Phone Deal Finder
Plan Finder

How To Reset an Android Phone When Locked

a close up of a phone

Getting locked out of a phone can be a huge deal. For some people, their livelihood is tied to their phones, and losing access to the ability to use it can be debilitating, to put it lightly. Everyone, from students to retirees, has functions on their phones that are key to their day-to-day life.

The good news is that there’s a silver lining. Regardless of the brand or model, whether you’re using the high-end Samsung Galaxy S Series, a trusty Google Pixel Phone, or the latest Motorola, all Android devices offer a lifeline — the ability to reset a locked device to factory settings. 

The process for going about it can differ from device to device — but don’t worry, if you’ve found yourself in this very position and are stuck on your Android lock screen, stick around. We’re covering this and other ways to bypass a locked Android.

In the meantime, if you’re curious about finding the best Android deals on the market, our free, unbiased Phone Deal Finder below searches thousands of deals on top devices for you in seconds.

Find the Best Phone Deals

What Is a Full Reset?

A full factory reset is often seen as a last-resort approach. It’s the nuclear option for when all other avenues have been exhausted. 

It’s a process that returns your phone to its original factory settings — just as it was when it first left the assembly line. This means all your settings, apps, messages, files, and photos are erased. 

While it might sound drastic, it’s an effective way to overcome a forgotten passcode or a severely malfunctioning device. However, a full reset is not a step to be taken lightly.

Precautions and Considerations

Before resorting to the full reset option, explore simpler solutions. Have you tried recovering your password through your Google account? What about attempting to unlock your phone with connected devices like a smartwatch? These methods are less scorched-earth and worth a shot before you do a factory reset.

Since a full reset will clear everything off your phone, backing up your data is critical. If you’re already locked out, it might be too late to do this. But it’s always a good idea to use cloud services like Google Drive or external storage devices to save your precious photos, important documents, and anything else you would miss during data loss.

Once you initiate a full reset, there’s no going back. All your personalizations, downloaded apps, and stored data will be lost. This step should only be taken when you’re prepared for a complete do-over with your phone.

After the reset, you’ll need to set up your phone from scratch. This includes reinstalling apps, reconfiguring settings, and restoring backed-up data. It’s basically like getting a new phone, so be prepared for this time investment.

How to Do a Factory Data Reset on a Locked Android Phone

Here’s a detailed guide to a Factory Data Reset on your locked Android phone.

Fully Charge Your Device

Before you factory reset your Android phone, ensure your device is fully charged. This is to avoid any interruptions that might occur due to a low battery during the reset process.

Power It Off

Then, you need to power off your device. Press and hold the power button until the “Power off” option appears on the screen. Tap on it to shut down your device completely. This step is essential to prepare your phone for the reset process.

Google Pixel Phones

To reset a Google Pixel phone:

Step 1: Press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.

Step 2: Release these buttons when you see a screen with a triangle and an exclamation point.

Step 3: Use the Volume Down button to scroll through the options until you locate “Recovery mode.” Press the Power button to select this option.

Step 4: Press and hold the Power button if a screen with the message “No command” appears. Then, press the Volume Up button once and release both buttons.

Next: in the recovery menu, use the Volume buttons to navigate and the Power button to make selections. Here, you can proceed with the factory reset.

Samsung Galaxy Phones

To reset a Samsung Galaxy phone, follow these steps:

Step 1: Connect your Samsung Galaxy phone to a computer using a USB-C cable.

Step 2: Simultaneously press and hold the Power and Volume Up buttons. If your phone has a Bixby button, hold that down as well. Release these buttons when the Samsung logo appears and you feel a vibration.

Next: Once in the recovery menu, navigate using the Volume buttons and select options with the Power button.

Motorola Phones

If you have a Motorola phone, you can reset it with these steps:

Step 1: Hold down the Volume Down button. While holding it, press and hold the Power button as well.

Step 2: Release both buttons when you see the Android mascot or logo on the screen.

Next: Use the Volume Down button to find “Recovery mode” and press the Power button to select it. Navigate through the recovery menu using the same buttons.

