How to unlock your phone if you don't remember the password

Who I am
Judit Llordes
@juditllordes
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Preliminary information

Before even getting to the heart of this guide and providing you with the information necessary to address the issue, I believe it is my duty to make you a very important premise: although unlocking a phone locked by a password is not an impossible task, it almost always requires the ripristino full operating system.

Keep in mind that the reset procedure always involves the complete deletion of data and settings saved in the device memory, be it a terminal Android, or a iPhone. Consequently, unless you have taken steps to create a backup of the data, using the method most suitable for the type of smartphone in your possession, you may have to give up, forever, the information saved in it.



Also, in case the data is saved on a microSD, be sure to remove it from your smartphone, before even starting one of the reset procedures illustrated in the following chapters of this guide.

To conclude, I believe it is right to specify that the unlocking procedures allow you to delete not only the phone password or its unlock code, but also the graphic pattern (ie the sequence to be “drawn” by joining the dots on the screen) and the authentication information via fingerprint recognition (Touch ID on iPhone)facial recognition (Face ID on iPhone).

Note: if it is not the real "lock code" that locks your phone, but the PIN or PUK codes of the SIM card inside it, know that you can unlock it quickly, simply by removing or replacing the SIM. If, on the other hand, it is your intention to trace the card unlock information, you can consult my guides on how to recover the SIM PIN and how to recover the PUK code.


How to unlock your phone if you don't remember the password


You have well understood everything I talked about in the previous chapter of this guide and, now, you can't wait to understand how to unlock your phone if you don't remember the password, so you can start using it again as soon as possible?

Then do not wait any longer and read carefully the following sections of this tutorial, in which I will show you how to complete the procedure both on smartphones equipped with Android than on iPhone.

Android

If the phone for which you have forgotten the password has an operating system Android, you can remedy the problem in two different ways: by using Find my device, that is the "anti-theft" system made available by Google, designed for the recovery and / or restoration of lost or stolen devices, or using a Recovery, that is a software independent from Android, able to perform a series of advanced operations on the system.

Either way, though, you'll need to remember the Google account password configured in the device, if present: if you have forgotten it, you can easily restore it by following the instructions I gave you in this other tutorial.

Find my device

To unlock the phone using Find my device, you will only need two tools: a browser and an Internet connection to implement the procedure. For this to be successful, however, the Android device to be recovered must be turned on, connected to the Internet and enabled for management via the Google anti-theft system.


Generally, the activation of “Find my device”, unless otherwise indicated, occurs automatically during the first Android configuration phase. Alternatively, as I explained to you in my guide on how to find my Android phone, you can activate everything by going to the menu Settings> Google> Security> Find my device of Android and moving on ON the lever at the top of the proposed screen.


To grant action permissions (therefore the possibility of resetting or blocking the terminal), you must then go to the menu Settings> Security> Device administrators of Android and put the check mark next to the item Find my device.

In any case, if the necessary security measures are enabled, it is possible to reset the phone (thus also resetting the lock password) by following these steps: first of all, connect to the Internet page of Find my device and perform the log in using the Google account configured on the device to be restored.

Next, select the phone to act on, using the icons shown on the top bar, then press the button > corresponding to the item Reset device and, bearing in mind that the operation it will delete all data on the phone, confirms the will to proceed by pressing the button Reset device and re-entering the account password if prompted.

Once the reset procedure is completed (which will start as soon as the phone connects to the Internet), the previous lock password will be deleted, the phone will be reset to the factory state and it will be ready to face the initial configuration phase, during which you may be asked to enter the password of the Google account configured previously.


Recovery

If the previous steps have not had any effect because, for example, no Google account is configured on the device, or the "Find my device" function has not been activated previously, you can try to restore the device using a Recovery.

As I mentioned earlier, it is a program external to Android that allows you to perform, always using the smartphone, very delicate interventions on the system, including the complete deletion of files and folders, resetting the permissions and restoring the settings. factory.


Some manufacturers install Recovery for diagnostic purposes, by default: Samsung terminals, for example, provide this possibility. So, if you have a smartphone produced by the Korean giant, turn it off completely and, to enter Recovery mode, turn it on by pressing and holding the keys at the same time Volume Up, HomePower.

Once inside the main screen of the Recovery, if you use the software TWRP, you can try to remove the Android password without proceeding with the recovery of the operating system: go to the section Advanced> File Manager, access the path Data> System and delete all files whose name starts with gatekeeperlocksettings (With art. gatekeeper.password.keygatekeeper.pattern.keylocksettings.dblocksettings.db-shmlocksettings.db-wal).

To proceed with the deletion of the files, select each of them, press the item Delete and confirm the willingness to proceed by swiping from left to right on the bar below. These steps, which, as already mentioned, do not involve deleting the data on the phone, are not feasible on all smartphones. I covered that in more detail in my guide on how to unlock Wiko smartphones.

