Last night I let CootieGirl play with my Samsung Galaxy SII for a little bit. The kids have a new game wherein they attempt to figure out the security password, which is actually a pattern swipe on the main screen. She tried 8-9 patterns, all to no avail, and suddenly my phone was requesting I enter my Google account login and password.
I dutifully put in my info and nothing happened. It dumped me back out to the login page again, as though I hadn’t just entered my email and password.
So I tried again.
And again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again.
It wouldn’t work.
This is when I began to panic and went online to find out how to fix my phone. The most often given advice was to factory reset the phone to default, which would mean losing a LOT of photos, videos, messages with valuable information. I didn’t want that.
There were a lot of suggestions out there, and I tried all of them and none of them worked. Here’s a sample:
1. Call the cell from another phone and once you’ve answered, hit the menu button then click on Memo. Supposedly this would somehow get you to your home screen where you could then reconnect to your Gmail account and gain access to your phone again. Didn’t work.
2. Call the cell from another phone and once you’ve answered it, hang up using the calling phone and as the line disconnects, begin furiously pushing your home button on the cell. Supposedly continuously pressing the button would somehow bypass the email/password request. I tried this over a dozen times and it didn’t work.
3. Take out the battery, SIM card and SD card, then insert them back. This didn’t work.
4. Turn off the phone completely. Turn it back on and after the intial splash of “Samsung Galaxy SII” disappears begin mashing the home button repeatedly. This is very similar to Option 2 above, and didn’t work.
5. Connect the cellphone to your computer via USB cable, enter safe mode on the phone and transfer all important files and data to your computer, then reset your phone to default settings. The problem with this is that my cellphone never went into safe mode because it didn’t register that it was connected via USB because I wasn’t logged in. This didn’t work.
I sat at my computer for way too long (I won’t tell you how long), moaning the fact that I was about to lose all my unbacked up stuff because of the need to do a factory reset.
Then I remembered something. Months ago I had set up 2-step verification on my phone as a way to safeguard someone getting into my Gmail account. Two-step verification requires not only a password but a special number code provided by a Google authenticator app that updates every 30-60 seconds with a new number. On a whim, I logged onto my Gmail account on my computer and turned off 2-step verification on my account. I then turned off my phone, turned it back on, put in my email and password and VOILA! I was back in! The phone requested I put in a **new** security pattern, which I did. Once that was accepted and confirmed, my phone was unlocked and back to normal.
SO GLAD I had that thought BEFORE I did the factory reset on my phone. Hundreds of photos, videos and bits of data would have been lost forever.
I immediately turned on Kies Air and began transferring all my photos and videos to my laptop for safekeeping. I don’t want to take a chance on it happening again and the 2-step verification NOT being the problem next time around!
Anyway, if you’ve tried all of the above attempts to unlock your phone and have 2-step verification turned on, consider turning it off and see if you can get back into your phone. It worked for me!