Did you forget the screen lock password to your Android device? It’s happened to the best of us. In fact, I once had a friend set a screen pattern lock on my Droid as a joke when my phone was left unattended during a trip to the restroom. He forgot the password he used and left me locked out of my phone for the night.
So what do you do if this happens to you? Well, I have bad news for you. Unfortunately, you’ll have to factory reset the device and the data you have stored in memory will have to be cleared. This includes data such as notes or saved game data. Almost any third-party app data will be lost unless the app was written to store data on your SD card. Your personal data that is on the SD card, like photos and music are still safe and available to use on any device. Data that syncs with Google such as email, Contacts and Calendar should be OK, since you can simply re-sync this data once you have a usable device again.
So how do you factory reset an Android device you’re locked out of when you can’t access the menus? Fortunately manufacturers provide a way to restore the phone before it boots into the Android OS. This usually involves holding a button or combination of buttons while you are powering on the device. Almost every device has a different way to do it. Unfortunately, many manufacturers don’t commonly provide instructions for the button method factory reset in their manuals or on their websites. HTC is one of the few manufacturers that do provide this information in their user guides. If you have a device by a different manufacturer, you should be able to search this site or Google for instructions.
Once you obtain the instructions and perform the factory reset, you’ll be able to access your device without issue and without having enter a screen lock password. Good luck!