How do you get into your Android if you forgot the password?

Quick Overview

If you’ve forgotten your Android device’s password, PIN, or pattern lock, don’t panic. There are several ways to get back into your phone or tablet even if you can’t remember the passcode. Here’s a quick overview of your options:

  • Use your Google account – If your device is linked to a Google account, you may be able to reset the password or PIN by signing in to that account.
  • Factory reset – Restoring your device to factory settings will remove the passcode, but also erase all your data.
  • Unlock with Google’s Find My Device – You can remotely unlock your phone if you have Find My Device enabled.
  • Use lock screen password resets – Some devices let you reset the password directly from the lock screen.
  • Unlock with security questions – Answering your preset security questions may bypass your password.
  • Use third-party bypass tools – Special apps may be able to crack or bypass your passcode.
  • Take it to a repair shop – Cell phone repair experts have specialized tools for unlocking devices.

The best method depends on your specific situation. Read on for detailed instructions on each option.

Use Your Google Account

If your Android device is linked to a Google account, you may be able to reset the password or PIN through that account.

Here’s how:

  1. On another device, go to and sign in to the Google account that’s linked to your locked Android.
  2. Under the locked device, click “Forgot device PIN/pattern/password?”
  3. If prompted, enter your account password and complete two-factor authentication if enabled.
  4. Google will walk you through resetting your PIN, pattern, or password.

This takes advantage of Android’s built-in security feature that ties your Google account to the lock screen password. As long as you can sign in to your account, you can reset the local password on your device.

However, there are a couple caveats:

  • The device must already be linked to your Google account. If not, this method won’t work.
  • Resetting the password erases some local data on your device, like downloads and accounts added since the last sync.

So in summary, using your Google account is the easiest way to regain access if your device was already set up properly. But it comes with some tradeoffs.

Perform a Factory Reset

Performing a factory reset through Android’s recovery menu erases your forgotten passcode along with all your data. Here’s how it works:

  1. Make sure your phone is turned off.
  2. Hold the relevant key combination for your device to boot into recovery mode. This varies by device but common combinations include holding Volume Up + Power, Volume Down + Power, or Home + Power.
  3. Use the volume and power keys to navigate the recovery menu.
  4. Select “Wipe data/factory reset” to fully reset your device.
  5. Choose “Reboot system now” to restart into a fresh Android install.

The main downside here is losing all your apps and files stored locally. However, anything synced to your Google account like contacts, emails, and photos on Google Photos will eventually be restored.

So while factory resetting is extreme, it guarantees you’ll regain access to your device. Try less drastic options first, but keep this in your backpocket as a last resort if all else fails.

Unlock with Google’s Find My Device

Google offers a free “Find My Device” service that lets you remotely locate, lock, or erase your Android from any web browser. There’s also an option to fully unlock your phone if you forgot your password.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Make sure your lost Android has Find My Device enabled in settings.
  2. On a computer, visit
  3. Sign in to your Google account that’s linked to the device.
  4. Select your phone’s name and click “Unlock device” on the menu.
  5. Google will then unlock your Android so you can set a new passcode.

The main catch is that you needed the foresight to turn on Find My Device beforehand. If you didn’t, this method won’t work.

But if enabled, this gives you a simple way to unlock your device remotely without fully resetting it. However, it’s less foolproof than other options since it relies on an internet connection.

Use Lock Screen Password Resets

Some Android devices allow you to reset your password or PIN directly from the lock screen. The exact method varies by phone model but often involves entering the wrong password multiple times.

For example, on a Samsung Galaxy:

  1. At the lock screen, enter your password incorrectly 5 times.
  2. A message will appear saying you have 5 attempts remaining before your device resets.
  3. Enter your password wrong one more time and tap Forgot Password on the next screen.
  4. You’ll then be able to enter a new PIN, pattern, or password.

Similarly, Pixel phones offer an “Forgot PIN?” link after too many wrong attempts that lets you enter your previous password.

This eliminates the hassle of factory resetting your device just to fix a forgotten password. But again, it’s not universally supported on all Android models. Check your manufacturer’s instructions to see if your phone supports it.

Unlock with Security Questions

Another option is unlocking your Android by answering your preset security questions. Here’s how this feature works:

  1. Go to the password entry screen on your locked device.
  2. Look for an option like “Forgot password?” or “Can’t sign in?”. This brings up your security questions.
  3. Correctly answer the questions you previously chose when setting up your device.
  4. You’ll then be able to reset your PIN or password and access your phone.

However, this only works if you took the time to configure security questions when you first set up your Android. If you never entered this info, you won’t be able to use this method.

Use Third-Party Bypass Tools

There are various third-party Android apps that claim to be able to crack, bypass, or reset your password remotely. Some well-known options include:

  • dr.fone – Screen Unlock: Software by Wondershare that says it can remove all lock screens without data loss.
  • Lock Screen Passcode Unlock Tool: App that claims to unlock pattern, PIN, and password locks.
  • iMyFone LockWiper: Utility that says it can disable all types of Android lock screens.

However, use extreme caution with apps like these since many contain malware or security holes. Downloading shady software just to bypass your lock screen introduces significant privacy and security risks.

These tools likely work by exploiting vulnerabilities in Android rather than using official passcode reset methods. While they may unlock your device, the potential downsides make them hard to recommend in most cases.

Take it to a Repair Shop

As a last resort, you can take your locked Android to a cell phone repair shop. Experts here have access to advanced tools for unlocking devices.

For example, they may connect specialized hardware cables to boot your phone in recovery mode. This grants access to reset your passcode through the recovery menu, similar to a DIY factory reset.

The exact process varies by shop and your specific phone model. It will likely involve fully erasing your device then reflashing the firmware, after which you can set a new password.

Pros of this method include high success rates and no need to root or alter your phone’s software yourself. Cons are the cost (potentially $50-$100+ at some shops) and waiting for the work to be completed.

So while expensive, a professional unlock by a repair technician is generally secure and effective when you’ve run out of reset options yourself.

Prevent Future Lockouts

In addition to your immediate fix, take steps to avoid getting locked out again down the line:

  • Enable Find My Device and Google account linking so you can remotely reset passwords in the future.
  • Set up trusted security questions in case you need to recover your account.
  • Create an online backup like Google Drive in case you need to factory reset again.
  • Store your password securely in a password manager or write it down somewhere safe.
  • Consider giving trusted family or friends an extra copy of your password in case you forget.

Following best practices for account security and recovery methods makes it much easier to regain access if you ever lose your Android password again.


Getting locked out of your forgotten Android password can be stressful. But in most cases, you can get back into your device with some patience and the right technique:

  • Use your linked Google account to remotely reset the passcode.
  • Perform a factory reset to wipe the old password.
  • Unlock with Google’s Find My Device if enabled beforehand.
  • Utilize password reset options directly on your lock screen.
  • Answer security questions you previously set up.
  • Use an unlocking app or take your phone to a repair expert.

With one of these password recovery options, you’ll be back in your Android and able to securely set a new PIN or password you can actually remember this time. Just be sure to implement fail-safes so that you don’t have to go through this hassle again down the road.