Android Pattern Lock and Google Account 2-step Verification

The Scenario

You use lock pattern on your Android phone and use 2-step verification to get access to Google Account. Therefore, obviously you have used an application-specific password to connect both these. What if you forgot the lock pattern or someone pranked you by changing it? If you do not have internet, probably, you’ll loose all your data. What should you do to avoid such a scene?

This post lists the precautions to be taken by the Android users who use pattern/pin/password lock and also 2-step verification of Google Account. If you are currently facing problems with this, you can switch off 2-step verification using a computer and using mobile’s internet (wi-fi, if it is already on and configured, or packet data) and type actual password. Probably you can switch on packet data by long pressing the power key. In the unfortunate event that you do not have internet to do this, you must find a way to get packet data service or should be satisfy the case wi-fi already on, have a configured access point and should be in its range. Or else you have to reset your phone by getting into recovery mode which will loose all your data.

I’ve been wondering this case since many past months and never really thought of looking for an answer nor even googling it. Now that I looked into, it appears that, there is no solution to this except that you get internet on the phone. Try the solutions to avoid this scenario.

The Problem

Application-specific password that you use to register your Android phone will be shown only once, i.e. when you create it, and will not be shown again. To regain access to the phone in the said scenario, you need to enter this exact same password. You probably cannot do this as you do not remember it.

The Solution

These are steps to be adopted right now. Not in the event of the scenario.

Case 1. If migrating to 2-step verification or adding a new account

If you are about to register your Android phone with for the first time, adding a new account or if you are migrating to 2-step verification from the 1-step system, the easiest thing you can do is note down the application-specific password shown during its creation and use some cloud storage or pen-paper to save it. If you have written it down, make sure you always carry a copy as well. You can also take a screenshot and save it to the cloud to which you can later refer to.

Case 2. If already using 2-step verification

If you have already registered your primary Google Account with Android device, we arrive at solutions where you need to use an existing or create a new secondary or backup Google Account. It is important that 2-step verification is turned off for the secondary account. If you are uncomfortable with switching off 2-step verification with existing secondary account, it is advised to create a new account only. The solution follow.

Add the secondary account to Android device and leave it there. You can also use this account’s username-password for resetting the pattern on the phone. If you do not want to leave the secondary account there, firstly delete the primary account and add it again referring with the Case 1, and then delete the secondary account.

Well, that’s it. Your phone is now hopefully secured against the prank or the unfortunate event of forgetting the pattern and not having internet around you.

If you know any more solutions or find a mistake or loophole in the said solutions, do use the comment form below. Also, do let me know if you find this post useful.

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