If you have set an iPhone passcode then you can be sure that your data is very secure. This passcode is brilliant if your device is stolen as it prevents the thief from getting access to your personal information.
The drawback is when you forget your code because it means you will be locked out and unable to use your device.
It is even more difficult if you don’t have a computer because Apple’s suggested solution involves you resetting your iPhone passcode via a computer.
This issue led me to write this guide showing different ways you can reset your iPhone passcode without using a computer.
Read on and see which one will be suitable for you…
Table of Contents
What is the iPhone passcode?
The iPhone passcode is a 4 or 6 digit security code that locks and prevents others from using your device. To gain access to your iPhone you must enter the correct passcode. If you get it wrong 10 times your device will be disabled.
Depending on your iPhone model your device can be secured using a combination of different methods:
- Face ID
- Fingerprint ID
Having a passcode is a good fallback if the other methods don’t work. For example, in winter when my hands dry out in the cold weather I find that my fingerprint ID no longer works and I am forced to use the passcode. I also have an issue with Face ID not recognizing me and opening my device when I wear a facemask so again I must use a passcode.
So what happens if you forget the passcode and your face or fingerprint is not recognized?
You need to reset or remove the passcode so that you can gain access to your device.
Unfortunately, most of the code reset methods require you to use a computer but what if you don’t own one?
Luckily we can help with 4 different options to choose from in this article. We have also included other methods that require a computer for completeness such as performing a reset using iTunes or by doing a data recovery procedure.
So if you find yourself locked out of your iPhone and don’t have a computer to help reset it then read on to find out what to do…
How to reset your iPhone passcode without a computer
Note: Removing the passcode will not remove the iCloud activation lock. You should read this guide to find out how to remove the iCloud activation lock.
Option 1: Reset 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 D-Back iPhone Data Recovery to backup or restore lost data. Unfortunately, you will need to use a computer to use this tool.
- 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. Click here to find out how.
- Once completed you will now have a restored device with a new passcode.
Option 2: Reset using iCloud
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. Click here to find out how to sign in.
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 try using D-Back iPhone Data Recovery to backup or restore lost data first. Unfortunately, you will need to use a computer to use this tool.
- On your borrowed device go to https://www.icloud.com/.
- Sign in using your Apple ID.
- 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.
Other passcode reset methods
Option 1: Reset passcode and recover data
Neither of these tools is created or endorsed by Apple but do have their place in an emergency such as forgetting your passcode. When used together it allows you to reset your iPhone and recover your data if you don’t have an iCloud backup.
Unfortunately, both of these tools need to be downloaded and installed on a computer. So if you don’t have access to a computer you would need to borrow one.
|LockWiper||$29.95 USD||Passcode removal tool (with free trial)|
|D-Back iPhone Data Recovery||$39.95 USD||Data recovery tool|
LockWiper is a passcode removal tool that works if your face ID or Touch ID won’t be accepted, if you have a broken screen, or if you have simply been locked out after too many attempts.
It works in 3 simple steps using very intuitive software:
- Connect your device to your computer
- Select unlock screen passcode
- The lock is removed
It should work well in conjunction with D-Back iPhone Data Recovery. LockWiper removes the passcode and D-Back recovers the data. I would advise trying to recover the data using D-Back iPhone Data Recovery before removing the passcode, if possible, as it will have the greatest chance of recovering and saving your data.
The software creators have put together some in-depth guides on how to unlock your passcode so you know exactly what to do. They also offer a trial version that lets you try before buying.
It is highly regarded with customers saying things like:
“I highly recommend iMyFone LockWiper. The tool is easy to use (even for people who don’t know any tech) and allows you to quickly remove the Apple ID and screen lock on your device.”
“Worked great for half my problem, however, my iPad was iCloud locked so I could not complete the recovery. iMyFone refunded my money hassle-free. great company and easy to deal with.”
Step 1: Go to the website and click Buy Now
Step 2: Select the basic 1-month plan as it is suitable for most people and is the cheapest.
Step 3: Pay and checkout.
Step 4: After you purchase the software make sure to cancel the monthly re-occurring transaction.
D-Back is a data recovery program that is worth considering if you have been forced to wipe your iPhone or iPad to reset the passcode.
It allows you to restore data from the device using a deep scan via it’s easy to use interface, including:
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
They have put together some in-depth guides on how to recover your data so you know exactly what to do. They also offer a trial version that lets you try and recover data before buying. The trial version only allows you to preview lost data, but with the paid version, you can recover and save the lost data to your computer.
