Smartphone Help

How to fix the ‘This device was reset’ Android security problem

OK, if you’ve made it here, there’s a good chance you’ve got a perfectly functioning Android phone in your life that’s absolutely no use whatsoever until you get past the “This device was reset. To continue, sign in with a Google Account that was previously synced” security feature.

That’s right, it’s a security feature (introduced as far back as Android 5.0 but still catching people out daily). This week, I was unfortunate enough to fall foul of this particular issue – all caused by a healthy approach to password security.


That’s because the feature is an anti-theft lockdown that’s supposed to make it useless, but it’s only triggered if you’ve recently changed your Google password before resetting a device. It’s a series of events that the average person can’t really be expected to guess at (though perhaps should have known better).

What that means is even if you use the original account and password, you still can’t get access to your phone.

And the good news, sort of, is that to fix it you just need to wait for 24 hours to elapse and then enter the original details.

If you want to pass your phone along to someone else in future, you’ll need to add the new account details, remove your own and then reset the device. Then the only existing account will be the next owner’s.

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I'm a tech journalist and editor with lots of opinions. is a place for me to put those. All views expressed are personal, and not those of any titles for which I write in other capacities. As well as running this site, I also write for WIRED, Engadget, Trusted Reviews, and a number of other leading technology titles. I also run're welcome to contact me via [email protected] if you have news or anything else to pass along, on twitter at @10sectech or @TheNextWoodsTech startup founders that need media advice or PRs and brands that need content strategy advice should visit

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