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Recently, I've installed a WiFi Keyboard application to my Android phone. This way, since both the phone and my computer were connected to the same WiFi network, I could access the phone's keyboard from my computer.

After, the phone disconnected from the WiFi network. And got locked (I had a password set at the lock screen).

And now I cannot enter it, because I cannot enable any other keyboard than the WiFi one (which doesn't work because phone has no WiFi).

Can I enable it via adb or any similar way? Are there any solutions to this problem?

What I've tried:

  • I can do nothing on the lock screen, everything's blocked. The swipe doesn't work to change the keyboard. Also there's no settings box. And I cannot drag the notification bar.
  • I tried the adb shell ime command, but without luck. It doesn't seem to do anything. me@myPC:/$ sudo adb shell ime list -s me@myPC:/$

Additional Data:

  • Phone is Samsung Galaxy S3 mini unrooted. Android version is 4.4 I think.
  • Storage and SD card are encrypted. SD card has important data, so I can't simply wipe the phone.
  • I am able to enter my password in the Decryption screen as the normal keyboard shows up, but not in the lock screen.


This problem was solved. Solution:

This problem was solved by booting into safe mode, as proposed by ak11234.

I did so by holding the volume down key while powering on my device (pressed the power on button, waited for the phone logo to show ("Samsung" and the model number), released the power button and held the volume down key until the lock screen appeared).

However, these instructions vary from phone to phone. The ones described worked for Galaxy S3 mini.

You can find instructions for the most common phones that have Android on this webpage: http://www.droidviews.com/how-to-boot-android-devices-into-safe-mode/

  • "SD card has important data, so I can't simply wipe the phone." You could take the SD card out and back up the important data. You should do that anyway! – Dan Hulme Aug 15 '14 at 8:30
  • Thanks for the suggestion Dan, but unfortunately the contents of the SD card are encrypted, and therefore even though I have backed them up, I still cannot read them. And I think that the only way to be able to read them again is opening the SD card from the phone. – Andrey Aug 15 '14 at 10:30
  • Ah, that explains it. Even so, if there's anything important on your SD card, you should back it up now the phone's working. We get a lot of questions from people who only realise this after dropping and breaking, or losing their phone. BTW, don't edit your question to add the answer. That's confusing to other users. If you think ak1124's answer needs more explanation, click the "edit" link to suggest an edit. – Dan Hulme Aug 15 '14 at 11:49
  • Haha, yeah, indeed, most of us realize what we should have done when it's already too late. Going to do the backup ASAP. Thank you for your help, by the way. – Andrey Aug 15 '14 at 15:15
  • And, regarding the edit, honestly, I've seen people do the same thing in many questions and personally I find it pretty helpful, as it allows the user to see directly the (possible) solution to his problem. I will separate the problem from the solution in my question though, so to avoid the confusion. – Andrey Aug 15 '14 at 15:25
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Try seeing if you can login when you are in safe mode. Boot into safe mode by holding down the power button to open the menu, then hold down the power-off button, and click "OK" when it asks you to reboot into safe mode. Then attempt to login once the phone restarts, and re-enable the virtual keyboard.

Hope this helps.

  • Wow, thank you a lot!!! This has worked perfectly. Not exactly the same key combination but safe mode was the key. Thank you very much, really! I've spent days trying to solve this! Can't even believe the solution was so simple. Thank you yet again! – Andrey Aug 15 '14 at 10:57

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