OnePlus Phones

Try these steps to reset a OnePlus Phone:

Step 1: Press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons together for a few seconds.

Step 2: If prompted, enter your PIN or password. This step may be necessary for some OnePlus models. You can select Forgot Password, and then accept the data loss warning.

Step 3: Select your preferred language using the Volume buttons, then press the Power button to confirm.

Next: In the recovery menu, use the Volume buttons for navigation and the Power button to select options.

Remember, a factory reset will wipe data on the phone, so if you can, back up any important account information before proceeding!

Can You Reset Your Android Without a Password?

In an ideal world, we’d always remember our lock screen passwords and pattern lock. In reality, sometimes you forget your password. The good news is that a hard reset works for your device even when you can’t remember your password. 

What Is Android Recovery Mode?

If your screen is frozen, or you can’t turn on your phone for whatever reason, you can use Android Recovery Mode to still initiate a factory reset. It’s a special boot-up sequence that enables you to troubleshoot and repair issues that regular operating modes can’t handle.

In all reality, most Android users may never need to access this mode. Still, its existence becomes particularly useful in scenarios like:

  • If your phone is stuck in an endless restarting cycle
  • When your device freezes before you can manage apps or settings
  • In the unfortunate event of a malware infection that regular apps can’t tackle

Getting into Android Recovery mode varies slightly depending on your device model. The manufacturer’s or carrier’s website will have the specific instructions you need. 

How Can You Reset Your Android From Another Device?

With Android phones, it is possible to remotely reset a locked phone, which is excellent for people who have lost their phone or had it stolen. This also works well for tablets and Android watches.

There are some prerequisites to ensuring that this process works. You need to provide the old phone is signed into your Google account, has the location and Find My Device turned on, is connected to mobile data or WiFi, and is visible on Google Play.

Then you must follow these steps:

  1. Access on your browser and sign in to your Google Account. Select the lost device.
  2. You will be provided with information on the location of the device.
  3. When prompted, click lock & erase.
  4. You then have the following options: Play sound, Secure device, or Erase device.

You can begin the new setup process if you have access to the device.

Using Find My Mobile (Samsung Only)

Samsung has its own Find My Device type feature called Find My Mobile. It has the basic features you would expect, such as being able to locate a device that you have connected to a network. For iPhone users, the process of regaining access after being locked out involves similar steps, and Apple’s “Find My iPhone” feature can be equally helpful.

However, it also gives you the ability to unlock your phone remotely. This means you do not have to do a full reset to get into your Samsung phone.

Another aspect of this feature that is convenient is the fact that even offline devices can be found. You can have the phone ring, lock the screen, and back up your data, making it very easy to get everything set up.

To make your device compatible, you must go to settings, click on your Samsung account at the top, click Find My Mobile, and switch it on. It can save you a big headache if you get it set up sooner rather than later.

Compared with the other possible options, this is a relatively painless process for Samsung users.

How Can You Avoid Getting Locked Out of Your Phone?

Unfortunately, if you do not have a Samsung phone with all Find My Mobile settings ready, you will need to go through some irritating processes to regain access to your files.

As frustrating as this is, the best way to prepare for this scenario is to put safeguards for getting locked out.

The first thing you can do is set up fingerprint and facial identification technology if your phone supports them. Most modern phones have at least one of these, so ensuring you have multiple ways to access your phone is essential.

Keeping a physical password notebook that cannot be hacked, and coded so only you understand them is also good practice.

Finally, make sure you are creating pins and passwords that you will be able to remember later. Long passwords may be strong, but you want to avoid resetting your phone continuously. 

The Bottom Line

Resetting your phone doesn’t have to be a headache. Link your data to your Google account for easy recovery post-reset. For full resets, especially on Samsung devices with “Find My Mobile,” the process is straightforward. 

If you’re locked out of your phone for good and you need a new one, try our free, unbiased Phone Deal Finder. Just a few quick questions, and you’ll see the best Android deals tailored to your needs. 

Find phone deals based on your
trade-in and carrier
Find a Phone Deal