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:
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

Published by

Etysen

Consultant in the area of IT Project Management and project administration. Dedicated technical enthusiast playing with mobiles, computers etcetera. The rest of my time goes into music (mainly guitar or listening) and friends (including my family).

1,551 thoughts on “Unlock Android phone after too many pattern attempts”

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  2. my son has as you said played with my phone and locked it, i know i never set up a gmail account as when i went on line to google and put in my personal details it allowed me to set an account up and if there had been an existing acc in my name it would have stopped me, google have been no help and both samsung and orange have said factory reset which isnt an option as i cannot lose my photos, tried to just get the photos by conecting to lap top. surely if you didnt set up a google account with your phone they cant keep asking for one or they should have a master email and password, anyone help please

  3. how to unlock my samsung galaxy S6802 i already attempts to unlock and i i forgot my google account and password…help me please

  4. I’ve set screen lock on my samsung galaxy y, it work 3x but on 4th attempt it didn’t work i could not unlock it. I’ve tried to reset it by pressing volume up button + power button + menu button at the same time, but after reset still it needed to be unlock . what should i do?

  5. Do you have a spam issue on this website; I also am a
    blogger, and I was wanting to know your situation; we have developed some
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  6. My son locked my lg optimus one and now it says there are too many pattern attempts for the google username and pw and I CANNOT do anything with it… pleaseee helpp!

  7. just connect your phone with your computer and get shell of your phone and erase gesture.key file and reboot

  8. hi i got my phone from my friend and its samsung galaxy s GT-19000 i forgot my unlock pattern and its block and i dont have the gmail also can u help me please …

    1. Just like stated in the post, to factory reset your phone follow these instructions:

      Sprint (Samsung) Epic 4G and Samsung Galaxy S

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

    2. MY PHONE IS SUMSUNG MINI GALAXY GT-S5570, i forgot the parttern and my google account plz help me to unlock it pliz i cant use my phone

  9. i have a JXD s7600 tablet, can i ask how to do a hard reset for this one, because i’ve already tried all the button codes you posted, but it still it did’nt work.. please help me guys!

    thanks!!

    1. Sorry, I have no idea. Couldn’t find any solid suggestions when I searched. Have you tried the most common combinations, Volume up or down, power, combine with home button if you have one etcetera.

  10. I have a motorola android phone my son was playing with it trying to unlock my phone with the galaxy pattern that i have used to locked the phone he try so many times that my phone is saying too many pattern attempts and emergency calls only can you help me unlock my phone

  11. i m having lg l3 e405 n it is locked. i know my google id n password but then also its showing wrong username or password… plzzz help me in this …

  12. how to unlock my samsung galaxy S5302 i already attempts to unlock and i i forgot my google account and password…help me please

  13. I tried everything above to unlock a Samsung galaxy note and nothing worked, i even tried a custom OS by holding down the volume key and pressing the power button, all of this failed. My gmail account was saying it werent valid and i knew i hadnt set a backup pin. Basically i tried for ages to sort it out and…low and behold…entering 1234 in the back up pin unlocked the phone. I then put the password to swipe so this can never happen again smacked a childs arse and sent them to bed :O) hope this helps

    1. Did you do this with the pattern problem that comes up as well??
      So do you just type in 1234 and hit enter??
      And this is what unlocked your phone,
      if so please email me what you did do exactly so I can try this,
      Thankyou Kindly
      Any help would be great as I am locked out with the pattern thing, even tough we know it , it now says wait 30 seconds and try again but still nothing happens.
      Even tried the pin number but to no avail, something mst be wrong with some of these phones as even when you do the correct thing and noone else touches them they cause this sort of problem,Also when you have the people that sell them to you at the store not tell you about having or needing to have a g-mail account as back up is extremly bad management, as we didnt know that we needed this either.
      thanks for any help futher you can provide as I just wanted it clarified so that I dont do anything more worng to the phone,Warm Regards
      AJ

      1. Sorry what do you mean by in the back up pin, how do you get to this , sorry not to phone wise yet still learning not lng had the phone.

  14. Sir my friend has Q Moblie A2 and forget the user name and password of google account, the mobile is locked so need help to unlock the mobile.

    1. Did you do this with the pattern problem that comes up as well??
      So do you just type in 1234 and hit enter??
      And this is what unlocked your phone,
      if so please email me what you did do exactly so I can try this,
      Thankyou Kindly
      Any help would be great as I am locked out with the pattern thing, even tough we know it , it now says wait 30 seconds and try again but still nothing happens.
      Even tried the pin number but to no avail, something mst be wrong with some of these phones as even when you do the correct thing and noone else touches them they cause this sort of problem,Also when you have the people that sell them to you at the store not tell you about having or needing to have a g-mail account as back up is extremly bad management, as we didnt know that we needed this either.
      thanks for any help futher you can provide as I just wanted it clarified so that I dont do anything more worng to the phone,Warm Regards
      AJ

  15. how to unlock my samsung S5830 i already attempts to unlock and i i forgot my google account and password…help me please

    1. i’ve got the same phone.. the google account had perfectly opened on the pc but still not opening on the phone.. it stills loaked!!!! pleeeeeease help us with that

  16. hi my son playedwith my HTC phone and lossed draw pattern unlock
    i want to open my android how it will be open?
    my no is 00919975402194

  17. hi… i have tablet pc axioo, not have navigation key …. i forgot my unlock pattern and its block and i dont have the gmail also can u help me please
    so please…….. help me:)

  18. Mine is google nexus blocked,and it is asking google account username & password but since my network is not enabled I am unable to unlock by entering username & password.Android jelly bean.So,can you please suggest anyways to resolve the issue

  19. it is very easy to open after u forgot the pattron lock, but u will lose ur date if u ok for this then u can try,
    press ur power on with volume control key at a time+ centre key then phone will autoatically gets rebot
    thanks
    manju n

  20. I have micromax funbook talk and my tab is locked due to so many wrong attempts of pattern locks.. itz not taking my gmail id from which i registered my tab.. plz help me

  21. Hi I wanna pattern attempt too many times unlocked for my Google Sirius IM A600S ( Korean Sky Mobile ). Please help me on this.

  22. its not working…i want to unlock my phone and suddenly i dont have any gmail…so what should i do…ace2 gt-18160…

  23. we have a tmobile mytouch. it is not a slider and its 4g. manufacuture is LG. it is stuck on the too many unlock pattern attempts and wont open with anything stated. The google name and password doesnt work either. can you pleasde direct us on un locking this pattern screen?
    thanks

  24. My grandson tried to unlock his Lg 4g My touch to many times with a pattern. I have tried everything to get it to unlock with no luck. Can you please help me. I think I need to reset to factory setting but I don’t know how to do that. I’ve tried to call the phone but it goes straight to voicemail. Please help!

    thanks,
    Lainey

  25. My daighter locked my colors x factor shine, it says there are too many pattern attempts for the google username and pw and I CANNOT do anything with it… pleaseee helpp! my name is tulsi and 9841285410 nepal

  26. how do i unlocked my Lenovo S720…

    Please try to help me..i know you have a soft spot in your heart to help me on my phone..

    thanks and godbless!

  27. the kid played with my alcatel android onetouch mix 918 and it got lock, Please try to help me..i know you have a soft spot in your heart to help me on my phone..

    thanks and godbless!

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