Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Check out our companion app, Forums for Android! Download from Google Play

Lost Phone/Locked Out FAQ

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Digital Controller, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. Digital Controller

    Digital Controller The Real Bass Creator
    Thread Starter

    Sep 5, 2012
    Civil Engineer
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    This FAQ will be ever expanding as we gain more information about certain devices, since all behave differently, and all have different methods to unlock them if you have forgotten your password or PIN.

    Again this thread basically is going to give some useful Tips for when you lose your phone or it gets stolen and help prevent you from getting locked out of your device because you have forgotten your password/PIN and potentially your Gmail/Google account information.

    Importance of a Google Account:

    When you boot up your device for the first time you may be thinking to yourself, "OMG I CANT WAIT TO START FIDDLING AROUND WITH MY NEW DEVICE!!!". While this may be true, you might want to slow down a bit when filling in this starting information. The most important being, your Google/Gmail account. While this account may seem unimportant to you at the time because you have an email affiliated with Yahoo, Outlook, or some other provider, you need to understand the importance of this account.

    This account saves all the applications you download. It also, if you want it to, controls your music, online documents, contacts, and emails. However, it also can control whether you might be able to get your device unlocked or not. Typically one may not think, "How could I possibly forget my PIN password into my phone", well it happens, unfortunately.

    I am here to warn you to please...STOP...write down this password and log in information because you probably will need it at some point, regardless of whether you use the account or not. Understand that this account holds a lot of information for you.

    So please again, when making your Google/Gmail account on your first time set-up, be careful, be wary, and remember to write down or save the account details somewhere if you plan on never using it again or even just write them down just in case. :)

    If you have forgotten your Gmail/Google account information go here: Google Account Recovery

    Forgotten PIN/Password to Lockscreen:

    If you have forgotten your information to get past your lockscreen some devices, by default, allow you to enter your Gmail/Google account information to get past it, this is why you need that information even if you never use the account for anything.

    Another option I can give has been provided by the folks at XDA. This one requires you to have Android Debug Bridge (ADB) installed on your computer. ADB is part of the Android SDK, which you can download here. You'll also need to have USB debugging enabled on your device, which can be found under Settings >> Applications >> Development.

    Here is a video better explaining it:

    If you do not know your Gmail/Google account information, even when using the Recovery link I posted above then your only real option left, if the ADB option doesn't work, is to Factory Reset the device. This is unfortunate and means you will lose all your data, but it is your only real option left. :(

    To do this you will need to boot into Recovery, for each device it is a little different, but works around the premise of holding down the Volume Up/Down then holding the power button. On this screen, which you may/may not have seen before, if you go into your boot screen you did it wrong and need to try again, there should be an option to factory reset, you can move up and down with the Volume Up/Down and click on the reset with the power button.

    Lost or Stolen Devices:

    If your device has been lost or stolen and you have not installed a Find your Device application there could be a slim chance that your device is still on and has Data enabled. Therefore you can access your Gmail/Google account via your computer and go to the Play Store and install an application, possibly from the list below onto your device. If this works you can have a chance at locating your device.

    If you feel you are out of options, before buying a new phone, please make sure to tell your carrier that your last phone was lost/stolen so they can properly deactivate it.

    Otherwise, if you have installed one of those applications then you can use that to find your device, simple as that.

    Here are some recommended Find your Device applications:

    Where's My Droid - FREE

    Lookout Security & AntiVirus - $2.99/m

    SeekDroid - $2.99

    Prey Anti-Theft - FREE

    Avast! Mobile Security - FREE

    These are just a couple I have heard really good things about.

    Hopefully this FAQ will prove to be useful to you and give you good information to remember when it comes to owning an Android device! :D




  2. DonB

    DonB ♡ Spidey Sense !! ♡ ™

    Nov 30, 2009
    18th Hole Of the Golf Course
  3. Mikestony

    Mikestony ~30% Carbon Black ±

    Sep 10, 2010
    N/W Indiana
    Recently, another way to find your phone, or remotely wipe your phone is Google's own Android Device Manager.
    Now, I believe that you would have to set this up prior to losing your device, so the important thing to remember is, Set it up after you get your device, or if rooting and flashing a device, set it up after a rom flash. Or even after a factory reset ;)

    If you lose your Android device associated with your Google Account, you can use Android Device Manager to remotely locate and factory reset your phone or tablet.

    Important: If you believe your device has been stolen, contact law enforcement. Don’t attempt to retrieve the device yourself.

    Turn on Android Device Manager

    Note: If you’re using a tablet with multiple users, only the tablet owner can manage the settings for Android Device Manager.

    1. Open [​IMG] Google Settings from your device’s apps menu.
    2. Touch Android Device Manager.
    You can turn on the following options:

    --Remotely locate this device. Remotely locate a device and find its approximate location on Google Maps. For devices running 4.1 and higher, location access must also be enabled. To turn it on, go to Google Settings > Location > Access location.
    --Allow remote lock and factory reset. Remotely lock or erase all data on your device. You can also change the lock screen passcode. Touch this option, then select Activate to turn on the device administrator.

    Use Android Device Manager

    1. Sign in to your Google Account on If you're using a Google Apps account, you will sign in to your My Devices page.
    All devices associated with your Google Account receive a notification to enable it if it’s turned off.

    2. If you have more than one device, select the arrow next to the device name to change it. To rename the device, use the [​IMG] Edit icon.


    When your device is located, its approximate location is indicated by a blue circle on the map. The device manager also displays the name of the place where the device is located, the time it was located, and when it was last used.

    Important: Android Device Manager doesn’t collect a location history or do background location reporting. Your device’s approximate location is requested when you first sign in, and this location data is deleted when you sign out of the device manager. If the device is turned off or offline, Google is unable to report its location.
    You can select the following options:

    Ring. Ring your device at full volume for 5 minutes - even if it’s set to silent or vibrate.
    Lock. Lock your device with a new password.
    Erase. Perform a factory reset, which permanently deletes all of your data.
    If your Android device doesn't appear in Android Device Manager, or if you see Unknown location despite your device being online and running Google Play services version 3.2.25 or higher, follow these steps:

    1. Open Google Settings from your device's apps menu.
    2. Touch Android Device Manager.
    3. Uncheck Allow remote factory reset.
    4. Go to your device's main Settings menu, then touch Apps > All > Google Play services.
    5. Touch Clear Data. Note that this action doesn't remove personal data.
    6. Go back to Google Settings and select Allow remote factory reset.
    7. Restart your device.

    Once your device restarts, wait around five minutes and refresh

    Devices that are offline or powered off

    If your device is offline, Android Device Manager won’t be able to ring, lock, or erase the device until there’s a mobile data or Wi-Fi connection. Select any of the options in advance, and the action will be performed once the device is back online.

    Android Device Manager won’t work for devices that are powered off.

    Devices hidden on Google Play

    If you hide a device on Google Play, the device won’t appear in Android Device Manager. You can hide or show devices on Google Play by going to and selecting a device in the Visibility column.

    Taken from:

  4. ReeceasaurusRex

    ReeceasaurusRex New Member

    Aug 9, 2013
    I thought about rooting. I know a fair bit about it. I've rooted and managed two devices in the past.
    Problem is, they were both cheap devices and not on a contract. I don't want to risk rooting. Especially since it voids the possible warranty I have (which I'm not sure about)

Share This Page