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8Jan/101293

Unlock Android phone after too many pattern attempts

In the FAQ category: Unlock Android phone that is locked after too many pattern attempts. I've seen the question so many times in the Google Mobile Help Forum that I felt that a post could help someone out.
Pattern lock

The pattern lock screen (in Swedish)

On Android phones you can activate a feature called pattern lock. This feature can be compared to a Windows computer asking for password after the screen saver kicked in, only instead of a password you use a pattern. You get a screen with 9 dots and you draw a pattern of your choice with 4 of them. If you forget your pattern (or have kids that likes to play with phones) you will after 3 faulty attempts be unable to use the pattern to unlock it. Instead you are asked for your Google account and password (that is setup with the phone of course). This is where the problem starts.

For many, many users providing the username and password won’t change a thing. For some people changing the password via a computer has worked but that is uncommon. Most people ends up with a very expensive paperweight. Have no fear, there are solutions to almost everything!

Update

Google has a decent article on how to regain access to your account here:
http://support.google.com/android/bin/answer.py?hl=en&topic=2500700&ctx=topic&answer=2569768
That will still not solve everything but start there and then go through the bullets below.
Some workarounds to try before reading ahead:
1. try entering null as password. (together with your google username)
2. try entering your username without @gmail.com
3. Combine 1 and 2
4. Call yourself from another phone, answer, without hanging up press the home button, then menu button, settings, try to disable pattern-lock
5. Call yourself from another phone, answer, hang-up, directly after hanging up start pressing your buttons like a madman for <30-60 seconds ending with your home button (might take a while to get the timing right). Go into settings and disable pattern-lock.
6.  Try the normal recover password routine from GMail.com and start over from 1.
7. Perform a factory reset. YOU WILL LOOSE all not-synced DATA (SD card will be left untouched).
1-6 are possible workarounds, these doesn't work for everyone but can be worth a try to avoid factory reset. 6. is what should work but hardly never does. 7 - The factory reset always work

End Update

In this case the solution is to make a factory reset (sometimes referred to as hard reset or wipe). This will erase all data on your phone (not on your SD-card). Your contacts and mails should be in sync with the Google servers, no problem there then. Downloaded applications needs to be installed again but there is a list of your previous downloads in the Android Market->My Downloads. Other things though are lost if you haven’t backed them up manually with a 3-rd party application. Example on things you will lose: Call logs, text messages, application settings.

This is your 3 step solution

  1. Factory reset your phone (links to Android device manuals can be found below, it differs between devices)
  2. Setup your phone just like you did the first time you unpacked it (use the same Google Account if you want your old contacts back!)
  3. Restore any manual back-ups and install your previous applications from the My Downloads list.

How do I factory reset? HTC leads the way and put this information in their manuals, other manufacturers should learn from this!

Dear readers, as much as I would love to keep a directory on how to factory reset every single Android device out there, it's just not possible. Use your rights as a customer, go back to the store and ask them to help you factory reset your device!

HTC Hero manual:
http://member.america.htc.com/download/web_materials/Manual/HTC_Hero/091201_Hero_HTC_English_UM.pdf

HTC Magic (a.k.a. My Touch) manual:
http://member.america.htc.com/download/web_materials/Manual/HTC_Magic/090507-HTC-Sapphire-UM.pdf

HTC Tattoo manual:
http://member.america.htc.com/download/web_materials/Manual/HTC_Tattoo/091009_HTC_Tattoo_English_UM.pdf

HTC ERIS manual:
http://member.america.htc.com/download/Web_materials/Manual/DROID_ERIS_Verizon/DROID_ERIS_Verizon_English_UM_11_5.pdf or:

  1. With the phone turned off, PRESS and HOLD Volume down and Send buttons CALL buttons (the manual says SEND and with that they obviously mean Call)
  2. Press the END/POWER button. You will see a screen with three Androids at the bottom of your screen
  3. Follow on screen instructions

Samsung Galaxy (note old Galaxy i7500, Galaxy S further down):
1. Turn off your Galaxy.
2. Hold volume_down+call+power button.
3. After boot, press menu button to start recovering.

