You take your nice modern Android, you factory-reset it, and you give (or sell) it to a relative (or friend, or stranger). (In my case, “give” and “son”.) But when they turn it on they see a screen labeled “Verify your account” with text reading “This device was reset. To continue, sign in with a Google Account that was previously synced on this device.” Here’s one way to fix the problem.

  1. You, the original owner, grab the phone.

  2. Sign in with the primary account you used.

  3. Say No to all the sync options you get offered (to save time).

  4. Say No when asked if you want fingerprint protection, nodding at the text that warns you that if you bypass it, your device will be usable by a thief after reset. Wishing that it also pointed out that if you want to pass the device on, you need to unset this.

  5. Factory reset again.

  6. Give the device back to the intended recipient.

Otherwise… · Suppose you’re the person who received the phone. And for some reason this procedure isn’t available to you. As in, maybe you’re a thief. Or maybe you bought it from Some Guy At The Airport and didn’t double-check that it’d sign you in.

Well, if you poke around the net there are video instructions, most at a site named “RootJunky” (uh-huh), that instruct a thief how to overcome this feeble and annoying protection. But I’m not linking to them.

[This entry, obviously not of general interest, placed here for Google juice and to inform the increasing number of people who are going to think that using fingerprint protection, and then subsequently passing on a phone, are a perfectly natural pair of things to want to do.]


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Anjaan (Nov 01 2016, at 23:43)

So, is there a way to avoid the problem you faced? Should be disable Fingerprint ID before we do a factory reset, and then sell/give it?


From: Kevin (Nov 13 2016, at 17:04)

Can't sign into my ph don't know past owners gmail


From: Via Images (Dec 16 2016, at 11:28)

As of 12/16/2016, fyi: the alternative option may not work


From: Charlie (Jan 21 2017, at 14:24)

I got this issue going on on a Samsung Galaxy S5 but it's a TracFone and on the TracFone when you do a factory reset it's a different procedure than the one that's described above you hold the power button and the volume up key at the same time along with the home key and then it'll pull up a menu. in there's only three choices you can do a factory reset you can go into safe mode or you can boot normally so I scrolled down by pressing volume down till it's on factory reset and then select that choice by pressing the home key not the power up key. Then it says going into recovery mode but it does not give you another menu where you can select delete all user data. So how do I bypass this verification process because the owner of the phone is deceased and I don't have any way of getting that information anymore. somebody please help me! thank you


From: Esmeralda (Jan 21 2017, at 17:18)

Im still having troubles and I am the owner of the account receipt in hand.

1. I've talked to Verizon tech support

2. Spoke to Google support

3. Transferred to Samsung tech support

And have even gone into the store nobody seems to give me clear instructions as to how to go about this. I understand its a anti theft feature but they should have sometjing where the owner can verify their info n have this unlocked.


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October 31, 2016
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