How to Reset Android Lock Screen Password and PIN

Find my Android Device website on macOS desktop

For owners of smartphones or tablets with fingerprint scanners, the ability to access your phone with a simple touch or swipe of your finger is a wonderful convenience. Then again, they also make it easier to forget your password and PIN number since you don't have to manually input them regularly like you used to.

It’s an oversight that could be quite problematic should your phone or tablet suddenly require your PIN number on its lock screen for some reason. If you own an Android device, though, don’t despair. As long as it’s linked to a Google account of yours — which it very well likely is given how it’s pretty much a necessary part of the Android experience — you can reset your PIN or password remotely via the web browser or app version of Android Device Manager.

Here are the steps you need to take to reset your PIN or password remotely so you can access your Android phone or tablet again. For folks who may have misplaced their Android phone or had it stolen, make sure to check out our tutorial on How to Track Down Your Lost Android Phone. Now onward to the requisite steps to remotely reset your Android smartphone or tablet.

The directions below should apply no matter who made your Android device: Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc.

Reset Your Android Device

  1. First, you’ll want to make sure your that your locked phone or tablet is on. Android Device Manager needs either a mobile or Wi-Fi signal emanating from your locked device in order to communicate with it. Now, if you locked yourself out while it’s in Airplane Mode, you'll have to find another way to reset the device.​

  2. Launch Android Device Manager via an app on another device or by typing “android device manager” in the search box of your web browser and going to its site. The actual web address is https://www.google.com/android/devicemanager. Make sure you log into with the Google account associated with your locked device.

    Google Find My Device website with Android device highlighted
  3. Once you’re on Android Device Manager, you’ll bring up the same screen regardless of whether you’re on a browser or app. This screen includes a map as well as a box that shows the devices associated with your Google account. If you have more than one device associated, just look for the specific one that got locked. If it’s not the first device shown, just tap the device name on the screen to bring up a menu of all devices connected to your account. Tap the correct one.

  4. With the correct device highlighted, you now have a few options. You’ll see “Play Sound,” and "Secure Device," and "Erase Device."

    You may need to click "Setup Secure & Erase" first, which will send a notification to your Android phone or tablet.

    Play Sound, Secure Device, or Erase Device options for Google Find My Device
    • Play Sound is used for locating your phone if you misplaced it somewhere in your house.
    • Erase is for devices that you lost outside your house and you want to do a factory reset to make sure whoever finds it can’t access your personal stuff. Click here to remove all your data from your lost device.
    • Secure Device will launch a screen that allows you to change the lock screen PIN on your device. Enter your new PIN and wait until you get a prompt that says Android Manager has sent the info about the change to your phone.
  5. Bring up the lock screen of your locked device once again and you will now have an option to enter your new pin (sometimes, it might take a minute or so for it to pop out). Enter the pin and voila, your device should now be unlocked.

There will be times when things won’t go smoothly. Sometimes, you might get a message that says “Location unavailable” and you’ll need to do the scan again a few times. The process also may not work if you have location services turned off for your device or made it hidden via Google Play. To ensure full compatibility with Android Device Manager in the future in case of emergency, the easiest way is to download the “Google Settings” app, tap on “Security,” and turn on the check marks for remotely locating the device and allowing remote lock and erase.