How to unlock an Android device and a Windows PC when the owner dies

If you’ve recently lost a friend or family member, you may be looking to access their phone, computer or tablet to get their personal data.

Whether you’re looking for photos, passwords, or other information, it’s frustrating that you don’t know their passcode to simply access it.

We have collected the steps to follow to unlock your Android device and Windows PC in case of death of the owner.

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Android phone

Android phone

How to unlock an Android device or computer if the owner has died

Similar to iCloud from Apple, Android and PC Users often connect their devices to a Google account. If you know the email address and password associated with the user’s Google account, you may be able to reset their password using that.


Use a Google account to access the data

  • If the device owner owns the Google account Linked, this may be an option during login
  • If you incorrectly try to sign in to Android five times, you may be prompted to reset the passcode for the phone using the Google account
  • If you have this login information, reset the passcode via instructions sent to the email address associated with the Google account

Using a Samsung account to access data

  • If the device owner has a Samsung phone, they may have set up a Samsung account that gives access to reset the device passcode
  • If you have this login information, go to Find My from Samsung Services And follow the instructions
  • You will be able to reset and unlock the phone in seconds
In this photo illustration, the Android logo is displayed on a smartphone screen in Athens, Greece, on April 16, 2022.

In this photo illustration, the Android logo is displayed on a smartphone screen in Athens, Greece, on April 16, 2022.
(Nicholas Kokovlis/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Use a Microsoft account to access data


If the owner The device was a Microsoft user And if you have an email address that ends in,,, or, and don’t have their Microsoft login information, you can request that through a subpoena or court order. You will likely be required to provide:

  • A copy of the death certificate
  • A copy of the deceased’s identity card or passport
  • A copy of the inheritance certificate or other documents from a court certifying the individual inheritance or the names and addresses of all the heirs and agreeing that you are entitled to act on their behalf
  • A copy of the applicant’s ID, passport, or a signed power of attorney
Woman restarting her Android smartphone.

Woman restarting her Android smartphone.
(Fox News)

Take out the SD memory card

  • Some devices may have a built-in memory card
  • If the device has a memory card, remove the SD card and connect it to another device, such as a computer, using an SD card reader
  • You must have access to the photos and other data stored on this memory card

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How to ensure loved ones have access to your data

In the event of an emergency or death, you want to be sure that your loved ones can still access your data. Make sure that a trusted family member has your login information and/or passwords written in a safe and protected place. That way, they can still access your photos and other phone apps without having to go through a court order or a complicated reset process.

If your phone provider offers a legacy calling option, set it up now.

If you are on social media, platforms like Facebook provide an option to name someone by your name old connection.

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