If you’ve forgotten your iPad passcode

Forgotten your iPad passcode? Find out how to get your iPad into recovery mode so you can erase it and set it up again.

If you enter the wrong passcode on your iPad Lock Screen too many times, an alert will inform you that your iPad is disabled. (Find out what to do if you see "[Device] unavailable" or "Security Lockout" on your iPad.)

If you can’t remember your passcode when you try again, you’ll need to use a computer to put your iPad in recovery mode. This process will delete your data and settings, including your passcode, and allow you to set up your iPad again.

After you’ve erased your iPad, you can restore your data and settings from a backup. If you haven’t backed up your iPad, you can set it up as a new device and then download any data that you’ve stored in iCloud.iPad showing iPad is disabled screen

Step 1: Make sure that you have a computer (Mac or PC)

This process requires a Mac or PC. If you're using a PC, make sure it has Windows 8 or later, and iTunes is installed. You’ll also need the cable that came with your iPad, or another compatible cable, to connect your iPad to the computer.

If you don't have a computer and you can't borrow one, you need to go to an Apple Store or Apple Authorised Service Provider for help.

Step 2: Turn off your iPad

  1. Unplug your iPad from the computer if it’s connected.
  2. Turn off your iPad using the method for your iPad model:
    • If your iPad doesn’t have a Home button: Press and hold one of the volume buttons and the top button at the same time until the power off slider appears.
      Diagrams of iPad models showing top button and volume buttons
    • If your iPad has a Home button: Press and hold the top button until the power off slider appears.
      Diagram of iPad showing top button
  3. Drag the slider to turn off your iPad, then wait a minute to make sure that it turns off completely.

Step 3: Put your iPad in recovery mode

  1. Get ready by finding the button on your iPad that you’ll need to hold in the next step:
    • iPad models that don’t have a Home button use the top button.
      Diagram of iPad models showing top button
    • iPad models that have a Home button use the Home button.
      Diagram of iPad showing Home button
  2. Press and hold the correct button for your iPad while immediately connecting your iPad to the computer. Don’t let go of the button.
  3. Keep holding the button until the recovery mode screen appears on your iPad, then let go.
    Diagram of iPad showing recovery mode screen
    If you see the passcode screen, you’ll need to turn off your iPad and start again.

If you can’t get your iPad to display the recovery mode screen and you need help, contact Apple Support.

Step 4: Restore your iPad

  1. Locate your iPad in the Finder or in iTunes on the computer that it’s connected to. (Find out how to find your connected iPad.)
  2. Choose Restore when you see the option to Restore or Update. Your computer will download software for your iPad and the restore process will commence. If the download takes more than 15 minutes and your device exits the recovery mode screen, let the download finish, then turn off your iPad and start again.
    iPad screen showing Restore button
  3. Wait for the process to finish. 
  4. Disconnect your iPad from the computer, then set up and use your iPad

Need more help?

If you can't complete any of these steps, if you're still prompted for a passcode or if you need any other assistance, contact Apple Support.

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