It can be frustrating when your Windows phone doesn't unlock when you enter your PIN. The steps you can take depend on which operating system version your phone uses.
Windows 10 Mobile users who get the PIN wrong four times can enter a 'Challenge phrase' to check their typing, then try to unlock it again. If it's still wrong, restart the phone to try again with another set of five attempts to enter the correct PIN.
Windows Phone 8 users will be locked out with increasing time delays before another attempt can be made. There's no way round this, and the only option is to reset the phone.
If your phone runs Windows 10 Mobile, you might be able to set a new PIN remotely to unlock your phone. It'll need to be turned on and connected to the internet for this to work.
On a computer, sign in to your Microsoft account to see the devices linked to it.
Find the phone you want to unlock, and click its 'Find my phone' link.
When the device page opens, click Lock.
You'll be asked for your mobile number to help manage your phone. Type the number (or tick the box if you don't have a SIM in the phone) and click Next.
Type a new 6-digit pin for your phone, and leave the contact number and message boxes blank. Click Lock.
You'll get an email when your phone's been updated with the new PIN, so you can unlock it.
Turn off the handset by holding the Power button, then swiping down the screen.
Press and hold the Volume down and Power buttons until the phone vibrates, then let go.
Immediately press and hold the Volume down button until you see an exclamation mark on the screen, then release it.
To reset your phone, press the following buttons in order: Volume up > Volume down > Power > Volume down.
The phone should restart and reset, which usually takes around 10 minutes. When it does, you'll need to go through the full setup as if it's a new phone. If you use the same Microsoft account that was originally used, you'll be able to restore any stuff that was backed up.
If the multi-button reset didn't work, you can reinstall the phone's operating system completely. You'll need a PC or laptop running Windows 7, 8.1 or 10, and a USB cable.
Download and install the Windows Device Recovery Tool.
Open the app, and connect your phone with the USB cable.
You should see your phone's details on the computer screen. If not, click My phone was not detected then follow the prompts.
Choose Install software to download and install the operating system's latest version. It might take a while, and you won't be able to use your phone until it's finished.
When the phone restarts, you'll need to set it up again as if it's a new phone. If you use the same Microsoft account as before, you'll be able to restore any data that was backed up.
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