When you’ve put your password in too many times and you get the message “iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes”. This can be for 1, 5, 1, or 60 plus minutes. The more you keep doing it, the longer you’re locked out of your iPhone. I’m going to show you want to do when you have forgotten your iPhone or iPods passcode.

Why iPhones, iPods, and iPads Get Disabled

When your iPhone or iPod gets disabled, there are different types of messages you’re going to see. The most common message is ‘iPhone is Disabled’. This is when you’ve breached the number of attempts to get into your iPhone, iPad or iPod.

You can also get messages saying that your iPhone is disabled for 23 million years, but there’s no way you can wait this long.

If you get locked out of your iPhone, it’s because you’ve reached Apples security limits and you’ve entered your password over 6 times. When you see huge numbers such as 23 million, this is just a message saying that you need to stop entering passcodes.

This feature is meant to prevent thieves from gaining access to your iPhone or iPad when you lose it. If Apple didn’t have this feature, the iPhone wouldn’t be as popular as it is because device security is very important.

You’ll have to Erase All your Data

When your iPhone is disabled, and you’ve forgotten your passcode, the only way this problem can be fixed is if you wipe all of your data. Of course, this isn’t something you want to hear but unfortunately, it’s the only solution.

This is very extreme but if there was a way you could unlock your iPhone without losing your data, the majority of people who have had their iPhone or iPod stolen would have had their data stolen as well. Just imagine if someone went to an iPhone repair service and got the iPhone is disabled message removed without losing any data, we’ll all be screwed at some point.

This isn’t really bad news if you know how to backup your device properly. It’s always good to do iCloud backups because it can save all your data in case something terrible was to happen to your device. You can also backup your iPhone or iPad with iTunes or you can just copy the files to your PC. If you do have an iCloud backup, check when it was last synced.

Restore iPhone From Backup

To Restore an iPhone from a Backup:

  1. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your PC Make sure this PC has your backup iPhone
  2. If you’ve synced your iPhone to this PC before, it should have a backup automatically
  3. Click the iPhone logo on the top left
  4. In the centre of iPhone management, you’ll see a Restore button so click it

There will be a few screens once you click this button and you’ll have to agree with iPhones some terms so click continue.

Once you’ve done this, Apple will show you the list of backups that you can restore your iPhone or iPod from.

Make sure you choose the most recent type of backup you did. This would be an iCloud backup if you used an iCloud back up.

Restore from Recovery Mode

Recovery mode is used when you want to restore your iPhone from a backup, but the process doesn’t work and iTunes no longer sees the device when you connect to it. Restoring your iPhone using recovery mode is going to delete all your data so made sure you have got a recent backup in iCloud.

  1. The first step is to plug in your iPhone to your computer using your USB cable
  2. Open iTunes and make sure you have the latest version of iTunes installed on your computer
  3. Power off the iPhone by clicking the power off button and slide to power off

Once your phone is completely off, go ahead and enter recovery mode. To enter recovery mode:

  1. Press and hold the power button together with the home button
  2. Keep holding it for 10 seconds and after 10 seconds have passed, release only the power button
  3. If you successfully enter recovery mode, you will see a message on iTunes saying that your phone has entered recovery mode successfully
  4. Click Restore iPhone and confirm it

This is going to remove all the information on your iPhone and restoring it to the latest iOS version is going to take a while. After you’re done, your phone is going to completely restart and you can setup your new iPhone.

  1. Click Restore from this backup and choose the latest backup you did
  2. If you did an iCloud backup and you can’t see it here, set up your device normally on your phone and restore the iCloud backup from the settings
  3. If you don’t have a backup, click setup as new iPhone

Your iPhone is now fully usable. All you have to do is fill in all the settings and your personal information and you will be able to use it without any problems.

Restore in DFU Mode

This is device firmware update mode and it can be used to unlock your iPhone when you’ve forgotten your passcode. This is different than recovery mode because recovery mode is going to update your iPhone and restore it.

  1. Plug your iPhone into PC or MAC and iTunes should launch automatically
  2. Turn off your iPhone by swiping to the right. To get into DFU mode for iPhone 6s plus (Click here for iPhone 6S Plus & older):
  3. Hold the power button and the home button down together
  4. Let go of the power button and keep holding the home button. If you see the Apple logo, you’ve held them for too long and will need to start again
  5. Let go of the power button and keep holding the home button down together. If you see the “Plug into iTunes” message, then you’ve held it down for too long and you need to start again
  6. If the screen stays black, your iPhone is in DFU mode

Wipe Data Via Find My iPhone

If the steps above are too confusing for you, the last method you can use is Find My iPhone. This is also going to remove all your data so make sure you have a backup. You first need to log into Find My iPhone from another iOS device.

You’ll then need to use Find My iPhone with your second iOS to locate the device that you forgot the passcode of. Once you’ve done this, you’ll then need to perform a Remote Wipe. This is going to wipe all your data like all the methods above so make sure you’ve backed up your iPhone.