Chances are that you’ve been locked out of your Android phone at one point or another. From my experience, clients who contact us about a lock on their Android phone can’t identify what kind of lock they’re experiencing, making it more difficult for them to search for help or even state their case when they finally find help. Today, I’ll highlight some common security features that could lock you out of your Mediatek (MTK) or Spreadtrum (SPD) Android phone, how to identify them and fixes to consider.
Privacy Protection Password (PPP)
This usually pops up when you set a privacy protection lock on your Mediatek phone. In many cases, it is initiated by merely removing the SIM card (or if the SIM loses contact at the tray). You will see a message like “Please enter the Privacy Protection password to unlock”. Don’t waste your time entering passwords.
Removing the Privacy Protection password lock
The general principle on Mediatek and Spreadtrum chipsets is to wipe / replace the NVdata. We’ve dropped a guide on removing / bypassing Privacy Protection password for Mediatek. It involves either flashing the firmware (via firmware upgrade) using SP Flash Tool (on non-secure boot devices) or bypassing via a box like Miracle Box . For Spreadtrum, it involves restoring an NVRAM backup. You can use a box / dongle or Research Download tool + pac file.
Factory Reset Protection (FRP)
You would usually get this error when you do a factory reset (whether in recovery mode or Settings > Backup and reset) while signed into a Google account on the Android phone. You will get a Google sign in form asking you to sign into the Google account you were logged into on the phone before doing the factory reset.
Removing the Factory Reset Protection
There are already guides on bypassing FRP on Mediatek and bypassing FRP on Spreadtrum which involves accessing Google account manager, Wiping FRP via SP Flash Tool (firmware upgrade) or bypassing Factory Reset Protection using a Chinese box Miracle or CM2.
Pattern / Pin lock
This pops up when you set a PIN or Pattern lock under Settings > Security and somehow forget it. You could also run into further problems when you make too many wrong attempts.
Bypassing Pattern or Pin lock
There are guides on bypassing Pattern or PIN lock on Mediatek and bypassing Pattern or PIN lock on Spreadtrum which feature several methods ranging from ADB to Chinese boxes. These (unfortunately) won’t work on newer Android versions.
SIM / Network lock
You’ll face this when you have a phone locked to one Service Provider but insert a different Service Provider’s SIM card.
Removing SIM or Network lock
To remove this lock screen, you should consider buying an unlock code online, using a box (e.g Avengers box, NCK box etc) or flashing an unlocked NV item (for Spreadtrum) or Preloader.bin (for Mediatek).
Encrypted Gallery Storage
Your Android phone’s gallery app might have the option to encrypt your files meaning you can’t access them without decrypting.
Fixing the Encrypted Gallery Storage
- Launch the gallery app
- Double slide (i.e using two fingers) from top to bottom
- Input your password, pattern, pin or whatever lock you setup on your device
- Your encrypted files should now be displayed
- Highlight the files then select Decrypt