Unlocking android pattern screen lock – Complete Guide

Unlocking a phone which is having pattern lock screen lock activated is quite easy with HDBOX. In this tutorial we will show you how to use HDBox and HDBox android App to unlock such a phone, a phone with pattern lock screen.

  1. Testing for ADB support
  2. Testing for brute force support
  3. Connecting
    1. Normal Mode
    2. OTG Mode
  4. Sensor
    1. Placement
    2. Settings
  5. Setting the process
  6. Running the process
  7. Tip and tricks, extra infos, etc.

1) Testing for ADB support(Index)

Before we delve into the brute force process let us give ADB a shoot, and if we are are lucky we will be able to remove the phone pattern lock in a matter of seconds. For this we try this short guide:

  1. Connect HDBOX to computer using mini usb cable,
  2. Connect phone to HDBOX usb host port,
  3. Start Android App on HDBOX, and select ADB tools
  4. Navigate to emergency dialer screen on phone
  5. Press confirm one time and HDBox will attempt to connect to phone using ADB
    1. HDBox is displaying “Authenticating phone” message, then phone is having secure ADB active and HDBox will start the authentication process with the phone using our HDBox vendor key. If HDBox was already connected with this phone in ADB mode you can wait 2 seconds for the process to complete, or you can cancel the authentication process by pressing confirm and request the phone to accept HDBox our vendor key, and can proceed like in 6-b case ( Androids 4.4 and under, even if they have an screen lock active, will display the popup where you can accept the HDBox key if the phone is in emergency dialer screen )
    2. If box is displaying the message “Ready for commands” then non-secure ADB is active on this phone. Press confirm one more time will make HDBOX attempt to remove any user lock present on phone ( pin / pattern / face / voice ). HDBOX can remove the user locks even if the phone is not rooted and android version is between 4.1 and 4.4, but if phone’s android version is not in this range, then root will be required if HDBOX cannot make changes to system partion on phone.
    3. f you see on HDBOX screen the message “No ADB Active” then this means that ADB is not active on this phone and you must continue reading this tutorial and use brute-forcing process to unlock this phone

2) Testing for brute force support(Index)

Before we connect phone with HDBOX and use brute force to remove the pattern lock, we can easily check if this is supported as this check only takes 2 minutes to test.

  1. Go to Lock screen, and enter five different codes
  2. The phone should say “Wait 30 seconds”
  3. After first 30 seconds, enter again 5 different codes
  4. The phone should say “Wait 30 seconds”
  5. After another 30 seconds, enter again 5 different codes
  6. Now, if the phone show again “Wait 30 seconds” then this phone is supported and you can proceed with the rest of the process

3) Connecting(Index)

While our box supports two connection modes, normal one and OTG mode, we strongly suggest using normal mode and only revert back to OTG mode when normal mode is not supported. OTG usefull for when you servicing a phone on the go and do not have another 5V power source for the HDBOX.

3a) Normal Mode(Index)

Connect HDBox to computer or any other 5V power supply ( charger / power banks / etc ) using provided normal mini usb cable, and the HDBox usb port connect the phone using a normal micro usb cable that come with the phone.
Tip: In this mode HDBOX will act as a master to the android phone, and this will allow you to also charge the phone while you are unlocking the screen lock.
Tip: If you get a message saying that phone is not supported for normal mode, then most certainly, phone is running on android version 4.0 or earlier, and in this case if you do not mind WIPE ALL data on phone including applications / contacts / pictures / etc you can perform a factory reset on the phone. ONLY do this if phone is not supported for normal mode, otherwise there is HIGH risk that the phone will enter Factory Reset Protection, as the FRP was implemented starting with android 4.1.

3b) OTG Mode(Index)

Connect HDBox mini usb port with the phone using an OTG cable compatible with your phone.
In this mode HDBOX will act as a slave to the android phone, and the phone will provide power to HDBox, and most phones while in this mode will not be able to charge while in OTG mode even if you use some special Y-OTG cable.

4) Sensor(Index)

Because we are using an optical method of detecting an good unlock code, the sensor position and settings are critical and we think it is deserving its own section in this guide.

