Daily Tip: How to regain access to a passcode disabled iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Daily Tip: How to regain access to a passcode disabled iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Did someone get ahold of your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and try to guess your Passcode Lock one (or a thousand!) times too many, and now you're wondering how to regain access to it yourself in this lifetime? The screenshot above was sent to us by a baffled reader who's small child got ahold of their iPhone. But don't worry if you've actively been creating backups of your iOS device, you can still regain access -- without having to wait 6 million minutes first.

To regain control of your iPhone, you'll simply need to restore your device in iTunes.

1. First put your phone in either DFU mode or recovery mode. Either will work in this scenario. Most people will prefer recovery mode as DFU can be a bit trickier. If recovery mode doesn't work, then backtrack and try DFU mode. 2. iTunes will prompt you that a device in recovery mode has been detected and that you'll have to restore before using it. 3. Now go ahead and click Restore. 4. iTunes will do its thing and when it's done it will prompt you to either Set up as a new iPhone or Restore from a backup. Choose whatever option you'd like and let iTunes restore your device.

You're done and you didn't have to wait six million minutes! Thanks to reader Tom for the tip idea and we hope this helps you get into your iPhone well before that timer runs out!

Daily Tips range from beginner-level 101 to advanced-level ninjary. If you already know this tip, keep the link handy as a quick way to help a friend. If you have a tip of your own you’d like to suggest, add them to the comments or send them in to dailytips@tipb.com. (If it’s especially awesome and previously unknown to us, we’ll even give ya a reward…)

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

Daily Tip: How to regain access to a passcode disabled iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

11 Comments

Or... If you have a jailbroken iPhone, you could just download "Passcode Lock Preventer" in Cydia and never have to worry about this. :D

sorry dumb question, how do you put your phone in either one of those two modes? This is my biggest fear 'cause I have a small child and I caught him playing with my phone and he was at attempt #9.

There is another option which might be useful, set the password to alphanumeric, but only enter numbers. You still get the numeric keypad for your passcode but with an enter button. That will give you a few more tries before you get into trouble.

I had the same problem except it was for the restrictions and it said to wait something like 41 years. Does this solution apply to mine as well?

You can get past the disabled screen on some iPhones. I wouldn't say that its easy but it can be done. If you are the technical sort then read the tutorial at http://www.ipasswordhelp.com and download the files for password recovery. In the second tab there is an option to bypass the disabled screen. I can vouch that it does work on the iPhone 4 and even if you forgot your password you can get it back but that operation is a little more complicated.