How to unlock a phone

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Aina Prat
@ainaprat
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How to unlock an Android phone

Unlock an Android phone it is not a particularly difficult undertaking, regardless of the reasons why it is blocked: in the sections to come, I intend to explain to you both how to fix a "frozen" phone due to too many apps running, and how to proceed in case in which the telephone was instead unusable due to codes set and subsequently forgotten.


Forced restart

If you have a phone in your hands Android which, apparently, no longer shows signs of life (e.g. the display is on but no longer reacts to pressure), the quickest way to try to unlock it is to perform a forced restart of the same: this procedure can be completed by pressing a combination of keys, all without physically removing the battery from the phone.


In most cases, you can force restart the device by pressing and holding the key for about ten seconds Power, that is the ignition: in this way, the phone goes to turn off completely and you should be able to turn it back on as usual.

If this step does not work, try pressing and holding, until the device in question is restarted, the key combinations Power + Volume down or Power+Home, as I explained to you in my specific guide on how to restart Android.

If, for some reason, pressing these keys leads you to the recovery screen of Android (marked by the presence of a robot "disassembled" and / or with the symbol /! placed inside) or, even worse, al download mode, press and hold the key Power and wait for the phone to turn on again as usual.


If the problem does not go away, or if the phone goes into an infinite boot sequence, I advise you to immediately think about an operating system restore: I have given you all the details on this procedure in my guide on how to reset Android .


Removing the PIN

Wait, you're telling me you can't unlock a phone since you have lost the pin code of the SIM inserted in it? Perfect, then I have good news for you: since the PIN is a security measure specifically linked to the SIM in question, it is completely independent of the phone itself.

This means, in other words, that it is enough to make an Android phone locked only by the PIN operational again remove or replace the SIM contained within it. If you don't know how, I suggest you Google the phrase how to remove SIM [phone brand and model] to get the steps specific to your case.

In any case, if you still want to trace the PIN of your SIM, you can follow the instructions I gave you in my specific guide on the subject; once recovered, you can remove the PIN from the SIM, at any time, within a couple of taps. If, on the other hand, the PIN in question was the numerical security code associated with the Android terminal, you must follow the instructions I gave you in the next section.

Removing the unlock code

If you are reading this guide of mine hoping to understand how to use an Android smartphone that you do not remember the unlock code, the password or the sequence used in the past to start it, then know that you are in the section that best suits your case.

Before we even go on, however, let me give you an important clarification about it: unlock a phone locked by the unlock code requires, in most cases, a ripristino full operating system.



This procedure, to be precise, involves the total loss of data and settings present on the device: consequently, unless you have previously created a backup of the same, you may have to say goodbye to everything that was in memory. If, on the other hand, your data were saved on a microSD, remember to remove it before even starting the unlocking process.

Having made this necessary premise, it's time to get to work: if you remember the Google account associated with the smartphone, and if it is equipped with a relatively recent operating system, you can proceed through Manage Android devices. Keep in mind that for the restore to be successful, the phone in question must be turned on and connected to the Internet; in addition, administration permissions must have been granted to the app Find my device of Google.

To be more precise, exactly as I explained to you in my guide on how to find my Android, the aforementioned operation can be done by first accessing the section Settings> Google> Security> Find mine device and moving on ON the relative lever, and then grant permissions to the app in question by entering Settings> Security> Device administrators of Android and placing the check mark next to the item Find my device.

If, on the other hand, your device does not meet the required requirements, you can try to act through one Custom recovery: below I am going to illustrate both procedures.

Manage Android devices

If your phone meets the requirements listed above and you intend to use Manage Android devices to delete the unlock code, all you have to do is connect to the main page of Android Device Manager, log in using theGoogle account configured in the phone, choose the icon of the smartphone you want to restore from the bar located at the top and start the unlocking procedure by pressing the button first corresponding to the item Reset device and then confirming the will to proceed by pressing the button again Reset device.



Once the reset procedure is complete, which starts when the device is online, you may need to enter your Google password to reconfigure the device.

