If you want to know why exactly this happens, regardless of whether or not it has affected you, this post will at least show you how to avoid falling victim to this security measure again if you find it to be too much trouble, as well as why this feature exists to begin with.Back in March 2015, Google introduced a feature called Device Protection in its newly-released version of Android, 5.1 Lollipop.Part of this new suite of security tools was something called Factory Reset Protection. It is tripped by resetting your Google account password and then performing a factory reset on an Android device (with Device Protection, meaning it runs 5.1+) that account is connected to.

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This isn't a news story, but more of a "public service announcement" about an Android feature not everyone may be aware of.

If you've ended up here because your Android phone is telling you that, after a factory reset, you cannot log into your device for 72 hours (3 days), I don't have much good news: you're going to have to wait it out.

Think of it this way: if somebody changes the lock on a security door (your phone) the night before the building gets robbed, do you think the person changing the lock (or someone else at the lock company) might have been in on it?

That's essentially the logic of factory reset protection.

The idea is that your Google account and password are the "lock" and "key" that are required to open your Factory Reset Protection-enabled device (the door) after it undergoes a factory reset, and that by changing your Google account password, you're "tampering" with the lock right before you enter the door - which is suspicious.

And so at that point, Google initiates a 72-hour hold on sign-ins to that "door." After that 72 hours expires, you still need to log in with the previously-connected Google account's password.

The difference is that during the hold, you just can't log in - after the hold is over, you obviously still need to verify the account password.

The reason the hold is triggered is that, once your Google account is compromised on a stolen phone (easy enough to do - the thief has your Gmail and probably your phone number), there is essentially no other way to stop a thief from successfully erasing all traces of your account ever having been on said phone, since a wipe can be done directly from the recovery menu on bootup without any sort of authorization (PIN/pattern protected startup does not prevent this).

That 72 hours theoretically gives you time to get your Google account back under your control and change the password again, making the thief's attempts to log in futile.