David writes us with an all too-common problem: “I was learning how to use my 7 inch Envision Android tablet and as usual I didn’t use the enclosed instructions. The screen got the the lock diagram and when I tried to unlock it I didn’t remember what pattern I used. It now doesn’t respond to anything I try and there is no “Settings” available. What can I do to start anew? The screen never responds to anything I try. HELP! Please!”
Oh dear, David. You may have converted your tablet to a paperweight. First of all, it’s not a good idea to play around with things like pattern locks unless you’ve completely read the instructions. It’s too easy to get locked out of your own device. You simply cannot forget or lose the PIN or password to your tablet.
Every Android tablet is different. Some do offer recovery or rest options, others don’t. So it would be a good idea to check the instructions that came with your tablet. There may be some reset instructions in there.
Do remember that the pattern is on a grid. You need to hit all four-points of that pattern where they lie on the grid.
If you can’t find help in the manual or figure out the pattern on your own, there are some options.
The first suggestion I have is to just keep trying. If its a pin or password, pick something you’d likely use on another device or that you have used in the past. You will get a notice that after 5 tries, you have to wait 30 seconds before trying again. But it’s worth a shot.
On some tablets, after you get the 5 attempts warning, you may have an option to tap Next. (Mine didn’t, as shown in the picture.) If you have set up a Google account, you have a much better chance of this happening. If it does give you the option of next, or if there is an option during the count down for Forgot Pattern or Password, you will be asked for your Google information. If you enter this, you will be taken to the tablet’s password reset screen. Again, this does NOT work on all tablets.
You can also try to boot into safe mode on some devices. The easiest way to do this is to hold the power button until the Power Off menu pops up on the screen. Press and hold power off until a Safe Mode warning pops up. On some devices, in safe mode you do not have access to apps, but you can sometimes access the settings. (This did not work on the tablet I was testing it on, the lock screen still appeared, but may be worth a shot on your device.)
You could also try a factory reset. Make sure you remove your SD card before doing this. On some devices, you can do this by pressing down on the Power Button plus the Volume Up and Down button, or the Power Button, Volume Up and Home button, if there is one, while the tablet is off. It will load up to an Android Recovery Screen. If you see the robot, hit the volume buttons until you see Recovery Mode about his head, then press the Power button. Press volume down until you see wipe data/factory reset highlights, press the power button once more and the tablet will reset. Remember, this will erase EVERYTHING you have done on the tablet, and you will need to set it up just like you did when you first got the tablet.
Just as a note, the tablet I tested this on, not one of these methods was successful in bypassing the lock code, so keep that in mind. Your best bet is simply to be careful when playing with your security settings and to remember your lock code.