What to Do If You Forget Your iPhone or iPad’s Passcode

If you have forgotten your iPhone’s or iPad’s passcode and haven’t also set up the Touch ID then you will have to reset your phone to gain access again. You will end up losing all the data but it can be restored if you have made a and synced it with iTunes.

Why Can’t I Bypass the Passcode?

There’s no way to bypass the PIN and regain access to an or , even if you do have the username and password of the account signed into iCloud.

Enter the wrong passcode six times in a row and you’ll be informed your device is “disabled” for a period of time, preventing you (or an attacker) from trying over and over again.

On a modern iOS device, the hardware encryption keys are actually protected with the passcode you enter. This is why you always have to enter your PIN or passcode every time your device reboots — even if you’ve enabled touch ID. There’s no way around this aside from wiping the iPhone or iPad and starting fresh.

Wipe and Restore From an iTunes Backup

If you’ve previously synced your iPhone or iPad to iTunes on a Mac or PC, you can have iTunes make a fresh backup and restore that backup. You won’t lose any data if you can do this.

Connect your iPhone or iPad to the computer you have previously synced with an open iTunes. If iTunes asks for a passcode, you won’t be able to provide it if you can’t get past the . Try another computer you’ve synced with previously. If you’re asked for a passcode, you won’t be able to back up or restore the device from within iTunes — you’ll have to use one of the below methods instead.

If iTunes doesn’t ask for a passcode, you can visit the device’s summary screen in iTunes and click “Back Up Now” to make a backup.

After the backup is complete, click “Restore iPhone” or “Restore iPad.” You’ll be able to restore it from the backup you’ve just created, setting up a new passcode while you do so. The passcode is not part of the backup. Select “Restore From iTunes Backup” while going through the setup process again.


Wipe from Find My iPhone

If you haven’t synced the device with iTunes and Find My iPhone is enabled on the device, visit the Find My iPhone page at in your web browser and sign in with your iCloud account and password.

Select the iPhone or iPad you want to wipe using the option at the top of the screen, and then click the “Erase” button. This will remotely erase your iPhone or iPad. When setting it back up, you’ll be able to restore from an iCloud backup or set it up as a new device. Either way, you’ll be able to enter a new PIN or passcode.

Wipe From Recovery Mode

If you haven’t set up Find My iPhone and you’ve never backed up your iPhone or iPad to a PC or Mac, you’ll have to use recovery mode to wipe it.

To do this, you’ll need a Mac or PC with iTunes installed and the included cable to connect your iPhone or iPad to the PC.

First, connect the iPhone or iPad to your computer and open iTunes. Press and hold the Power/Wake and Home buttons at the same time to forcibly restart your iPhone or iPad. Don’t let go of the buttons, even when the typical Apple logo appears. Keep holding the buttons until you see the recovery mode screen, which contains an iTunes logo as well as an outline of cable.

iTunes will inform you that “There is a problem with the iPhone [or iPad] that requires it to be updated or restored.” Click the “Restore” button to restore your device to its factory default settings. Afterwards, you can set it up from scratch and restore it from iCloud backups — if iCloud backup was enabled previously.

These methods will also work for Apple’s iPod Touch devices. If you forget the passcode to your , you can erase it from the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and restore an Apple Watch backup from your iPhone, too.


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Nooruddin Ahmed

The author Nooruddin Ahmed

An avid football fan. Lives for the weekend game.Aviation enthusiast. Believes in letting bygones be bygones.

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