How to Unlock Samsung Phone in 2 Easy Steps, With Photos

Have you ever picked up your Samsung phone, ready to check your latest text messages or emails, only to be confronted with the lock screen asking for your passcode or fingerprint scan? It‘s a frustrating experience not being able to access your own device. But there are several easy methods you can use to unlock your Samsung phone again.

In this comprehensive guide, we will cover:

  • Common reasons Samsung phones get locked
  • Troubleshooting fingerprint and facial recognition issues
  • Unlocking with Samsung Find My Mobile
  • Using Smart Lock capabilities
  • Factory resetting only when necessary
  • Removing network and region locks
  • Summary table of unlock methods
  • Frequently asked questions

Read on to learn how to unlock your Samsung device in just a few quick steps.

Why Samsung Phones Get Locked

There are a few main reasons why you may find yourself locked out of your Samsung phone:

Forgotten password/PIN/pattern: We all have so many passcodes and passwords to remember these days. It‘s easy to forget the code you use to unlock your phone, especially if you don‘t access it multiple times a day.

Fingerprint/facial recognition failure: If you unlock with biometrics like fingerprints or facial recognition, the sensors can sometimes be temperamental. Issues like placing your finger incorrectly or sensor damage can prevent unlocks.

Network lock: Your carrier may lock your device to prevent you using other networks until your contract expires. You‘ll need to contact them to remove this.

Region lock: Some Samsung devices have region locks installed during manufacturing. This restricts usage outside of the intended sales region, but can be removed.

If you‘re encountering issues with fingerprint or facial recognition unlocking, try the troubleshooting guide below. If your device has a network or region lock, scroll down to those sections for how to remove them.

Troubleshooting Fingerprint and Facial Recognition

Biometric security like fingerprint scanning or facial recognition provides convenient phone unlocking. But the sensors can be temperamental at times. Try these troubleshooting tips:

Use the correct fingerprint: Seems obvious, but it‘s easy to forget which finger(s) you registered. Trying incorrect fingers repeatedly can lock you out.

Properly place finger: Press your finger flat on the sensor, covering it evenly. Bent or angled fingers can prevent reads.

Ensure finger is clean/dry: Dirt, moisture or other contaminants on your fingertip can interfere with fingerprint scanning effectiveness.

Check for sensor damage: Even a small crack, scratch or screen protector defect could stop sensors working.

If issues persist, move onto the next recommended unlocking method below.

Unlock Samsung Phone with Find My Mobile

The Samsung Find My Mobile service lets you remotely access your device to unlock it. This is one of the quickest and simplest methods if you already have it set up.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the SmartThings Find site on a computer. Click sign in.

    SmartThings Find sign in page

  2. Enter your Samsung account details or Google login credentials. Alternatively, scan the QR code displayed using your phone‘s working camera.

  3. This will open a map view showing your device‘s location. Click the "Unlock" button in the top right menu.

    Unlock phone using SmartThings Find

  4. Hit Unlock again when prompted and enter your Samsung password to complete the process.

    This will reset all your lock screen security, including biometric authentication if you were having issues with that.

With just those few simple taps, you‘ll regain access to your phone.

According to Samsung, you need to have Find My Mobile activated on your device first with the Remote unlock setting enabled. You can do this in your phone’s Settings app under Lock Screen > Find My Mobile.

If you don‘t already have Find My Mobile configured, the Smart Lock feature may help unlock your phone instead.

Unlock Samsung Phone with Smart Lock

Smart Lock offers proximity and location-based unlocking to bypass your Samsung device‘s lock screen automatically in certain conditions.

For example, on-body detection keeps your phone unlocked while you‘re holding and moving it. But it re-locks when idle for an extended time.

Follow these tips to unlock with Smart Lock:

  • On-body detection: Simply pick up your phone and move it slightly to unlock thanks to the accelerometer. Works for up to four hours at a time.

  • Trusted places: Set home, work, or other frequented destinations as trusted. Your phone will detect and unlock automatically in those location ranges.

  • Trusted devices: Pair Bluetooth accessories like wireless earbuds or a smartwatch. Connecting them to your phone will unlock it.

If you already have Smart Lock set up, getting into your locked phone is as easy as entering a trusted place or connecting a paired device.

To enable it, open your phone’s Settings, select Lock Screen, then tap Smart Lock. You can activate on-body detection here or set up trusted places and paired devices.

Factory Reset Samsung Phone As Last Resort

If all else fails and you’re still locked out of your Samsung device, you may need to perform a factory reset. But this deletes all data on your phone. Photos, messages, downloaded apps – everything will be erased.

