Forgot your Android passcode? The best way to get it back

Adding a screen lock on smartphones is a vital way to keep your device’s contents private. Whereas in an age where there is a lot of personal, professional and financial information on your phone, locking your phone has become a necessity rather than an optional thing.

But if you forgot your phone passcode, this can prevent you from accessing your device. There is a greater possibility of forgetting due to the use of a fingerprint sensor on modern devices which makes passwords as an extra layer of protection.

Here are some of the ways you can regain access to your Android phone if you forgot the password.

Forgot your Android passcode?  Best Ways to Get It Back - Android

Are you sure you forgot the passcode?

Before proceeding, it is wise to take a minute to make sure that you have already forgotten your passcode. Unlike the iPhone, which used to use four-digit passcodes and recently switched to a six-digit one, Android lets you choose any number of digits for the PIN.

If you’re trying to remember a four- or six-digit code, consider whether your passcode is actually of a different length. This may help you remember it.

1. Using Smart Lock

Forgot your Android passcode?  Best Ways to Get It Back - Android

Smart Lock is an Android feature that lets you specify certain conditions that bypass screen lock security. You will find it in الإعدادات -> الأمان والموقع الجغرافي -> Smart Lock.

You are required to enter your PIN, pattern, or password to make changes to this feature. Then you can choose five possible options to unlock your smartphone without a password (allowing your phone to stay unlocked):

  • Keeping your phone unlocked while carrying it: Your phone stays unlocked as long as it senses you’re holding it. After leaving the phone, for example, placing it on a table, it can take up to one minute for your phone to automatically lock.
  • Keeping your phone unlocked when it’s in a trusted location: This option uses where you are to unlock your phone when you’re near an address you’ve specified. Your trusted geographic location may extend outside of your home or beyond the confines of any designated location.
  • Keeping your device unlocked when connected to a trusted device: This option keeps your device unlocked when connected to a trusted Bluetooth device, such as a fitness tracker or car.
  • Trusted face: Uses facial recognition Forgot your Android passcode?  Best Ways to Get It Back - Android to unlock your phone. You must know that this facial recognition technology is invading your privacy.
  • Voice Match: Your phone unlocks when it hears your trusted voice.

If you already had one or more of these options set up before you forgot your password, you can use it to get back to using your phone. However, you cannot change Smart Lock or password settings without entering your current password. Thus, you may still need to do a factory reset, but at least you can backup everything first.

2. Options for Samsung devices

Do you have a Samsung device? The company offers two ways to reset your lock code if you forget it.

Use a backup PIN (older Android versions only)

Forgot your Android passcode?  Best Ways to Get It Back - Android

If you have an older Samsung phone running Android 4.4 KitKat or earlier, you may have set a backup PIN. After entering your password or pattern incorrectly, follow these steps:

  • Click on Backup PIN If you can remember it.
  • Type your PIN, then tap It was completed.
  • You will be redirected to the Unlock Screen settings to reset the pattern.

Find My Mobile (All Android Versions)

For all of its phones, Samsung offers a feature that allows you to remotely manage the device if it is lost. You will need to be signed in to your Samsung account on your phone, and you must have either a Wi-Fi or cellular data connection.

To reset your phone passcode by Find My Mobile:

Forgot your Android passcode?  Best Ways to Get It Back - Android
  • Open on your computer.
  • Sign in with your Samsung account.
  • Go to option unlock my device And follow the instructions.

3. Use the Forgot PIN prompt (Android 4.4 or earlier)

If you have an old phone running Android 4.4 KitKat or earlier, you can reset your passcode through the lock screen. This solution uses your Google account, and requires the following steps:

  1. Enter the wrong pattern on the lock screen until you see a message indicating that you have made several unsuccessful attempts. Try again in 30 seconds the message.
  2. Click on Forgot the pattern You will see a prompt to enter your Google account information.
  3. Type your email address and password.
  4. You now have the option to reset your lock screen pattern. Simply click on the Sign in tab, then go to Settings”Unlock the screenand set a new lock screen pattern.

Unfortunately, Google has removed this option in recent versions of Android.