4a) Placement:(Index)

The optical sensor should not be placed over:
– the area where pattern code is entered,
– the area where phone is showing current time / date,
– other zones where phone might update screen content even if not unlocked.
The optical sensor should be targeting:
– a high brightness area will be best as this will allow the sensor to operate at his full capacity.

4b) Settings:(Index)

HDBox offer two operating modes for the sensor, relative mode and absolute mode:
Relative mode: denoted by % symbol, recommended if you place sensor in a high brightness area.
Absolute mode: denoted by +/- symbol, recommended if you place sensor in a not bright spot on the screen.
In both modes mode HDBOX will monitor current sensor level and if the sensor values goes outside of the threshold then phone will be considered unlocked, and the process will pause, the only difference between them is how the threshold is calculated.

Current sensor Relative (%) Absolute (+/-)
Setting Range Setting Range
Level 500 10% (450-550) 10+/- (490-510)
Level 100 10% ( 90-110) 10+/- ( 90-110)

5) Setting the process(Index)

After you launch android app from HDBOX main menu, please select Pattern lock tool from the app menu, and using HDBox enter / up / down keys, all located on the three position knob on the right side of the box, go step by step until finish setting up the process. If you need to go back to previous step simply tap the cancel button one time, a 3 seconds long press on cancel button will exit the app and return the hdbox home screen. If you need to finish earlier the setup process ( you just needed to adjust one parameter and you know the rest are ok ) press confirm confirm button and the app will go to ready state “Ready to run”. Pressing again confirm will start the process, and if you press confirm while the process is running, the process will pause.

6) Running the process(Index)


7) Tips and tricks(Index)

Codes count and time required for complete the set based on number of dots(steps)
Pattern set Count Estimate time
4 Step Patterns 1624 codes 4 hours to complete
5 Step Patterns 7152 codes 16 hours to complete
6 Step Patterns 26016 codes 2 days and half
4 To 6 Patterns 34792 codes about 3 days and half

6 Responses to Unlocking android pattern screen lock – Complete Guide

  1. qual_service July 29, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

    hi , is type c cable suported? i ask about s8 and s8 plus.

    • HDB July 31, 2017 at 8:56 pm #


      The good part about having and using stand usb cables is that if you can connect the phone to a computer using USB cable, then you can connect it to our HDBOX. As long as you can connect that phone to a computer that is having USB2.0 ports ( They shoud not be blue color, as this is used as a main indicator for USB3.0 connectors )
      any cable should be supported!

      And if the phone pass the compatibility test then that respective device is fully supported by our HDBOX, and can be unlocked using our brute-forcing APP.

      Compatibility test for Pin/Pattern/Password locks:

      1. Go to Lock screen, and enter five different codes
      2. The phone should say “Wait 30 seconds”
      3. After first 30 seconds, enter again 5 different codes
      4. The phone should say “Wait 30 seconds”
      5. After another 30 seconds, enter again 5 different codes
      6. Now, if the phone show again “Wait 30 seconds” then this phone is supported and you can proceed with the rest of the process

      Best regards,
      HDBOX Support Team.

  2. Tony March 13, 2018 at 8:38 pm #

    My phone makes me wait 30 seconds between attempts for infinity. I am using a Moto 4G, is this supported? Is the delay adjustable?

    • HDB October 21, 2018 at 9:16 am #


      The check if your specific android handset is supported takes about 3minutes, and you can do it by hand, and you do not even need hdbox for test.
      You just have to enter a batch of 5 codes, and check if the phone waits 30 seconds between them.
      And repeat this step 4 times, if after 4 batches of 5 codes the phone still ask you to wait 30 seconds, then the respective lock can be brute force by our tool.

      If the delay timer between codes changes, then we say that the phone does not support bruteforcing.

      Best Regards,
      HDBOX Support Team,

  3. androidhawaii June 25, 2018 at 6:49 am #

    has the hdbox been tested on S8/S9 where is good sensor placement willing to test out or report back on phones you may not have

    • HDB October 21, 2018 at 9:08 am #


      For best sensor placement we suggest two things:
      1) place it on a bright area, sensor will work much better on bright colors,
      2) not near portions where the information on display changes ( example: near clock and date display, the code or pattern displayed)

      Best regards,
      HDBOX Support Team

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