About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

August 13, 2013

Passcode, What Passcode?

Robert wrote me recently with a question I had never received before.  It was an excellent question. I am sure some of you have bumped up against before, too. 

He wrote saying that he had just gotten back from a vacation out of the country and had not wanted to be bothered by work.  To help facilitate that last part he left his Android phone at home and had a great time.  The problem started when he realized he had changed his passcode right before leaving and could not remember his new code when he got back home. 

Here is what happens when you forget either your passcode or pattern on an Android phone.  (iPhones also have a recovery but I will let you iPhone users talk about that on

Notification ScreenFirst, you get five tries to log in with the proper code (this is the same for codes and patterns).  If you fail the fifth time you will get a message saying something like, "You have tried to log into your phone 5 times incorrectly, try again in 30 seconds."  The tagline varies between phone manufacturers and Android versions.

You have to wait the full 30 seconds which (other than making you nuts) is used to discourage a thief that may have your phone.  If you try unsuccessfully again, five times, you get the same thing over and over.

Forgot Password?However, the first time you miss the five tries a link will also appear at the top of the screen indicating that you can click it if you have forgotten your code.  If you choose that option you will be asked to enter your Google/Gmail account’s username and password.  As we all know you must have a Gmail account to fully use an Android device.  If you enter this info successfully you will be asked to create a new code.  This was the point at which Robert was successful and began to have a nice day. 

If you cannot remember your Gmail login info you are going to a bad place but hopefully it is recoverable.  All that is left for you is to get to a computer and go to ""  They will guide you through many questions and try to get your info for you. 

One additional suggestion here:  Go to Google and search for "Google recovery phone number," to find the Google page where it is explained.  Set up your phone number it that area.  It is used to send your login information to your phone in the event of this situation.  It is much more convenient than having to go to the site for help.

This is totally another topic, but have any of you gone "offline" for an extended length of time?  I have not but would just like to know if you have tried it.  Not if you are "unaddicted to technology" but are a hardcore tech-lover.

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