Home > Android > Disable the android lock screen password with VPN enabled (stored credentials)

Disable the android lock screen password with VPN enabled (stored credentials)

android lock screenWhile I was out the other night and playing around on my phone.  I started wondering if the Home Automation app I made over the last few months would work over VPN (The home automation back-end is only available through the local network… don’t want joe blow turning my speakers on at 3am!).  So I jumped into the Settings of my android phone and then into the VPN section.

I was surprised to see that I needed a password protected lock screen to have a VPN account set up.  I can understand if you were going to store the password on the phone, but I had planned to type it in when connecting (I really wouldn’t be using it much).  So I set up a pattern password and connected to my VPN.  The app worked fine!

I put my phone down and later came back to it, but GASP!  I had forgotten my pattern.  After a few wrong tries the unlock screen had a “Forgot Password” button on the bottom right.

Google’s forgot password function for android phones uses your Google ID and password set up on the phone.  If you can produce these credentials your phone will load into the lock screen password setup section.  I swiped in the new pattern the first time, then on the confirmation I screwed it up.  Instinctively I hit cancel to go back and try it again…  But the home screen came up.

I powered off  my phone and turned it back on and sure enough I had my old unprotected lock screen back.

So to re-cap,

To Remove a password lock screen with VPN/Stored Credentials on Android

  1. Set up VPN
  2. Add pattern unlock screen
  3. lock phone and swipe the wrong password 3-5 times
  4. tap “forgot password”
  5. log in with your Google account
  6. Cancel on the confirm password

And with that you have stored credentials without a password protected lock screen.

  1. Electrofreak
    April 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Sure enough it works! Good trick. My VPN uses an RSA token that requires I enter a PIN for authentication so the pattern lock really does nothing to improve security. It’s not hard to defeat the pattern lock; just tilt the screen at an angle and look at the smudges on the glass…

  2. May 20, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Amazing how this actually works. Thanks so much

  3. EndZz
    May 29, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    This worked but I could not use my VPN afterward, it ended up deleting the VPN accounts I setup on my Nexus7

    • Kirk
      December 5, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      I had the same result. Basically just cleared the VPN and the security policy and re-enabled Swipe-to-unlock. I’m on a Note 3 running 4.3.

  4. Matt
    June 22, 2013 at 10:52 am

    I’ve been looking for an easy solution to this for a long time. I found a complicated method involving code that I didn’t really want to mess with, but this way is insanely simple. Thanks big time!

  5. md
    August 20, 2013 at 5:00 am

    Great trick.
    i was looking for this for a few weeks

  6. Pino
    September 12, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    That was clever! Thanks a lot!

  7. October 31, 2013 at 2:23 pm

    Excellent trick, worked well to bypass the forced pattern if we use VPN.

  8. rivan
    November 13, 2013 at 4:20 am

    try to restart your phone, and you’ll need to input pin again

  9. Justin
    November 15, 2013 at 7:02 am

    That worked amazing. You’re a genius!!! Thank you so much!

  10. Mircea
    December 16, 2013 at 10:51 am

    Great, it’s working. Thanks!

  11. Al
    December 20, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    FoxFi wants VPN access to use my hotspot but I don’t want to use a password everytime i open my phone, so this work around should work?

  12. Reuben
    December 31, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Doesn’t work on kitkat 😦

  13. Laura
    January 15, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Yeah! Thank you!

  14. Henk
    February 1, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Excellent! Thank you so much! Greetings from Shanghai 🙂

  15. Roman
    March 12, 2014 at 11:29 am

    This does not work! It will end with deleting your VPN account. Nice try anyway

  16. Mike
    May 2, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    Doesn’t work anymore with Android V4.4
    I am using galaxy s5

  17. jagan
    July 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    instead of that,we can directly go to Security–>Lock screen and set the lock screen to None..VPN password will be removed.

  18. KNERD
    September 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm

    I have found if you setup the lock screen PRIOR to setting up the VPN, it will allow you to disable it afterward.

    Otherwise it will the ability to do that is disabled by the application if the lock screen is setup within OpenVPN.

  19. October 15, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    when I followed the steps to remove the password lock screen with VPN/Stored Credentials on Android I went to the set up and manage VPN it had only 1 option (add VPN)
    press add VPN it says edit VPN. I don’t have any knowledge on the Smartphone’s just got it was trying to get set up with a bit of security, virus protection VPN safeguards. All I’ve accomplished is a phone that has a lock that is more than annoying. Any other help ?

  20. Leena
    January 10, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Just go to settings, screen lock,lock screen, scroll right down to optionscreen lock and select none. This worked for my galaxy S2!

  21. kapsh
    March 10, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    Cooool! Thanks, anigan. It was very annoying to enter pattern 1000 times at day when I just want store cert which will be used only a few times in month. Blame on Android developers – is what so hard asking password only once when supersecret credential is needed (at connection time eg)?

  22. Tyler Smith
    January 6, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    If none of the methods other posters have said work, this is what worked for me…
    If you have gone into the vpn menu and set up a password and no longer want the password to lock your screen,
    Go to “Settings-more-security” and tap “clear credentials”…after that you can go back into the “my device – lock screen” menu and change it to no password or swipe or whatever you want. Not sure what other credentials it clears besides the screen lock…Haven’t found anything else that it cleared in my case anyways…Hope this helps! This was done on a Samsung galaxy s4 running android 5.0.1

  23. KNERD
    October 3, 2016 at 12:56 am

    That is what I wrote back in 2014 Tyler, However, the newest version of OpenVPN no longer requires a password/lock.

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