It's easy to forget 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.
How to bypass the lock screen on 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.
How to bypass the lock screen on Android Lollipop
Bypassing the lock screen on Android Lollipop is more tricky, particularly if you wish to keep the data on your phone. Here are a couple of suggestions to start off with.
The first 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 enter a PIN code.
Some smartphone manufacturers bundle their own security software into their 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.
The last resort
The last resort is to conduct a factory reset. 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. Again, you'll need to have already been using Android Device Manager for this work.
If you haven’t used the Android device manager before, 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.
Do you have any other tips for bypassing the lock screen on Android? Let us know in the comments.