Security features are working for us, protecting our data. They also give us a hard time when we forget our passwords. Sadly, most of the time, we will need to Hard Reset the device, meaning data we meant to protect will be wiped out completely. It makes sense – why even use a protection method that can be easily hacked?
There are some ways though that can save the data – read “How to unlock your phone if you forgot the patter“. Let us learn more alternative methods that will work under certain conditions only. Have a look – perhaps, one of them is your lucky case.
Fingerprint and facial recognition
Modern smartphones offer more sophisticated and faster ways to get past the lock screen. They are using pre-recorded biometric data – the device owner’s face images or digital fingerprints. If you activated one of the features before locking yourself out – go ahead and use it to unlock your home screen. The case is solved, but to a certain extent only:
- The system won’t let to modify or revise the lock screen options without the password.
- After you power off the device, it will accept no fingerprint or face upon startup. It can also ask to provide PIN after a certain period elapses. Android is set up this way – the first thing you have to do to log in is to enter the correct password.
However, this will give you some time to get ready for the factory reset. The set of actions to undertake can include:
- backing up important information to external drives,
- syncing the data to the cloud,
- saving important contact information,
- writing down the names of all the apps.
After wiping off, it will be at least possible to restore most of the data faster. The positive flip side is that the smartphone will work more quickly after Factory Reset.
By default, all smartphones have stock recovery installed. To extend the functionality, it is possible to install custom recovery. One of the most popular options is TWRP, that will let you:
- create and install entire system backups,
- flash firmware without losing personal data,
- manipulate system files – erase the ones that store password information,
- install file managers from SD card that will facilitate unlocking process.
Two main conditions are to be met in order to install it:
- unlocked bootloader,
- enabled USB debugging mode.
Without it, you will be unable to restore the data. You can also use ADB – program that will let you control your device using a computer command line. It will be required to install a certain set of drivers – you can read more about it – How to unlock Android phone pattern lock if forgotten.
One can easily find programs online that will offer unlocking without losing the information. One of them is Dr.fone toolkit. The program should work fine if USB debugging more had been enabled before the password was forgotten.
Basically, the program will help you download the correct recovery package. The lock is removed automatically in most cases. If the device model is not on the list of known phones, the program will try to unlock. In this case, it will inform you about the possibility of data loss.
A more expensive alternative is offering this task to people who deal with similar problems daily. Service engineers know both common and sophisticated instructions for most device models and have more odds of saving the data than inexperienced users.
Even though there are multiple ways to unlock the phone, most of them will fail if you never unlocked bootloader or enabled USB debugging mode. Some manufacturers deliberately block it, meaning you will only have to factory reset. The best way to keep your information intact is to remember your passwords by heart or store them in protected storage. And make sure not to forget its password.