Besttechindia is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

What to Do If You Forget Your Android Phone’s PIN, Pattern, or Password? (2020)

A PIN, pattern, or password forms the basic security level for any Android device. Even if you use a fingerprint lock, a  PIN has to be provided for backup security.

There is a high probability that you might forget your PIN. Consequently, you won't be able to use your device immediately. In this article, we will see ways of getting out of such troublesome circumstances.

So, no need to panic anymore. Just follow these steps to resolve the issue quickly -

Steps to Follow when You Forget Your Pin

Use Google’s  "Find My Device" Option

what to do if you forget your android phone’s pin, pattern, or password

Resort to this option only when you have backed up all your data, or if you do not have any issue if the stored data is lost. "Find My Device" works with Android 5.0 or later. Make sure that you know your Google account's email ID and password.

Also, the device should not be switched off and has to be connected to the internet for using this feature. Earlier, it allowed users to alter the PIN. However, today this is no longer possible. All you can do is opt for erasing the data on the device and set up a new PIN.

Steps for Using the "Find My Device" Feature

  1. 1
    Open your laptop or some other device and type "Find My Device" in Google.
  2. 2
    Login to your Google account.
  3. 3
    Generally, the device which you are currently using is selected. Yet, if there is more than one device registered with your email ID,  you will get an option to choose. Select the device whose PIN you have forgotten by clicking the name and icon in the page's left corner.
  4. 4
    Choose the  “Erase Device” option on the left. Enter the Google account details if prompted. Then, the data will be wiped after which you can set up a new PIN.

What If You Forgot Your Google Account Credentials?

As we have already seen, you need to know your Google account credentials for proceeding with the Find My Device option. If you don't remember these credentials, then go to the Google Account Recovery website using your desktop or laptop and follow the steps prompted by it.

Samsung Device Users

To use this option, Samsung mobile phone owners have to create a Samsung account and activate the “Find My Mobile” option while setting up the device. Use this device to unlock your Samsung phone remotely in case you happen to forget the password.

For using this option, you should remember your Samsung account's email ID and password. Also, make sure that the device is connected to the internet before trying the following steps:

  1. 1
    Open the "Find My Mobile" website on any device such as a laptop or desktop. Log into your Samsung account in the device.
  2. 2
    In the upper left corner, you can find your current device along with the phone number. Go through the options appearing on the right-hand side and choose the unlock device option.
  3. 3
    Now, just enter the Samsung account password for unlocking your phone/device remotely.

For Devices with Android Kitkat 4.4 or Older Versions

It is easier to unlock the device in this case. The steps are:

  1. 1
    When you are unable to enter the right PIN in the first five attempts, a prompt saying Forget password/pattern/ PIN will appear. Click on it. 
  2. 2
    Then you have to enter your Google account's email ID and password for changing the PIN, pattern, or password to get instant access.
  • Backup PIN

    This option is generally found in Samsung devices with Android 4.4 Kitkat and older.  In this case,  you need to set a backup PIN. If you forget your password,  choose the backup PIN option and type the PIN code. Click “Done” after which you can find the settings for “Screen Unlock”. This will let you reset the lock pattern or password.

Factory Reset

You can do this by visiting the menu of recovery mode to erase all the data on your phone. This should be your last resort. In case there is an SD card in your device, switch off the device and remove the card before opting for this step. This will prevent these existing files from being overwritten.

The recovery mode options vary in different devices. However, the standard options include rebooting the system, applying updates from ADB, wiping the cache partition, and “Factory Reset” option.

Phones with Android 5.1 and later generally come with an FRP or “Factory Reset Protection” which is turned on by default. This prevents anyone from stealing your device.

Therefore, when you attempt to erase device data, you will be prompted to provide your Google account details. Once this is done, again, you will need to enter the credentials.

Unlocking Using Smart Lock Feature

This feature in Android devices helps you to set conditions so you can bypass the lock screen. You can find this feature under the “Security & Location” option in Settings. To make alterations to this feature, just enter your current password.

After that, enter five possible ways of unlocking the device without using a password, which is as explained below:

  • Trusted Places

    This helps in unlocking the device using your location. It means when you are near an address that you have chosen, the device gets unlocked automatically.

  • On-body Detection
    In this option, when the phone is on your person, i.e. when you are carrying it, it unlocks automatically.
  • Trusted Devices

    Your phone doesn't lock when it remains connected to certain trusted devices such as your car or fitness tracker via Bluetooth.

  • Trusted Face
    This feature makes use of facial recognition technology for unlocking your device.
  • Voice match
    It is unlocking the device through recognition of a trusted voice. This will help you easily access your device just by using your voice in case you forgot the password. But, it is not possible to alter the settings of the Smart Lock password if you fail to enter the right password. Hence, if you are still unable to recall the password, you will need to opt for the factory reset option. Yet, you can backup all your stored data before resetting. Thus, there is no chance of data loss.