Motorola Droid (a.k.a. Milestone): 1. Turn the Droid off. If it won’t turn off, take the battery out then place it back in.
2. Open the keyboard and press the X key while pressing and holding Power. The device will power on. Keep holding the buttons down until a yellow triangle appers.

3. Press the Camera and Volume Up buttons at the same time to get to the menu.
4. Use the direction pad to the right of the keyboard to select the Format option.

Nexus One:
1. Turn the phone off. If it’s frozen in the on state, pull the battery.
2. Press and hold both the Home and Back buttons simultaneously.
3. While continuing to hold the buttons, press the Power button.
4. Release Home and Back.
5. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the hard reset.

T-Mobile Pulse
If you want to do a Hard Reset but can't do it through the menu, please use the update from T-Mobile UK website: T-Mobile - Help & Support

But use the file from the "Android updates" section and the following piece:
November 2009: T-Mobile Pulse software

This software update should be used ONLY when your T-Mobile Pulse has been security locked and you do not have a valid password.

  1. If you right-click on your mouse here and select the "Save target as.." option - it should take about 2 minutes to download depending on your internet connection speed.
    PLEASE NOTE: Installing this update will remove all existing data on your T-Mobile Pulse.
  2. Then in your pc format the SD card. then copy the folder dload to your new formatted SD card. So the folder with the two files will be on there.
  3. Insert your SD card in the phone
  4. Then when your phone is off, do the following:
    Vol + key & "hang up button" - keep them both together pushed and then turn on the phone. Then the update will start automatically. Once the update is finished it might hang to long in the "phone will restart automatically". If so, take out the battery again and turn the phone on normally. then it all will go as normal.
  5. Once the update is done, you will have to configure your phone again, which also means you can choose the language again.

T-Mobile Pulse instructions from "inge75" in the Android forums.

Sony Ericsson X10 -mini, pro etcetera

  1. Go to: www.sonyericsson.com
  2. Click the support tab and then Download Software
  3. Download the Update Service application
  4. Run the application as administrator, choose your model and follow the instructions.

Sprint (Samsung) Epic 4G and Samsung Galaxy S

  1. With your phone turned off. Pull the battery out and reinsert it if needed.
  2. Press and Hold "Volume Down" button
  3. Press and Release the "Power" button (while still holding "Volume Down"
  4. Your phone should now boot to a menu where you can choose Fastboot, Recovery, Clear Storage, or Simlock
  5. Select Clear Storage by pressing the "Volume Down" button
  6. Press the "Power" button
  7. Confirm your decision with "Volume up" (Cancel with "Volume down")

Motorola (Nextel) i1 - Now confirmed, working!

  1. Make sure your device is turned off, pull the battery if needed
  2. Push and hold: "Volume Up" + "Volume Down" + "Call" + "Center button", press "Power"

Micromax A25, A54, A57, A60  and A89 (confirmed)

  1.  Press and hold volume up + home button and power on/off shows the android logo
  2.  press home button one time
  3. Entering android system recovery mode… use volume key to select wipe data/factory reset

LG Nexus 4

  1. Make sure your device is turned off, pull the battery if needed
  2. Push and hold: "Volume Down" + "Power"
  3. Push "Volume Down" twice and then select with "Power" taking you to the Recovery menu.
  4. Follow the instructions in the recovery menu and make your way to Wipe data/Factory reset

Carbon Android A2

  1. Turn off your phone
  2. Push and hold [Volume up]+[Volume down]+[Power]
  3. Follow the instructions to get into Recovery mode and then choose Factory reset.

This is information I gathered from both here and there, manuals and end users. The usual suspects: Swedroid, Android forums, xda-developers and knowyourcell

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Comments (1293) Trackbacks (27)
  1. I have the Sprint Motorola i1. I used the factory retest advice because nothing else seem to work, even trying the “null” password with my username. The factory retest worked, it did not delete my contacts, pictures, or the apps i had downloaded. Thank you very much for this site.

  2. Someone knows how to unblock att’s LG Thrill 4G ….PLEASE HELP!! I forgot both username and password of my gmail account!!WHAT CAN I DOOO!!!

