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Accessing deceased relatives S21

(Topic created on: 15-02-2024 02:12 PM)
First Poster


We recently lost my father in law. His last couple of years he isolated himself caring for my mother in law who was ill and passed away 8 weeks prior to him. He used to be really tech savvy, but in his final years got rather confused. He had a Samsung S21 5G, which near the end of his life, lost his ability to remember his passcode. Eventually locking himself out of the phone. My wife and brother in laws are desperate to retrieve some sentimental photos from their parents final holiday. He hadn't backed up his photos on Samsung or Google since 2021.

Following a stressful month attempting to go through all of the families relevant dates for the passcode, the phone is now on 24 hours between each attempt and has entered airplane mode.

I have been searching for weeks on the web for a work around. Appreciating the ethical grey area surrounding accessing the phone. Exploring possibilities through backing up through recovery mode/Odin, but being a noob, I can't risk losing the data.

I was looking at third party software as well as Samsung SmartSwitch to bypass, however my computers/laptops do not recognise the phone while locked. These all require USB debugging being enabled. Which it is not. Do Samsung have the ability to access a phone in such a scenario? I have gone to such lengths of enquiring with Data Forensic specialists and a lovely technician has advised that there is a possibility if I can find the 'right' person at Samsung.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Helping Hand
Sorry to hear about your loss. I hope things are ok.

If I was in this situation, I would probably contact Samsung. Get an official response in terms of advice. The more you try, the more 'locked out' you will get.
First Poster

Thank you @GreaterGalaxyUK. I've contacted Samsung who have directed me to the local Samsung Experience Stores. Having tried 3 stores and being on hold for over an hour with each, with no answer. I'm going to go in store in person to see if they can spare me 5 minutes to discuss options.