How To Factory Reset a Locked Android Phone
There’s hardly anything more frustrating for Android users than forgetting your phone’s password or lock pattern. As you can’t simply unlock your phone, you must perform a factory reset to regain access to your device.
In this article, we share different methods you can try to factory reset your Android phone. Note that with the two main options, all files you didn’t back up on a cloud or another device will be lost.
Factory Reset a Locked Android Phone – The Two Free Methods
If you forget your password and are unable to unlock your phone, you have two free options to retrieve access to your device:
- Google Find My Device – where you can erase your Android remotely.
- Recovery Mode by Android – the alternative option in case you didn’t activate this Google feature.
For both methods, you need to know your Google account information, like the e-mail and password you used to set up your phone.
In case you lack this data, your Android will be locked permanently. Android put this measure in place to keep thieves from using your phone after the factory reset.
Factory Reset Locked Android Phone With Find My Device
As previously mentioned, the easiest and fastest option to recover your phone is to use the “Find My Device” feature by Google. This feature is usually turned on by default. If you turned it off at some point, you wouldn’t be able to do a factory reset this way.
- Navigate to “android.com/find.”
- Log in to the Google account you used as the main account on your mobile device.
- Pick the device you wish to erase from the list of devices (if you use more than one).
- Choose “Erase device,” then press “Erase device” again to complete the action.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to recover your phone.
The system will ask you to verify your Google information from your original phone before you can proceed to set your phone up.
Factory Reset Locked Android Phone With Recovery Mode
Different phone manufacturers have different steps for entering Recovery Mode. In this article, we share instructions for HTC, Google Pixel and Nexus 6P, LG, Motorola, and Samsung.
Google Pixel and Nexus 6P
- Turn off your Android device by holding down the Power button.
- Hold the Power button along with the Volume down button. Do so until you see your phone booting into its “Fastboot” Mode. System information will appear together with a menu on the right-hand side of the screen.
- Move through the menu by pressing the Volume buttons.
- Find the “Recovery Mode” and hit the Power Button to enter it.
- A Google logo will appear on a white screen, followed by an Android mascot saying “No command.”
- Hold the Power button and then the Volume up.
- You’ll see a new menu with different system commands. Navigate to “Factory reset” or “Wipe Data” using your Volume buttons.
- Press the Power button to perform the factory reset.
- Turn off your device by holding down the Power button.
- Press and hold the Power and Volume Up buttons at the same time.
- Let go of the two button after three seconds to enter the Recovery Mode.
- Touch the phone’s screen or manipulate the Volume buttons to select Factory Reset/Wipe Data.
- A message asking you to confirm wiping off your user data will pop up. Confirm by using the Volume buttons or by touching the screen.
- Power off your LG phone by holding down the Power button.
- Hold the Volume down and Power buttons for 10 seconds.
- Release when you see System recovery on display. Once you see the LG logo, if you’re an LG V30 user, you should release and re-hold the Power button while holding the Volume down button.
- Navigate to “Factory Data Reset” with the volume buttons.
- Hit the Lock or Power buttons to select your option.
- Confirm your choice by pressing any Volume button.
- Confirm again by hitting the Lock or Power buttons.
- Turn off your Motorola phone by holding down the Power button.
- Hold the Power and Volume Down buttons and wait for the options menu to show.
- Head to “Recovery Mode” with the volume buttons.
- Press the Power button to enter Recovery mode.
- An Android robot will appear on the screen with an exclamation mark in red. When you see this, hold down the Power button and hit the Volume Up button.
- Navigate through the menu using the volume buttons and select “Factory reset” or “Wipe data” using the Power button.
- Select “Yes” and hit the Power button to confirm.
- Turn off your Samsung device by holding down the Power button.
- Hold these two buttons at the same time: Volume up, Power.
- Release two buttons when the device starts vibrating.
- You’ll see a screen menu.
- Manipulate the Volume down button for the “Wipe data/factory reset” option to highlight. Select pressing the Power button, then press this button again to confirm.
Note that some Samsung phones don’t have a Home button:
If you own any of these phones, follow the steps below:
- Turn off your Samsung device by holding the Power button.
- Hold the Volume up, and Power buttons at the same time.
- Release when your device starts vibrating.
- You’ll see a screen menu in around 30 seconds. Highlight the “Wipe data/Factory reset” option using the Volume down button. Select the option using the Power button.
- Hit the Power button once again to confirm by pressing “Yes – delete all user data.”
Some reports state that Android 11 devices and newer need to be connected to a USB cable on a computer in order to enter Recovery Mode. Although not always the case, your phone may require this before starting the recovery process.
If your phone won’t enter the Recovery Mode after following the steps outlined above, try connecting it to your computer as suggested.
Alternative Method: Use an Unlocking Tool
If you find the abovementioned methods too complicated, there may be another option you can try. You can reset the factory settings and keep your files at the same time. However, this is a premium option that will cost you money.
The DroidKit software is a premium software that lets you bypass your screen lock. All it takes is to connect your Android device to a computer, install the DroidKit software, and remove the lock.
If you haven’t performed a cloud backup and are okay with paying some money to keep your valuable data, this premium software is definitely worth trying.
Here are the steps you should follow to unlock your phone in this way:
- Open DroidKit on your computer and enter the “Screen Uncloker” mode.
- Connect the Android device you wish to unlock and press the “Start” button.
- Hit the “Remove Now” button once it appears on the screen.
- Pick your Android model and follow the instructions to erase your lock screen.
The system will do a factory reset of your device at the same time.
The good news is that there is a free trial, so you may not have to spend too much to get the most out of the program.
Hard Android Phone Reset – Debunked
Being locked out of your phone can be hugely inconvenient. However, if you have your data backed up and have the “Find My Device” feature enabled, you should be able to regain access to your phone in a matter of minutes.
If you have to perform the factory reset using the Recovery Mode, follow the steps presented in this article, and you’ll be good to go. Alternatively, if you’d rather pay a “fee,” you can also use premium software to get around the issue.
Did you have your files backed up on cloud software before performing the factory reset? Which of the two options outlined above did you try? Share your experience in the comments section below.