Android normally secures your device by demanding a PIN, pattern, or full password. Your phone isn’t useless if you forget the unlock code — you can bypass it and get back in.
As Google tightens security, this has become more difficult on modern versions of Android. But there’s always a way to make your phone usable again, as long as you remember your Google account’s username and its password.
Older versions of Android — Android 4.4 KitKat and older — have an integrated way to bypass your pattern, PIN, or other password if you forget it.
Google removed this feature in Android 5.0 Lollipop, so you’ll have to use a different method if you have a device with a newer version of Android.
To find this feature, first enter an incorrect pattern or PIN five times at the lock screen. You’ll see a “Forgot pattern,” “forgot PIN,” or “forgot password” button appear. Tap it. You’ll be prompted to enter the username and password of the Google account associated with your Android device.
Android 5.0 and Up
This feature was removed in Android 5.0. Unfortunately, this means there’s no built-in way to simply reset your pattern, PIN, or password and gain access to your phone or tablet. This does help provide additional protection to your data, however — attackers have no way of bypassing the passcode unless they actually know it.