Locked Out of Your Android Phone

Android – Locked Out

Ok, so for whatever reason you have entered your little pattern too many times on your Android phone and you are now locked out. You can’t remember your pattern, something or someone else entered it too many times or something of the like and you are now stuck at the “Too Many Pattern Attempts” screen. The phone is demanding the Google account details that you synced the phone with when you very first turned it on. Maybe you have now forgotten those login details too or the phone is simply refusing to accept the correct login details.

For whatever reason you are at a dead end and stuck at the too many pattern attempts page of doom, however, all is not lost. Far from it my dear reader! If you simply want to get rid of the pattern lock you which you are stuck trying to remember, but aren’t yet completely locked out, you are in luck.

Firstly note that;

  • Removing your battery and SIM or just the battery will NOT solve your problems
  • A hard reset will solve your problems; however, it will erase ALL personal data from your device. You will be able to download your applications from the store again, and sync  all of your contacts again from Google but all texts and personal data that is not synced or backed up externally, say on to your memory car, WILL be lost.
  • Using Android Debug Bridge (adb) will only disable the pattern lock if you are not already locked out completely and at the too many pattern attempts page of doom.

So What Can You Do?

  • Enter your email address in to the device
  • In the password field enter “null” without the speech marks.
  • You will then be prompted to enter a new pattern and once again you have your phone back in action with all data intact.

That Didn’t Work, What Now?

  • There are reports that if you have uppercase letters in your email address and or password that trying again with them in lower case will work.
  • If you have got USB Debugging already enabled on your device, and you are not quite at too many pattern attempts page of doom then you can disable the pattern lock via adb.

How to Disable Pattern Lock via ADB

  • You must have previously enable USB Debugging (Settings -> Application -> Development -> USB Debugging)
  • Download and extract the Android SDK (from here)
  • Plug your phone into your computer
  • In command line navigate to where you extracted the SDK, then to the Tools folder which should contain adb.exe

Do not simply run adb.exe but instead enter adb –d shell. Your command prompt should look like the following;

ADB Instructions
ADB Instructions

  • Now disconnect and power off your phone, and turn it back on and the pattern lock should be gone.

What If I Didn’t Have USB Debugging Enabled?

I hate to say it but you are more or less at the end of the road.

A factory reset is probably your only option.

How to Factory Reset

 

HTC Dream


1. Turn the G1 off. If it’s frozen on, take the battery out and put it back in the unit.

2. Hold the Home and Power keys down at same time for about 25 seconds. You will see a yellow triangle screen with exclamation point in the
middle.

Now to wipe the device clean:

3. Press Alt+L.
4. Press Alt+W for a factory reset.
5. Press the Home and Back keys again for about 25 seconds.
The device should then reset again and the hard reset is complete.

 

HTC Magic

1. With the phone turned off, press and hold the HOME and BACK

2. Briefly press the END CALL/POWER button while continuing to press HOME and BACK buttons.
3. When you see the screen with the 3 Android images, release the HOME and BACK buttons, and then press the TRACKBALL.

Tip
: If your phone hangs or freezes, remove the battery then wait for a few seconds, and then re-install it. After re-installing the battery, turn on the phone.



HTC Hero


1. With the phone turned off, press and hold the HOME and BACK and then briefly press the END CALL/POWER button. The reset process will start after a few seconds.
2. Wait for the phone to finish the reset process and then press MENU.

Tip: If your phone hangs or freezes, remove the battery then wait for a few seconds, and then re-install it. After re-installing the battery, turn on the phone.


HTC Tattoo


1. With the phone turned off, press and hold the HOME and BACK and then briefly press the END CALL/POWER button.
2. Press the ENTER button to begin the reset process.

Tip: If your phone hangs or freezes, remove the battery then wait for a few seconds, and then re-install it. After re-installing the battery, turn on the phone.

 

Motorola Droid

To reset your phone to factory settings and erase all the data on your phone,
Touch Menu > Settings
> Privacy > Factory data reset > Reset phone.
Warning: All data on your phone will be deleted.

