The passwords in mobile devices generally meant for private security purposes. These passwords may include patterns, numerical codes (PIN), password of characters or finger print password usually for newer devices. Using one of these allows one to keep their personal or confidential data safe from their friends or strangers. One more reason behind keeping passwords is to avoid illegitimate breach into your phone when the device is somehow stolen or misplaced. But sometimes it gets locked if someone doesn’t remember the password and it feels it’s not going to open ever, which is not the case. There are certain ways to tackle the problem and some of them are discussed here that would help you to recover your device safely without losing any of your saved files. Not all of them will work on all sorts of devices but you can always try one or more.

1. Using android device manager service

This method is most suitable approach for almost all the devices which have been purchased in recent times or the devices which are associated or technically (logged in) with your Google account. The service of Android device manager is accessible by any other android device through its app or by logging to the link:

The process involves the following easy steps:

i) As soon as you visit the link a prompt will pop out asking you the Googleaccount login credentials. Note that use the same login credentials as your locked android device was logged with, in case you have multiple Google accounts.

ii) After logging to your Gmail account, it will show you all the mobile devices which might be logged with the same ID. Note that it is possible that your browser might be facing problems in finding your device, refreshing the browser would help to fix the problem. Ideally your device should be found within five attempts if the device is compatible.

android locked device google account

iii) As soon as you select the locked device you will be directed to a prompt showing three buttons: Ring, Lock and Erase. Clicking onto the Lock button will prompt you to another popup asking you to put new password for the locked device. You will be asked to write it one more time for the sake of confirmation followed by a recovery message and a phone number. Although later two are optional but it would be better if you fill them and write them somewhere safe.

android locked device google account

iv) It would take a couple of minutes to change the password and you will then be able to unlock your device successfully.

2. Using Samsung’s ‘Find My Mobile’ Service

This feature is only valid for Samsung devices. So if you own a Samsung device this should be your first approach. Note that this method only works when you have your Samsung device registered with Samsung account and/or (not the Gmail account), otherwise it is of no use.

The process is as follows:

i) Go to the website ( It will ask you to enter your Samsung account details. As soon as you logged in, you will be able to see a (lock my screen) button on left hand side panel of the window.

Samsung Android Find My Mobile

ii) After clicking onto the button a window will popup allowing you to enter a new unlock PIN. In a minute or so you will be able to unlock the screen of your Samsung device with new unlock PIN as password.

3. Use the forgot pattern feature

This feature is available for the android devices running on Android 4.4 or lower android version. This method only works for pattern lock type, and not on any other type of lock.

i) When your device is locked first perform 5 failed attempts. Then you will see a message saying ‘Try again after 30 seconds’. At the bottom of this message there is a button that says ‘Forgot Pattern’.

android locked pattern

ii) After you click on the button (forgot pattern) it will ask you to type (Backup PIN) that you would have given at the time of setting up your lock pattern. After you type your backup pin correctly it will open your locked device.

android locked pattern

iii) In case you don’t remember the backup pin you can still unlock your device with your Google Gmail account. Signing in with the same login details as your device was logged will enable you to unlock the phone.

4. Through factory reset

The most important thing to keep in mind with this method is, even if you will be able to unlock your phone but your preserved data would be lost. This feature can be directly accessed but if your device is released after 2016 then it will ask your Google account details to exploit this method.

i) The process goes by switching your device completely off. And when the screen is totally black, press and hold volume down and power buttons simultaneously to open up Android’s bootloader menu.

locked android factory reset

ii) As the bootloader menu shows up, press the volume down twice to highlight the ‘Recovery mode’ option. Then press the power button to select it and you will enter into recovery mode.

locked android factory reset

iii) Use the volume down button as a direction key and highlight the ‘wipe data/factory reset’ option. Press the power to select it. The device will take 20-30 minutes to reset, and you will see a fresh device.

5. Using ADB by deleting the password file

Note that this method is only useful when the device has enabled USB debugging in the Android device’s developer menu. Apart from this it requires that you have previously allowed your device to be connected to your computer via ADB. You would be fortunate to follow this method if and only if these two conditions had already met before your device being locked out.

i) First download the Android SDK through link ( .com/sdk/index.html#Other) and extract it.

ii) Then plug your device to your computer through USB.

iii) Then go to the ADB installation directory. Then open the command prompt and type the command (adb shell rm/data/system/gesture.key) and press enter.

iv) Just after typing the command disconnect your device from the computer and restart the device. This will allow complete access of your device.

android locked ADB by deleting password file

v) Note that this access is temporary so you should first set a new password for your device before it reboots and restore the previous password.

6. Through booting into safe mode to bypass third party lock screen

This method is applicable for breaching the lock screen of the third party app rather than the default/stock lock screen.

i) This would be done by booting the device in the safe mode. To go into the safe mode first bring up the power menu, then press and hold onto the power off option. A popup saying ‘Reboot to safe mode’ will show up. Pressing ‘ok’ will make the third party app disabled temporarily.

ii) Now you can either clear the data on the third party lock screen app or uninstall it. Then reboot the device to get out of safe mode. After reboot the third party app would be completely disappeared.

7. Crash the lock screen UI

Android devices running on Android 5.0-5.1.1 version have this feature. Note that this method only works for (password locks) and not for (PIN or Pattern locks). It might be possible that this attempt is not a success for all the devices but it worth the try.

i) Click onto the ’Emergency Call’ button as visible at the bottom of the screen, which opens the phone dialer.

ii) Type ten asterisks on the dialer. Select these asterisks by double tapping on them. A menu box will show up with a ‘copy’ option. Copy these ten asterisks and paste them right after the previous string of ten asterisks. Keep doing the same until you no longer can, which will results in a long string of asterisk characters on your dialer.

iii) Get back to the lock screen once again and open the camera through the shortcut. From here you will be able to open the notification bar/center. Tap on the (settings) button which will make you to enter a password.

iv) Paste that long string of asterisk characters that you have made earlier. Keep pasting until you end up crashing your lock screen. Consequently it will then give you access to your device’s interface.

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Tayyab Tariq

The author Tayyab Tariq

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