Ways of Unlocking for Devices Other than Samsung

The ways which we will discuss now can also be used for those devices with newer Android versions. But, make sure that you are careful while trying the hacks enumerated here because they may mess up your device.

Using ADB(Android Debug Bridge) for Deleting the PIN File

Android Debug Bridge is a utility that enables you to access the files on your phone using your laptop or desktop. By doing so, you can remove the file which controls the lock screen security. Prerequisites for this hack to work.

  1. 1
    Your phone's USB debugging option must be enabled. It is possible only if you have ever checked the “Developer Options” panel in Settings.
  2. 2
    Connect your computer with the phone through ADB.
  3. 3
    This cannot be used in newer Android versions as all of them are encrypted.

Suppose all the above conditions are met, you can proceed with the following step.

  1. 1
    Use the USB cable to connect your phone to the computer.
  2. 2
    The Command Prompt or Terminal window needs to be opened to the ADB installation directory.
  3. 3
    Then, in the ADB shell, you should type rm/data/system/gesture.key and press enter.
  4. 4
    The device needs a reboot after this since you will find that the lock screen does not appear anymore. As this is a temporary hack, make sure to reset your password or pattern before you attempt to perform the reboot again.

Crashing the Lock Screen

When you own an Android device with 5.0 to 5.1.1, this method can be used. It works on specific devices only. So, you can try it on your phone and see if it works by following the steps mentioned below.

  1. 1
    Click on the emergency call button appearing in the lock screen of the phone.
  2. 2
     Type asterisks ten times using the dialer and copy it by tapping this twice for highlighting it. Copy this next to the selected characters.
  3. 3
    Repeat this multiple times in the password space until you are no longer able to do it. This will happen when double-tapping will no longer highlight the characters.
  4. 4
    Open the camera shortcut. After, you have to open the notification shade by pulling it down.
  5. 5
    Click on the settings icon to get a prompt for entering the password.
  6. 6
    Paste the characters by long-pressing to get options in the input field. Repeat this process until you reach a point when the lock screen crashes. Thus, you will get access to your device.

Using Dr Fone Screen Unlock for Android

This is a cross-platform software for recovering files that are lost from your Android device. It can also be used to unlock your phone, even when you have forgotten your device. You can recover messages, call history, pictures, videos, audios, and contacts with this tool.

This software is compatible with various Android phone brands such as Sony, LG, Motorola, Lenovo, HTC,  Samsung, etc. Its best part is that it works on rooted as well as unrooted Android devices.

It is easy as well as a cost-effective option and can be used by anyone even if they do not have any technical knowledge. Here are the steps for removing the PIN, pattern, password, or fingerprint using this tool.

  1. 1
    Use your computer for installing Dr Fone- Android Lock Screen Removal. Launch it.
  2. 2
    Choose the "Screen Unlock" option directly. Connect with the phone that has been locked and select the "Unlock Android screen" option on the program window.
  3. 3
    Follow the prompts appearing on the screen for setting your phone to download mode. To do this, switch off the phone first. Then, simultaneously press volume down, home, and power buttons. Finally, keep pressing the volume up button till you enter the download mode.
  4. 4
    The download mode will be detected  and the recovery package will be downloaded in a few minutes.
  5. 5
    The lock screen password will be successfully removed after the download of the recovery package is complete. Confirm if your device still has a screen lock to make sure that the data is safe and secure.

Precautions to Be Followed to Prevent Similar Circumstances in the Future

When you urgently need your phone but forget the password, it will be problematic for you. So, here are a few tips to prevent this in the future.

  • Use a safe or password manager for keeping your password's physical copy.
  • Try to create a strong password and memorize it.
  • Enable at least one Smart Lock option by signing it into your Google account or Samsung account, in case you have a Samsung device.
  • Always keep a  backup of all your data. Therefore, even if you have to factory reset it at some point, you won't have to suffer the harsh consequence of data loss.


These are undoubtedly the best ways to unlock your phone if you forget your PIN or password. Still, our phones have a lot of vital information and we can't afford to lose them these days.  Hence, it is always recommended to stay safe by following the precautions.


Follow me here

About the Author

Piyush Kashyap is a Ph.D student at Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Sangrur. He is a budding editor/ writer and has been working as a part-time reviewer for online content. He loves to read tech-based articles and has a knack for reviewing such articles He likes to stay updated about the latest trends in technology. He has also been working as a reviewer for many scientific journals. He also writes articles based on science. Know More About Piyush

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}