In my decade of supporting Apple products, I have often been asked how to unlock iPad when owners don’t know or forget what their passcode is.
This article will explain how to unlock an iPad when it is locked or disabled.
How do you unlock iPad?
You can unlock an iPad using the following methods:
- Unlocking using a third-party software tool
- Unlocking using iCloud
- Unlocking using a computer
Option 1: Unlocking with a third-party software tool
There are many software tools that claim to be able to unlock 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
Option 2: Unlocking using iCloud
Use a computer, or smartphone to sign in to your iCloud account 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 iPhone 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.
- 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.
Option 3: Unlocking using a computer
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 into recovery mode so you can reset the passcode on your device:
- 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 recovery mode.
We have a detailed guide on how to go into recovery mode on iPad.
Step 2: Remove the iOS device passcode and restore your data
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.
All 3 methods described in this guide will allow you to unlock your iPad passcode so that you can access and use it again. However, doing so will wipe the device and remove all data. You can then restore the data from a backup to get it back again.
You can find out more about unlocking the passcode from an Apple device here, even if you don’t have a computer or backup.
You can also get support on other iPad issues in our in-depth how-to guides.
iPad unlock FAQ’s
Can I remove the iPad passcode without erasing all my data?
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.
How does an iPad get Locked?
If you type in the wrong passcode too many times your iPad is disabled. The more wrong attempts you have the longer the iPad is locked. If you get it wrong too many times you end up with a permanently disabled iPad.
You will also be asked for the passcode when you reboot iPad.
What methods are there to unlock an iPad?
The Apple iPad comes with a variety of security features to prevent unauthorized access to the contents such as Face ID, Touch ID, and a passcode. Regardless of how you choose to unlock iPad you will always have to set up a passcode, even if it is just a backup unlocking method.
4 or 6 digit iPad passcode
The passcode needs to be entered to unlock iPad when you turn it on. The passcode works on all models of the Apple iPad.
Face ID allows you to unlock your iPad by looking at it. Even if you set up Face ID, you also need to set a passcode on your iPad. This feature works on iPod Pro 12.9 inch (3rd generation or newer)
You can use Touch ID to unlock iPad by pressing the top button or the home button with your finger. When you configure Touch ID, you must also set a passcode on iPad.
- iPad Pro 12.9 inch (2nd generation or older)
- iPad Pro 10.5 inch
- iPad Pro 9.7 inch
- iPad Air 2 or newer
- iPad (5th generation or newer)
- iPad mini 4 or newer
Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.