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iOS: Forgot passcode or device disabled

Learn what to do if you have forgotten your passcode, or if your device displays a message saying it's disabled.

If you enter the wrong passcode six times in a row, you'll be locked out and you'll see this message:

  • iPhone is disabled
  • iPad is disabled
  • iPod touch is disabled
    IPhone is disabled message on Lock screen

If you can't remember your passcode, you'll need to erase your device using iTunes, Find My iPhone, or recovery mode. Then use a backup to put your data and settings back on your device. Here's how.

Use iTunes

If you have synced your device with iTunes, you can restore your device.

  1. Connect the device to the computer you normally sync with.
  2. Open iTunes. If iTunes asks you to enter the passcode, try another computer that you've synced with. Or try the steps below to use recovery mode.
  3. iTunes will automatically sync your device and create a backup. If it doesn't, sync the device with iTunes.
  4. After the sync is complete, restore your device.
    Restore iPhone in iTunes
  5. When iOS Setup Assistant asks to set up your device, choose "Restore from iTunes backup."
  6. Select your device in iTunes and choose the most recent backup.

Use Find My iPhone

If you enabled Find My iPhone, you can use it to erase your device.

  1. Go to icloud.com/#find to see if you enabled Find My iPhone.
  2. Click All Devices at the top of your browser window. 
  3. Select your device and click "Erase [device]" to erase your device and its passcode.
  4. Use the Setup Assistant on your device to restore the most recent backup of your device.

Use recovery mode

Follow these steps if you never synced your device with iTunes, if you don't have Find My iPhone set up, or if you can't get to your own computer. You'll need to put your device in recovery mode, which will erase the device and its passcode. Then you'll restore your device as new or from a backup.

  1. Disconnect all cables from your device.
  2. Turn off your device.
  3. Press and hold the Home button. While holding the Home button, connect your device to iTunes. If your device doesn't turn on automatically, turn it on.
  4. Continue holding the Home button until you see the Connect to iTunes screen.
  5. iTunes will alert you that it has detected a device in recovery mode.
  6. Click OK, then restore the device.
Last Modified: Aug 25, 2014
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  • Last Modified: Aug 25, 2014
  • Article: HT1212
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