Motorola Droid Hard reset with keys

Power off device.
Press X key on hard keyboard + power button, then release both buttons.

When you see exclamation point press and hold VOLUME UP + CAMERA KEY. You will see Android system recovery menu.
With D pad go to data / factory reset, then press CENTER D Pad, then choose Yes.

Nexus One


1. With the phone off, hold the Volume Down button and press and release the Power button.
2. You’ll boot into the menu you see above with the little skateboard guys. Select Clear Storage from the list by pressing the Volume Down button.
3. Press the Power button, and confirm by pressing Volume Up.
4. Sit back while your phone reboots in its virgin state.

LG GW620 [Eve] Hard Reset

To do a hard reset or data reset in LG GW620 aka EVE

Enter using Dial pad

3845#*620#

From menu select factory reset or whatever you want.

Motorola Dext

Factory Reset:
1. Holding the Camera button while turning on your phone,
2. When prompted hit the Volume-Down rocker button to go into Recovery Mode.
3. After you get into Recovery Mode,
4. Press ALT+L to reset, then Menu + Back to reboot.

HTC Droid Eris Hard Reset

Perform a hard reset on your HTC Droid Eris. These steps will clear all data and settings off the device.
1. With the phone turned off, press and hold the Volume Down and Send buttons.
2. Press the Power button.
3. Follow the instructions to complete the hard reset.

LG GW620

Hold down the volume down, menu and camera buttons for about 5-10 seconds and a message will appear asking you to confirm the factory reset.

 

HTC Desire

1. Turn your phone off

2. Hold the volume button down, whilst doing so press and release the power button

3. You should now see a menu that offers Fastboot, Recovery, Clear Storage and Simlock

5. Select clear storage by pressing the volume down button

6.Press the power button again

7. Confirm this by pressing volume up for yes or down for no

Samsung GT-i900 Galaxy S

Try holding the volume up and the home button, or volume up and down buttons

Whilst doing so press the power button for 2-3 seconds, release but maintain the press on the volume button

Now use the volume down button to select Wipe Data and press power button to confirm. Use the volume button again to select the final confirmation.

 

Useful Links

http://developer.android.com/guide/developing/tools/adb.html

http://www.backuphowto.info/how-backup-android-and-htc-hero-phone

http://code.google.com/p/proxoid/wiki/installationPhone

http://www.gsm4bd.com/showthread.php?21585-Android-Phones-Hard-Reset&p=33586

57 thoughts on “Locked Out of Your Android Phone

    1. Anonymous

      Try and power off the phone hold the volume up button the send button and turn the phone on. This should start a factory reset, this will lose your data but your phone will be unlocked. I’m afraid there is no magic fix to remove the lock.

      Reply
    1. Anonymous

      If you have followed all the above steps and variations to try and unlock your phone then your last chance is a factory restore. To do this on a wildfire:

      Turn the power off. If your HTC Wildfire is frozen, pull the battery out and reinsert it
      Hold the Volume Down button
      Press and release the Power button
      You are now presented with a menu that allows for Fastbook, Recovery, Clear Storage, and Simlock
      Select Clear Storage by pressing the Volume Down button
      Press and release the Power button
      Now simply confirm your decision: Volume Up for YES and Volume Down for NO

      Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I’m sorry I can’t help you with this issue specifically, I would recommend contacting your network provider if you are on contract else Motorola for a repair. Alternatively try a repair shop, a Google will turn up some repair places near you. Good luck.

