How to unlock an Android phone when its password has been forgotten

Did you just create a new password for your Android and forgot what you set it as? Do you want to reactivate one of your older phones and can’t remember what its password is? Did you just get a used phone and don’t have its password to actually use it? If you need to get past the password screen on an android phone here is how you can do it.

Passwords exist for a reason

Unfortunately, or fortunately depending upon how you look at it, passwords exist to keep people out. If you don’t have the password to use a phone then you cannot get into it and view its content. If you could then there would be no purpose in having a password.

So in order to get into a password protected Android phone what you need to do is force the phone to forget its password. When you force an android phone to forget its password it regrettably forces it to forget everything along with it. This includes passwords, pictures, messages, unlock patterns, applications, email addresses etc. Don’t worry about your inbox though this process does not delete your emails, you simply have to log into your email accounts again once the process is over and your emails will re-sync to the phone.

Google first

Speaking of emails, before we get into resetting your Android and its current password or unlock pattern I would like to point out that after trying to enter the phones pass code incorrectly a number of times most Android smartphones will display a “Too many pattern attempts! To unlock, sign in with your Google account” message which should allow you to try logging into your phone using your Google account information.

If you can use your Google account to access your phone instead of performing a reset then it will be a huge convenience as you won’t lose any important data currently stored to your cell phone and it should allow you to once again access your smartphone and update your cell phones unlock pattern.  

So if you remember your primary Google accounts username (your Gmail address) and its password then just input it into these fields tap the “Sign in” button, update your phones unlock pattern and enjoy. If you have forgotten this information then there are some options available which may allow you to recover it and access your Google account once again.

It is actually very common for an Android user not to remember their Google account information. You setup a Gmail account when you first get your cell phone and never have the need to reenter that information again so it can be easily forgotten. Try not to panic just yet though as there is still hope.

In order to recover your information I recommend using a PC to go online and visit mail.google.com. There should be a “Can't access your account?” or “Need help?” link under the Sign in area. Tap on that link and you should see a “Having trouble signing in” message with a few options. “I don’t know my password”, “I don’t know my username” and “I’m having other problems signing in”. These option should aid you in recovering your Google account information and once your account has been recovered you should verify that you can log into your Gmail through a computer first. If you can log into your Google account through a computer then you will be able to log into it on your phone.

Note: If you confirm your Google account on a computer and you are positive that you are entering it correctly on your cell phone but it will not seem to accept it then turn off your phone wait 5 minutes and then reboot the phone and try again. The Google account information might not have updated and may be trying to verify using your original Google account information as opposed to what you just updated. Just a minor thing I thought I would mention as it can save you a lot of frustration.

If you can use your Google account to access your phone then enjoy and don’t forget to press the Facebook Like or Google + options at the bottom of this guide and if you cannot use your Google account for whatever reason then you are going to need to perform a factory reset.

Factory Data Reset

What you need to do to reset your password is to reset your phone. Now typically to reset an Android phone you would have to go into your settings and select the option to perform a factory data reset. But one of the problems you run into without a password is that when performing a reset it will ask you for your password to confirm the reset, which we don’t have because that’s our main problem in the first place. And the second problem is that you cannot get into your settings because you cannot unlock the phone without a password.

There is hope though.

Hard Resetting is the answer

If you cannot unlock or access the content of an Android phone then the best thing to do is a hard reset. A hard reset will perform the factory data reset on the device without having to navigate or access the phones settings. A hard reset also sets the phone back to its factory settings and the phone will be like it was when it was brand new.

A hard reset will solve this problem and remove the phones password (and all other information) reverting the phone back to its default settings allowing you to setup and have access to your phone again.

How to actually perform a hard reset is going to depend a lot on what make and model your phone is and what version of software is currently running on it. I suggest that you read How to hard reset an android phone for more specific information which will guide you through the reset process.