4. Try some alternative methods

If you haven’t set up Smart Lock, don’t have an old phone, or don’t use a Samsung device, the above methods won’t help you. In these cases, you will have to take more stringent measures.

These are basically ways to make you hack your phone. It’s not guaranteed to work, and it’s likely to mess up your phone if you’re not careful. Hence, you should only try it if you have no other options available.

Delete a PIN file using ADB

Forgot your Android passcode?  Best Ways to Get It Back - Android

With the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) utility, you can access your phone’s files from your computer. You can use it to delete the file that controls the security of the phone lock.

However, this method will only work if:

  • USB debugging is enabled on your phone. If you’ve never delved into the Developer Options panel, then you haven’t enabled it.
  • You have allowed your computer to connect to your phone via ADB. We have a guide for using ADB if you are not familiar with this tool.
  • Your phone is not encrypted. Starting with Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Google requires that all Android phones be shipped encrypted. Hence, this method will not work with newer devices.

If your phone meets these requirements, you can unlock your phone with these steps:

  • Connect your phone to your computer via a USB cable.
  • Open a Command Prompt or Terminal window to the ADB installation directory.
  • Type the following command and press Enter.
adb shell rm /data/system/gesture.key
  • Restart your phone. Once you do that, the lock screen should be gone.
  • This is a temporary condition, so reset your PIN or pattern before restarting again.

Disable lock screen

Forgot your Android passcode?  Best Ways to Get It Back - Android

This method works for encrypted devices running Android 5.0 to 5.1.1. So it’s only suitable for a small subset of phones, but it’s worth a try if you encounter this issue.

To disable screen lock and access to your phone:

  • Click on emergency call on the lock screen.
  • Use the dialer app to enter 10 asterisks.
  • Double-click to highlight this text and select Copied.
  • Paste the selected characters next to the copied original characters.
  • Keep repeating this process to add more characters to the password space until double-clicking stops highlighting the characters.
  • Open the camera shortcut and pull down the notification shade.
  • Tap on the Settings icon, where you will be asked to enter the password.
  • Long press on the input field and choose an option sticky. Then repeat the process several times to copy and paste more characters.
  • Eventually, the lock screen will crash and allow you to access your device.

5. Perform a factory reset for Android

Forgot your Android passcode?  Best Ways to Get It Back - Android

If none of the above works for you, then you will have to resort to a factory reset. Of course, this erases all the data on your phone as well. If you are logged into your Google account and you backed it up, you can log in again to the same account after the reset and get a lot of data back.

Since you do not have access to your phone, you will need to use another method to perform the reset. The easiest way is to use Google’s Find My Device site. As long as you have this feature enabled on your phone, you can tap an option Scan device On this page to reset it.

If you cannot use this method, you will need to do a factory reset manually. Here’s how to do it:

  • Turn off your device.
  • After the screen goes completely black, press and hold the volume down button and the power button simultaneously to bring up the Android boot loader tool menu. This button combination may differ depending on your phone model.
  • Press the volume down button twice to select an option Recovery Mode , then press the Power button to access it.
  • Press and hold the Power button and press the Volume Up button once to enter Recovery Mode.
  • Use the volume buttons to navigate to the Wipe Data / Factory Reset option. Follow the steps to perform a factory reset.
  • Once the device restarts, go to setup again. You will be prompted to sign back into your Google account, which will restore any backed up data.

You can check out Is it possible to recover Android data after a factory reset?

Prevent future locks on Android

These methods can get you back to using your Android phone, but they won’t help you remember your password to log in in the future. You don’t want to go through these steps again, so it’s best to take precautions so you don’t forget your passcode in the future.

Here are some tips to remember your Android password well.

  • Keep a physical copy of your password somewhere that only you can access, such as a safe or a password manager.
  • Follow our tips to create a strong password that you can remember. Don’t choose something obvious, but make it memorable.
  • Make sure you’re signed in to your Google account (and Samsung accounts, if applicable), and at least one Smart Lock option is enabled.
  • Back up your Android data to soften the blow if you have to do a factory reset again.

Remember that Android offers several ways to lock your screen, so you can do better with a different option.

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