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How to bypass the lock screen on Android

Have you forgotten your smartphone lock screen pattern or PIN code? Fortunately, Android provides a simple method to bypass the lock screen and get back in. Here's what to do when you've forgotten the lock screen pattern or PIN number on your Android device.

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Our best suggestion: Android Device Manager (for Android 2.3 and up)

This is the simplest and best way to regain access to your device after you forget your PIN code. As long as you're logged into your Google Account on your phone, it will work for you.

Just get on your computer, login to Android Device Manager, and select the device in question from the list of devices associated with your account. Counter-intuitively, you then tap "Lock". Once you lock your phone with a new code, it overrides the original code that you had forgotten. Then, hey presto, you have access to your phone again!

smartphone security locker hero
Bypassing the lock screen on Android isn't impossible, it's easy! / © AndroidPIT

Other alternatives for bypassing the lock screen

Smart lock

This one is obvious. Did you set up a smart lock for your device? A secure location perhaps, or a recognized device, such as a wearable? If you did, then just make use of your smart lock and you will no longer need the PIN code.

This will only apply to a small number of users. Find out more on how to set up a smart lock.

androidpit samsung galaxy s5 05
Don't get stuck at the lock screen with these tips. / © AndroidPIT

Third party security options

Some smartphone manufacturers often bundle their own security software into a device, such as Find My Mobile by Samsung. Such features can be particularly useful for getting past the lock screen, but you will have to have set this up already.

If you did, just visit the corresponding website from another device or PC and unlock your phone from there.

Password reset for Android KitKat (and previous versions)

If your device is running Android 4.4 KitKat (or anything before Lollipop) the method for retrieving your forgotten password or PIN number is relatively simple. 

If you enter the incorrect PIN, pattern or password five times, you will receive a “too many attempts” message on your display. From here, you will be prompted to enter the email address and password tied to your Google account to bypass the security screen.

The last resort: factory reset

The last resort is to conduct a factory reset. But watch out because this will erase all the data on your Android device, so only do this if you really have tried all of the above options.

The easiest method for doing this with a locked phone is by logging into the Android Device Manager online. From here you have the option to conduct a complete factory reset.

Android Device Manager Install on Google Play

If you can't access Android Device Manager for some reason, or you're not signed into your Google Account on the locked device, then you must do a hardware reset, which means entering your device’s recovery mode manually.

The method for conducting a hardware factory reset differs on each device, but it generally involves holding down the power and volume buttons when your device is switched off. You can search through our website to find the factory reset guide for your specific device by clicking the link. 

androidpit nexus 5 bootloader 1
Enter recovery mode to do a hardware factory reset. / © AndroidPIT

Do you have any other tips for bypassing the lock screen on Android? Have your attempts to reset your PIN code been successful? Let us know in the comments. 

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