The chances are rare that you will forget your screen lock (pattern or PIN) and are locked out of your device if you are a constant user of your Android device like me but it happens, we know; it could be when you changed your PIN or pattern recently or because your kid decided that the pattern lock looked like a nice enough game to play with. This guide is just for those times and will show you how to get past that screen lock and access your device.
1. Your device needs to be connected to the internet for this solution to work; this could be a WiFi access point you have already added to your access point list or plain old internet provided by your mobile carrier.
2. You will need access to the Google account you have your phone linked to. If you have forgotten your Google account password, then a hard reset is the only way to go, losing your data in the process.
II. Installing Screen Lock Bypass and Using it
1. Go to the web version of Google Play.
2. Login with the Google account associated with your Android device.
3. Install Screen Lock Bypass.
4. Reboot your device.
You should now be able to access your homescreen and everything else. Please note that while the Screen Lock Bypass does not remove your PIN or pattern, it will give you access to your device so you can back up the necessary data; ultimately, a hard reset is the only way to go if you want to change the security settings.
III. Backing up your Current Data
Now that you have access to your device, it’s better to back up the important data you’ll need after you hard reset your phone/tablet. Here are some ways to back up some common components:
- Contacts – This is already taken care of by Google if you have opted to sync your contacts with your Google account.
- Messages – A good option for this is SMS Backup+; this app backs up your texts to GMail under a different label and can restore them after a hard reset.
- Pictures and Video – These could be backed up to your PC by connecting your device in USB Storage Mode; this mode can usually be activated by selecting the type of connection from the notification area after you have connected your device.
- Apps – Google usually takes of your apps (both paid and free ones) but just in case, look up File Expert and its app backup option for the same.
IV. Hard Resetting your Device
A hard reset is usually done in two ways:
1. Factory Reset by heading to Settings > Privacy > Factory Data Reset.
2. Hard Reset via Recovery Menu. This usually involves holding certain keys when your device is being powered up and then selecting Wipe Data/Factory Reset in the Recovery Menu. Look up the way to access Recovery Menu on your device or ask us and we’ll show you how!!
This is part of our Android How To’s. We have how to’s on rooting, loading ROMs, and tons of other tips and tricks for your specific device or for Android devices in general! For all of our Android How To’s, head here.