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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 :: 144 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 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

I can't get into my

From Tyrone Smith on May 25, 2021 :: 11:14 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 :: 2:16 am

Wow, this is seriously sir.

Reply

doesn't work

From S Carpenter- on June 01, 2021 :: 2:19 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 :: 7:49 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 :: 11:53 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 :: 5:32 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 :: 10:04 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 :: 11:25 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 :: 5:47 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 :: 10:29 am

160rs

Reply

Compliments

From Caven on July 10, 2021 :: 6:14 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 :: 7:37 pm

it works again thank you

Reply

Not working

From Emily Preibe on August 15, 2021 :: 8:29 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 :: 5:05 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 10, 2021 :: 12:34 am

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 :: 2:42 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 :: 5:47 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 :: 2:16 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 :: 11:07 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 :: 3:09 pm

my account is hacked

Reply

I have an Oppo android

From Kepas Maibon on December 24, 2021 :: 7:46 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 :: 8:10 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 :: 5:36 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 :: 3:06 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 :: 10:17 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 :: 10:59 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 :: 7:51 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 :: 10:27 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 :: 7:50 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 :: 3:23 am

Thank you so much! 🙏🏻🙏🏻

Reply

Samsung S20+ Factory reset

From Matt Donohoe on March 05, 2022 :: 7:15 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 :: 11:01 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 :: 8:04 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 :: 9:57 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 20, 2022 :: 12:48 am

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 :: 10:02 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 :: 4:05 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 :: 6:16 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 :: 11:07 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 :: 5:10 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 :: 9:30 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 :: 4:47 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 :: 10:17 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 :: 7:54 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

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