It is highly regarded with customers saying things like:
“I cannot recommend this program enough!! After my phone died during an update it got stuck in recovery mode. Both Apple and Geek Squad told me there was absolutely nothing I could do and I had to restart it in factory mode and lose everything. They said my only option was to send my phone out to a company who quoted me $2000 to *maybe* get my stuff back. After a quick Google search, my husband found iMyFone and I’ll admit I thought it sounded sketchy and too be good to be true, but it really worked. Losing all your phone data can be devastating, but this program can get it back for you. Don’t listen to the “geniuses” and download now. Best money I ever spent!!
Step 1: Go to the website and click Buy Now and select either the Windows or Mac version.
Step 2: Pick the license you want. We suggest the 1-month plan as it is best for a one-off recovery and it is also the cheapest.
Step 3: Check the order details, the payment method, and click the Submit Order button to pay.
Step 4: After you purchase the software make sure to cancel the re-occurring transaction or you will be charged each month.
Option 2: Hack iOS to bypass the passcode and keep your data
As a last resort after you forgot the iPhone passcode, you could try to hack iOS to bypass it. This is quite dangerous and must be done at your own risk but it should work as a last resort…
…but again, it only works if you have a computer.
So if you can beg, borrow, or steal a PC (this won’t work on a Mac) then you could use the instructions in the video below to allow you to restore your device.
You can see this hack working in the video below. Underneath there are step-by-step instructions to make it easy to follow along.
How to hack iOS and bypass the passcode
These instructions are in a slightly different order than the video. This is because the sequence used is, in my opinion, wrong. I believe you should download all of the files before you connect the device to the computer otherwise iTunes will ‘timeout’ due to inactivity with the iDevice.
- Get your model number from the back of your device
- On your PC open a web browser and go to ipsw.me
- Click ‘identify my iOS device’ from the menu on the left
- Chose your device type – iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
- Enter your model number from step 1.
- Click ‘download the latest’ to get the newest firmware and save it on your desktop. It is a big file so it will take a while to download.
- Next, download this program and unzip it.
- Drag the unzipped program to your desktop.
- Drag the firmware file onto the program icon. A new window will open where it will unpack everything. It will take about 10 mins.
- It will create a new file on your desktop which you will use to restore to your device.
- You then connect your device to the PC using the standard charging cable.
- While your device is connected, force restart it:
- On an iPhone 12, 11, XS, XR, X, 8, or 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery mode screen.
- On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery mode screen.
- On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery mode screen.
- iTunes will open automatically, if not open it.
- It should ask you about iPhone recovery mode. Hold the shift button down and click ‘Restore iPhone’.
- A file manager window will open. Go to the desktop and find the new file that was created in step 10 and open it.
- Click restore and wait around 10-15 mins for the new firmware to upload via iTunes. The iPhone should show the Apple logo with a file progress bar.
- It will then reboot and iTunes will say the device is reset to factory settings (but your data should be safe).
- Once rebooted you should be able to access the device without needing to use a passcode.
Option 3: Passcode reset using iTunes
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.
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 only option is to find someone with a computer that will allow you to install iTunes on it so you can perform the recovery. Or pop into your nearest Apple Store or Apple reseller and they will help you perform the reset.
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 and open Finder or iTunes.
- While your device is connected, force restart it:
- On an iPhone 12, 11, XS, XR, X, 8, or 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery-mode screen.
- On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery-mode screen.
- On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery-mode screen.
- 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 recovery mode 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.
There are 5 ways to reset the iPhone passcode but 3 of them need a computer. I have described all of the methods so you can choose the best method for you.
Reset iPhone passcode FAQ’s
Which model of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch can be reset?
I have written these instructions to be as comprehensive as possible – so they describe what to do regardless of the model of device you have.
This should make it easier for you to unlock the passcode.
I have listed all the iPhones this fix is suitable for together with the version of iOS that each of them can run.
This doesn’t mean they will have that version installed. It simply means you could install that version. However, it is possible your device has an earlier version so it is important to check.