Because of severity of losing all personal data, factory resetting should only be used as an absolute last resort unlock method when you have no other options. Do not reset your phone if:

  • You have Find My Mobile or Smart Lock available
  • Your device contains unbacked up information you need to keep
  • You can still recall your password/PIN/pattern

If you have no other choice than to reset, use SmartThings Find. You‘ll need your Samsung account details to sign in:

  1. Go to the SmartThings Find website and sign into your Samsung account.
  2. Click the "Erase data" button on the menu.
  3. Enter your device password when prompted and confirm by tapping Erase again.

This factory resets your phone so you can access it, but irretrievably deletes all user data in the process. Only proceed with that understanding.

Remove Network Lock from Samsung Phone

Trying to use another carrier‘s SIM card in your Samsung device but being faced with an error message about an invalid SIM or needing to enter a network unlock code? This signifies your phone has a network or carrier lock.

Network locks prevent a device being used on another mobile network until the original contract expires. It‘s implemented by carriers to ensure devices remain on their service for the contract period.

You can identify if there‘s a network lock on your Samsung phone when you insert another carrier‘s SIM and see an error message that the card is invalid for your device or a prompt to input a network unlock code.

To remove a carrier-imposed network block:

  • Contact your phone‘s original mobile carrier or provider
  • Ask them to unlock the device, likely for a small fee
  • This is only possible once your contractual period ends

The other possibility is that your phone has a region lock rather than network lock. Let‘s discuss how to remove those next.

Remove Region Lock from Samsung Phone

In contrast to network locks that your phone‘s carrier controls, some Samsung devices have region locks applied during manufacturing. This restricts usage of the device to only the intended sales region.

For example, if you purchase a Samsung phone in the United States then travel internationally, say to Europe or Asia, inserting a local SIM card won‘t work. You‘ll see a message about an invalid or unsupported SIM card.

Luckily bypassing a region lock is much simpler than undoing a carrier-imposed lock. Follow this guide:

  1. Obtain your device‘s original home region SIM card – this is the one it came with when first purchased
  2. Insert the matching home region SIM card into your Samsung phone
  3. Make or receive a phone call lasting at least 5 minutes with that SIM card
  4. The region lock is now permanently removed from your device!

You‘ll now be able to use other regions‘ SIM cards without any invalid card messages or region usage warnings.

Summary of Samsung Phone Unlock Methods

Use this quick reference table to see the steps for each unlocking method at a glance:

Unlock MethodActions
Samsung Find My Mobile1. Open SmartThings Find site
2. Sign into Samsung account
3. Click Unlock button
Smart Lock1. Turn on body detection
2. Go to trusted location
3. Connect trusted device
Factory Reset1. Access SmartThings Find site
2. Click Erase Data button
3. Confirm reset
Remove Network LockContact original carrier to request unlock
Remove Region LockMake 5+ minute call using home region SIM card

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I set up Find My Mobile and Smart Lock features?

In your device’s Settings app, go to Lock Screen > Find My Mobile to enable options like Remotely Unlock. For Smart Lock, go to Lock Screen and tap Smart Lock to configure body detection, locations, paired devices, etc.

I forgot my Samsung password – how can I reset it to unlock my device?

When you‘ve forgotten your Samsung account password as well as device password, you‘ll need to perform a factory reset using SmartThings Find by clicking Erase Data. But know this permanently deletes all your phone‘s data.

My fingerprint sensor is damaged – will replacing it allow fingerprint unlock again?

Yes, you can typically replace just the fingerprint sensor module without needing to replace the entire phone screen. Samsung service centers can complete fingerprint sensor and other device repairs.

How can I tell whether my phone has a network or region lock?

Insert another carrier‘s SIM card into your Samsung phone. If you see "SIM network unlock PIN" or "Enter network unlock code" message, it is likely network locked. If you get "SIM card invalid" or "Could not detect SIM card", it probably has region lock instead.

Can I unlock my Samsung phone remotely?

Yes! The Find My Mobile service from Samsung allows you to remotely access your phone to unlock it from any internet-connected computer. Just log into your Samsung account via SmartThings Find website, then tap Unlock button.


As you can see, there are several easy methods to unlock your Samsung phone if you ever find yourself locked out by forgotten password, nonfunctional biometrics, network restrictions, or region locks while traveling with it internationally.

First try properly reconfiguring fingerprints, trusted locations, or Find My Mobile. If absolutely needed, factory reset using SmartThings as a last resort. Reach out for Samsung phone support if you need any further troubleshooting.

Hopefully with those simple steps you‘ll be back accessing your Samsung device quickly!

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