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What to Do if You Forget Your Android Phone Password

by Josh Kirschner on March 08, 2024

Updated on 3/8/2024 with current instructions for resetting phones and added instructions for OnePlus and TCL.

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 phone if it's locked to be able to use it 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.”

Read more: How to Know if Your Android Phone Is Linked to Another Device

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 Google Find My Device. 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.

Read moreHow to Turn on Emergency SOS on Your Android Phone

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):

Google advises you to charge your phone to at least 70% before attempting to reset your locked phone.

  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. While you hold the Power button, press the Volume up button. Then release both buttons quickly.
  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 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:

Motorola tells you to charge your phone to at least 30% before attempting to reset your locked phone.

  1. Hold down the Power button to power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power button until the phone turns on.
  3. When the boot menu appears, use the Volume buttons to scroll to "Recovery Mode" and use the Power button to select it.
  4. If you see an Android robot with a red exclamation mark, press and hold the Power button and, while holding it down, press and release the Volume up button.
  5. Use the Volume buttons to scroll to "Wipe data/factory reset," then press the Power button to select it.
  6. Select "Factory data reset" using the volume buttons and press the Power button to select it.
  7. Select "Reboot system now" and press the Power button.

How to reset OnePlus phones

  1. Hold down the Power button to power off your device.
  2. press and hold the Volume down and Power button until the device vibrates and the "Android Recovery" screen appears. Then release both buttons.
  3. Scroll to find your language using the Volume buttons and press the Power button to select it.
  4. Select "Wipe data and cache" and then "Erase everything."
  5. On the "User data partition" screen, select "This can not be undone, continue?" Your phone will reboot when finished.
  6. On the "Format success" screen, select "Reboot" or "Done."

How to reset Samsung phones:

Samsung recommends charging your phone to at least 25% before attempting to reset your locked phone.

  1. Power down your phone by waiting for it to run out of battery. Then charge it to at least 25%. (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 and later, 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/side key to select. Press the Power button/side key again to select "Yes," "Yes - delete all user data," or "Factory data reset."

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

How to reset TCL phones: 

  1. Hold down the Power button to power off your device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume down and Power buttons until the 'TCL' logo appears then release only the Power button.
  3. Continue to hold Volume down, until the "Android Recovery" screen appears.
  4. Use the Volume buttons to highlight and select "Wipe data / factory reset," and use the Power button to select it.
  5. Use the Volume buttons to highlight and select "Wipe data / factory reset" a second time, using the Power button to select it.
  6. Your phone will reboot when it's done.

[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.


Topics

Tips & How-Tos, Phones and Mobile, Cell Phones, Tech 101


Discussion loading

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From Taylor Johnson on December 24, 2022 :: 12:34 am


I found a Track phone model view 3 along a highway this summer. To reset it I actually had to use the power and volume up buttons but it appears to be permanently locked. I Googled the phone number and tried using the name linked to the Google search. Still locked. Should I just toss it?

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From Matthew lacombe on December 28, 2022 :: 11:42 pm


Have a Motorola phone that someone has factory reset it and I got it back but don’t remember Google account info I used to set it up originally as I have had several accounts over the years.

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From Darlene Fisher on January 15, 2023 :: 11:27 pm


I followed the instructions volume up and power button with phone off and then with it on and both ways bring up a black screen saying ” select boot mode: ( volume up to select , volume down is ok)
(Recovery mode)
(Normal mode)
I select recovery mode then volume down for ok and it just takes me right back to a locked main screen. What am I missing or doing wrong? I’m getting so aggravated! Please help me

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From Franklin on January 16, 2023 :: 8:28 pm


so my phone had been locked for awhile and I just tried factory reset it needed info from before the reset but why thats the info I was trying to remove so so I put something i wanted on there (my new email) but it declined and said it needed my Gmail from before so it did not reset because it had info from before.

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From Very Sad Person on January 23, 2023 :: 10:17 pm


I am trying to reset my umx samsung because i forgot my pin but when i get the screen it shows a dead android guy saying “no command” what do i do

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From dre on February 11, 2023 :: 10:11 pm


my android has a password cant get in trying to power off phone but says need password battery is 11% need help to factory reset

Reply

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From Victoria sowell on February 18, 2023 :: 4:20 pm


My boyfriend factory reset my phone an when he did I didn’t have my Google account information an now I can’t get in to it at all or recover the account or email an password at all how can I bypass this to get my phone back

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From Ahmed Fawzy on February 21, 2023 :: 9:24 am


Ok I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong, I have a Samsung A52 5G and I forgot the pin, I followed all the steps and nothing happens, I do have the Google account used to setup the phone but it dosent ask me for it, I’m sorry if this is the wrong place for this its just really frustrating and I don’t know what to do.