- 3G: up to iOS 3
- 3GS: up to iOS 6
- 4: up to iOS 7
- 4S: up to iOS 9
- 5: up to iOS 10
- 5S: up to iOS 12
- 5C: up to iOS 10
- SE: up to iOS 14
- 6: up to iOS 12
- 6S (up to iOS 14)
- 6 Plus (up to iOS 12)
- 6S Plus (up to iOS 14)
- 7 (up to iOS 14)
- 7 Plus (up to iOS 14)
- 8 (up to iOS 14)
- 8 Plus (up to iOS 14)
- X (up to iOS 14)
- XS (up to iOS 14)
- XS Max (up to iOS 14)
- XR (up to iOS 14)
- 11 (iOS 14)
- 11 Pro (iOS 14)
- 11 Pro Max (iOS 14)
- 12 (iOS 14)
- 12 Pro (iOS 14)
- 12 Pro Max (iOS 14)
iPad Pro, Air, and Mini models
This article applies to the following iPad models:
- 12.9 inch iPad Pro (3rd generation) – up to iPadOS 14
- 11 inch iPad Pro (3rd generation) – up to iPadOS 14
- 12.9 inch iPad Pro (2017) – up to iPadOS 14
- 12.9 inch iPad Pro (1st generation) – up to iPadOS 14
- 10.5 inch iPad Pro (2017) – up to iPadOS 14
- 9.7 inch iPad Pro (1st generation) – up to iPadOS 14
- 9.7 inch iPad (2018) – up to iOS 12
- iPad Air 3 – up to iPadOS 14
- iPad Air 2 – up to iOS 12
- iPad Air – up to iOS 12
- iPad (2019) – up to iPadOS 14
- iPad (2018) – up to iPadOS 14
- The iPad (2017) – up to iPadOS 14
- iPad (4th generation) – up to iOS 10
- iPad (3rd generation) – up to iOS 9
- iPad 2 – up to iOS 9
- iPad mini 5 – up to iPadOS 13
- iPad mini 4 – up to iPadOS 13
- iPad mini 3 – up to iOS 12
- iPad mini 2 – up to iOS 12
- iPad Mini – up to iOS 9
iPod touch models
- iPod touch (3rd generation) – up to iOS 5
- iPod touch (4th generation) – up to iOS 5
- iPod touch (5th generation) – up to iOS 6
- iPod touch (6th generation) – up to iOS 12
- iPod touch (7th generation) – up to iOS 14
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 from your latest iCloud backup using these instructions.
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.
What is the iPhone passcode?
The iPhone passcode is a 4 or 6 digit number that you can set to secure your iPhone. You must enter the passcode to gain access to your iPhone and use its features. The passcode is an extra level of security in addition to fingerprint ID, or face ID.
When does your iPhone passcode expire?
The iPhone passcode never expires. You can keep the same passcode for as long as you wish only changing it when it suits you.
Can the iPhone passcode be hacked or cracked?
Yes, the iPhone passcode can be hacked but it is a risky process which is described here. You can also buy forensic software such as Elcomsoft iOS Forensic Toolkit, Backlight, or Latern that claims to unlock the passcode but the software is not sold to the general public and you need to prove your identity and apply for a license before getting a copy.
Why does Apple make this process so awkward?
Apple makes this process hard to prevent your data from getting into someone else hands, for example, if your device is stolen.
In fact, the security on iOS 7 is so complex that the FBI had to pay $1.3 million to crack it .
So although it is awkward, and annoying the underlining concept of keeping your device secure is a good one.
What is the default iPhone passcode?
There is no default iPhone passcode as it is set by the owner during the initial setup process.
How many passcode attempts do you get on the iPhone?
- 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).
When does the iPhone passcode lock expire?
The iPhone passcode lockout time increases the more incorrect guesses 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.
What are the iPhone passcode restrictions?
iPhone passcode restrictions are also known as parental controls and they prevent the use of some functions on the device such as:
- Content & privacy restrictions
- Preventing App store purchases
- Preventing access to explicit content
- Restricting Siri web searches
This is a different passcode from the one requested when the device is rebooted.
iPhone passcode v password: what’s the difference between them?
iPhone doesn’t have a security password, it has a security passcode which is a 4 or 6 digit number. Some people still refer to the passcode as a password but they are referring to the same security feature. So there is no difference between the passcode or the password – they are the same thing people are referring to.
What should I do if I forgot the iPhone passcode without restore?
If you have no iPhone backup and have forgotten your passcode then you may lose all your data stored on the device. This is because the way you remove a forgotten passcode is by resetting it which removes all the data from the iPhone.
Turn off iPhone passcode is greyed out?
The iPhone passcode is greyed out and can’t be disabled as a corporate security measure when work email is installed on the device. This is standard practice with most large businesses.
Why would my iPhone passcode no longer work?
There have been reports in the past that the iPhone passcode no longer worked for large numbers of people after upgrading iOS software on the phone. People were certain they were using the correct passcode but could not gain access to their iPhone. This issue was found to be a bug in iOS. Even though this was a bug the only fix was to reset and restore the device to remove the passcode.
The only other reason that the passcode no longer works on the iPhone is that the owner has mistyped or forgotten it.
Some 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 recommend these tools 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.
 Wikipedia: iOS versions
 Wikipedia: iPadOS versions
 BBC News: San Bernardino phone hack ‘cost FBI more than $1m’