Use a Recovery

Is there no Google account configured on your phone or hasn't Android Device Manager been activated in advance? Don't give up, you can try to reset your device using one Recovery.

In simple terms, a Recovery is a software external to Android able to intervene on very delicate parts of the operating system: among the operations that can be carried out through a Recovery there are resetting the permissions, deleting locked folders and, of course, restoring to device factory settings (also known as hard reset).

Some manufacturers, for example Samsung, already factory-installed the Recovery: if you have a phone belonging to this manufacturer, you can access the aforementioned mode by pressing and holding, from the phone off, the keys Volume Su, Home Power.

Once in the dedicated screen, if the Recovery is present TWRP, you can try to eliminate the unlock code request by tapping on the items AdvancedFile Manager, to then go later in the path Data > System and deleting all files whose names begin with gatekeeper locksettings (With art. gatekeeper.password.key, gatekeeper.pattern.key, locksettings.dblocksettings.db-shm, locksettings.db-wal and so on): all you have to do is select them individually, tap the item Delete and confirm the willingness to proceed by swiping from left to right.

The advantage of this procedure, as I explained to you in my guide on how to unlock Wiko, is that it does not involve deleting the data already present on the smartphone; however, the same cannot be applied to all smartphones.

If the procedure is not effective to bypass the password request, you can use the Recovery to perform a complete reset of the device to its factory state: well aware that this operation involves the total deletion of data, select the voice Wipe data / factory reset (if necessary, you can use the volume keys to move between the items and confirm your choice by pressing the Power button), and then press on the item Yes-delete all user data and start the restore process immediately.

How do you say? Does your device not have a custom recovery? Then things could get a little complicated: in this case, it is necessary to carry out the operation of unlocking the bootloader, to then obtain the root permissions (I told you about it in one of the following sections) and, finally, install a custom Recovery. If you really don't know how to do it, you can Google the phrase come installare recovery [brand and model smartphone] or consult the section Hard reset Android of my guide on how to reset Android.

Removing the operator lock

If the Android phone in your possession is functional in all its parts, but is having problems connecting to the cellular line offered by your carrier - in other words, if you are unable to make calls, send SMS or use the Internet connectivity of the SIM - , then most likely it is a device subject to a operator lock.

This can happen, for example, if there were problems with the payment of the installments relating to the purchase or if, again, the device in your possession is lost or stolen.

This type of block cannot be circumvented through a "simple" software solution, since it is a rather serious problem linked to the integrity of the device itself: first of all, try to understand if the problem is due to a theft (especially if you have purchased a second-hand smartphone) or a non-payment.

In the first case, do not hesitate to go to the nearest station of the police to file a complaint, bringing with you both the phone and all the purchase documentation in your possession; in the second case, however, it is in fact possible regularize the payments of the installments and make the device operational again by contacting the original carrier from which it was purchased. I have given you all the details relating to both cases in my in-depth study on how to unlock a phone locked by an operator.

Root

You have followed all the solutions that I have shown you above, however you have not yet succeeded in the enterprise of unlocking your Android smartphone because, for one reason or another, the unlocking attempts have not been successful or have led you to strange screens or bootlops (ie boot processes that never finish). Consequently, you are seriously thinking that unlock a phone is not for you and you would like to leave the company.

But before you finally throw in the towel, you may want to try make the root on Android, gaining elevated privileges on otherwise blocked parts of the operating system, and then installing one Custom recovery from which you can try unlocking again: in this way, you will have the opportunity to act "outside" the operating system itself, thus trying to circumvent the blocks that make your smartphone unusable.

Keep in mind, however, that an improperly performed root operation could permanently lock the device and make it unusable (hard brick); furthermore, obtaining root privileges voids any warranty of the terminal. If you have well understood the risks of the case but intend to proceed anyway, I refer you to my specific tutorial on how to root on Android.

How to unlock an iPhone

You don't have a phone with an Android OS but intend to unlock a iPhone? Do not worry, even in this case there are several procedures, which I am going to illustrate below, useful to get you out of the way depending on the situation in which you find yourself: read carefully the sections to come and choose without fear the most suitable solution. you.

