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How to Recover Data from a Locked Android Phone

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jun 14, 2024 • Filed to: SD Card Solutions • Proven solutions

"I had an Android phone, recently its software got corrupted. Is there any way to restore data from a corrupted software?" --from Quora

Part 1: Is it Possible to Access and Retrieve Data from Locked Android

The answer to this question depends on different factors.

For instance:

For any scenario, there is one crucial thing you need to understand:

Data in an Android phone with a screen lock is directly unuseable, let alone retrievable. You can't even enable USB debugging on locked phones.

So if you're aiming at recovering data from a locked smartphone, it will require you to unlock the Android screen first.

And there are three ways to unlock your Android device:

The first two options will not touch even the tip of your data. You'll get your files as they were.

However, the third option wipes Android's storage clean.

And it is important to note that in case you lose data from Android's internal storage, and not from the SD card, the recovery after a factory reset is difficult.

Not many programs can find a way around such an issue. And if you find such a program, it will require you to root your phone, which is another difficult task to execute.

Why is it hard to Recover Files from Android Phone Internal Memory?

It is difficult to access the internal memory of an Android device.

When you connect an Android to a computer, the system opens it through MTP (Media Transfer Protocol). The files in the phone storage are mounted as a separate disk, that a Data recovery tool has a difficult time to go around it.

If your data is on an SD card, and you factory-reset your device, data recovery is nearly guaranteed as a recovery software can readily access it and scan the lost files.

Part 2: How to Recover Data from A Locked Android Phone

If you were saving your Android data on external storage like SD card, and your data got lost in the process of trying to unlock a locked screen, you're lucky.

Because you can quickly recover files from a locked Android phone using a data recovery software.

And there are two ways you can go about it:

  1. You can connect your Android to a computer and execute recovery on the external storage media
  2. Remove the card from your Android and connect it directly to your PC.

But before we score deeper, which is the appropriate data recovery tool—appropriate in terms of reliability, high recovery rate, and ease of you?

To answer that, we scrape the web and scrutinize several of the industry's best data recovery tool to bring you one of the world's best contenders in recovering deleted files from Android with SD cardRecoverit Data Recovery software.

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Recoverit Data Recovery - The Best File Recovery Software

  • Utilize one of the highest data recovery success rates in the industry. Nearly all recovered data is usable.
  • Tap into the reliability of world-trusted Experts since 2003 in the data recovery industry. Recover over 5,000,000 data recovery users trust it in over 160 countries in the world.
  • Ultimate Video Repair—Solutions More than just Recovery
article-safe-itemSecurity Verified. 3,591,664 people have downloaded it.

User Guide

To recover your Android external drive, remove your SD card from your device, and connect it to your PC. Then follow the 3-step procedure below to retrieve your lost data back.

Step 1. Locate external device

Launch the Recoverit app, then navigate through the location of the SD card you've mounted.

recoverit interface

Step 2. Scan the SD card

Hit the 'Start' button to initiate the scanning of the SD card. It will take some time, depending on the file size on the SD card.

operations during scanning

Step 3. Preview and Recover file

After the scan, hit the "Preview" function to preview the recoverable data. After confirming the data you wish to recover, hit the "Recover" button to get your data back.

preview recovered photos

Part 2: How to Unlock Android Device Without Loosing Data

Plenty of ways can help you unlock the android device without touching even the tip of your data—methods like Unlocking with Google Account, or find my mobile.

But some of the fixes, like factory resetting, will cause data loss.

Solution 1: Unlock with Google Account

Unlike iPhone users, nearly all Android users don't execute a regular backup.

So when Android screen locks, the best recommendation to unlock the phone without data loss is to use the Google Account password.

And to use Google account to unlock an Android device, you must have set and signed up before you locked the smartphone.

Here is a step-by-step procedure to unlock Android device without data loss:

  1. Navigate through your locked screen for the "forgot password?" function, and tap on it.
  2. Your android will ask you to answer the recovery question you used to set your Google Account. If you can remember it, key it in, and your Android will unlock. You can now access all your data and set a password you can remember.
  3. If you don't remember the answer to your recovery question, input any password five times to invoke the "Forgotten the password" function.
  4. Your phone will ask you to input your Google Account and password and log in. This action unlocks your phone's screen with no data loss.

If the above method doesn't work for you, because you do not remember your password, try the next step. It should work for you.

Solution 2: Reset Phone to Factory Setting

Factory Resetting is another option to unlock Android devices.

The action undoes all the settings, wipe all the data, and return the phone to the manufacturer's initial settings.

The only problem is that you might lose some of your data permanently.

Since your screen is locked, it is a pretty mess that you cannot factory reset from the Settings menu.

You can only factory reset it via Android's Factory Reset in the Recovery Mode. To access the Recovery Mode, you'll utilize the buttons of your phone.

This screen-unlocking method removes all your data from internal storage.

Step-by-Step Procedure to Factory Reset Android Device

  1. Turn your phone off.
  2. Press and hold the Volume down button and the Power button simultaneously until the phone turns on. This opens the Android boot screen.
  3. On the Boot screen, use the Volume down button to move down until you highlight the Recovery mode option.
  4. Once you've highlighted the Recovery Mode, press the power button to initiate the Recovery Mode. You should see an Android robot.
  5. After you've access the Recovery mode screen, press and hold the Power button, and while doing so, hit the Volume up button once, then let go of the power button.
  6. Use the Volume down button to move down until you highlight Wipe data/factory reset option. Select it using the Power button.
  7. Then hit the Power button to select the "Reboot system now." Your phone will restore to the form it was when new.

Solution 3: Use Android Lockscreen Removal Software

A third party Android Lockscreen Removal software is a non-compromising solution to unlock Android screen. It doesn't matter if the lock screen is password, fingerprints, pin, or pattern, an Android lock screen remover software mightily unlocks without data wiping.


Screen lock is designed to protect your Android phone from unauthorized access. But when you forget the password in any way, and you want access to your Android Phones, screen lock becomes a nightmare.

But the good news is, there are several methods to access a locked Android phone, retrieve lost data, and even to unlock Android device

Recoverit author

David Darlington

staff Editor

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