The smart move for every Android smartphone owner is to configure lock screen security on your device so that others cannot access it. You can choose a pattern, password or PIN. Many devices now also have sports fingerprint scanners that you use most of the time, but they will also prompt you for backup PINs or passwords from time to time, for example. after a restart or when trying to change security settings.  If you've ever had one of those moments where you realize you've forgotten your password, pattern or PIN, you're really not alone. Being locked out of the device is terrible, but there is a way to regain access. If you forgot your Android password, PIN code or pattern, read on to find out what you can do.
Using Find My Device
If your phone runs Android 5.0 Lollipop or later version of Android, then your best bet is to use Google's Find My Device. You need to know the email address and password of your Google Account, and your device must be on and connected to the internet for this to work. For years, Google has allowed you to change your PIN via Find My Device, but unfortunately it no longer does. You can choose to Delete device, which allows you to set it as new with a new PIN, but it will dry everything from the phone, including photos, messages and other files. If you have not backed up then it should be a last resort. Here's how:
- Visit the Web site Search my device on your computer, laptop or other device and sign in with your Google Account.
- It will probably be standard for your current phone, but if you have multiple devices registered you can select the right device by clicking on its icon and name in the upper left corner of the page.
- Click the option Delete Device on the left.
- You will likely be prompted to re-enter your Google Account information.
- When the device has dried, you can set it with a new PIN (make sure you remember this time).
Using Samsung's Find My Mobile
If you have a Samsung phone, created a Samsung account and enabled Find my mobile during the installation process, you can also use this feature to unlock your phone remotely. You must know the email address and password associated with your Samsung account, and your device must be on and connected to the Internet. Here's how:
- Visit the website Find my mobile on your computer, laptop or other device and sign in with your Samsung account.
- Your current device and phone number should be displayed at the top left of the page. Read the options to the right of the page and click Unlock my device .
- You can then unlock your phone remotely by entering your password for your Samsung account.
Unlock Android 4.4 KitKat or earlier devices
The unlocking process is much easier when you forget your password, pattern or PIN on an older Android device. After entering the wrong PIN five times, a message appears under the login window that says Forgotten Pattern Forgotten PIN or Forgotten Password . Tap it and enter your Google Account username and password to change your password, PIN or pattern. This gives you instant access.
Can't remember your Google Account?
If you have trouble remembering your Google Account details, then visit the Google Account Restore site on your computer or laptop and work on the included step.
Simon Hill / Digital Trends
Your last resort is to perform a factory reset through the Restore Mode menu, but this erases everything on the phone. Also note that the phone may have factory reset protection (FRP). It is enabled by default in all Android 5.1 devices (and later) to deter thieves from stealing your phone. If the FRP is on, it will ask for your Google account details, even after you have made a factory reset.
However, if you want to try to restore factory settings, check our guide on how to use the reset feature. Once you have reset, you must configure the phone as if it were new. Also make sure you note your password or PIN code this time.