Forced restart

Your iPhone is it completely blocked due to the huge number of apps running and apparently no longer responding to your commands? To get out of this annoying situation you can make a forced restart of the same, following the steps that I expose you below (variables based on the version of the iPhone you have).

  • iPhone 6s Plus, 6s and earlier - press and hold the keys at the same time Power (ignition) e Home (the middle button) of the device, until the screen turns black.
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus - perform the same steps by pressing the keys instead Power Volume down until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  • iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X - press and quickly release the button Volume up, repeat the operation with the key Volume down, then press and hold the right side button until the screen turns off completely and, immediately after, shows the apple logo.

After carrying out this procedure, the iOS operating system is loaded from scratch, finally asking, if necessary, to enter the phone unlock code and / or the SIM PIN. If you need it, I have shown you all the other reboot systems available for the iPhone in my dedicated guide.

Memory cleaning

If you have an iPhone that is not exactly recent, you can make one manual memory cleaning to bypass blocks and slowdowns of various types, avoiding a forced restart: in reality, the memory cleaning operation is already carried out automatically by iOS, however carrying it out manually, when needed, can help and not a little in situations in which it is unthinkable to restart the phone.

Freeing up the iPhone memory is very simple: first, press and hold the button Power of the device until the shutdown “switch” appears on the screen, then release the button Power, press and hold the button Home and wait to be returned to the home screen of the device.

If you own a iPhone X, not equipped with a Home button, the steps differ slightly: to clean up the RAM, you need to go to Settings, access the sections General, Accessibility AssistiveTouch I will post your ON the lever attached to the next screen.

Once this is complete, log back in to Settings> General, play the voice Switch off, then the icon of AssistiveTouch (a light dot surrounded by a dark circle) and, finally, make a prolonged tap on virtual Home button that appears on the screen. Also in this case, once the cleaning operation is finished, you will be returned to the Home screen of the device.

To get more information on the steps just illustrated, I suggest you read my specific tutorial on how to free up RAM on iPhone.

Unlock at startup

Have you turned on your iPhone and, after waiting several minutes, have you noticed that it has stopped on the screen with the Apple logo and you just don't know what to do to unlock it? If you have a computer available, you can remedy the problem using iTunes, the official Apple software designed to put bitten apple terminals (iPhone, iPad and iPod) in communication with the PC.

If you own a Mac, you can invoke iTunes directly from the bar Dockby clicking on the icon in the shape of musical notes; if you have WindowsInstead, you have to download and install the software by following the instructions I gave you in my dedicated guide.

Anyway, once the program is launched, connect the iPhone to the computer through the cable lightning supplied and start it in recovery mode through one of the procedures that I point out below (variable depending on the model of iPhone in your possession).

  • iPhone 6s Plus, 6s and earlier - press and hold the button at the same time for a few seconds Power and the key Homeuntil you see the logo on iTunes.
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus - carry out the same operation as above, but by pressing the keys Power Volume down.
  • iPhone 8, 8 Plus e X - press and quickly release the key Volume up, repeat the operation with the key Volume down and finalize the process by holding down the key lateral for a few seconds. If everything went well, you will see the iTunes logo appear on the iPhone screen; if not, repeat the procedure.

Immediately after the iTunes logo appears accompanied by a Lightning cable on the iPhone display, you will see an iTunes warning about a problem with the device appear on the computer screen: to try to reinstall iOS without erasing data, you must not do other than pressing the button Update.

If the procedure does not have the desired effect, you will unfortunately have to opt for a full restore iPhone: remember that, in the absence of a backup created in advance, the procedure will delete all data on the device.

To do this, however, you will need to use the DFU mode (device firmware upgrade), that is a particular "state" of the iPhone that allows you to intervene in depth on iOS, overcoming both the bootloader and some restrictions, such as that imposed by the functionality Find my iPhone: To perform a restore with the "simple" iTunes mode, this feature should be disabled, however this cannot be done as the iPhone is locked.

