In this guide, we'll tell you what to do if you forget your Android password, PIN, or pattern. Our smartphones and tablets are very secure these days, especially with the rise of fingerprint readers. Therefore, passwords or PINs are not used as often. If you forgot yours, we may be able to help.

At the same time, fingerprint scanners mean that we use our password or PIN less than before. And suddenly some people risk forgetting it. Don't worry, your phone isn't useless if you forget your password or PIN. We can reset it, bypass the code or erase the device and go back.

Over the years, Google has continued to improve the security of our Android devices. In 2017, resetting a password or PIN isn't as easy as it used to be. However, tools do exist. Especially for owners who are proactive and take a few important steps ahead of time. We'll cover that and more below.


First, use tools like Android Device Manager by Google or Find My Mobile by Samsung. These are crucial for backing up a lost, stolen or forgotten smartphone. Both have multiple features that can save your life.

How to Reset Your Android Password or PIN

As long as you remember your Google Account username and password, you have a choice. Almost all Android devices use a Google account, for the best experience, which means almost all users should have one linked to their device. This is the most important step.

The easiest way to troubleshoot if you forget your password, PIN, or Android pattern is for those using Android 4.4 KitKat or earlier. However, most devices run a more modern version than KitKat, so this only applies to a select few users.

If your device is running Android 4.4 KitKat or earlier, the system has a built-in tool to reset a password. Unfortunately, Google removed this feature in Android 5.0 Lollipop and later.


To find this built-in feature, just enter the wrong password or PIN five times on the lock screen. The device will say you entered it wrong too many times and offer a reset. Users can look for a button that says "Forgot Pattern", "Forgot PIN", or "Forgot Password" below the login area. As shown in our photo above.

From there, simply enter your Google account information and password, follow the prompts, and change your device's password, PIN, or pattern.

Android 5.0 Lollipop and later

Not everyone using Android 5.0 Lollipop or newer, which should be the most, has the same luxury as above. Almost all recent devices run on Android 6.0 Marshmallow or 7.0 Nougat these days. Don't worry, we still have potential solutions for you.

The first is Samsung Galaxy or Note and tablet owners. Since Samsung is the most popular manufacturer, millions of people own their devices. As long as you have a Samsung account, just go to their helpful Find My Mobile website and sign in. It works similar to Apple's Find My iPhone.

Use Samsung Find My Mobile to reset a PIN

Use Samsung Find My Mobile to reset a PIN

Once you have signed in to your Samsung account and selected the device you are looking for, the options will be presented on the right side of the screen. Now just use “Unlock My Screen” option to remove lock screen password from your device remotely.

Alternatively, Samsung has options to ring if lost, lock (or relock and choose a security measure) to prevent theft. And finally, there is the option to erase everything remotely.


Tap the middle option highlighted above to lock your Samsung device. Owners will have the option to choose a new password, pattern, or pinning method. Other popular manufacturers may have similar features and tracking sites for their devices.

As an alternative for those who don't have a Samsung account or use another device, Google offers a similar feature for all Android users. It's called the Android Device Manager. Simply visit the Android Device Manager website, log into your gmail account, and follow the steps similar to the Samsung method above.

Add New Lock Screen Password Using ADM

Add New Lock Screen Password Using ADM

Google's system will replace the current lock screen with a password lock. Additionally, owners can add a message or recovery number in case the device is lost. However, it seems that if you have a current lock screen PIN, Android device manager won't replace it with a password.

You can, however, head to the Android device manager and tap "Erase" to completely erase a device. This will remove everything from your phone, including a password or PIN. You will be able to set up the phone as if it were new, following the "erasure", which is not the best case scenario. Moreover, most of your device is backed up by Google and can be restored quickly and easily.

If none of the above options work for you, there is one more step. This is similar to tapping erase in Android device manager or erasing your device on Samsung Find My Mobile. Owners can boot their smartphone or tablet into recovery mode and perform a factory data reset. This will erase everything, including any passwords or PINs.

As we said above, most modern devices sync to the cloud and save most of your important information. Like apps, text messages or photos. So resetting the device and starting from scratch is not as bad as it seems. Just a little time consuming.

The easiest way to perform a factory reset is to use the Android device manager. If it is not installed, boot into recovery or safe mode and select it from the menu.


To reboot into recovery, you have to turn off the phone and then restart while holding down a series of buttons at the same time. This differs by device, and a quick Google search for booting into recovery mode is the best way to find out how.

For example, Samsung Galaxy phones should be turned off. Then press and hold the volume up, power and home button simultaneously. Hold until you see the blue text that says “restarting recovery…” at the top. From there, use the volume keys to scroll down to "Factory Reset" and reset your device. Most devices have a similar method for booting into recovery, and Google has a great list of them here .

As we said before, each manufacturer may have other methods available to owners. Check your to find out more. Ultimately, it's a good idea to have this information ahead of time and install the ADM on any device you own.

Users can also temporarily work around this issue by using "Smart Lock" which debuted on Android 5.0 Lollipop. By using trusted locations, devices, or connections, the operating system bypasses any lock screen method. If you set up, you won't need the password or PIN when you're in a trusted place like home or work, or connected to accessories.

smart lock

It's a last resort, but one more way for owners to potentially gain access to their device if they forget their password. At least long enough to backup their phone before doing a full factory reset.

In conclusion, everyone should know that our devices are more secure than ever. Privacy and security are a top priority at Google, which is why forgetting a password or PIN can be such a challenge to overcome. Try one of the steps above and good luck.