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;

ADBADB 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 (also known as a hard reset) is probably your only option.

The instructions below are a guide only, and will only usually apply to stock Android installs and not rooted phones. Please be aware that a factory reset will delete all of your data on the phone (may or may not delete the contents of anything on attached storage devices, including Micro SD cards), this is done at the owner’s (your!) risk and no member of this site will be held responsible for any loss of data or damage to your devices.

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

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.

: 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 Magic Reset


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


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.

The steps described for the newer Android devices below are generally very similar, if one set of instructions doesn’t work try another as the Android factory reset processes for the Android phones for the last few years are all very similar if not exactly the same.

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.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Power off the phone in the usual way if it is on.

All at the same time press and hold the volume up, home and power button.

When the phone boots you will be in recovery mode. Use the volume buttons to scroll down to reset and the power button to select the option.

Then scroll down using the volume button again to select Yes – delete all my data to confirm the factory reset.

Samsung Galaxy Note 

At the same time press and hold the Power/Lock for 10 to 15 seconds until the screen flashes on.

Use the Volume Down button to scroll and the Volume Up button to select ‘Recovery

The phone will start up with the Motorola logo and power up to a little Android logo with an exclamation mark.

Press the Volume Up button and Volume Down button together at this screen.

Use the Volume Down button to scroll down and the Power button to select Factory Reset, press the power key to confirm.

Use the Volume Down button to select Yes – delete all user data – and press the power  button or the Volume Up and Down buttons again to confirm

The device will then start performing the Factory Data Reset. Once the formatting is complete , press the Power button to confirm a reboot

Sony Xperia Z3

  1. Access recovery mode on your Sony Xperia Z3 after having completely shutdown the phone power on holding the volume up, home and power button.
  2. Once in recovery use volume up / down buttons in order to scroll up or down and power key to select.
  3. Pick “wipe data factory reset” and perform the same.
  4. Optional: after completing the hard reset operation, from recovery mode you can also choose to clear cache by selecting “wipe cache partition” and “wipe dalvick cache”- this is a best way to solve software related problems.
  5. When you are done, go back to main menu of recovery and from there select “reboot system now”


Turn the phone off completely.

Press the power and volume down key (on the back of the phone) together until the screen comes on.

When the screen comes on with the LG logo immediately press and hold the power on key until the reset menu is displayed.

Press the power key once more to continue to factory reset. And once more press the power key to confirm the reset.

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