How to Unlock Your Android Smartphone With NFC (Android Lollipop)


This guide shows you how to unlock your phone (that’s protected by either pin, password, pattern or fingerprint) using NFC tags.


This feature works on Android Lollipop so only the Android phones/tablets running on Lollipop ( that have Smart Lock Feature implemented) will work using this method.

Some examples are:

– Nexus 5, Nexus 7, Nexus 10, Nexus 9, Nexus 10.

– Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 Edge/S5/S4/Note4/Note3/Tab S.

– Sony Xperia Z3/Z3 Dual/Z Ultra/Z2/Z1/Z.

– All other Android phones/tablets that SUPPORT “Smat Lock” feature and running on stock Android Lollipop.


1. First you must change your lock screen method to either pin, password, pattern, or fingerprint. Enable it from Settings > Lock Screen (Lock Screen and Security) > Screen Lock.

Galaxy S6 Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Lock Feature

2. Based on the type of your phone/tablet, go to Settings > Security (Lock Screen and Security) > Trusted Agents

Galaxy S6 Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Lock Feature 2

Galaxy S6 Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Lock Feature 3

3. We then go back to the Security section and we see that the “Smart Lock” option is added at the bottom of the list.  Tap on it and it will ask you to input your input security method (pin, password, etc..), then the main screen of “Smart Lock” feature will show up.

Galaxy S6 Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Lock Feature 4


4. Tap on”Trusted Devices” button and then choose NFC.

Galaxy S6 Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Lock Feature 10

5. The below screen will show up telling you to tap the back of your phone to the NFC tag.

Galaxy S6 Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Lock Feature 11

For this tutorial I will be using Samsung TecTiles NFC Tags, which is compatible with most Samsung products and Sony smartphones,too.

Galaxy S6 Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Lock Feature 12

We then simply close the back of the phone from the NFC Tag.

Galaxy S6 Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Lock Feature 13

6.  After that, the below screen will show up mentioning that a new NFC tag if found.  This is where we give it a name and tap on OK button to finish the process.

Galaxy S6 Galaxy S6 Edge Smart Lock Feature 14

And there you go, We’ve finally added NFC tag to the trusted device list and we can use it to unlock our Android phone/tablet running Official Android 5.0 Lollipop.

20 Responses

  1. Pawan Singh Thakur says:

    My samsung galaxy s dous gt- s7582 Android lolipop

  2. Benecya says:

    This doesn’t make any sense, nfc doesn’t work unless the device is already unlocked, you can’t bypass a password lock even if you tap the device against an NFC sticker. I’ve been trying for months since XT1096 got lollipop and this seems to be the reason its not working…maybe also compatibility, because I’ve purchased tectile 1.0. But I didn’t have a ton of options seeing that the Moto X associated NFC tattoos are sold out.

    • Rawand Haidar says:

      it does make sense! I just proved that for you and I don’t think that I need to prove it again nor will I do. it’s a compatibility issue with your phone, you WON’T be able to unlock it WITHOUT the Smart Lock Feature. NFC is no Joke and I use it to unlock my phone that easily!!!

      • Bajanmonkey says:

        I use a Sony Z3 Compact and I cannot use NFC tags to unlock. The phone needs to be unlocked to use the tags. This article is not completely accurate.

        • Rawand Haidar says:

          just because it does not work with you does not mean that this article is not accurate, I proved it and I don’t need to prove it again!

        • HAHA says:

          You obviously don’t know how to use a phone. The whole point of “smart lock” is to be able to use things like NFC to unlock your phone. NFC is no longer required to be unlocked for it to be functional for unlocking a phone if it is paired to a trusted NFC tag/device. Jesus…c’mon.

          • Bajanmonkey says:

            I agree about the point of “smart lock”, I use the “on body detection”, however the Trusted Device with NFC does not work. Maybe it’s the tags I have? Maybe it’s something to do with Sony’s implementation of NFC? I stand by my comment that the article was not completely accurate because even after following the instructions above exactly, it will not unlock my phone (Sony Xperia Z3 Compact).

          • Rawand Haidar says:

            you can blame Sony or your NFC tags for that. our article is easy to follow, even a kid can do it!

        • bandanna2000 says:

          I have a Z3 Compact, and this article sorted me out. The only difference was that Trusted Agents in Step 2 was not under advance, it was further up the screen.

  3. khunglarsen says:

    I have a unrooted Galaxy S5 running Lollipop 5.1.1 and at first it seems like it was not working. User error on my my part, now it works flawlessly. NFC will work when the screen is on, even in lock mode. You can also use a blue tooth device for unsecuring your phone. Haidar…. I was starting to believe you were full of crap but like I said USER ERROR, you are absolutely correct because Android 5.0 and up supports the smart lock feature.

    • Rawand Haidar says:

      Glad you found the problem. Nothing’s perfect and as always I try to do my best in providing the simplest and most detailed tuts on the internet.

  4. Tony Wall says:

    This article is correct but there appears to be issues with certain “phones”, mine included. On my Galaxy S5 with Android 5.0, all the options are correct. I tested with both fingerprint and PIN security methods, but it just beeps and does not unlock. The test case should be simple: 1) Phone locked and screen off (most typical real-world case) and you want to tap or rest it on a tag to unlock it. 2) Phone locked and screen is on. The results I get are 1) Beeps and screen stays black. 2) Beeps a bit differently and the water ripple effect on the standard lock screen ripples. So it seems the phone recognized the tag and “something” happened, but not the screen unlock. I think it’s something to do with the default apps because there is also a very annoying “New tag recognized” screen appearing regularly after it is unlocked. I just need to track down which silly app is jumping in-between the NFC tag recognition and the system unlock agent…

  5. erika says:

    I some how got locked out of my phone ( a Samsung galaxy S6 edge) i had try Android Device Manage, Samsung find my mobile, enter failed wrong passwords and the unlock using google account does not show in the screen, and i can not get my phone screen be unlock, does this NFC could be the solution for me? where can i get one of this tag? please help.

  6. Vikram says:

    Thank you. This works like a charm on my Sony Xperia Z3 Plus. Only thing I noticed is that I need to wake the screen before it recognizes the NFC sticker. Unlocking is done by NFC as mentioned. Is there any fix to this that I need not tap on my screen to wake it up and still use NFC to start my tasks ?

  7. Russell says:

    Thanks for the very simple instructions. Works flawlessly on my HTC m8s.

  8. hya says:

    hi can anyone help. tried to connect my nfc ring to my sony xperia phone and now my phone is locked. it says struggling to unlock, sign in with ur email and everytime i do it says invalid credientials.

    very frustrating. how do i get my phone to wrk

  9. Vasil says:

    Any please help me
    When i click on add trusted device only a list of my bluetooth devices pop up
    I have done everything you did but it just doesn’t work.
    Im sure i have NFC because i use it to transfer photos
    Someone PLEASE help me

    Phone: Samsung A5 2017

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Rawand Haidar

Rawand is Petroleum Engineer.He is Super high on Android. Rawand has been blogging since 2011, written more than 150 articles including tutorials, news, reviews about Android. He is interested in all things Android. Follow Me on Twitter