So let's assume I am on Android 9 and have the encrypted FDE /data partition and the full /system partition - except for locksettings.db. I also know the pass code used to decrypt/unlock the device after rebooting. On a fresh installation it looks like the database only contains the identifier of the key but the key seems to be located in a file within the /system partition, which is intact.

Now my question is: Is there any way to decrypt the partition or reconstruct the locksettings.db file? I would be very grateful for any help with the issue.

Thank you!

  • It booted, unlocked without a code, but displayed the "Phone is starting up..." message it usually shows for a few seconds when decrypting - forever.
    – aequabit
    Sep 15 at 3:27
  • Does this answer your question? How exactly does FBE's key derivation work?
    – alecxs
    Sep 16 at 5:04
  • OnePlus 5T is running FBE file-based encryption, below answer does not apply
    – alecxs
    Sep 16 at 5:16

There is no way to decrypt userdata partition offline. Android encryption is hardware-backed with RSA-2048 masterkey in TEE that is burned to chip. Furthermore encryption is bonded to


bootloader state
to ensure rollback protection and tamper protection.

If your bootloader is already unlocked, crypto-footer is present in EFS/metadata and userdata is encrypted with "default_password" it is possible to decrypt from custom recovery TWRP without locksettings.db at all (except Samsung)

  • That is interesting information I didn't see before. I will try reproducing the exact same environment (firmware, ROM etc.) and see if I'm successful in decrypting the partition without locksettings.db. I'm using a OnePlus 5T, so maybe there was another issue last time I tried.
    – aequabit
    Sep 16 at 3:18

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