How to unlock and recover your Android if you have forgotten the pattern or password

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How to unlock and recover your Android if you have forgotten the pattern or password

One of the worst things that can happen to us with the mobile, besides lose it, it is forget your Android unlock pattern, password or PIN. But everything in life has a solution and here we are going to try to show you some options if this has unfortunately been your case.

Before proceeding we must remember that there is no foolproof method in a situation as complex as the loss of your password. If there was an easy and random solution, any thief could take our mobile and unlock it and that is not exactly the case.

Over the years security and patterns they are getting safer and harder to skip by outsiders, but they are also getting smarter and the various technology companies offer us tools to be able to access and unlock our mobile if we show them that we really are the legitimate owners of the device.

Find my device

Find Device

If you have tried to put the unlock pattern several times and you do not remember the most effective method to unlock the mobile is with “Find my device” from Google, the old Android Device Manager. All official Android phones are associated with a Google account and thanks to this official tool we can from our locator computer, block or erase the device. But also create a new password and unlock it.

To do so we must visit the web > enter our Google data> select the locked device> tap Lock> set a new password.

Now from the blocked mobile we can unlock it using this new password that we have established. The next step is to go to Settings and configure the blocking system again.

Find my Samsung device and other tools

Unlock Find My Mobile

In addition to the generic methods, depending on the mobile we have we can access specific solutions that each manufacturer provides for their mobiles.

The most popular case is that of Samsung’s “Find My Mobile” service. We are facing a powerful suite that will allow us to control the Samsung remotely and among many other options unlock the device As long as we have the official Samsung account configured. In the end, it is recommended that whenever we have a mobile from a brand we try to be registered in their services since this way their products can be useful when we need them.

Another manufacturer with a similar product is Sony and the old PCCompanion, now MyXperia. Either from Windows or Mac we can install a program on our computer to unlock the device that we had previously notified the brand that it was ours.

In fact, in almost all mobile manufacturers we have at our disposal a web of official support and we can find the option to ask them to unlock the device. Although in these cases the brand may ask us for specific information or even the invoice to do so.

Recover your password with Gmail

Unlock Android Password

Main method of those Android mobiles with several years behind them. When we enter the pattern incorrectly five times The option “Forgot your password” will appear. It is here where if we have activated the WiFi or the data we can enter our email and email password to unlock the device.

If we have also forgotten the Gmail account we have another problem, but sometimes we can retrieve this from the computer. If the failure is that we do not have the WiFi activated, we can try it with the ADB method that we will leave below or by trying to open an application associated with the lock screen that activates the WiFi automatically, such as LG SmartShare.

SmartLock and Google solutions

Smart lock

Android blocking methods are more and more numerous and we must remember that with only one of them we will be able to access the mobile. If we have forgotten the PIN, we may have fingerprint or facial recognition configured. If we don’t have the pattern, we may have activated face or proximity unlock. Or maybe we have a bluetooth bracelet that helps us unlock it. Surely this is not the case, but it is always good to check it and above all pre-configure Android Smart Lock if you still don’t have this problem.

Android allows us to unlock the mobile with multiple methods from Settings> Security> Screen lock: Swipe, pattern, PIN, password, NFC trusted agents, bluetooth, trusted sites, face or voice.

From Play Services 7.5 we also have the option to Smart Lock Passwords, a Google manager that saves security information to access specific applications. Perhaps one of those passwords could be the solution. And another novelty that perhaps is worth knowing is that since Android 8.0 Oreo the automation of certain applications has been facilitated skip the lock if some requirements are met.

Safe mode to disable third-party locks

Safe Mode

There is a fairly simple solution but it will only work if the blocking is done in third party lock apps and not with the system. We talk about the call “safe mode”, a method to start the mobile with the downloaded apps disabled.

To access this Safe Mode the way is different depending on the mobile, but normally it is to keep the shutdown button pressed, then a window appears with shutdown but we continue to hold until the warning appears. There we agree to restart in safe mode.

Once there, what we have to do is either reset the mobile or directly uninstall the blocking application that did not allow us to enter the mobile.

Eliminate the lock system with ADB

Gesture Key

This is surely the most complicated method and only suitable for those users who are used to working with ADB commands. The prerequisite is that we have the USB debugging options enabledIf this is not the case, you will not be able to continue. We have not been able to check if it still works on Android 8.0 or higher.

If it happens that yes, you have to connect the mobile to the computer via USB cable. Enter the ADB directory and from the terminal execute the following command:

  • “adb shell rm /data/system/gesture.key”

After rebooting the device and the locking system should be gone. Another equivalent option would be:

  • adb shell
    cd /data/data/
    sqlite3 settings.db
    update system set value = 0 where name = “lockpatternautolock “;
    update system set value = 0 where name = “lockscreen.lockedoutpermanently”;

or equivalently:

  • adb devices
    adb shell
    cd / data / system
    rm * .key
    rm * .key
    adb reboot

It is important to note that these ADB commands will work in the case of having debugging enabled and the computer is authorized to work with the device, because otherwise the ADB will not connect as it does not have the permissions.

Another option similar is to install a file in the device’s SD memory Pattern Password Disable like the one developed in XDA. It’s about a ZIP that we must flash on the blocked mobile to make the pattern effective, since any combination will do. Here each smartphone is a story and we cannot guarantee that it will work for all of them. We also link the file to devices with MediaTek chips ancient.

The definitive solution: reset the mobile

Factory Reset

If there is a method that sure works is to perform a hard reset on Android and reset it to its factory settings. It has an important disadvantage and that is that if we carry out this method we will delete all data from the device except those saved on the microSD card.

Here the importance of backing up or have our information in the cloud, since even if we have to reset the mobile we will not lose our important data.

To do so we must normally press and hold the volume up button and the power off / on. This takes us to the recovery and from there the options to erase the data and format will appear.

  • “wipe data / factory reset”

Bonus: avoid miracle solutions

Android security

We hope that if you have lost or forgotten the unlocking pattern or PIN of your mobile you can recover it with one of the solutions that we have named here. We remind again the importance of making backup copies, be informed of the various blocking methods and have the security options of Google or the mobile manufacturer activated.

Of course, watch out because in these moments of uncertainty there are many methods that can cause a malfunction in our device. Other miracle methods no longer work for a long timesuch as making a call, picking it up, and going back to bypass the lock method. If your device is old you can try it, but Android has advanced enough in security that there are such simple methods.

Also warn you of the existence of payment methods that promise to recover our device and whose reliability is in question. There is no doctor who has a cure for all the problems in this world. For everything else, a lot of patience when it comes to recovering access to your Android.

The news

How to unlock and recover your Android if you have forgotten the pattern or password

was originally published in

Engadget Android

Enrique Perez


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