Screen locks on smartphones are an important way to keep your device’s content private. In an age when you have personal, professional and financial information on your phone, locking your mobile has become a necessity rather than an option.
It goes without saying that if you forget your phone passcode, you may be locked out of your device. There is a higher risk of forgetting the password thanks to the fingerprint scanner on modern devices that offer it as a backup.
Here are a few ways you can regain access to your Android phone in case you forget your password.
Are you sure you forgot it?
If you’ve typed “how do I unlock my Android phone if I forgot my PIN” into Google and found yourself in this article, before you proceed, it’s wise to take a moment to make sure you Actually forgot your PIN passcode. While this may sound obvious, it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
Android lets you choose any number of digits for your PIN. If you’re trying to remember a four- or six-digit code, consider whether your passcode is actually of a different length. It can help you remember it. Another trick to try is letting your muscle memory do the work. Go away and do something else, then pick up your phone and see which keys your fingers automatically move.
1. Unlock with Smart Lock
Smart Lock is an Android feature that lets you specify certain conditions that bypass your lock screen security. You’ll find it under Settings > Security > Smart Lock on most phones, or Settings > Lock screen > Smart Lock type on Samsung devices.
However, you must have set it before Forgetting your PIN!
If you’ve already set one or more of these options before you forgot your password, you can use it to get back into your phone.
However, you cannot change Smart Lock or password settings without entering your current password. Thus, you may still need to factory reset your Android phone, but at least you can back everything up first.
2. Alternatives to Samsung Devices
Have a Samsung device? Thankfully, the company provides a few ways to reset your lock code in case you forget it.
If you’ve forgotten your device’s screen lock code (eg, PIN, password, or pattern), you don’t need to worry.
For all its phones, Samsung offers a feature that lets you manage the device remotely if you lose it. You’ll need to sign in to your Samsung account on your phone and have a Wi-Fi or mobile data connection.
3. Use the Forgot PIN Prompt
If you have an older phone with Android 4.4 KitKat or earlier, you can reset your passcode through the lock screen.
Unfortunately, Google removed this option in modern versions of Android.
4. Try Some Workaround Hacks
If you haven’t set up Smart Lock, don’t have an older phone, or don’t use a Samsung device, the above methods won’t help. In those cases, you will have to use a workaround hack.
delete pin file using adb
In Android, the system creates a KEY file to hold all your user credentials, such as your fingerprint, pattern, or other password. This is to ensure that when you enter the correct password, the system immediately unlocks and denies access to the phone if you enter the wrong password.
Using the Android Debug Bridge (ADB) utility, you can access your phone’s files through your computer. You can use this to delete a file that controls the phone’s lock screen security.
This method is not guaranteed to work, and it could damage your phone if you are not careful. As a result, we highly recommend that you back up everything on your Android device before continuing.