How do I reset my Android phone if the pattern is locked?

If you have forgotten the pattern lock on your Android phone, you may need to reset your device to gain access again. Resetting your Android phone to factory settings will remove the pattern lock, but it will also delete all of your data. Here are some quick answers about resetting a locked Android phone:

Can I reset my Android without losing data?

Unfortunately, the only way to reset an Android phone with a locked pattern is to do a factory reset, which erases all data on the device. There is no way to bypass the pattern lock and reset the phone without losing your files and information.

How do I backup my Android before resetting?

To avoid losing all your data when resetting your locked Android, you should backup your device before performing the factory reset. Here are some options for backing up your phone:

  • Sync your photos, contacts, calendar and other data to your Google account. This will store it safely in the cloud.
  • Use the built-in Android backup option under Settings > System > Backup to back up data to Google Drive.
  • Connect your phone to your computer and copy files from the phone storage to your computer manually.
  • Use a third party backup app to backup your files and data.

What will I lose when resetting my Android phone?

Doing a factory reset on your Android phone will delete:

  • All apps and their data
  • System settings and preferences
  • Music, photos, videos and other media files
  • Text messages
  • Call history
  • Contacts stored on the phone
  • Accounts added to the device
  • Any other personal data stored locally on the phone

The only data that will remain after a reset is anything synced to your Google account, such as contacts, calendar and photos if you had backup enabled.

How do I factory reset a locked Android?

If you are unable to unlock your Android device due to a forgotten pattern, PIN or password, follow these steps to reset it:

  1. Turn off the phone by holding down the Power button for several seconds until you see the shut down confirmation.
  2. Once it is powered off, press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power button at the same time until you see the boot menu.
  3. Use the volume keys to scroll down and highlight ‘Wipe data/factory reset’ then press the Power button to select it.
  4. You will see a confirmation message explaining it will erase all data – use the volume keys to select ‘Yes’ then press Power to confirm.
  5. Allow the reset process to complete, it may take a couple of minutes.
  6. The phone will then reboot itself back to the initial set up wizard – you can now set a new pattern, PIN or password.

Will I still have access to my Google account after resetting?

Yes, performing a factory reset on your Android device will not delete your Google accounts or remove access to them. As soon as you complete the reset and reboot, simply add your Google account back to the device during setup and all of your Google services, apps and stored data like Gmail, contacts, and photos will sync back down to your phone.

Can I reset without accessing the settings menu?

If your pattern lock is preventing you from accessing the Settings menu to do a factory reset, you can still reset your Android device by using the hardware key method:

  1. Power off your phone completely.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons simultaneously until the boot menu appears.
  3. Use the volume keys to scroll to ‘Wipe data/factory reset’ and select it with the power key.
  4. Confirm the reset on the warning screen.
  5. Let the reset process finish.
  6. The phone will boot up ready to add your Google account and reinstall apps.

I forgot my pattern lock – will a hard reset delete my data?

Yes, unfortunately performing a hard reset or factory reset is the only way to remove the forgotten pattern lock on your Android phone. And because this resets your phone back to factory default settings, all of your apps, files, contacts, photos and other personal data will be erased in the process.

To avoid losing all your data when resetting, be sure to fully backup your phone before resetting by syncing to your Google account, connecting to your computer, and using a backup app. After resetting you can then restore your data.

Can someone else reset my pattern if they don’t know it?

No, other people will not be able to bypass your forgotten pattern lock and reset your Android phone without deleting your data. Even phone technicians need to perform a factory reset to get around a locked pattern, which will erase all user data. Unless you provide consent and your lock screen password or PIN, others cannot access your device.


In summary, the only way to reset an Android phone with a forgotten pattern lock is to perform a factory reset, which will erase all your personal data. Before resetting, make sure to fully back up your phone and enable Google account syncing so you can restore your data afterwards. Carefully follow the hardware button steps to factory reset your device, then add back your Google account to recover synced data.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I take my phone to a store to reset the pattern?

Most phone stores and technicians will need to factory reset your device to bypass a forgotten pattern lock, which will erase all your data. Some may have advanced unlocking tools, but this is not guaranteed. Always back up your data first before allowing anyone else to reset your phone.

Is there any way to hack or crack the pattern lock?

It is very difficult for the average user to hack into a pattern lock. The only reliable methods require erasing all data via factory reset or using advanced forensic tools. Most “cracking” methods found online do not actually work and could damage your device.

If I reset my phone, will my SIM card still work?

Yes, performing a factory reset on your Android device will not affect the SIM card. Your cellular service, phone number, and mobile data will continue functioning normally after the reset. You do not need to reactivate your SIM card.

Can I reset my Android without the original account details?

Unfortunately without your original Google or other account details, you cannot fully reset and restore an Android device. You can factory reset to erase the pattern lock, but without adding back your old account, your data will not sync back and apps cannot be reinstalled.

What if my phone locks up before I can back up data?

If your Android phone is freezing or locking up before you can back up your files, try rebooting it into Safe Mode by pressing and holding the Power button. In Safe Mode you may be able to back up data before doing a full factory reset to remove the pattern lock.

What if I reset my phone and don’t remember my Google password?

If you factory reset your Android but then cannot recall your Google account password to restore your data, you can recover your password through Google’s account recovery options. Otherwise, all Google data will remain lost after the reset.

Tips to Avoid Losing Data When Resetting Android

Tip 1 Always keep your phone updated and back up data regularly.
Tip 2 Know your Google account details before resetting your device.
Tip 3 Enable automatic syncing for contacts, photos etc. on your Google account.
Tip 4 Manually copy important files to a computer periodically.
Tip 5 Use a comprehensive backup app to store copies of all your data.
Tip 6 Write down your pattern or PIN and keep it somewhere safe in case you forget it.
Tip 7 Consider enabling lock screen security like fingerprint or facial unlock.
Tip 8 Know how to factory reset your phone before you need to use it.

Warnings About Resetting an Android Phone

Here are some important warnings to consider before factory resetting your Android device:

  • Backup everything – all data is deleted during reset.
  • Log out of accounts beforehand or you could lose access.
  • Reset should only be done when absolutely necessary.
  • Never reset borrowed or second hand devices.
  • Only reset your own phone or you could be accused of theft.
  • Resetting voids warranty on some devices – check first.
  • Stolen phones may still be tracked after a reset.
  • Carefully read any warnings that appear during the reset process.
  • If you have encryption enabled, you may lose all data.

Factory resetting your phone when locked out is sometimes unavoidable, but should only be done as a last resort after backing up your files and accounts through all available means.