Can't unlock my Android device

If you can't unlock your Android device, you can try to reset your passcode using your Google Account. If you still can't reset your screen lock, you can consider resetting or erasing your device and then setting a new screen lock.

Option 1: Reset your pattern with your Google Account

This content applies only to devices running Android 4.4 or below that have a pattern passcode set up.

If you set up a pattern screen lock and can't unlock your device, you can try to use your Google Account to reset your pattern.

Steps to reset your pattern with your Google Account
  1. After you've tried multiple times to unlock your device, you'll see "Forgot pattern" on your lock screen. Touch Forgot pattern.
  2. When prompted, enter the Google Account username and password you previously added to your device.
  3. Reset your device’s screen lock.

If you have problems signing in to your Google Account, try these troubleshooting steps to enter your username or password.

Option 2: Erase your device

You can remotely erase your device’s data using Android Device Manager. After you erase your device, you can set up your device again with your Google Account and a new screen lock. You can only do this if you've previously enabled Android Device Manager on your device.

Important: This option will erase all data — like your apps, photos, and music — from your device. While any data stored in your Google Account will be restored, all apps and their associated data will be uninstalled. Before you perform a reset, look over the options for backing up and restoring your data.

Steps to remotely erase your device with Android Device Manager
  1. On a computer or in a mobile browser, go to www.google.com/android/devicemanager.
  2. Sign in to the Google Account that you previously added to your device.
  3. If you have more than one device, select the arrow next to the name of the device you're locked out of. Android Device Manager will show you the approximate location of your device on a map.
  4. Select Erase. Be aware that this will permanently erase all of your data, like your apps, photos, and music.
  5. After you remotely erase your device, you can set up your device again with your Google Account and a new screen lock.

Option 3: Reset your device to factory settings

If you still can't unlock your device, you can perform a factory data reset on your Nexus device. If you have a different Android device, visit your manufacturer's support site to learn how to do a reset. After you reset your device, you can set up your device again with your Google Account and a new screen lock.

Important: This option will erase all data — like your apps, photos, and music — from your device. While any data stored in your Google Account will be restored, all apps and their associated data will be uninstalled. Before you perform a reset, look over the options for backing up and restoring your data.

Elena is an Android expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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