How to fix Galaxy S9 with locked screen showing Privacy Protection message

Today’s post addresses one particular case about a Galaxy S9 with a locked screen due to “Please enter Privacy Protection password to unlock” message. If you have a Galaxy S9 in a similar state, find out what you need to do.

Problem: Galaxy S9 is locked and showing “Please enter Privacy Protection password to unlock” screen

I bought an AT&T S9 from an individual off of Craigslist to use with my Straight Talk service. Before doing so, I called Straight Talk, with the seller right beside me, to have them run the ESN and make sure that the phone was unlocked and ready to go. After changing the APN settings and installing ST’s SIM card, the phone was working great. Then, the other day, I removed the SIM card to check something out. When I put it back in and turned it on, it took me to a screen where the number keypad is displayed and “Please enter Privacy Protection password to unlock” is scrolling across the screen. As far as I know, I didn’t have ANYTHING like this set up and I definitely don’t know the “Privacy Protection password”. So, being stuck and not able to do anything with my phone, I thought perhaps a “hard reset” might work. However, when I follow the steps to perform the reset, instead of putting me in “recovery mode”, it takes me to a menu that reads “Select Boot Mode” and has three options to choose from. One is “recovery mode”, followed by “fast boot”, and then “normal boot”. If I choose “normal”, it takes me right back to the “Privacy Protection password” screen andand if I choose “recovery”, an image of an Android lying down and the text “No Command” above him appears and stays on for a bit. When it goes away, the phone shuts down and restarts in normal boot mode. So, my questions are: 1. Is there ANY way to bypass the “Privacy Protection password” screen? 2. Is there ANY way to perform a “hard reset” on my phone? 3. Why are the USUAL methods for performing a “hard reset” not working on my phone? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.

Solution: We only heard of Privacy Protection password being used on some older Samsung devices and other non-Samsung devices before. Galaxy devices like the S9 have built-in Anti-theft feature but it’s not called Privacy Protection as far as we know. If you are positive that you have a Galaxy S9, then the Privacy Protection feature that’s currently enabled on your device must be an added carrier security layer and must be related to your SIM card. “Please enter Privacy Protection password to unlock” message means that the previous owner of the device must have set it up before selling the S9. In some other devices, Privacy Protection message is triggered when one tries to use a new, unauthorized SIM card.

Removing or bypassing Privacy Protection password screen varies by phone and carrier so we suggest that you talk to the previous owner of the device and your carrier for help.

For your second question, there are only two ways to hard reset your S9. First method is thru Settings menu. This is obviously out of the question since you are unable to unlock the device in the first place. The second method is by using hardware keys. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Turn off the device. This is important. Your S9 will not go to Recovery if you press correct hardware buttons when it’s on. If you can’t turn the phone off normally, wait until the battery is empty. Afterwards, charge the device for at least 30 minutes before doing the reset.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  7. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  8. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  9. Press the Power key to restart the device.

For your third question, the answer depends on which of the two hard reset methods you used. If you tried to boot to Recovery Mode, make sure that the phone is off and you’re pressing the right buttons and sequence.


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