      Reply
  1. Please

    Hi,

    I start in recovery to mount the data in USB storage, but i cant find settings.db
    Another way to unlock them ? (Galaxy S i9000 darkCore)

    Regards

    Reply
    1. mhollander38

      First, try this:

      From the main home screen, tap menu
      Tap Settings, then Privacy
      Tap Factory data reset
      Tap Reset phone
      Enter your password if required, then tap Erase everything to confirm

      If that doesn’t work, or if your phone is frozen:

      Turn the power off. If your Samsung Galaxy Prevail is frozen, pull the battery out and reinsert it
      Hold the Volume Down button
      Press and release the Power button
      You are now presented with a menu that allows for Fastbook, Recovery, Clear Storage, and Simlock
      Select Clear Storage by pressing the Volume Down button
      Press and release the Power button
      Now simply confirm your decision: Volume Up for YES and Volume Down for NO

      All data including third-party applications will be deleted from the Samsung Galaxy Prevail. Once the wipe is complete, the phone will reboot to its factory fresh state.

      Reply
  2. Mike_szaniawski

    i keep trying this hard reset method for my htc dream but it is not working and i have tried all my chances for the slide lock and i also dont know the email

    Reply
  3. Ashleygrimason

    Hi I have a sanding galaxy ace it want let me in wen I do that null thing and I have lost my USB plug thing for computer way should I do

    Reply
  4. guest

    I have an at&t fusion android “to go” phones, and it has locked me out bc of the pattern and I put the right password in correctly with google sign in multiple times, how can I get it to unlock itself?

    Reply
  5. Kishkush111

    I solved my “too many pattern…” issue easily after having more than two weeks of frustration.

    The only thing I did is cancelling the 2 steps verification process defined for my gmail account. I did it using the PC.

    After that, I just entered my username (without the @gmail.com or anything) and password and it worked smoothly.

    I hope I helped anyone out there.

    Rami

    Reply
    1. Taimoor Irfan

      thanks this really proved helpful…i was too disappointed after reading the article but then i tried your thingy and it worked

      thanks again!

      Reply
    2. Kuru

      I went on 10 websites all saying you have to pay for an app or clean reboot, I tried every trick in the book. That actually worked typing it without the @gmail. Thank you so much!

      Reply
  6. Smile Alwayz4u

    I faced this problem on Galaxy ACE. tried google search and everywhere i found one solution… to have factory reset.

    Finally i was able to unlock it without factory reset.

    Go to gmail, reset your account password. (most of us tried that)

    Now, connect internet on your phone by pressing power key. Once internet is connected, your new password on gmail will now work in the forgot password option.

    Enjoy….

    Reply
  7. Bryce

    Sounds great! What can I do if I’ve tried the pattern 20 times and im stuck with having to use the email? (I don’t have the password)

    Reply
  8. Bryce

    Sounds great! What can I do if I’ve tried the pattern 20 times and im stuck with having to use the email? (I don’t have the password)

    Reply
  9. Beatrizeramirez43

    my mom android one its a samsung n it wont let me log in cause i dont have a account a email one n i really need help

    Reply
  10. cree1988

    How about a INQ Cloud Touch??? I’ve been searching google for 3 whole days to factory reset this thing… only get the android symbol and the triangle with an exclamation mark on the screen….. tried the script in ‘android commander’ and it says permission denied
    any help

    Reply
  11. Irbivorgirl

    Using ADB, I am stuck at the command prompt stage. I can’t get this to work: “In command line navigate to where you extracted the SDK, then to the Tools folder which should contain adb.exe” . I’m entering CMD and then the exact string (caps and all) for where I extracted the SDK (obtained directly from the SDK manager window) and it’s not giving me the prompt. It’s defaulting to :C:Windowssystem 32

    Help!

    Reply
  12. Rudolphw

    hey i tried the factory reset for my htc dream g1 (home+power button, alt+l, alt+w then reboot home+back), and i’m now at the initial setup wizard. now i cant bypass the setup since my data plan doesnt work nor wifi connictivity option cant be accessed. does that mean that the phone is done for? i live in south america and the htc is t-mobile.

    Reply
  13. Nightengayle21

    how do i unlock my htc inspire kids press the pattern too many times and is locked on gmail screen tried password and id didnt work tried taking battery out then putting it back in help

    Reply
  14. Kwccmw

    I sure hope your’re still monitoring here! My son is locked out of his Motarola Razr and we can’t get past the “Too many pattern attempts” screen. Therefore, we can’t even do a factory reset! I called Verizon and went into the store. They claim I need to buy a new phone?!?!?! We reset his password in Gmail and tried the new one. We tried an application specific password. No luck! Any ideas?

