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How To Unlock iPhone 12 Without The Passcode

If you would like to know how to unlock any model of iPhone 12 – even if you have forgotten or don’t know the passcode – this guide shows you every possible method available.

This article will explain the following iPhone 12 passcode removal topics:

  • All passcode reset methods, including free and paid techniques.
  • How to retain your data after a passcode reset – even without a backup.
  • The best commercial unlocking tools.
  • How to use recovery mode to get rid of the screen lock.
  • What to do if you don’t have a computer to use.
  • The standard passcode reset process.
  • Resetting Face ID.
How To Unlock iPhone 12 Without The Passcode
Above: iPhone 12 in purple

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After their release in 2020, it was noted that the iPhone 12 range could have its screen locked and unlocked using Face ID or a passcode. Despite rumors, unlocking using a fingerprint via Touch ID was not included.

It is suitable for the following iPhone models:

  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 12 Mini
  • iPhone 12 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max

Related: How to bypass iCloud Activation Lock on iPhone 12.

First, a little background on the iPhone 12 and its passcode.

Although very similar to the iPhone 11 it replaced, there are some differences that make the iPhone 12 range unique including 5G support, an upgraded A14 Bionic chip, better photo handling, and increased storage capacity. This is why we produced this dedicated guide for unlocking this model of phone.

When you set up your iPhone 12 for the first time you will be asked to create a 4 or 6-digit passcode. This is in addition to Face ID which allows you to unlock your phone by just glancing at it.

If Face ID fails, the passcode is used as a backup unlock method. Face ID can go wrong, making it vital that you remember your 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 iPhone will be permanently locked.

For more information, see how many passcode attempts before my iPhone is disabled.

If your iPhone 12 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 later in this guide.

Unlock iPhone 12 without a backup or restore

The official Apple passcode reset technique used if you forget your passcode will wipe the contents of your iPhone 12. To get the data back, you recover the erased contents from a backup.

But what if you don’t have a backup?

There are a couple of solutions you can try – one free and one paid – that will remove the passcode and recover the missing data.

Free method

There is a free unlock method that is worth trying on iPhone 12.

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It has quite a low success rate, but if you want to try a free way to unlock your passcode and keep your data – even without a restore – then give it a go.

  • This technique uses a software tool called IPSW to hack your iPhone 12.
  • You download IPSW to a PC (not a Mac) and use it to hack the passcode without erasing your data.

For step-by-step instructions, see passcode unlock iPhone 12 without a backup or watch the video below.

Paid method

There is also a few paid software tool you can try to unlock the screen.

All these tools run on a computer, so you will need a PC or Mac for these to work.

Paid passcode removal and data recovery tools
ToolRatingFeatures
#1 LockWiper★★★★★Removes locks such as passcode, Face ID,  Apple ID, MDM lock, & screen time lock.
#2 D-Back iPhone Data Recovery★★★★★Recovers erased data from an iOS device, iTunes, or iCloud – including photos, messages, and more…

#3 Ultdata

★★★★Recovers 35 deleted file types from iOS devices, iTunes, or iCloud backups.

The passcode unlocking process using these tools is as follows:

  1. Download and install a data recovery tool.
  2. Test the data recovery program on your iPhone 12 to see if it will get back deleted files from your phone. If so, move on to the next step.
  3. Download and install the passcode removal tool.
  4. Use the passcode removal tool to unlock the iPhone 12 screen. The phone’s data will be wiped.
  5. Recover your data from the wiped phone using the data recovery tool you tested in step 2.

For more detailed instructions, see Unlock iPhone without a restore.

How to unlock iPhone 12 without a computer (for free)

There are 3 ways to unlock an iPhone 12 passcode if you don’t have a computer:

  • Ask for help from a friend, family member, or colleague. Borrow their smartphone, tablet, or computer to go online using a web browser and log in to your iCloud account and erase the passcode from there. For more information on accessing your iCloud account, see How to log in to iCloud.
  • Download the Find My app onto another Apple device you own, such as an iPad. You can use the app to remotely erase your iPhone 12 and remove the passcode.
  • Go into your nearest Apple Store or Apple reseller and ask them to help you perform the passcode reset using one of their computers. 

For more information, see Unlock a forgotten iPhone passcode without using a computer.

iPhone 12 unlocking using Find My and iCloud (for free)

If you have access to another computer, smartphone, or tablet you can use them to unlock the passcode via the iCloud website.

To do so, do the following:

  1. Go to iCloud.com.
  2. If you have Two Factor Authentication turned on, you will be prompted for your authentication code.
  3. Once signed in, click Find iPhone.
  4. All the Apple devices you own will be located.
  5. Once your devices have been located, they will appear on a map.
  6. At the top of the screen, select All Devices and select your iPhone 12 from the list.
  7. Next, click Erase iPhone to remove the passcode. This process will also remove all the data from your iOS device.
  8. On the dialog box that pops open, confirm you want to erase the device.
  9. The passcode and all the data will be removed from your iPhone.
  10. Once erased, set up your device and restore your iPhone data.

It is a good idea to check when the iPhone’s last backup was done – to make sure it contains all your data before erasing your device.

Using recovery mode to unlock iPhone 12 (for free)

To use recovery mode, you will need:

  • A PC with Windows 8, or newer and iTunes installed, or a Mac.
  • Your passcode locked iPhone 12
  • A USB cable to connect the phone to the computer.

