Maybe a few curious friends or kids decided to mess around with your phone trying to bypass the passcode or you just changed your pattern to something so unique even you can’t remember what it was. There is nothing worse than the helpless feeling of trying to access your phone when you’re completely locked out. If you are unable to bypass the lock screen on your device, below you’ll find a few ways that may help.

If you have a broken Android screen, here are a few tips that may come in handy.

Using your Google account password

Most Android devices are synced with a Google account, this integration will prove helpful in this type of situation. Using your Google Recovery account, you can be able to unlock your Android device from the locked screen.

To do this:

  • If your device has the Forgot Password? option, tap on it to bring up a new menu.
  • On the Account Unlock page displayed, enter your Google account details and then hit the Sign in button.
  • Your Android device will then be unlocked and you will gain full access.
  • Since the pass-code will now be reset, you can choose to set up a new password or pattern to ensure your device remains secure.

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Alternatively, to reset your account via an associated email address, you can head into Google’s account recovery page and follow the steps provided.

Registered Samsung Device

If your device is registered with a Samsung account, you can remotely unlock your lockscreen via the Samsung website.

  • On your PC, open the Samsung website and enter your account details to login.
  • Choose your device from the taskbar that appears on the left.
  • On the sidebar, look for the Unlock my screen option and tap on it. The device should now be unlocked.

Factory Reset

Note that this method should be your last resort. Performing a factory reset will erase all the data, including apps, photos, videos and contacts, from your device.

Unfortunately, even though it is recommended that you backup all the data on your device before a factory reset, the fact that you are locked out of your device limits the amount of data that you’ll be able to access or have backed up. However, you can rest in the fact that the contents in your SD card will remain safe from the reset.

Here is what you can do to back up your images while your screen is locked:

  • Using a USB cable, mount your Android device to a computer.
  • Find your phone’s folder on the PC and open it up.
  • You should find your pictures in the DCIM folder.
  • To save your files, copy and paste the folder onto your computer.
  • If you want to save any other files or folders, simply repeat the process.

You can also remove your SD card if you want to.

After you are done saving your files, you can now begin the factory reset process. The steps may differ depending on your device, but the results will be the same. Most devices allow a hard reset through access to the recovery mode.

  • With your device turned on, press and hold a combination of keys to launch the boot menu. For instance, with the Samsung Galaxy S6, you’ll need to hold down the Power, Volume up and Home keys combined.
  • If you’re not sure about the button combination for your particular device, you should try looking it up online. For most Android devices, it is usually Power, Volume down and Camera keys held down together.
  • On the menu that appears, find the Wipe Data/Factory Reset option, and tap on it.
  • If you still want to proceed with the process of wiping out your device, simply confirm to initiate. Completion of the process will depend on the amount of data stored on your phone.
  • Once its complete, your device will restart without your data as well as without your password.

Deleting password information in Recovery

You will need to have a custom recovery tool such as  TWRP or CWM to use this method. Also in order to access spots that would otherwise be inaccessible without root, you’ll need to have a file explorer. Regardless of the file manager you choose to use, the steps will be the same.

Having a file explorer or manager installed, will require that you have the manager install file flashed via your recovery. This can be done through the root of a microSD card, even though it is not necessary, it is recommended.

  • If you’ve already flashed your choice file explorer, you can boot your device to recovery mode.
  • Use your file manager to locate the data/system option.
  • If you want to delete pattern swipe information: Look for delete gesture.key and long press it.
  • If its a password you want erased: Look for delete password.key and long press it.

Once you find and delete the file you want, exit the file manager and then safely reboot your device. If the process was done correctly, your phone’s lock screen should be reset and you will be able to access it again.

Remote Factory Reset with Android Device Manager

Android Device Manager serves as a tool to lock, ring and reset your device even when its not within reach, as long as you have access to the website. This service will be helpful, if you have a Google account registered with your device, and ADM was enabled on your device before you were locked out.

  • Visit the Android Device Manager on your PC. You’ll see a welcome page, if its your first time using the service.
  • At the top left corner, you’ll notice any compatible/registered devices. Below it, will a a tab with three different icons, Ring, Lock and Erase. For this method, you’ll be using the one tagged Erase.
  • Once you have confirmed the Erase option, your phone will instantly boot into recovery and initiate a factory reset. Remember that once, this action is confirmed, there is no going back. Even if you shutdown your phone before the reset process is over, the process will just resume on startup.

When this process is complete, you’ll have access to Android device without any pattern, pin or password.

Have you ever been locked out of your device? How did you bypass your passcode? Let us know in the comments.

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On your device, go to Settings, then "About device" and scroll down to "Model number"
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