    Reply
  15. Jesus

    What about the ZTE Engage? My dad forgot both his Gmail and pattern (he is kind of old) and I have been trying to unlock the phone for the past 2 days

    Reply
  16. Shazedastamp

    i need help my cousin tryed guessing my passcode just for fun and he tryed so much time that i can’t get in now and i don’t know my email or pass

    Reply
  17. Luke Jansen

    I figured it out…. two hours later and this is the first thread that is actually done well and organized. I don’t know who you are or where you live but I love you haha no homo!

    Reply
  18. Mark10mx

    thank you, thank you , thank you..you are the man!! matt hollander

    just follow your post and I could resolve sucessfully the same problem in Polaroid PMID70DC tablet….thanks again…

    Reply
  19. Ed

    you are a life safer… thank you very much. null password worked like a charm.. great security. haha.. thank you again

    Reply
  20. Nilimajain

    There is one more method of restoring the data after factory reset.
    I got my Samsung Galaxy Ace locked and all methods given here could not work.
    So, I connected phone to the computer and through Samsung Kies software I could take the backup of the data. Then I did Factory reset and I retrieved the data. All was back except the messages, call logs and memos and reminders.

    Reply
  21. Htc Tattoo

    thanx bro …it was a headache for me for 3 days to unlock my Htc Tattoo phone.i tried everything available on net..But ur suggestion filling ‘Null’ in password space works.And finally I m Using my phone again.Thanks again Bro.

    Reply
  22. Tousif Iqbal

    Well Guys I ve come up with a simple yet effective solution for this great great problem. Just browse google for Moborobo app. Download it on ur PC or lappy, Install it. Now Follow the steps.
    1. Connect ur Android Phone through USB to the PC.
    2. Moborobo will detect ur Device. (Don worry it ll detect Automatically).
    3 Now there are several options, go for Backup/Restore.
    4. Backup the contents u want to, it includes Contacts, Messages as well as Apps.
    5. Once Backup is done check out the backup contents at the file location u ve backed it up. Note u ll not see the exact files like contacts n all, it ll be some sort of windows application. U can Back it up once more in a different folder just for safety.
    6. Now the part which u dint wanted to do. Flash ur Mobile Device.
    7. Switch Off ur Device. Remove the USB cable from the device.
    8. Hold the Volume Up, Home and the Power On/Off Key together for sometime.
    9. The Company Logo will get Displayed still hold the keys together, the company logo ll be displayed again, still hold all the keys till a Black Screen with some options ll appear.
    10.Now u ll see some options in Orange color. Select the Erase all Data/Factory Reset option using the volume up/down key. Press the home or any other select key to start the process. within Seconds the Factory Reset ll be done.
    11. Now again select the Reboot option from the same menu (after Reboot u ll get back to the same Menu)
    12. After Reboot ur device ll get started from fresh.
    13. Now again connect the device to PC/Lappy through USB.
    14. Start Moborobo application. Again it ll detect the device.
    15. After detection go to the options Backup/Restore. Select Restore and the file location where u ve stored the info. Select the data u want to restore, Contacts, Messages n Apps. Then Restore it.
    Browse ur Mobile for the Data U ve Restored. Thats it Enjoy!!!. It took me 3 Days to come up with this solution, but it ll take anyone just 10mins to implement it. So whoever using this technique, after the successful attempt just mail me a thanks quote along with ur result. More Ideas are still Open, if someone comes with a much simpler Idea, everyone ll be thankful. Tousif Iqbal

    Reply
  23. Lehel

    Removing the pattern via ADB worked indeed! Only comment I have is that I had to use sqlite3 with its full path (In recovery mode), like this:
    /data/data/com.android.providers.settings/databases # /system/xbin/sqlite3 sett
    ings.db

    Thanks!

    Reply

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