Did you ever forget that password or pattern you set up last time on your phone? It happens to many of us, especially when it has been changed recently. If you can’t recall your phone password or pattern for some reason, performing a factory reset is one option to recover access. But then, unless you have backed up the contents, you’d lose all the data stored on the device. You may be able to reinstall your apps from Google Play, but any preferences or saved progress within the apps will also be lost.
If you are an Android user, there are a few ways to reset your phone password without losing any data. In this article, we’ll explore a few of these workarounds.
Unlock Android with Google account
If you have access to the Google account linked with your Android device, but can’t remember the password or pattern to unlock it, you can easily reset that through Google. There are multiple ways to reset your password and recover access to your Android device using your Google Account.
If you enter the wrong password or pattern on your Android too many times, you’ll get a “Forgot Password” or “Forgot Pattern” link on the lock screen depending on your security setting. You can then restore access to your Android phone or tablet via Forgot Password / Forgot Pattern link. Here’s how to do so:
- Attempt to unlock the device by providing the wrong password multiple times until you get the Forgot Password or Pattern link.
- Tap on the Forgot Password or Forget Pattern link to proceed to the Account Unlock page.
- Enter your Google Account credentials to recover access to your device.
But sometimes, your Android device may not accept your Google Account credentials to unlock your device, even though you have supplied the correct account password. If that is the case, you can use Google 2-Step Verification to restore access on your Android device.
Unlock Android with 2-step verification
2-Step Verification adds an extra layer of security to your Google Account. When 2-Step Verification is enabled, you need to enter a unique code (received through voice call, text message or Google Authenticator) every time you sign in to your Google account, in addition to the username and password.
Once 2-Step Verification is setup on your Google Account, it can be used to generate app-specific passwords, which allow third party apps and devices to access your Google Account after they have been authorized.
After enabling 2-Step Verification, you have to revoke access permissions to your Android device via Google account and reauthorize it using 2-step verification. Once 2-step verification is successful, you should be able to access your device.
Revoke access permissions to your Android device
To revoke access permissions to your Android device from your Google account, follow the steps given below:
- On web browser, go to the Account Permissions page under Google Account Settings.
- Identify and select the Android device for which you want to reset the password.
- Click on the Revoke Access button on the right side and confirm the action by clicking on OK.
Generate password for your Android (App Passwords)
Now that access permissions have been revoked from your Android device, you need to reconnect it to your Google Account by generating a new password for your Android device.
- Go to the App Passwords page. You may be required to enter your Google Account password.
- At the bottom, select any relevant option or select Other (Custom name) and enter any suitable description.
- Click on Generate Password. A 16 digit password will now be displayed on the screen.
- On your Android phone or tablet, tap on the Forgot Password / Forgot Pattern link.
- Now enter the 16 digit password along with your Google ID in the Account Unlock page.
Back in the App Passwords page, click on Done to finish the process. You should now be able to access the contents of your Android device.
Reset Android Password when you can’t access your Google Account
If you want to restore access to your Android device using your Google account, but somehow don’t remember your Google password too, you can try to reset the Google password from the Account Recovery page. Alternatively, you may also try to Verify your identity by answering questions related to your account, like last passwords, recent contacts, emails and other information.
Once you have recovered access to your Google Account, you can restore access to your Android device by following the steps mentioned in the previous section.
However, if you’re still unable to access your device, there’s still a way to restore access, though it may require your device to be rooted in the first place.
Bypass Android lock screen without Google account
This method requires access to the Android System folder. And for that, you may need to root your Android device if not already rooted. The below guide will help you to reset the password on your rooted Android device without the help of your Google Account:
- For this workaround, we need to use a file manager app called Aroma File Manager. Download Aroma File Manager (ZIP) and copy the file to the /sdcard location of your Android device.
- Boot your Android device in Recovery mode. To do this, power it off and restart it by holding the Power and Volume Down keys together. But the method may vary slightly from device to device. Perform a web search to know the exact procedure for booting into recovery on your Android device. Once in Recovery mode, use the Volume Up and Down keys to navigate through the options and use the Home key or Power button to select a particular option.
- Go to “mounts and storage” from the recovery menu and select the following options in sequence: “mount /system” >> “mount /data” >> “mount /efs” >> “mount /preload” >> “mount /sdcard” >> “mount /external_sd” (if available). After all the volumes have been mounted, scroll down through the options and select “Go Back”.
- Next, you need to install the Aroma File Manager app from the ZIP file. To do this, select “install zip from sdcard” >> “choose zip from sdcard”. From the list of files, select the zip file that you have copied earlier to the /sdcard directory, and choose the Install option.
- Android will now install and launch the app directly from Recovery mode. In the app, select Menu >> Settings and scroll down to choose the option “Automount all devices on start”. Tap on Done to save the changes. Exit the app to go back to recovery mode.
- You need to run Aroma File Manager one more time in Recovery mode. So select the zip file again and choose the Install option. This time, Aroma will launch having access to all the mounted locations.
- In Aroma app, go to data >> system and look for the “password.key” or “gesture.key” file in this folder. If you have a password lock, the file will be password.key; if you have a pattern lock, it will be gesture.key. Tap and hold the file to reveal associated options and select Delete option. Select Yes in the confirmation dialog.
Once your password or pattern file has been deleted, you can restart your device in normal mode. The device may ask for a pattern or password, but it will accept any input you provide. Thus, you can now access the contents of your Android phone or tablet without any loss of data.
Note: The above recovery mode options apply to Clockwork Recovery Mod. If you have any other Recovery installed on your device, the options might be slightly different.
Factory Reset Android without password
If you’re still unable to access your Android device or don’t want to root it, you may perform a Factory Reset to wipe off your password. But be warned, performing Factory Reset will in fact erase all data on your device. The steps below will guide you to perform factory reset when you cant unlock your phone in any way:
- If you have an external SD card, remove it from the device. Data on the SD card will remain intact.
- Connect your Android to your computer via USB and backup any accessible data that is important to you.
- After the backup has been taken, turn off your Android and restart in Recovery mode. Usually, recovery mode is accessed by holding the Power button and Volume Down keys together, but the sequence may vary according to the device. Perform a web search with your device name if you don’t know how to boot into Recovery.
- Once in Recovery mode, use the Volume up and down keys to navigate through the options and use the Home key or Power button to select a particular option.
- Select “wipe data/factory reset” from the main menu. In the confirmation prompt, select Yes.
Wait for the process to complete. Once done, just restart the device. Your Android would now be required to be set up for first time use.
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