Setting up a PIN code or pattern to unlock your Android phone is a crucial security measure if you want to protect your data and keep your messages and photos safe from prying eyes.
But what do you do when Android does not accept your PIN or pattern although you know you’re using the correct one? There are plenty of reports about PIN codes or patterns that suddenly stopped working one day. While this is very frustrating, rest assured, you’re not the only one experiencing this problem.
If the Android OS does not recognize your PIN code anymore, stop after the second attempt. Entering a PIN code that the system no longer recognizes as being the correct one will block your phone and you’ll need to use the PUK code.
Luckily for you, we did the heavy lifting work and we found a few solutions to this problem.
Fixing an Android Phone That Doesn’t Recognize the Correct PIN or Pattern
Reboot your phone
Maybe this is only a temporary glitch. Try waiting a few minutes. Many users confirmed the phone unlocked all of a sudden without them doing anything.
You can also restart your phone. Press and hold down the Power button until the Restart option appears on the screen. Tap Restart and wait until your phone reboots.
But don’t enter the PIN code or pattern as soon as your device has rebooted. Wait one or two minutes and only then check if the phone recognizes your PIN or pattern.
Use your Google credentials
Use this solution if your phone is not accepting your unlock pattern. It is worth mentioning this method usually works for Samsung phones and only if there’s an active Google account signed in on the device.
After making a series of incorrect patterns on your phone (at least 10), you should be prompted to enter your Google account username and password to unlock the phone.
Clear Your Phone’s Cache
App cache can accumulate over time and may need some cleaning occasionally. But when cleaning, ensure you’re cleaning the cache, not the data. If you clean the App data, what you’re doing to resetting the app since the data contains info such as your login information.
But there’s also cache being stored on your phone related to the different processes that are required to actually make your phone work. In some instances, folks have found that clearing the phone’s cache will actually clear the PIN or Password, allowing you to get back in and set a new password or PIN.
Since you can’t actually get into the phone’s Settings app to clear the cache, you’ll need to rely on the built-in Android Recovery Mode in order to wipe the cache partition. Here’s how you can do so:
- Turn your phone off
- Press and hold the Volume up and Power buttons at the same time until your phone turns on.
- Use the Volume down button to navigate to Wipe cache partition
- Use the Power button to select it.
- Use the Volume down button to highlight YES.
- Use the Power button to select it.
Once the cache has been wiped, you can reboot your phone and if everything goes according to plan, you’ll be able to unlock your phone. However, the first thing that you need to do is go into the Settings app and set a new PIN or password to use, otherwise, the “old” password might end up reappearing if you have to restart your phone for any reason.
Try to Unlock Using Find My Services
Samsung, Google, and Apple all make it possible for you to locate your various devices through the company’s respective “Find My Device” networks. However, unlike Google, Samsung’s option actually allows you to remotely unlock your device, which can come in handy if you can’t log in directly on the phone. With that in mind, the steps below only apply to Samsung phones that already have the “Find My Mobile” functionality enabled.
- Visit the Find My Mobile website.
- Sign in with your Samsung account credentials.
- Once you’re logged in, you’ll see a list of your Samsung devices that are linked to your account.
- Select the device that you’re trying to unlock.
- In the top right corner, you’ll see a menu with a variety of different options.
- Click the Unlock button that appears within the menu.
Within a few moments, you should be able to see that your Samsung phone has been unlocked, allowing you to use it as you normally would. But just like the last section, we suggest going into the Settings app and setting a new password or PIN code so that you won’t have to use the Find My Mobile website every time you need to unlock your phone.
Bypass Using ADB
The second-to-last method we’re covering for those that find their Android not accepting correct PIN or pattern is to rely on ADB or Android Debugging functionality. This one is a bit more in-depth for the majority of users, but has worked in some instances. The biggest catch here is that you’ll first need to install ADB onto your Windows or macOS computer first, otherwise, the command being used won’t be recognized and you’ll just be stuck with a phone that can’t be unlocked. Provided that you have ADB installed, here’s how you can try to bypass the PIN, password, or pattern on your Android phone:
- Connect your Android phone to your computer using the provided USB cable.
- From your computer, right-click the Windows Start Menu button.
- Select Terminal (Admin) from the list that appears.
- Type the following command:
- adb shell rm /data/system/gesture.key
- Press the Enter key on your keyboard.
- Once the command has been run, restart your phone.
Provided that the password has been successfully removed, open the Settings app on your phone. From here, go through and set up a new PIN, password, or pattern so that you can unlock your phone and (hopefully) won’t run into these issues again.
Factory reset your phone from Recovery Mode
Recovery Mode is a useful built-in troubleshooting option that can help you to fix your Android phone.
While the steps to follow to enter Recovery Mode may be different depending on your phone model, you should be able to enable Recovery Mode by using the instructions below.
Keep in mind that factory resetting your phone will delete all the data on your device. Don’t forget to back up your data before proceeding.
- Turn your phone off
- Press and hold the Volume down and Power buttons at the same time until your phone turns on
- Use the Volume down button to navigate to Recovery mode
- Use the Power button to select it
- Once you’re in Recovery mode, hold the Power button, and press the Volume up button once
- Release the Power button now
- Use the Volume down button to scroll down to Factory reset
- Use the Power button to select this option.
If this method didn’t work on your phone, go to your phone manufacturer’s support page for detailed instructions. Or you can contact directly your phone manufacturer’s support team and have them help you troubleshoot this problem.
As you can see, there is really not much that you can do if your phone is not accepting the correct PIN or pattern. If you’re not lucky enough for this glitch to go away by itself after rebooting your device, you need to enter Recover mode and factory reset your device.