6 Ways to Unlock an Android Phone Without a Password

Face recognition is the most obvious choice, but a factory reset or the Forgot My Password feature could help, too

Here's how to bypass a forgotten password on your Android phone. These methods apply to all Android phones and tablets regardless of your device's manufacturer (Google, Samsung, etc.).

These methods are not intended for any type of hacking or other illegal activity. Some methods could result in data loss, so always make sure your phone has a backup.

Unlock Your Phone With Your Face

What We Like
  • Your phone can only be unlocked by you.

  • Easiest method for newer Androids.

What We Don't Like
  • The feature must be already set up.

  • Face recognition can be tricked by a picture of you.

If you set up Android face recognition, you can unlock your device with your phone's camera. Of course, this trick only works if you already have the feature enabled. All phones running Android 10 and later support the Face Unlock feature. Older Androids use features called Smart Lock and Trusted Face.

Many phones also offer fingerprint scanners. If the phone belongs to someone else, you must ask them to unlock it.

Factory Reset Your Android Phone

What We Like
  • Restoring from a back up is easy.

  • Apps can be redownloaded for free.

What We Don't Like
  • You'll lose all data saved on your device.

  • Some app data can't be recovered without a backup.

When you factory reset your Android phone, you erase all of your personal data, including your password. The device will be returned to its out-of-the-box state, so it's important that you've backed up your photos, music, and other media before you go this route.

Fortunately, many apps (including Google Photos) automatically back up data to the cloud. After you log in to your Google account, you can redownload all of your old apps at no charge.

The steps for resetting your phone differ depending on your model, so you might need to perform a Google Search to find instructions for your specific device.

Use Google Find My Device

What We Like
  • You don't need to be near your device.

  • Keeps your personal data safe if you lose your device.

What We Don't Like
  • The feature must be already turned on.

  • Other people can find your device if they access your Google account.

If you lose your Android, you can use Google Find My Device to locate and remotely reset it. You can also remotely turn on the sound and add a message with your phone number to the lock screen in case someone finds your device. You'll use your Google account credentials, so you don't need your device password.

This feature must be turned on in advance, and you'll need access to a computer or another mobile device. Most Android phones support Find My Device, but some manufacturers have their own phone location services.

It's a good idea to set up two-step verification on your Google account before you turn on the Find My Device feature.

Use Samsung Find My Mobile

What We Like
  • You won't lose any personal data.

  • Especially helpful if you misplace your device.

What We Don't Like
  • Only works on Samsung devices.

  • Others can remotely access your device.

If you have a Samsung, use Samsung Find My Mobile to track down your device and unlock it without the password. The biggest benefit of Find My Mobile over Google's Find My Phone is that the Samsung tool doesn't require you to reset your device. So, if you have your phone and another device handy, you can bypass the password without losing any of your data.

Use Forgot My Password

What We Like
  • Easiest method for older devices.

  • No factory reset required.

What We Don't Like
  • Only works on older Androids.

  • Anyone can bypass the password with your Google credentials.

If you have an older device that runs Android 4.4 or older, try entering the wrong password five times. If your phone supports the feature, tap Forgot Password? to reset the password with your Google account information. Google discontinued this feature due to security concerns, so it won't work on newer devices.

Use Android Emergency Call

What We Like
  • Can be a literal life saver.

  • Quickest method for emergencies.

What We Don't Like
  • Only works for emergency services.

  • Only appropriate in true emergency situations.

If you have an emergency and need quick access to your phone, then you can bypass the lock screen with Emergency Call. This feature only works for local emergency services, so you can't call any other number or access anything on your phone. In most places, it's illegal to call 911 if you don't have an emergency. Losing your phone isn't an emergency, so use Find My Phone or Find My Mobile if you can't find your device.

  • How do I change my Android phone's password?

    Settings > Lock screen > Screen lock type > Password, then enter a new password. Our article on How to Stop Someone From Accessing Your Phone Remotely goes into more detail about keeping your phone secure.

  • What do I do if my phone was hacked?

    If you suspect your phone has been hacked, you should immediately turn on Android Safe Mode. This stops third-party apps from running and so any software that didn't come with the phone won't work. Now you can check and delete any unfamiliar software. Our article on My Phone Was Hacked. How Do I Fix It? goes into more detail.

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