I recently enabled two-step auth for my Google account, and I'm happy to say it works fine. However:

  • Application specific passwords, like for Android are temporary, and the guide makes it obvious that you aren't supposed to write them down or save them anywhere.

  • When someone fails to unlock a password protected Android phone too many times, it allows the user to connect to a WiFi network and login with his/her Google account.

  • How does this apply to an account with two-step auth? Has anyone had this sort of an issue before? Is generating a new app-specific password enough?

  • As far as I know, a pattern lock/password should get wiped upon flashing a new ROM. For certain reasons, I can't test this atm. If anyone else has a spare phone around, could they try?
    – aviraldg
    Mar 23, 2012 at 19:55
  • 2
    Yes. I had my LG P500 running stock 2.3.3 with pattern lock. I flashed unofficial CM10 4.1 in it and the pattern lock is gone. Now I have a different pattern in 4.1. My understanding is that the pattern lock is not tied to your Google account, while the Google account's authentication is just used for resetting it.
    – Narayanan
    Aug 6, 2012 at 7:20
  • 1
    @Narayanan to my humble knowledge, you are absolutely correct. You can change the pattern anytime without having to change the Google account password, which is another indicator here.
    – Izzy
    Aug 14, 2012 at 18:36
  • What's your Android version?
    – iOS
    Aug 15, 2012 at 7:47
  • Yes @Izzy, my device is rooted. I also confirmed with an unrooted phone (sk17i, stock 2.3.4), which only shows /data as blank.
    – Narayanan
    Aug 16, 2012 at 5:14

3 Answers 3


I am unable to understand why you've problem. As you've said in your second point, it asks users to login with Google Account. When it comes to authentication of Google Account, why is password matter to you?

You can do this in those situations:

  • Create a new application-specific password and use that (you can delete old one).

  • Use one time emergency passcode generated at the time of enabling 2-step authentication.

  • Turn off 2-step authentication and use original Google Account password.

I've used first one once when my jeans pocket screwed things up.


You can use your normal Google Account password to unlock the phone (as long as you are connected to the internet), even if you have 2-step authentication turned on.

I have tested it on a Galaxy Nexus running ICS and another running Jelly Bean, and on a Nexus 7 running Jelly Bean. There might be a possibility that this was different on Android 2.3 but I don't think so.

  • This is not wrong! On ICS and above you can use your regular password even when adding your account, it will just ask for a OTP.
    – user13391
    Aug 15, 2012 at 7:32
  • @RichardBorcsik And, how do you suppose to enter OTP when Authenticator app isn't available considering OP has only one Android device (not talking about SMS based OTP)?
    – iOS
    Aug 15, 2012 at 7:37
  • @SachinShekhar that's the thing, you do NOT need to enter the 2nd code. The password of the Google account will unlock the device, even if it is on 2-step verification. Aug 15, 2012 at 7:40
  • Alright. I haven't tested it. Maybe its right, but it looks weird because of the way 2-step authentication works. That's why someone has downvoted (my guess).
    – iOS
    Aug 15, 2012 at 7:44
  • Its possible that OP doesn't have ICS or above. So, you must mention that in your answer.
    – iOS
    Aug 15, 2012 at 7:46

Some phones do not allow unlocking with the google password even if you are connected to the internet. The password is cached on the device and must be the same. This means that you must use the temporary password that you setup your account with. This is device dependent and I understand that it is a bigger problem for older devices, like those running gingerbread.

My advice is to use a password safe like keepass and keep that temporary password saved in case you need to unlock your phone. My kids locked my phone by playing around with it and my normal password would not unlock it. Had to reset to factory settings to get it off.

  • 5
    The password is not cached. An oauth token is.
    – user13391
    Aug 14, 2012 at 18:10

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