After many failed screen unlock attempts, the user is required to enter the Google account password. That's a good idea.

But what if I enabled Google's two-factor authentication, and then entered the wrong pin/pattern/password two many times? How do I unlock my phone now? How do I login to Google on another machine, when my phone is locked and I can't receive SMSs?

Is there anything very obvious I'm missing? Am I supposed to carry a printed version of Android's application-specific password in my wallet?

  • What's your os version?
    – R R
    May 31 '12 at 17:06
  • I've locked myself out of my phone, on ICS, had 2-step verification and all I needed was my actual password once I got an internet connection to work. Maybe I'm a special case?
    – A--C
    Dec 11 '12 at 3:07

You would have to use your emergency backup codes you should have printed out: Backup Code Page.

These are one-time use codes that Google recommends you print for emergencies to access your Google account to unlock your phone.

Additional Information for methods of gaining account access.

  • Can I enter a backup code in my phone? I thought I can only use application-specific passwords.
    – noamtm
    May 31 '12 at 15:44
  • 2
    No, you cannot use a backup code to directly log onto your phone. When your phone locks due to too many invalid entry attempts it sends an email to your registered Google email account. The backup codes allow you to log onto your Google Account via a browser to access the email to unlock your phone. The backup codes are not necessary if you are within your 30-day verification from last entry on the computer.
    – Dylan Yaga
    May 31 '12 at 15:51
  • What exactly do you have to do to get that email? I have never received one.
    – R R
    May 31 '12 at 17:13

To regain access to your phone, first you have to regain access to your account on a computer. Like Dylan said, this can be done using your one-time backup codes. (You saved those codes, right?)

Once you've done that, generate a new application-specific password. (https://accounts.google.com/b/0/IssuedAuthSubTokens or Account settings -> Security -> 2-step verification settings -> Manage application-specific passwords.) Use this new password to log into your phone. You can safely revoke the old application-specific password that you'd previously used on your phone.

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