Are You Sure You Forgot It?
Before you proceed, it’s wise to take a moment to make sure you’ve actually forgotten your passcode. Unlike the iPhone, which used to feature four-digit passcodes and has recently moved to six-digit codes, Android lets you choose any number of digits for your PIN.
If you’re trying to recall a four or six-digit code, consider whether your passcode is actually a different length. This may help you remember it.
1. Unlock With Smart Lock
Smart Lock is an Android feature that lets you specify certain conditions that bypass your lock screen security. You’ll find it under Settings > Security & location > Smart Lock.
You’re required to input your current lock password to make changes to the feature. Then you can choose five possible options to unlock your smartphone without a password:
- On-body detection: The phone senses that you’re carrying it automatically stays unlocked while it’s on your person.
- Trusted places: Uses your location to unlock your phone when you’re near an address that you’ve selected.
- Trusted devices: Keeps your device unlocked when connected to a trusted Bluetooth device, like your fitness tracker or car.
- Trusted face: Uses facial recognition to unlock your phone.
- Voice match: Unlocks your phone when it hears your trusted voice.
If you’re already set up one or more of these options before you forgot your password, you can use it to get back into your phone. However, you can’t change Smart Lock or password settings without entering your current password. Thus, you may still need to factory reset, but at least you can back everything up first.
2. Options for Samsung Devices
Have a Samsung device? The company offers a couple of ways to reset your lock code if you forget it.
Using Backup PIN (Older Android Versions Only)
If you have an older Samsung phone running Android 4.4 KitKat or earlier, you may have set a backup PIN. After entering your password or pattern incorrectly, follow these steps:
- Tap on the Backup PIN option if you can remember it.
- Type in your PIN code, then tap Done.
- You will be redirected to the Screen Unlock settings to reset the lock screen pattern.
Find My Mobile (All Android Versions)
For all of its phones, Samsung offers a feature that lets you remotely manage the device if you lose it. You’ll need to be signed into your Samsung account on your phone, and must have either a Wi-Fi or mobile data connection.
To reset your phone’s passcode through Find My Mobile:
- Open findmymobile.samsung.com on your computer.
- Log in with your Samsung account.
- Go to the Unlock my Device option and follow the instructions.
3. Use the Forgot PIN Prompt (Android 4.4 or Earlier)
If you have an older phone with Android 4.4 KitKat or earlier, you can reset your passcode through the lock screen. This uses your Google account, and requires the following steps:
- Input the wrong pattern into the lock screen until you see a You have made several unsuccessful attempts. Try again in 30 seconds message.
- Tap on Forgot Pattern and you’ll see a prompt to enter your Google account information.
- Type in your email address and password.
- You now have the option of resetting your lock screen pattern. Simply tap on the Sign in tab, then go to the Screen Unlock settings and set a new lock screen pattern.
Unfortunately, Google removed this option in modern versions of Android.