  3. I am using for LG ANDROID MOBILE.I SET PATTERN LOCK. MY FRIEND THE LOCK OPEN 10 TIMES TRYING. but it was USER NAME & PASSWORD BUT INTERNET IS NOT OPEN.PLEASE THIS UNLOCK SOLUTION

  4. I HAVE A LG OPTIMAS HOW DO I UNLOCK THAT !?

  5. It’s crazy how we get when this happens ( LOL) .. Thanks a million the *NULL* worked and not putting @.com. Real Great Job THANKS AGAIN…..

  6. Hi! How do i UNLOCK my h9000 Android phone, It’s been to many pattern attempts!I have my google accnt but i haven’t save it on my phone..
    What should i do????PLS ..HELP!!! Thanks

  7. it didnt work for me nothin did i have a stright talk android

  8. My phone locked up & I forgot my ‘google account’ username & password. What do i have to do?

  9. i Dont Know How To Unlock My Android LG Optimus And I Forgot My Google Account Username And Password

  10. I had the exact same problem on my sg5. Its because you probably have more than one accounts saved onto your phone. What I did was plug my phone into my computer, then when the Kies or USM message popped up I clicked on USM then keep tapping the home button really fast, which makes it glitch out and go to your home screen. Then I went into setting > Accounts & sync then deleted all accounts but your email account. its a small sacrifice but its better than factory resting

  11. Dude You saved my life I seriously want to THANKYOUU !!!!!!!

  12. I have a Micromax A55 bling, i have seen a lot of phone how to and how they unlock their phone in the help forum, but i have never seen how to solve Micromax A55 bling and i have forgot my Email Id and password….i have try so many tips and tricks as i saw in the help forum but that does not work…now im depend on YOU..Im waiting for answer..

  13. oh my god i gav my fone for formatting……………wat d dickes i did…………..but thnx dude…………

  14. I have a similar problem with Orange San Francisco ZTE P72B Handset. How do I unlock that?

  15. Thank you for the info on this site!!! I have been searching for hours and didn’t know you could leave the @gmail off to unlock hubbys phone!

  16. you are thee best.. my freaken phone company’s customer service rep said the only option left was to do a hard reset… go figure!! For a minute I thought I had just lost all my contacts and texts.. boostmobile sucks

    • MY PASSWORD ISNT BEING ACCEPTED + I’M DESPERATE NOT TO LOSE MY CONTACTS ETC(WHICH I HADNT BACKED UP)- ALMOST GIVEN UP HOPE-BUT LOOKS LIKE YOU MANAGED IT? BUT I DONT UNDERSTAND HOW TO DO IT-WOULD PAY ANYONE THAT COULD HELP ME GET MY CONTACTS +PASSWORD KEEPER INFO! (OR YOU CAN HAVE MY BLACKBERRY)

  17. OH MY GOD! will somebody help me unlock my fuc*king phone?

  18. ah this is so frustrating and hard :/ I have an android huawei and I cant unlock it please help me ASAP, thank you!

  19. i need help to unlock my android because i don’t know how to unlock it so can you please help me

  20. HELL’SS YYEEAA LOL THANKS THE (NULL PASWRD WORK’T)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. omg my friend locked my phone when i left it at her house and i dont have a gmail acc. tried making one online but that didnt work. my phone is a samsung galaxy mini and i need help asap cuz i dont want to tell my parents i lost my phone :/ any1 help me?

  22. i have a phone from orange recently locked it i have tried everything and it still won’t let me in helpp!!!!

  23. HOW DO I RESET THE V9 ZTE TAPLET WHEN I DONE TO MENY ATTEMPS AT THE PATTER AND I DONT NO MY EMAIL

  24. HOW TO RESET MICROMAX A55

  25. i have a huwaei android phone and i forgot my pattern unlock and it will not unlock what do i do plzz help me its veery expensive

  26. hi i bought a htc g1 online used and i cant set it up to make a call or anything the only option it gives me is to sign in to google account but it wont accept my login it replys cannot communicate with google servers sim card may not be provisioned for service and menu only gives me APN settings but i have unlimited data i tryed everything on here i did the reset but it still will not let me log in to set up my phone please help me

  27. How long does the download take when you press the volume down, call and power button?

  28. hay guys plz help me my cell phone is locked 4 1 after months and my mobile name is rokea r212 desire and locked are pattern lock and i forgot my password plz help me plz somebody help me!!!!!!!!

