If you would like to know how to unlock your iPad – even if you have forgotten or don’t know the passcode – this guide shows you tried and tested methods we have verified as working.
After reading this article you will know how to do the following:
- Free iPad iCloud unlocking methods.
- How to unlock a disabled iPad.
- Unlock an iPad with or without using iTunes or Finder.
- iPad unlocking without using a computer.
This guide explains iPad passcode unlocking methods even when it is locked or disabled after too many passcode attempts.
When you set up your iPad for the first time you will be asked to create a passcode. If you get the passcode wrong your device will be disabled for a period of time. If you continue to enter the wrong passcode, your tablet will be permanently locked.
If your iPad is locked permanently, or you can’t remember the passcode then Apple says you must reset your phone to unlock it. A reset erases all your data so it’s best to have a backup.
However, there are some ways to avoid losing all your data – even without a restore – described below.
Table of Contents
iPad unlocking using your old passcode (only on iPadOS 17)
With the introduction of PadOS 17, Apple has added a new feature known as Passcode Reset. If you ever forget your newly set passcode, this feature allows you to use your previous passcode as a backup for up to 72 hours.
Using iOS 17 Passcode Reset:
- Start from your device’s lock screen.
- Attempt to enter your passcode incorrectly five times in a row.
- Wait until you see the message “[Device] Unavailable” and a prompt asking you to try again later.
- Once prompted, locate and tap on the “Forgot Passcode?” option, which will be found in the bottom corner of the screen.
- Choose “Enter Previous Passcode.”
- Key in your old passcode.
- Follow the subsequent on-screen directions to establish a fresh passcode. Remember, with the iOS 17 and later updates, your old passcode can temporarily unlock your device.
Manually Expiring the Old Passcode Before 72 Hours:
- Navigate to the “Settings” app on your device.
- Choose “Face ID & Passcode.”
- When prompted, enter your current passcode.
- Locate and tap on “Expire Previous Passcode Now.”
By following these steps, you can ensure your old passcode becomes invalid before the default 72-hour timeframe.
Unlock iPad using iCloud
Use a computer, or smartphone to sign in to your iCloud account using your Apple ID and erase the passcode on your iPad remotely.
When you remove the passcode the reset process will wipe your iPad so make sure you have a backup before you begin.
If you don’t have an iCloud backup you should download and install D-Back Data Recovery to backup your device first. It even lets you restore your iPad data using a deep scan via its easy to use interface. D-Back can help you recover data such as:
Messages & iMessages
Photos & App photos
Videos & App videos
WhatsApp messages & attachments
Kik messages & attachments
WeChat messages & attachments
Viber messages & attachments
Line messages & attachments
Notes & attachments
Safari bookmarks & history
- Go to https://www.icloud.com/ on a web browser.
- Sign in using your Apple ID and password.
- Click Find My iPhone even though it is an iPad you want to reset (you may be asked to sign in again).
- Click All Devices on the menu at the top of the screen and then choose your iPad from the drop-down list.
- Select Erase iPad to remove the passcode. This will unlock your iPad and erase the contents putting it back in its factory settings.
- Once erased, you need to set up your iPad again. During setup tap “Restore from iCloud Backup” to restore the latest backup to your device.
- Once completed you will have a working iPad with all your data.
Remove iPad passcode with iTunes or Finder for free
You can use free Apple apps such as iTunes or Finder to unlock your iPad, even if it is disabled.
You will need your iPad, a computer, and a cable to connect them to unlock your iPad using this process.
Connect your iPad to your computer using the lightning cable.
Step 1. Put your iPad in recovery mode
- iPad with Home button: Press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until the recovery mode screen appears.
- iPad models that don’t have a Home button: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Press and hold the Top button until your device begins to restart. Continue holding the Top button until your device goes into the recovery mode screen.
We have a detailed guide on how to go into recovery mode on iPad.
Step 2: Factory reset iPad
If you have a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or newer use Finder.
