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

If you recently lost a friend or family member, you may be trying to access their phone, computer, or tablet to retrieve personal data.

Whether you’re looking for photos, passwords, or other information, it’s frustrating when you don’t know the passcode that just gives you access.

We’ve put together the steps you should follow to unlock Android devices and Windows PCs if the owner dies.


Android phone
(Cyber ​​

How to unlock an Android or PC if the owner dies

Similar to Apple’s iCloud, Android and PC computer users often connect their devices to their Google accounts. If you know the email address and password associated with your user’s Google account, you may be able to use it to reset your password.

How to tell if someone is spying on your Android

Access your data using your Google Account

  • If the device owner has a Google account associated with it, this may be an option when logging in
  • After five incorrect logins to your Android, you may be asked to reset your phone’s passcode using your Google account.
  • If you have that login information, please follow the instructions sent to the email address associated with your Google Account to reset your passcode.

Access your data using your Samsung account

  • If the device owner had a Samsung phone, they may have set up a Samsung account that gives them access to reset the device’s passcode.
  • If you have that login information, Samsung “Find” Serve and follow instructions
  • Reset and unlock your phone in seconds
In this photo illustration, the Android logo is displayed on a smartphone screen on April 16, 2022 in Athens, Greece.

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

Access your data using your Microsoft account

How to change privacy settings on your Android device

If the device owner is a Microsoft user, has an email address ending in,,, or, and does not have a Microsoft login, it can be requested through a subpoena. increase. or court order. In most cases you will need to provide the following information:

  • Copy of death certificate
  • A copy of the deceased’s ID card or passport
  • A copy of an inheritance certificate or other document from the court evidencing the name and address of the sole heir or all heirs and their consent that you are entitled to act on their behalf
  • A copy of the claimant’s ID or passport or a signed power of attorney
A woman who restarts an Android smartphone.

A woman who restarts an Android smartphone.
(Fox News)

Removing the SD memory card

  • Some devices may have a built-in memory card
  • If your 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 should be able to access the photos and other data stored on that memory card


How to give your loved ones access to your data

We want our loved ones to continue to have access to their data, even in the event of an emergency or death. Make sure a trusted loved one has written down your logins and passwords in a safe and protected place. That way, you can access your photos and other phone apps without going through a court order or complicated reset process.

If your phone provider offers traditional contact options, set them up now.

If you use social media, platforms like Facebook give you the option to designate someone as a former contact.

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