How to Fix Can't Unlock Android Phone or Tablet

Introduction

It can be very frustrating when you're unable to unlock your Android smartphone.

This guide will take you through the steps to regaining control of your phone.

Android

? How are you trying to unlock your phone?

  1. Using my fingerprint reader
  2. Using face unlock
  3. Using my PIN

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It can be very frustrating when you're unable to unlock your Android smartphone.

This guide will take you through the steps to regaining control of your phone.

Android

Biometric Unlock, using the camera on the front of your phone with your face, or your fingerprint on a small sensor for example, are very convenient methods to access your phone.

Unfortunately, they both suffer a simple flaw: any 'noise' in the information they get can cause problems. This could be anything from a dirty lens, low light, or the sensor becoming less sensitive over time.

Android always offers a 'fallback' of entering your PIN to unlock your phone, just in case one of the biometric options fails.

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the lock screen to reach your PIN prompt.
    Android Lock screen with arrow indicating to swipe up.
  2. Enter your PIN, then select the check mark in the corner.
    Android PIN entry.
  1. Turn off your phone. Push and hold the power button, then select Power off from the menu.
    Power off dialog with Power off highlighted.
  2. Wait 30 seconds.
  3. Turn your phone back on by pressing and holding the Power button for a few seconds, until the screen lights up.

For security reasons, there is no user accessible way to regain access to your Android phone when the PIN has been forgotten. Your phone does not know it's you vs. someone else who just randomly picked up your phone without your PIN.

Some carriers and phone repair shops can use other means to know you're 'you', such as billing records, and can provide a way to at least get the data off your phone before resetting it to factory settings, then restoring that data.

If you have not backed up your phone, or enabled Google's automated backup systems, your carrier or an authorized repair center would be your best option to retrieve your data.

If you have backed up your data recently, and still have access to your Google account on your computer for example, verify your data is backed up. Afterwards, you can factory reset your phone and start over.

Google Websites to Check

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