You recently changed your phone’s lock or made it more complex but now you can’t remember the password or pattern? This situation can be very frustrating and scary as you may have important files and data on your device.
In most cases, one will be compelled to do a factory reset but this may lead to the loss of those important files and data. Worry not, there are other ways you can unlock your Android phone without a factory reset.
These methods do not require much technical know-how and you can do them with ease. They are,
1. Google recovery option
2. Using Find my device.
3. Using the ADB method.
4. Booting device into safe mode.
5. Using tools to unlock your phone
Google recovery option to unlock Android phone without factory reset
This is an easier option to unlock your Android phone without a factory reset. However, it isn’t an option for every Android phone. This method should work if you use the lower version of Android (i.e. Android 4.4 or lower). Hence you can follow the steps below to unlock your Phone if you are using any of such versions of Android.
Also, using the Google recovery option requires your phone to be connected to the internet. Some devices can give access to the notification bar with the lock screen so you can easily turn on your internet or Wi-Fi. If your device does not allow you to open your notification bar when your phone is locked, you can call your phone with another phone and this option may be made available.
The next caveat is that you need to remember the username and password for the Google account associated with your Android phone. You can’t unlock the phone with this option if you can’t remember them.
Make sure your phone is connected to the internet and you can remember your Google account credentials before you proceed with the next set of steps.
After making sure your phone is connected to the internet;
- Enter your PIN or pattern wrongly five times on your phone. An option is going to appear that reads forgot password.
- Tap on the forgot password option.
- Click on the “Next” button on the new pop-up that shows up.
- After doing that, a prompt to enter the Google account that was used to set your android phone will appear. Go ahead and type in your username and password, then click on the “Sign in” button.
Find my device formerly, Android device manager (ADM)
If you are using a newer version of Android and the forgot password option is not available you can use the find my device option. All you have to do is to get another Android phone or PC. Open up the browser and search “Find my device”.
The ADM or “Find my device” option on Android phones allows you to do one out of three things:
- Ring (Play sound)
In order to have access to these options on another Android phone or on a computer, you need to sign in to the same Google account that is associated with your locked phone.
Follow the steps below to unlock your phone without factory reset using the Android device manager.
- Search for “find my device” on an internet-enabled computer or Android phone or you can click on this link to proceed https://www.google.com/android/find
- You will then be presented with the three options mentioned earlier (Ring, Lock, Erase), click on the “Lock” option.
- A new prompt will show up with options to reset your password. Go ahead and set a new password. There is also an option to add a recovery email address or phone number. You can go ahead and add those details too.
- Now, go ahead and confirm the new password.
- Take your locked phone and enter the new password that you have set to unlock it.
These steps will help you gain access to your locked device with no data loss.
Using the Android debug bridge method.
This method basically removes the native lock of the phone. It enables you to unlock your phone’s pin, password, or pattern. However, it is a bit more technical and more complex than the other options.
Android Debug Bridge (adb) is a versatile command-line tool that lets you communicate with your Android device. The adb command facilitates a variety of device actions, such as installing and debugging apps, and it provides access to a Unix shell that you can use to run a variety of commands on a device [source].
To be able to use the Android Debug Bridge, you will need to have developer options turned on. Hence, if you didn’t have it turned on, then this method may not work for you. You also need the following: a computer connected to the internet, a compatible USB cable, and the Android SDK file.
Follow the steps below to unlock your phone without factory reset using the Android Debug Bridge
- Download the Android SDK file from the Android developers’ website.
- Connect your locked phone to your computer with the aid of the USB cable
- Launch command prompt on your computer, preferably launch it as administrator
- Change the directory to the folder where the SDK files are located. This will likely be at “android/platform-tools”. Hence in order to change to this directory, you have to execute the command below: Cd C:/android/platform-tools
- After changing your current directory to the above, type adb devices and hit the enter key to see all the devices that has been connected to ADB (is more likely to be just your phone).
- Once your phone has been recognized, go ahead and type the commands below to get rid of the lock.
The commands above should reset your pattern but if this doesn’t work then you can also try out the command below:
Doing this should unlock your phone immediately. Sometimes, you may need to restart your phone to get access to it.
If you are not sure exactly how to do these, you can equally watch the video below and follow the steps in it to unlock your phone using Android Debug Bridge without a factory reset.
Boot device into safe mode
It is also possible to unlock your phone without a factory reset by booting into safe mode. This method works if you are using a third-party lock screen application to lock your phone. This means that if the lock on your phone is from an application that you installed on your phone then you can use this method to unlock your phone.
This method is safe as there is no risk of losing any files. In order to unlock your phone by booting into safe mode, follow the steps below:
- Turn off your locked phone by continuously pressing the power button.
- The power-off options pop up, click and hold the ‘turn off’ option
- You will then get a prompt asking whether you want to boot to safe mode. Click on ‘OK’ to confirm
- Once you are in safe mode, all the third-party applications you have installed on your phone will be disabled. Go to settings and look for applications.
- Click on the applications option to see all the apps that are installed on your phone.
- Now go ahead and uninstall the particular app that was used to lock your phone
- Restart your phone and you get complete access to it without losing any of your files.
If you are not sure how to get into safe mode, then watch this video;
Unlock your Android phone using a lock screen removal software
There are quite a number of software out there that can help you unlock your phone without doing a hard factory reset. These tools, therefore, help you to prevent the loss of any of your data when trying to gain access to a locked phone.
Here are 2 of the commonly available software for removing screen locks on Android phones.
- PassFab Android Unlocker
Using Dr.Fone Screen Unlock (Android)
This is a product by Wondershare and it can help you easily remove the lock on your Android device in under 5 minutes.
With the Dr.Fone Screen unlock, you can remove 4 different types of screen locks on an Android phone. These include pattern, PIN, password, and fingerprints. Aside from these, you can also bypass Google FRP on Samsung without a pin code or Google accounts.
To be able to use this tool, you do not require any technical knowledge. Everyone can handle it. The tool also works for all mainstream Android brands like Samsung, Huawei, LG, Xiaomi, etc.
Check the video below to see how you can use Dr.Fone screen unlock
PassFab Android Unlocker
Another tool that can help you unlock your Android phone without doing a factory reset. With PassFab Android Unlocker, you can unlock your phone in just 3 steps. It is as simple as:
- Step 1: Connect the device and choose “Remove Screen Lock”
- Step 2: Confirm and start to unlock the screen
- Step 3: Unlock the locked Android screen successfully.
You can get this tool using the link below:
You can also check out the video below to know exactly how you can use this tool for unlocking your Android phone.
All these methods of unlocking your phone without a factory reset are very easy and can be carried out by anyone. Follow them carefully and you can get access back to your android phone.
Passwords, pins, and patterns are very important in keeping our devices safe and for that matter, they should be always remembered.
If you tend to always forget your password or pattern then it may be that you are choosing words or patterns which are too difficult or far from the immediate environment. It is advisable to have a strong lock but it is also important to remember them.