In all cases, after opening iTunes and connecting the iPhone to the computer, you can put it into DFU mode using one of the action modes listed below.

  • iPhone 6s Plus, 6s and earlier - turn off the phone, press and hold the keys at the same time Power Home for 10 seconds, then release the button Power and hold down the button again Home until iTunes reports an iPhone in recovery mode. The iPhone screen must remain off.
  • iPhone 7 and 7 Plus - carry out the same instructions illustrated above, replacing the Home button with the button Volume down.
  • iPhone 8, 8 Plus and X - with the phone on, quickly press the keys Volume up, Volume down and Power (the side key), holding it down until the screen turns black. When that happens, release all the keys and hit the combination Power + Volume down for 5 seconds, then release the button Power, continue to hold the key Volume down for another five seconds (or a little more) and wait for iTunes to report a connected iPhone in recovery mode.

Keep in mind, as already mentioned above, that access in DFU mode is to be considered correct only if the iPhone screen remains black. If this lights up, you have to repeat the whole procedure all over again.

Anyway, once you have placed the iPhone in DFU, click on the button OK that appears on the iTunes screen and, remembering that the restore procedure it will erase all data on the phone, finalize everything by clicking on the buttons Restore iPhone Reset / Restore and Update.

Once the reset process is complete, you can choose whether to activate the phone as a new iPhone or restore a previous backup: for more information on the reset and initial setup, I refer you to my guide on how to reset iPhone.

Removing the PIN

As soon as it is turned on, the iPhone in your possession seems to start up but, immediately after the screen containing the logo of the bitten apple, you see the request for the SIM PIN: unfortunately you can no longer remember the old code, so you are thinking of giving up your iPhone and putting it back in the place from which you took it out.

Did I hit the spot? Perfect, then I'm happy to inform you that you can bypass the PIN request very easily: that's it take out the SIM from the iPhone and turn it back on! As I have already explained to you a few sections ago, in fact, the PIN code is a method to protect the data stored on the SIM card and has nothing to do with the phone: in other words, via the SIM, via the PIN!

If you have no idea how to remove the card from the iPhone in your possession, I can only advise you to Google the phrase how to remove SIM [exact model iPhone] in order to obtain precise instructions on the matter.

Removing the unlock code

You no longer remember the code with which you locked your iPhone at the time and, after entering some incorrect ones, you have disabled your iPhone by? You can work around this annoying problem by performing a total reset of the device, with total loss of the data stored on it.

To do this, you must follow the procedure of full recovery via DFU mode that I explained to you in the previous section relating to freeze on startup iPhone: in a nutshell, connect the device to iTunes, access DFU mode with one of the steps described above, press the buttons OKRestore iPhoneReset / Restore and Update and wait patiently for the procedure to be completed. On the next reboot, there should be no longer any trace of the forgotten code.

Removing the operator lock

Have you bought a second-hand iPhone with the intention of using it as a backup phone and, despite the fact that it is apparently working in all its parts, you just don't want to know how to connect to the cellular network offered by your operator?

Again, it is very likely that the phone has been subjected to the operator lock, therefore unable to use the network services of national mobile telephone operators. In this regard, I invite you to refer to the section on removing the operator lock for Android terminals, since the steps to follow are practically the same.

jailbreak

If you have made it this far, it means that you have read in detail all the steps that I have illustrated in the previous sections but that, for a series of technical reasons, you have not managed to circumvent the iPhone block you mean. avail yourself.

At this point, as a last resort, you can attempt the jailbreak of the device: if you had never heard of it, this operation allows you to "unlock" parts of the operating system otherwise blocked by Apple, so as to be able to act in depth within iOS and bypass a series of blocks that cannot otherwise be bypassed, through some “alternative” apps downloadable from the store Cydia.

However, keep in mind, even before making a decision on the matter, that carrying out this type of unlocking can be risky and make the iPhone unusable; also, the jailbreak operation voids any warranty associated with the device.

How do you say? Have you understood the risks involved but would you like to proceed anyway? Perfect, then you just have to access my guide on how to jailbreak the iPhone and follow the instructions I have given you in it.

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