You have found your way to this page because you have forgotten your passcode on your iPhone.
Worse than that, you are worried that you may lose all your data.
So far, I expect you have tried to unlock your iPhone using the wrong passcode. Your heart sunk, when you tried 6 times and got the ‘This iPhone is disabled’ message.
You may even have got as far as using 10 attempts and seen a message saying your iPhone has been disabled and you must connect it to iTunes to fix it.
Don’t panic – you can unlock an iPhone if you forgot your passcode and had 10 attempts.
When you say your Phone is locked – what do you mean?
This may sound like a strange thing to ask. After all you just want to gain access to your device. However, you have to relaise that Apple in their infinite wisdom has decided that many different elements of their mobile devices can be locked. This means when you want it unlocked you need to make sure it is the right element you are talking about. You may mean you have forgotten your passcode (the 4 or 6 digit code) and you want to reset it so you can use your device again. Or you could mean you have a used iPhone but when you try to set it up it asks for the previous owners iCloud details. Or finally, you may have put a SIM from a different carrier in your mobile but it doesn’t work.
This article deals with passcode unlocking, not the other types which are covered elsewhere on this site.
Consequences of wrongly guessing your iPhone passcode
|No. of tries||Consequence|
Your iPhone is disabled for 1 minute
Your iPhone is disabled for 5 minutes
Your iPhone is disabled for 15 minutes.
Your iPhone is disabled for 60 minutes
You get the message “iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes” OR your iPhone is completely erased if Erase Data is turned on in Settings > Touch ID & Passcode (or Settings > Passcode for iPhones without Touch ID).
iPhone passcode FAQ
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
- How to unlock your iPhone passcode if you have never synced your iPhone to iTunes
- How to unlock your iPhone passcode if you don’t have access to a computer
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. When you connect your iPhone to the computer you may get this error message: “iTunes could not connect to the iPhone because it is locked with a passcode. You must enter your passcode on the iPhone before it can be used with iTunes.”
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.
I have loved techie stuff since I played my first computer games in the early 1980’s. Since then I graduated on to computers, then smartphones, and tablets. I am a self-confessed Apple fanboy with a huge collection of iPods, iPads, MacBooks & iPhones. I enjoy helping people get the most from their Apple products.