Un­lock an An­droid smart­phone

For­get­ting your PIN is al­ways a fright­en­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. SEAN BRADLEY re­veals how you can still ac­cess your phone

Android Advisor - - Contents -

Locked out of your phone? Don’t panic. While lock screens are de­lib­er­ately hard to get into by de­sign, we’ve got a cou­ple of po­ten­tial ways you can get around them.

An­droid De­vice Man­ager

The most im­me­di­ate so­lu­tion that springs to mind is to use the An­droid De­vice Man­ager. You’ll need to log into your google ac­count for this, and it will only work on the more mod­ern de­vices, though but you can ac­cess this ser­vice from any de­vice you’d like.

If the ser­vice has picked up your de­vice then click the“Lock but­ton. You will then be asked to en­ter a new pass­code that will re­place the cur­rent lock­ing method on the phone. Tap the lock but­ton again to con­firm the new code.

If the De­vice Man­ager isn’t pick­ing up your de­vice, then re­fresh the page a few times. It should get there even­tu­ally. You can also try a hard re­fresh (Ctrl + F5) which will clear your cache too.

The ‘For­got Pat­tern’ Fea­ture

If you’re using an older ver­sion of An­droid, namely 4.4 or lower, then you’ll be able to use the ‘For­got Pat­tern’ fea­ture. If you’ve failed to un­lock your phone 5 times, you’ll have a mes­sage pop up. At the bot­tom right of your screen, you’ll see a For­got Pat­tern? but­ton. Tap it. You can then en­ter your Google ac­count details and Google will send you through an email with your new un­lock code.

Sam­sung’s ‘Find My Mo­bile’ Ser­vice

If you have a Sam­sung de­vice this is a good op­tion, though if you haven’t set up your Sam­sung ac­count prior to this it won’t work.

Much the same with de­vice man­ager, you will find the ‘Lock my screen’ but­ton on the left-hand side. En­ter a new PIN into the field at the top, and then hit the lock but­ton at the bot­tom of the screen. After a few mo­ments, your pass­word will change and you can ac­cess for phone with the pin you just set.

The Fac­tory Re­set

We’re mov­ing into some slightly more dras­tic mea­sures now, but if you have all your data backed up and there is noth­ing on your phone that you can’t live with­out, a fac­tory re­set is a good way of start­ing over. There are checks to stop Fac­tory Re­sets, so you’ll need your Google log in in­for­ma­tion to com­plete this step.

The ex­act fac­tory re­set method will vary slightly from phone to phone, so it’s best to look up how to do it on your model first. You’ll have to en­ter An­droid’s boot­loader menu, and then go to recovery mode. Then find your way to ‘Wipe data/fac­tory re­set’.

It’s at this point that you’ll be prompted to en­ter your Google ac­count in­for­ma­tion

By­pass­ing a non-stock lock screen with Safe Mode

If the lock screen you’re hav­ing trou­ble with is from a third-party app, and not the stock lock screen that comes with the phone, then you can by­pass this by boot­ing the phone into Safe mode. Bring up the power menu on the lock screen, and then long-press the Power Off op­tion. You will then be asked if you’d like to boot into safe mode, con­firm this, and when the phone boots up the lock screen will be dis­abled.

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