The only downside to a hard reset is that the information currently on the phone is lost. Android has many automatic backups though. Make sure that once the reset is performed that you log back into your primary Gmail account. Gmail accounts often backup your contacts, calendar, and sometimes even applications and custom settings.

Enjoy using your phone

This hard reset will fix this issue and allow you to use the phone again, so enjoy. Oh and don’t forget to write down your new password or unlock pattern if you set one up that way if it gets forgotten you won’t have to hard reset your phone again. I also recommend you keep a copy of your Gmail account as well for backup and restore purposes, if you want to check to make sure that your Android phone is backing up to Google properly than I suggest reading Using Gmail to backup an Android Smartphone.

Thanks again for reading the article, if you have any suggestions, tips, or advice on how to improve it then don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. If this article has helped you in any way then one of the best ways to show your appreciation is to share it with others by clicking on the Tweet, Like, or Google +1 buttons below. Thanks once again for reading and have a fantastically wonderful day.

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17 Comments

Question

Tanx for d solution, but i have entered my gmail username and password but it was unable to unlock and i don't want to hard reset my phone because of my personal document. Please wat can i do.

I have the same problem

I have the same problem as the Anonymous person above.

Operating without a password

I was able to set up my cell phone without creating a password...Now can I also set up voice mail without creating/or using a password? If so, how?

Accessing your voicemail without a security code

Hello Ann,

That is a very good question and is most likely going to depend on who your wireless service provider is. Voicemails are done through your wireless carriers end and many wireless providers do offer an option to access your voicemail without a security code or password.

To check, you can open your voicemail (usually you can do this by pressing down the “1” key on your phones dial pad), access your voicemail settings and see if that feature is available. If you cannot locate it yourself then give your service provider a call and ask, they might even be able to set it up for you.

I hope that helps Ann, sorry for such a delayed response.

Unlocking password

Hi. I have forgotten the pattern on my android phone and wish to unlock but after several failed attempts, the next thing on the screen asks me to unlock with my google account. Unfortunately, i cannot do that because I have also forgotten my gmail after not using it for a long time now.

Would the steps still apply here?

Thanks!

Yes, you’re in the right place

Hi Natasha,

The article above is intended for your exact situation. If you cannot remember your cell phones pattern/password and you cannot remember your Gmail account information (which is common) and need to use your phone again then following the steps mentioned above can help you reset your password so that you can once again have a phone to work with.

Before trying a hard reset I recommend that you use a PC to visit Google and try to recover your Google Account information. If you visit mail.google.com there should be a “Need help?” link which can lead you to a “Having trouble signing in” page which may help you recover not only your Google accounts password but your username as well.

So give that a try first because if you can use your Gmail account to access your phone then you won’t have to perform a hard reset and you won’t have to erase everything from your phone in an attempt to erase the current pass code. If you can log onto your Google account with a computer then you should be able to log into it through your phone as well.

If Google is out of the question and you cannot remember the phones unlock pattern or password then really one of the few options available is to wipe the phone clean and start fresh again.

Good luck Natasha, thank you for visiting the site, and if you have any more questions then don’t hesitate to ask.

Additional information about getting into a locked Android

After reading some of the earlier comments and after posting my most recent reply to Natasha I thought it would be a good idea to update and add some additional information to the article above; more specifically trying to use your Gmail account to access your phone before having to perform a hard reset.

Just remember that unlock patterns and passwords exist for a reason and if you cannot remember your phones unlock pattern/password and cannot access your phone using the primary Google Account associated with that device then performing a hard reset and erasing everything from the phone in order to remove the phones current security setting(s) is going to be pretty much the only option available.

After words make sure to write down your new security settings just in case you ever need them again, make sure to also write down your primary Gmail account, and try to get into the good habit of backing up your important information to a good memory card on a regular basis. This can be a real time saver and help you avoid losing your important information should your phone ever malfunction, get damaged, or you ever need to perform a hard reset again.

I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my post and everyone who has taken the time to share it with others by pressing the Facebook Like or Google + buttons at the bottom the article.

