I have an Android Device running Android 2.3.7 . The device is locked due to exceeding pattern attempts. So now Android is prompting me to enter my gmail id and password. The problem is, the WiFi is turned off and the Data is turned off.

I have found using this thread that you it is possible to turn on wifi using ADB. But on my device, even usb debugging is not turned on. So, I cannot access the device using adb.

So, I figured may be you can access device using adb in recovery mode ( my phone is not rooted ). But so far, in recovery mode, running adb devices does not list my device.

Is it possible to access a device using adb if your usb debugging is turned off ( on a non rooted phone ) ? How about in recovery mode ?

  • possible duplicate of Broken screen while debug mode was disabled. How can I re-enable adb?
    – t0mm13b
    Feb 27, 2014 at 18:45
  • That question does not have an accepted answer, and he's asking for screenshots for his device. Plus, his device must be rooted since he is using Android Screencast. As I have mentioned, mine isn't rooted.
    – sutro
    Feb 27, 2014 at 19:04
  • 1
    Welcome to Android Enthusiasts! This seems to be an XY problem. Instead of trying to get your supposed solution working, maybe you want to check Can not unlock my Android device as have no internet connection?
    – Izzy
    Feb 27, 2014 at 22:24
  • 1
    @Izzy Thanks :) Your answer in that question is very interesting and insightful. Using hole to create new account didn't work for me. In all other cases, you need WiFi connection or root access, both of which I don't have. I have saved that answer for future reference. Thanks for pointing out.
    – sutro
    Feb 28, 2014 at 16:03
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    In my device, usb debugging is not activated in recovery mode. So, now I have factory reset it from recovery mode itself. Thanks for the input guys. Really appreciate it.
    – sutro
    Mar 1, 2014 at 14:38

2 Answers 2


I had a similar problem. I almost gave up and was like an inch from hard reset when something strange happened. When I connected the phone to USB as usual USB entry screen appeared, but I noticed that in this screen it is actually possible to lower the notificationbar and bingo — I was able to turn Wi-Fi ON. And then I just entered my Google account info and the phone was unlocked.


Depending on the type of device you use, you can install a custom recovery and flash this file to unlock without data loss

If you have root shell run the following command in it's order:

adb shell then su then rm /data/system/gesture.key


adb shell then rm /data/system/gesture.key

  • if you have root shell run the following command in it's order: "adb shell" then "su" then "rm /data/system/gesture.key" OR "adb shell" then "rm /data/system/gesture.key"
    – Jerom
    Aug 14, 2015 at 14:12

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