How Do You Unlock An iPhone If You Forgot Your Passcode?

Last updated : 18 November 2014

I now have 2 versions of this article. The one below is suitable for iOS 6 and earlier.

If you have a newer iPhone running iOS 7 or iOS 8 you should look at this article instead.

If you try to unlock your iPhone but you have forgotten your passcode you will end up locking your phone as shown below

how do you unlock an iphone

After too many attempts, your iPhone will say “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes”.

iPhone is disabled connect to iTunes

You can unlock an iPhone if you forgot your passcode.

You do this by restoring your iPhone from the last backup – this removes the passcode from your locked iPhone while retaining your data. This may take a few hours to complete.

How to fix this error

The fix you need to unblock your iPhone passcode depends on your circumstances.

How to unlock your iPhone passcode if you have previously synced your iPhone to iTunes

1. Synchronise your iPhone to your computer – you can do this even if you iPhone is locked. This creates a backup of everything on your phone. Obviously this works best if you have access to the computer your regularly sync your iPhone with.

The video below explains how to sync an iPhone if you are unsure.

2. While your iPhone is still connected to your computer reboot your iPhone by holding down the power and home buttons at the same time. As soon as the Apple logo appears, let go of the power button but keep the home button depressed until you see a “Connect to iTunes” message appear on the iPhone screen.

3. On your computer, you will see a message appear in iTunes that a phone in recovery mode has been detected. You will be prompted to choose whether you want to restore your iPhone to factory settings, or restore it from a backup – if you want to put all of your personal information, contacts, messages, etc. back on to your phone, be sure to choose to restore it from the backup you performed in step 1.

The video below shows how the restore process works if you are unsure.

4. Your passcode will be erased and then all of your data will be restored from your backup. Once this process completes, the passcode will have been removed from your iPhone, and you should now be able to access it without any problems.

Did you find this iPhone fix helpful?

If you found this fix helpful please take a moment to tweet, like, or share this article by using the buttons at the top of this page. I’d really appreciate it. :)

Also, if you are feeling extra generous after having your issue solved please leave some encouraging feedback in the comments section at the bottom of the page. I love getting feedback from visitors. It encourages me to find further solutions to those awkward little iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and Mac problems that we all suffer from.

Thanks for taking the time to read my website and I hope to help you again soon!

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About Kevin Craighead

Hi! My name is Kevin Craighead and I am the guy behind NetChimp.

I have been working in the computer industry since 1988 although my love of electronics goes back even further to my first experience of Pong in the late 70's.

  • libster

    can’t you just press the restore button, what’s the difference?



    my problem is that I don t have backup on my computer ???
    please is there any help for my stuff on the iphone cause he is locked and I forgot password?? :((

  • Camille

    worked perfectly thank you

  • reece

    ive forgot ,y iphone password and my top button don’t work can anyone tell me how I can rest the phone

  • allyaguilar32


  • shoiab shareef

    Thanks for this tips. My iphone 4s successfully restored and unlocked even though on phone lock mode. 100% is working if you try this following tips correctly.

  • Tracey

    Hi my phone says iPhone is disabled connect to iTunes help please I don’t no how to get my phone working

  • isaiah

    need help trying to figure out my passcode because it says to connect to iTunes