I forgot my passcode and was locked out of my phone so I had to find a way to bypass the iPhone lock screen without a computer.
After a lot of trial and error and hours of research, I managed to reset the passcode and gain access to my device.
In this guide, I list 3 ways I found to unlock my iPhone:
- Passcode reset using Find My
- Passcode reset using iCloud
- Passcode reset with Apple Supports help
It only takes a few minutes to read and includes step-by-step instructions that describe the entire passcode reset process.
Read on to find out how to unlock your iPhone without a computer when you don’t know the passcode…
Reset locked iPhone passcode using the Find My App
The Find My App runs on an iPhone or iPad so you could download this tool on another device you own without the need for a computer.
Once downloaded you can remotely remove the passcode. However, you need to be careful because this process will also delete all of the device’s contents. You can recover the contents from your latest iCloud backup.
If you don’t have an iCloud backup you could try using 3rd party software tool to unlock your locked iPhone and recover the erased data without a restore. Unfortunately, you will need to use a computer to install and run these software tools.
For more details on an iPhone passcode bypass without restore, see iPhone passcode screen removal tools.
- Download and install the Find My App on a secondary device you own such as an iPad.
- Tap the Find My App icon to open it.
- Sign in with your Apple ID and password when prompted.
- Once logged in, you will see all your devices on a map.
- Tap your iPhone to select it.
- Make sure your iPhone is connected to Wi-Fi or your cellular network.
- Tap on the actions and choose Erase iPhone. This will reset the passcode and wipe all data from your locked device.
- After your iPhone has been erased, you need to set up your iPhone.
- During the setup process on your device tap “Restore from iCloud Backup” and enter your iCloud details to restore the latest backup to your device. To find out how, see, How to restore iPhone from a backup.
- Once completed you will now have a restored device with a new passcode.
Reset iOS device using iCloud to unlock passcode
You can use another device such as an iPad or a friend’s smartphone to sign in to your iCloud account and erase the passcode from there. For more information, see How to sign in to iCloud.
Just make sure your device is connected to Wi-Fi or your cellular network or it won’t work. This reset process will wipe your iPhone so make sure you have an iCloud backup before you begin.
If you don’t have an iCloud backup you could reset the passcode and recover the data using iOS data recovery tools. These tools need a computer.
- On your borrowed device go to https://www.icloud.com/.
- Sign in using your Apple ID password.
- Click Find My iPhone (you may be asked to sign in again).
- Click All Devices on the menu at the top of the screen in the middle.
- Choose your iPhone from the drop-down list.
- Click the Erase iPhone button to remove the passcode and all the device contents.
- Once erased, you need to set up your iPhone again. During setup tap “Restore from iCloud Backup” to restore the latest backup to your device.
- Once completed you will have a working iPhone with all your recovered data.
Passcode unlock with Apple’s help
In order to reset your passcode, you need to go into recovery mode and reset everything.
There are only 2 ways of doing this:
- By selecting “Erase all contents and settings” on the device itself.
- By connecting it to a computer and resetting it via iTunes or Finder.
If you forgot your passcode option 1 is no good because you can’t go to the settings on the device if it is locked.
If you have no computer then option 2 is no good either – so you are stuck.
Your best option is to pop into your nearest Apple Store or Apple reseller and they will help you perform the reset. Or ask a friend or relative with a computer that will allow you to install iTunes on it so you can perform the recovery
It doesn’t matter if you bought the device from that store originally, Apple’s attitude is that they will help you as it is one of their devices. So don’t be shy – go and see them or a reseller and they will help you.
Once you have access to a computer and have downloaded and installed iTunes you do the following:
- Connect your iOS device to your computer using a USB cable and open Finder or iTunes.
- While your device is connected, force restart it and put it into recovery mode. To find out how, see How to put your iPhone into recovery mode.
- When you see the option to Restore or Update, choose Restore. iTunes will download software for your device. If it takes more than 15 minutes, your device will exit the recovery mode screen and you’ll need to repeat steps 2 and 3.
- If you have a backup then chose to restore and select the latest backup.
- Once the restore is completed you can set up your device as though it is new.
Can I reset passcode on iOS 6 or older
If you have a pre-2013 iPhone it is likely to be running iOS 6. This means you can remotely delete and restore your device using Find My.
This will only work if you have installed the Find My App on your iPhone before you forgot the passcode. You also need to have previously set up iCloud and enabled regular backups on your iPhone too (which is free to do).
- Borrow a friend’s smartphone, tablet, or computer – so you can use it to remotely wipe and restore your locked device.
- Login to Find My using your friend’s device.
- Remotely wipe your device using Find My. This will remove all of the data on your iPhone so only do this if you have a backup.
- Restore your iPhone 6 or older from your latest iCloud backup.
The video below explains how to carry out this procedure.
If you are uncomfortable wiping the data from your device I suggest you download a good quality data recovery tool to save your data first.
When does the passcode expire?
The iOS passcode never expires. You can keep the same passcode for as long as you wish only changing it when it suits you.
What is the default iPhone passcode?
There is no default passcode as it is set by the owner during the initial setup process.
How many passcode attempts do you get on the iPhone?
The lock screen passcode will appear if you use the wrong passcode. This is a standard iPhone feature.
- After 6 attempts iPhone is disabled for 1 minute
- After 7 attempts iPhone is disabled for 5 minutes
- After 8 attempts iPhone is disabled for 15 minutes.
- After 9 attempts iPhone is disabled for 60 minutes
- After 10 attempts you will see a message saying “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
For more information, see How many passcode attempts are allowed to unlock iPhone.
When does the passcode lock expire?
The expiry of the lockout depends on how many incorrect passcode guesses you made. The length of time you are locked out for increases the more wrong attempts you make.
iPhone starts with a 1-minute lockout after 6 wrong attempts, which increases to 5 minutes after 7, 15 minutes after 8, and 60 minutes after 9 incorrect passcode attempts.
If you get the passcode wrong 10 times the iPhone will be permanently locked and you will need to connect it to iTunes before being able to unlock it.
 Wikipedia: iOS versions
 Wikipedia: iPadOS versions
 BBC News: San Bernardino phone hack ‘cost FBI more than $1m’