I can't unlock my Samsung Galaxy device

The below steps will help you unlock your device if your normal method isn't working, or you can't remember it.


If you want to remove a network lock, you will need to contact your network or your retailer. Some service providers may allow you to unlock the device for a small charge or for free. This will depend on your device and contract with the network.


If you wish to remove a regional lock (i.e. you want to use your phone in a different country to the one it was purchased in), you will need to make a phone call lasting at least five minute in the country of origin to disable the regional lock. If you are not able to do this, please get in touch with us using the contact details at the bottom of this page.

The best method to unlock your device will depend on the reason you are having trouble unlocking it, and the settings you have in place.


Please note that there are security measures in place to stop unauthorised users (e.g. if your phone is stolen) from easily resetting the device and its security methods. These include requiring the user to enter the PIN if the device is restarted.


Unlock using your backup PINClick to Expand

When you originally set up your unlock method, you will have been asked to enter a backup password, PIN or pattern. If your device does not recognise your usual method, you can enter the backup method to access your device.


To use your backup password, PIN or pattern, simply swipe the screen. You will then be given the option to unlock using your usual method or your back up one. 

Fingerprint not recognisedClick to Expand

Fingerprint performance may be affected by some of the below conditions:

  • fingers affected by scars
  • finger tips that are too dry or too damp (let your fingers dry out if been submerged in water, or use moisturiser if they are dry then try again)
  • if your fingerprint sensor is scratched or damaged
  • if you bend your fingers or only use the tip. Make sure the fingerprint spreads over the fingerprint area
  • if you have a non-Samsung protective film in place or a Samsung film/screen protector that is dirty or scratched
  • using different fingers. Make sure you use the same finger that you set up the lock with
Video Alternative Text
Unlock using Find My MobileClick to Expand

Find My Mobile is a service available to help you find your device, or to lock or wipe it if it has been lost or stolen.


Go to Find My Mobile and sign in using your Samsung account. You will be given the option to unlock your device remotely.


Note that this will only work if remote controls are enabled on your account

Unlock using your Google password (older devices running Android 4.4 and lower)Click to Expand

If your device is running Android 4.4 or under, you may be able to unlock your device using your Google password. Once you have entered your unlock method incorrectly five or more times in a row, an option will appear to Unlock via Google . Enter your Google account log in details and choose sign in

Reset your deviceClick to Expand

The final option if you've not been able to unlock your device, is to do a factory reset. This will restore your device to factory settings and allow you to reset your security settings. Note that this will remove all personal data from your device. 


If you have a Google account on your device (which would be the same password and email you use for the Play Store), make sure you know the password and email before resetting.


Most later devices have security measures in place to stop them from being factory reset if they are stolen. If you have a Google account on your phone, you will need to enter these details after resetting the phone.

If you're experiencing unusual behaviour on Samsung mobiles, tablets or wearables, you can send us an error report or ask us a question in the Samsung Members app.


This allows us to take a closer look at what is happening. The data is anonymised and only held for the duration of the investigation. Find out more about sending an error report through the Samsung Members app.

Thank you. Glad we were able to help. Your feedback helps us provide better support

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