  29. It worked for me after using the #5 suggestion many times. It didn’t stay unlocked, but it was long enough for me to get the info out that was needed and to export the contacts to the memory card. Then I was okay to have it reset Thanks !

  30. 4ndr01db4dd455@gmail.com
    So gingerbreak, it, then use adb shell, check xda for that info.
    then run this, then reboot phone, and it’ll work again.
    Do not factory reset etc, before this.
    REBOOT PHONE AFTER LAST COMMAND

    — this command on one line is sqlite3 and which database.
    /data/data/com.webkey/files/sqlite3
    /data/data/com.android.providers.settings/databases/settings.db

    — separate lines
    update system set value=0 where name=’lock_pattern_autolock';
    update secure set value=0 where name=’lock_pattern_autolock';

    update system set value=0 where name=’lockscreen.lockedoutpermanently';
    update secure set value=0 where name=’lockscreen.lockedoutpermanently';

    update system set value=0 where name=’lockscreen.lockoutattemptdeadline';
    update secure set value=0 where name=’lockscreen.lockoutattemptdeadline';

  31. cant unlock phone too many patten attemts pls help

  32. my samsung capitable is lock is after too many attempts and wanting my google account but it keeps invaild email/ password and i even tried to re set my password and wont do nothing

  33. my samsung phone locked and is asking for google account info but keeps invaild email/ password…help

  34. If “Factory reset” turns out to be the only solution then the PC can be used the recover the data as mentioned below. u can recover the contacts if u have installed the kies software that comes along with the phone and also the memory card contents can be backed up using the same pc software kies.

  35. TOO many pattern attempts cant get my phone unlocked please help??

    • GOOD EVENING.. I HAVE A QUESTION about my samsung GT.. my mother buy me a samsung cellphone last march.my problem is i forgot my pattern>?what is the best answer in my problem..i hope u help me..because is the only way to communicate may mother in taiwan..that’s all thankyou.

  36. I am using for ZTE RELANCE TAB MOBILE.I SET PATTERN LOCK. MY FRIEND THE LOCK OPEN 10 TIMES TRYING. but it was USER NAME & PASSWORD BUT INTERNET IS NOT OPEN.PLEASE THIS UNLOCK SOLUTION

    Reply ↓

  37. Sir,
    I have ZTE V9 tablet, i was unable to unlock the pattern screen by above mentioned method. I did not set my google account before on tablet. please help me how can i unlock the Pattern screen, I will be very thankful to you, please resolve my proble

  38. hey will u help with my phone my phone gat lock and i dont now google acount username and my password my phone is a android metropcs LG

  39. hey i have samsung galaxy ace GT-S5830, i was unable to unlock the pattern screen by above mentioned method. I did not set my google account before on tablet. please help me how can i unlock the Pattern screen

  40. hai sir my phone is locked .
    i have don’t know the Google account so how can i unlock my phone
    plz help me sir…..my phone is galaxy fit s 5670

  41. I have a Sprint Samsung Nexus 2 4g. If you have trouble getting the right Google ID and password, do this:
    1) Go online, and enter this in your browser: https://accounts.google.com/RecoverAccount

    2) Fill it out with your email address, and it will send you all of the email addresses associated with the account. Try others. Mine was the gmail account that Sprint had used when I bought my phone, but which I never use.

  42. PLEASEE HELP!! I HAVE A MOTOROLA i1 and the pattern keys is locked and now is asking me for a google email account what can i do???????????? to unlocked/??

  43. how can i unlock my phone

  44. if you have a smartphone with slide keyboard just push the home key tons of times fast then slide open your keyboard and problem fixed just remember to change your unlock password or puzzle, this only took me 3 hours to figure out.

  45. Please let me know, How to unlock the SAMSUNG GT-S5670 MOBILE when its too many patterns attempts

  46. i have forgoton my gmail and typed my password in to many time

  47. ive got a monte carlo phone and i forgot my pattern. i cant remember my google account email address or password either. what do i do?

  48. Thanks ,, finally my samsung ace back to normal , i just reset it in factory setting but not all files been deleted,just back up it in your sd card …wuhhh


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