If the procedure does not have the desired effect or if, again, the Recovery you are using is different from TWRP, you can still proceed with the hard reset of the device (and consequent cancellation of the lock password in use): to do so , helping you with the volume keys phone, select the entry wipe data / factory reset, press the button Power, to select it and, bearing in mind that the operation will erase all data on the smartphone, select the voice Yes - delete all user data and press the button again Power, to start resetting your phone.

Also in this case, the phone will restart several times and, once the procedure is completed, it will allow you to carry out the initial Android configuration again, during which it may be necessary to enter the password of the previously configured Google account, if present.

For more information regarding the specific reset procedure for Samsung terminals, you can take a look at my guide on how to reset a locked Samsung phone.

If, unfortunately, your device does not have a pre-installed Recovery, you will have to add it manually: first of all, you will need to carry out the operation of unlocking the bootloader, and then proceed with the root of the device and, finally, install the Recovery using a special computer program. All this, as easily understood, will lead to deletion of data present on the device.

Once these steps are completed, you can proceed with resetting your phone using the steps I showed you earlier. If you have never done this before, you might find this section useful Android hard reset of my guide on how to reset Android, or do a Google search using the phrase come installare recovery [brand and model smartphone].

iOS

Let me guess: you tried to unlock yours iPhone entering an incorrect unlock code several times and, after making a mistake several times, you have found yourself face to face with the disturbing message This iPhone is disabled, Right?

Don't be afraid then, the device is not completely lost: you can recover it by performing a total restoration of the same, an operation that also involves deleting the authentication system associated with the phone (be it the unlock code, Touch ID or Face ID).

You can easily restore a disabled iPhone by making use of iTunes, the official Apple program dedicated to the management of iPhone, iPad and iPod through the computer. If you have a computer equipped with an operating system Windows, you can download and install iTunes using the steps I explained in this guide; if, on the other hand, you have a Mac, you do not need to perform additional operations, as iTunes is present "standard" on macOS (starting from macOS 10.15 Catalina is no longer present, but its functions have been incorporated into the Finder).

Keep in mind that, following the iPhone restore procedure, unless you have done a backup previously, you will lose all the data in the smartphone memory, as they will be eliminated during the reset phase.

Furthermore, when the phone is started for the first time, you will need to enter the password dell'ID Apple configured in the "iPhone by" to be able to unlock the initial configuration. If you don't remember it, you can easily recover it by following the instructions I gave you in my guide on how to recover your Apple ID password.

All clear? OK, so let's get started right away. To perform a complete reset of the device, it is necessary to bypass Apple's "anti-theft" solution, Find my iPhone, which you cannot disable manually, as the device is locked.

For this reason, you will need to restore after logging in to the DFU mode (or _device firmware upgrade_), an iOS “state” that allows you to intervene in a profound way on the operating system, overcoming both the bootloader and other restrictions.

So, after connecting the iPhone to the computer using the Lightning cable supplied and have opened iTunes, you can enter DFU mode by following the instructions provided below, which vary according to the device in your possession.

  • iPhone 6 / 6Plus (and earlier) - turn off the phone completely, press and hold the keys PowerHome simultaneously, for 10 seconds, then release the button Power and continue to hold the key down Home until iTunes detects an iPhone in recovery mode. The phone screen remains off.
  • iPhone 7 / 7 Plus - perform the same steps seen above for iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, replacing the Home button with the button Volume -.
  • iPhone 8/8 Plus, iPhone X and later - with the phone switched on, press the keys quickly Volume +Volume -Power. Press and hold the latter until the screen goes black and, when this happens, release all the keys. Immediately after that, press the keys PowerVolume - together, for 5 seconds, release the button Power and continue to hold the key Volume - for another 5 seconds (or until iTunes shows the message about the presence of a device in recovery mode).

Exactly as I explained to you in my guide on how to put the iPhone in DFU, the login procedure is to be considered successful only if the phone screen remains black. If it turns on, it means that the iPhone is in recovery mode and not in DFU, so you have to do it all over again.

Anyway, once you have successfully entered DFU mode, click on the button OK that appears on the iTunes screen and, to start restoring the device, click on the buttons Restore iPhoneReset / Restore and Update.

At the end of the reset procedure, the phone will restart automatically: for security reasons, you will be asked to enter the password dell'ID Apple previously configured, in order to turn off the “Find my iPhone” anti-theft function.

Once this is done, you will be asked to choose whether to reconfigure the phone as a new iPhone or if restore a previous backup: I gave you additional guidance on this topic in my tutorial on how to reset iPhone.

How to unlock your phone if you don't remember the password

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