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Removing your Android activation lock

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Last updated by Bridget Callaghan

An activation lock prevents someone else from gaining access to your phone should it be lost or stolen. If you're returning, replacing or selling your phone the lock should be disabled beforehand. If the activation lock is not removed from the phone it renders the phone unusable to anyone other than yourself.

Google and Samsung each have their own activation locks and offer different methods of removal. For Samsung phones, it is possible that both types of activation locks are present and you would need to remove both. 

In most cases, a factory reset does not remove the activation lock from the phone. For example, if the phone is factory reset with the Google account still signed in, the phone will still ask for those credentials once it turns back on. Therefore it is safer for the account to be removed before the factory reset takes place to ensure your account is fully removed.

Note: If a Google account password is changed before performing the reset instead of being fully removed the message “Please sign in using one of the owners accounts for this device” will appear. This indicates the Google account on the phone is now locked for 72 hours and you must wait for it to reset.

Removing your Google activation lock from device settings on your phone

Depending on the exact model of the Android phone, the steps to remove your Google account may differ slightly. The general steps listed below should allow you to remove your Google account from your phone, but some phones may skip some of the steps.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Accounts or Users & Accounts.
  3. Select the account type, which in this case would be Google.
  4. Tap the email address.
  5. Tap the menu icon (three vertical dots) on the top right-hand corner.
  6. Tap Remove account.
  7. Confirm by tapping Remove account again.

If you are unable to complete the steps above, you would also be able to remove the Google Account from the phone by accessing your Google account online. 

Removing your Google activation lock online

  1. Log into your Google account.
  2. Once logged in, go to Device activity & notifications which is located under Sign-in & security.
    Ting_Google_activation_lock.png

  3. Next click on Review devices under recently used devices.

    ting_google_activation_lock_2.png

  4. Select the phone you wish to remove from your Google account and click the red Remove button beside account access.
    ting_google_activation_lock_7.png

  5. There will be a confirmation window, select Remove.

    ting_google_activation_lock_4.png

  6. A confirmation window will show that the access has been removed from your device.

    ting_google_activation_lock_5.png

  7. To confirm, you can check the list of recent phones. The selected phone will show Access removed.
    google_page_6.png

 

After removing the Google account access online you will need to perform the reset from the settings of the phone. On some model phones, a hardware reset will request the Google account information during setup.

Removing Samsung factory reset protection from your device

The Samsung reactivation lock is available on all Samsung phone running Lollipop 5.1 or higher. The setting may be referred to as the Factory reset protection (FRP).

Follow the directions below that most closely mirror your phone:

Removing the factory reset protection (FRP)

These steps are applicable to most Samsung devices.

  1. On the phone's home screen, tap Apps.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Tap on Accounts.
  4. Tap on the account you wish to remove.
  5. Select More in the top right corner of the screen.
  6. Tap on Remove Account.

Your Samsung factory reset protection has now been removed.

Galaxy S5

You must have data or Wi-Fi enabled to complete this process.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. If your device is in tab view, go to the System tab.
  3. Tap Security.
  4. Uncheck Reactivation lock.
  5. Review the turn off reactivation lock warning and tap OK.
  6. Enter Samsung account password and tap Confirm.
    • Note: If you don't remember your Samsung account credentials, tap the Forgot your ID or password? link to open a browser where you can use find your ID or reset your password on the Samsung site.

Your Samsung reactivation lock is now disabled.

Galaxy S6

You must have data or Wi-Fi enabled to complete this process.

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. If your device is in tab view, go to the Personal tab.
  3. Tap Lock screen and security.
  4. Select Find my mobile.
  5. Enter your Samsung account password and tap Confirm.
    • Note: If you don't remember your Samsung account credentials, tap the Forgot your ID or password? link to open a browser and use find your ID or reset your password on the Samsung site.
  6. Tap Disable reactivation lock.
  7. Review the turn off reactivation lock warning and tap Ok.
  8. Enter Samsung account password and tap Confirm.

Your Samsung reactivation lock is now disabled.

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