To use recovery mode do the following:

  1. Press and hold both the side button and the Volume down button on your iPhone 12 until the power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to turn off your device, then wait a minute to make sure it turns off completely.
  3. Press and hold the iPhone 12 side button while immediately connecting it to the computer. Don’t let go of the button.
  4. Keep holding the button until you see the recovery mode screen on your iPhone, then let go. If you see the passcode screen, you need to turn off your iPhone and start again.
  5. Locate your iPhone in the Finder or in iTunes on the computer.
  6. When you see the option to Restore or Update, choose Restore. Your computer downloads software for your iPhone 12 and begins the restore process. If the download takes more than 15 minutes and your device exits the recovery mode screen, let the download finish, then turn off your iPhone and start again.
  7. Wait for the process to finish.
  8. Once done, disconnect your iPhone from the computer, then set up your iPhone.

For more information, see How to put your iPhone into recovery mode.

Open iPhone 12 screen lock with Face ID (for free)

If you have Face ID configured on your iPhone 12, do the following:

  1. Tap the screen or raise your iPhone 12 to wake it, then look at your iPhone. The lock icon at the top of the lock screen animates from closed to open to indicate that your device is unlocked.
  2. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to use the device.

To lock the Phone again:

  • Press the side button, or
  • don’t touch the screen for a minute or two, your iPhone 12 locks automatically.

If you don’t have Face ID enabled, find out how to Set up Face ID on iPhone.

If Face ID isn’t working

If you set up Face ID on your iPhone 12, but it no longer works do the following:

Double-check your Face ID settings

  1. On your iPhone, tap Settings.
  2. Then, tap Face ID & Passcode.
  3.  Check Face ID is set up and turned on.

Check the front-facing camera can scan your features properly

Make sure nothing is covering the front-facing TrueDepth camera on your iPhone 12:

  1. Get rid of anything that may be covering the front camera such as dirt, a case, or a screen protector
  2. Ensure you are not covering the front-facing TrueDepth camera with your hand.
  3. Make sure your face is not covered. Your eyes, nose, and mouth must be fully visible to the front TrueDepth camera.
  4. Make sure your eyes aren’t blocked if you’re wearing a face mask. You may need to hold your iPhone higher than normal.
  5. If you’re wearing sunglasses designed to block certain types of infrared light your iPhone 12 won’t unlock. Try using Face ID without your sunglasses.

If none of these fixes work, check if there are any iOS updates for your iPhone.

How to reset Face ID

If you have tried the fixes above and they haven’t worked, you need to reset your Face ID on your phone.

Before you begin, make sure your face isn’t covered and you take off your sunglasses.

You can use Face ID with face masks on iPhone 12 as long as you have iOS 15.4 or later installed. Face ID works best when your iPhone is approximately 10-15 inches from your face.

To reset Face ID do the following:

  1. On your iPhone, tap Settings.
  2. Scroll down, then tap Face ID & Passcode.
  3. If prompted, enter the screen lock code.
  4. Tap Reset Face ID. This will disable Face ID security on your device.
  5. Return to the Home screen.
  6. Tap Settings.
  7. Then, tap Face ID & Passcode. If asked, enter your passcode. If you didn’t set a passcode, you’ll be asked to create one to use as an alternative way to verify your identity.
  8. Tap Set Up Face ID.
  9. Next, tap Get Started.
  10. Position your face inside the frame shown on the screen and move your head to complete a circle.
  11. When you’ve finished the first Face ID scan, tap Continue.
  12. Repeat the scan a second time.
  13. Tap Done.

Open iPhone 12 with Apple Watch

You can use a paired Apple Watch to unlock your iPhone 12 by doing the following:

  1. On your iPhone, go to Settings
  2. Tap Face ID & Passcode.
  3. Scroll down, then below Unlock with Apple Watch turn on Apple Watch.

To unlock your iPhone 12, your Apple Watch must:

  • Have a passcode.
  • Be unlocked and on your wrist.
  • Be close to your iPhone.

If you forget your iPhone 12 Screen Time passcode

The Restrictions or Screen Time Passcode is different from the passcode used to unlock your iPhone. It is used to block access to some features, settings, and functions of the iPhone.

The Screen Time feature is most often used by parents or IT Departments to control usage of the device.

If enabled, the pin code is usually completely different for Screen Time so can easily be forgotten.

If you do forget it, it can be reset as follows:

  1. On your iPhone 12, tap Settings.
    tap settings
  2. Scroll down, then tap Screen Time.
    Screen Time
  3. Next, tap Change Screen Time Passcode.
    Change Screen Time passcode
  4. In the pop-up window, tap Change Screen Time Passcode again.
    Change Screen Time passcode confirm
  5. Tap Forgot Passcode.
    forgot Screen Time passcode
  6. To reset the passcode, you will be asked for your Apple ID and Password. If you don’t know them, see How to reset an Apple ID.
    Screen Time passcode recovery
  7. Enter a new passcode, and verify it.
    new Screen Time passcode

For a more in-depth tutorial, see Screen Time passcode reset.

Getting rid of the passcode on other iPhone models

If you want to remove the passcode on a different iPhone model see:

Other iPhone unlocking guides

Beyond the passcode lock, Apple also uses Activation Lock and the carrier lock to restrict and secure their products.

Find out more about these iPhone unlocking methods:

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