 2022 :: 6:54 am

I have my sons (deceased) mobile and ive managed to get his photos and videos off it and onto mine. I’ve also managed to factory reset it but it’s left the pattern lock on it, is there a way to remove it…Samsung A12

Reply

Forgotten Docomo Arrows pattern

From Lawrence on October 04, 2022 :: 3:32 am

Hello there some help please
I have totally forgotten my Pattern on my docomo and again failed to do a hard reset most especially on the no command display that’s where I totally stop.

Reply

Thank you!

From Max on October 11, 2022 :: 9:15 am

Thank you so much! You saved me from buing new phone.

Reply

Hello

From Vikesh on October 16, 2022 :: 12:20 am

I love you

Reply

My phone is mobicelModel:NeoIMEI1:355459740076434

From Sboniso Lamula on October 19, 2022 :: 7:09 am

My phone is mobicel
Model:Neo
IMEI1:355459740076434

Reply

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