If you have any more questions, suggestions, or would simply like to leave a friendly remark then please don’t hesitate to do so. Thanks again and have a great day.

What if my cell phone doesn’t have a battery?

How can I do this if my Huawei (Model# Y301-A1) doesn’t currently have a battery? My battery is MIA so I can only power my phone on by using the phones charger and if I plug in my charger I can’t hard reset because a reset requires me to power off my phone, which I cannot do as the phone remains on as its pulling power from the charger and not a battery.

So is there another way that I can unlock my Android or perform a hard reset on my smartphone if it doesn’t currently have a battery?

MOTO G with Android pattern forgotten

I tried the combination explained above. It is as follows:
1. I created a pattern
2. Forgot the pattern
3. Tried to logon with gmail from mobile
4. Realised that I don't remember my gmail password
5. Went to gmail website and successfully changed password of gmial
6. Tried logging out and in using PC google mail and was successful
7. Shutdown the Android mobile and waited for 10 minutes
8. Swithed on the Android mobile and tried logging with the new gmail password
ALAS!!! IT DOES NOT
Any more suggestion or help?? Only hard reset ??

It sounds like you did everything right

Hi Nandakumar,

It sounds like you did everything correctly. If you were able to reset your Google account password then you should be able to use that new password to get into your locked Motorola Moto G through your Google account. Ten minutes should have been more than enough time (you would think) for the information to update and be ready to use.

It sounds like it might need more time though… I would give it a few more minutes, reboot the phone, and then try again. As long as you are entering your NEW Google account password correctly into your Motorola Moto G then your cell phone should grant you access to the device to re-setup your cell phones unlock pattern or password.

A reset will remove the unlock pattern from your Motorola Moto G but it’s also going to remove everything else along with it. So obviously this is going to be one of the last things to try in order to have access to your cell phone again.

I could not get back into the system.

Hi James,
I could not get back into the system. Even factory reset I could not do from the system menu. I selected the option to reset from the boot menu, but it did not get executed. So I called their Chat and they helped me reset.
All Data is lost but contacts and applications are there.

Regards - Nanda

Forgot my phones password

I have a Samsung S5 and I forgot my alternative password, I actually set a fingerprint passcode but when I restarted my phone it's asking for my alternative password which I forgot and it's not giving me any option about starting it with my Google account.

XOLO Q700 showing triangle ! and Wespro tablet lock issue

I have a Xolo q700 phone and I would like to hard reset the phone.When I try to by pressing the combination of buttons, it is showing a triangle ! sign and does not proceed with the reset. Please advise.

I have one Wespro MC 175 tablet and my kid had put in the number of wrong attempt to open it and it got locked.. Do we really need the internet to be available in order to unlock it through gmail?.. I am putting in my gmail credentials but it doesn't have an internet connection on the tablet and its not taking my credentials. So how would I unlock my tab.

XOLO Q700 Hard Reset – Locked Wespro tablet

Hi Shailace,

When you get to that triangle with an exclamation mark on your XOLO Q700 release all of the keys you used to get to that screen (the Volume Up + Power if I’m not mistaken) and then press the Power button. The Android system recovery screen should pop up and allow you to proceed with the reset from there.

As far as your Wespro tablet… your best bet is probably going to be to try and connect to a Wi-Fi network that you have connected to in the past in order to establish an internet connection. If this is not possible or using your Google Account information to get into your tablet again is not an option then, like your phone, you may need to hard reset your Wespro tablet as well. I think the Wespro tablet uses the Volume Down + Power key to enter the Android system recovery screen though as opposed to the Volume Up key like your XOLO Q700.

Sony Xperia z3

I forgot the password for my Sony Xperia z3 it's the hardest can anyone help please.

Forgotten password on a Sony Xperia Z3

Hi Kurtis,

If you cannot use your Google account to bypass your phones password then you may need to wipe the phone. You can do this through a PC with Sony’s PC Companion tool.

Good

Good

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