How to unlock the phone if you forget your password, PIN or pattern
Set aside a panic! These steps will help you unlock your device on Android and iOS without contacting service centers.
How to unlock an Android smartphone
All of the above unlock methods are suitable not only for smartphones, but also for Android tablets.
Use the smart lock feature
Being active, this function automatically unlocks the screen when at least one of the conditions you specify is executed. For example, if the device is in your home or another device connects to it via Bluetooth.
You may have previously set up Smart Lock, but forgot about it. In this case, recall the specified condition and execute it. For example, if you have added one of the Bluetooth devices to the trusted list on your smartphone, turn on the wireless module on both. When the connection occurs, the phone can be unlocked without entering a PIN code, password or key.
If Smart Lock was not configured in advance or you cannot fulfill the specified condition, then this method is not suitable.
Circumvent protection with a google account
Some devices with older versions of Android (up to 5.0 Lollipop) allow you to bypass the screen lock using a Google account. But for this the device must be connected to the web. To check whether your smartphone supports this method, enter any password, PIN or pattern key five times.
After five incorrect input attempts, “Forgot your password?” Or a similar prompt should appear on the screen. Click on this inscription and enter the login and password of the Google account, which is the main on your smartphone. After successful login, you can specify a new password or set up another way to lock the screen.
If you also forgot your Google Account password, try to restore access to it using a special service of the company.
Take advantage of the service from the manufacturer of the smartphone
Some brands offer owners of their devices additional unlock tools. For example, Samsung has the Find My Mobile service, with which you can delete a pattern, PIN code, password, and even a fingerprint. To do this, your device must be tied to a Samsung account, maintain the service and be online.
To find out if there are similar services for your model, look for this information in the manual or on the manufacturer's official website.
Reset the device to factory settings
If other options do not give a result, it remains to return the factory settings. This will lead to the loss of all data, copies of which are not stored in your Google account and other cloud services. But you can remove the protection from the screen.
Turn off the smartphone and remove the memory card if it was inside. Then try these key combinations in turn, until one of them works (you need to press all the buttons and hold them for about 10-15 seconds):
- volume down key + power button;
- volume up key + power button;
- volume down key + power button + Home key;
- volume down key + volume up key + power button.
When the service menu appears on the display, select the Recovery item and then the Wipe data / factory reset command. If none of the key combinations work or you see the necessary commands in the menu, look for reset instructions specifically for your device model.
After that, the smartphone should return to the factory settings within a few minutes. The device may request a username and password from a previously connected Google account, but you will no longer need to unlock the screen. After logging into the old account, the system will restore the settings and data synchronized with it.
How to unlock an iPhone or iPad
Although the instructions for both reset methods are based on the example of the iPhone, they will also work if you suddenly forget your iPad password.
If you forget the password from the iOS device, you have only one way out - reset to factory settings. You can execute it in two ways: using iCloud and through iTunes. The first one will work only if you previously enabled the “Find iPhone” function on your smartphone. For the second, you need a USB cable and a computer with iTunes installed.
In both cases, you will delete not only the password, but all data from the device. But if you have a backup copy of the iPhone, then after the reset you can restore the information stored in it: calendars, contacts, notes, SMS, settings and shopping lists in iTunes and the App Store. Personal pictures and video files also will not be lost if you previously synchronized them with a computer or iCloud.
Reset your iPhone to factory settings using iCloud
To check whether the function "Find iPhone" is active on your smartphone, connect it to the web. Then log in to your Apple ID account on the iCloud website using a computer and click on the “Find iPhone” icon.
If you don’t have a computer, but you have an iPad, iPod touch, or another iPhone, you can use the standard Find iPhone application on any of these gadgets. It works the same as the web version in iCloud.
If the “Find iPhone” function is active, then you will immediately see your locked iPhone (in the application) or you can select it in the “All devices” list (on the iCloud website). If the device is not displayed, go to the second method. Otherwise, continue.
Click on the smartphone icon, and then click on the “Erase iPhone” button and follow the further prompts.
As a result, you will delete the password and all data from the device and be able to re-configure the iPhone.
Reset iPhone to factory settings via iTunes
Launch iTunes on your computer, then connect your smartphone to it using a USB cable.
If you have previously synced your iPhone with this computer, click on the smartphone icon in iTunes. In the menu that opens, synchronize again and create a fresh backup of the device on your computer. Then click "Restore from copy ...", select the image you just created and follow the system prompts until full recovery.
If you’ve never synced your iPhone with your current computer or iTunes also asks for a password, then most likely it’s impossible to create a new backup. But you can do a reset in a special mode, and then restore the device from old copies (if any).
1. Force the iPhone to restart.
On iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus and older models, hold down the Home button along with the top (or side) button for 10 or more seconds until the recovery screen appears.
On the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, hold down the side key with the volume down button for 10 or more seconds until you see the recovery screen.
On the iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, hold down and immediately release first the volume key, and then the volume decrease. After that, press the side button and hold it until the recovery screen is displayed.
2. When the recovery dialog box appears on your computer, click Restore and follow the prompts of iTunes.
3. If the iPhone exits recovery mode while iTunes downloads the necessary files from the Web, hold down the forced restart buttons again and hold them until the device returns to this mode.