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From john goiye on March 09, 2023 :: 11:46 am


I had wiko U10 modle.i foget my password it was locked for 6 months am unable to unlock the password. I will follow the step which I learn from you,if its is working I will inform you soon.

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From Crystal on March 19, 2023 :: 9:19 pm


i can’t remember my password for a maxwest phone can you please help me

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From norman hill on March 26, 2023 :: 2:00 am


I have Motog7 and forgot code. Followed your directions but when I press RECOVERY MODE I get this picture of a turbine?? and the message is
NO COMMAND?
Suggestions as to what I am doing wrong?
Thanks
norm

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From Shahbaz ali on July 19, 2023 :: 12:18 am


I have sharp Aquos r5G I forget my mobile password how can I recover it

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From Lex on July 21, 2023 :: 12:11 pm


So my mother found her old phone and her mother put a password on it and she don’t know it and it was her favorite phone she don’t want to lose what she has on there

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From Nestor Patrikios on October 20, 2023 :: 8:03 am


My Galaxy Tab S7 was bricked by a forgotten company PIN. I tried everything but this worked.
Note 1: I did indeed need to use a computer USB before the factory reset worked.
Note 2: It takes a long time for the battery to go flat on these babies when you’re not using them

Many thanks indeed

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From Alfie Wess on October 24, 2023 :: 2:28 pm


ive done the factory reset but to get back into the phone it says i need to use the original password

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From Josh Kirschner on October 24, 2023 :: 4:09 pm


Are you referring to your Google password or the device password? We’re pretty explicit in the article that you need to know your Google password to get back in. That is in place to discourage theft of the device. If that is not what you’re asking, please provide more information on what device you have, the specific message you’re seeing, and the steps you went through to reset it.

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From Janus Wilson on November 09, 2023 :: 7:17 pm


Forgot my password and had set my phone up so it couldn’t be tracked so my only recourse was to try your option with pushing all the side buttons once all power was gone (I had to have it plugged into my computer for power).  This pulled up a green screen that gave me 3 options: press volume up to give the phone a custom operating system (lots of warnings about doing this) or volume down to reset - but all this does is return the screen to the large blue/white powering circle- and then use the side button to see bar codes. That’s it.  No real reset options. What do I do now?

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From Cecilie on December 21, 2023 :: 8:54 pm


Hi,
I changed my pin password on my phone last night, and I can’t remember what I changed it too.

Samsung phone….I tried the samsung website, but I am not logged into the samsung website on my phone, so that option won’t work.

I tried holding the other ideas as well, and they won’t work.  The mobile shop won’t help me either, they said its a software problem, and I’ll have to figure it out.  I do know the gmail and password that is on the phone..but I’m hoping to reset the phone without losing any data.

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From Henry on February 03, 2024 :: 8:31 pm


I have a Motorola phone.  I forgot the password. I followed your instructions to do the Recovery Mode.  When I choose the Recovery Mode in boot I get “No command”. What do I do now?

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From Avery on April 01, 2024 :: 2:49 pm


hello, I have an Android phone with a power button, value buttons, and a fingerprint touchpad on the back of my phone but when I try the fingerprint it won’t work. I’ve also tried to remember the password but can’t what should I do?

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From Josh Kirschner on April 02, 2024 :: 11:38 am


Try your fingers from multiple angles to see if you can get the fingerprint reader to work. Else, you’re going to be in the same boat as far as how to reset your device.

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From Karen Gibbs on April 19, 2024 :: 2:49 pm


I don’t remember my dot code. I don’t remember setting my cell up so don’t have google set up. Followed instructions to reset to default as given. Still requires my dot code??? What was the point to reset if I can’t create a new dot code. Cell phone companies have set this up to force consumers to have to buy new cell phones, otherwise they would have created an easy out for user.

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From Imrankhan804257 on May 20, 2024 :: 8:16 am


Plz TikTok them my account password 🔑 no he please TikTok password is login prom dresses for multiple times to changed the password

Reply

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