- Open a Finder window on your Mac
- If you have previously synced your iPad with the Mac you won’t be asked for the passcode. Otherwise, you will be asked for the passcode so the Mac can be trusted. In these circumstances, you won’t be able to use this method and you should try one of the others.
- In the locations section on the left pane of the Finder click your iPad
- When you see the option to Restore or Update, choose Restore.
- The Finder will download the latest software for your iPad. If it takes more than 15 minutes, your iPad will exit recovery mode and you’ll need to repeat the steps to go back into it again.
- Choose the latest backup to restore to your device.
- Your passcode will be removed and your data will be restored from the backup.
If you have macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier or older, or a PC, use iTunes.
- Open iTunes
- If you have synced your tablet with the computer before you won’t be asked for the passcode. However, if it is a computer you have never synced with previously you will be asked for the passcode so the computer can be trusted. As you don’t know the passcode you won’t be able to use iTunes and you should try one of the other methods.
- Wait for iTunes to sync with your device.
- Once synced, click Restore iPad.
- When finished, the iOS setup screen should pop up on your phone.
- Tap on Restore from iTunes backup on your iPad.
- Choose the latest backup to restore from.
- Your passcode will be removed and the data will be restored.
Hack locked iPad with a tool
There are many software tools that claim to be able to hack into a locked iPad. I recommend iBypasser as it is a good quality tool that has been well written.
iBypasser allows you to:
- Unlock passcode, Face ID, or Touch ID locks
- Get rid of screen time lock
- Unlock remote management MDM screen
The tool is compatible with iPadOS and is compatible with all models of iPad Air, iPad mini, iPad Pro, and iPad. There are Mac and Windows versions available.
The software is safe, secure, and certified virus-free. You also get a 30-day money-back guarantee for peace of mind. The customer support is professional and responds to queries quickly. You also get free lifetime upgrades with your license.
There is also a free trial version that you can try before you buy. This is useful to make sure it is 100% compatible with your iPad before you buy it.
Using the software is easy:
- Download and install the software on your computer
- Connect your iPad to your computer
- Run the tool and select ‘Unlock Screen Passcode’
- The lock is removed (and the tool will erase iPad data with a factory reset)
- Restore your data from a backup
I have a different guide you should read if you would like to remove the Activation Lock rather than the Passcode Lock. To find out more, see How to remove iPad Activation Lock.
Get help from Apple Support
Apple Support will not unlock a passcode-locked iPad for you.
They will help you perform the steps required to reset your device and remove the passcode. Before they help you will need to prove you are the owner of the device.
When you remove the iPad lock the device will be reset to factory settings and all of your data will be erased. If you want to keep your data you need to backup your iPad first. You can then restore it from the backup after the lock has been removed.
About iPad security
When you set up your iPad for the first time you will be asked to create a 4 or 6-digit passcode. This is in addition to Touch ID which allows you to unlock your phone by just glancing at it. If Touch ID fails, the passcode is used as a backup. This makes it vital that you remember your iPad passcode.
If you get the passcode wrong your device will be disabled for a period of time. If you continue to enter the wrong passcode 10 times in a row, your iPad will be permanently locked.
For more information, see how many attempts to unlock the passcode.
If your iPad is disabled permanently, or you can’t remember the passcode then Apple says you must reset and wipe everything on your tablet to unlock it. This means all your data will be removed so you need a backup to recover the information.
This comprehensive guide offers various solutions to unlock iPad, especially when confronted with a forgotten or unknown passcode.
Techniques explored range from leveraging recovery mode, utilizing iTunes or Finder, resorting to Find My iPhone via iCloud, to harnessing specialized software tools like LockWiper.
It’s essential for users to distinguish between the multiple types of passcodes available, such as the Screen Time passcode. Furthermore, there are also many types of unlocking such as the iPad iCloud Lock. Always choose the method most suited to your needs, and remember to back up your data when possible.
You can unlock the passcode on your locked iPad easily using the steps provided in this guide. This will remove the lock screen.
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