It can really be very frustrating, in case you forget your iPhone Passcode and get locked out of your iPhone or iPad for entering an incorrect password multiple times.
All it takes is six to ten incorrect password attempts to get permanently locked out of your own iPhone. This can happen in case your password is difficult to remember, you become forgetful for some reason and also when kids get access to your iPhone and end up entering the incorrect passcode multiple times.
What to do if you Forget Your iPhone Passcode
In case you do get locked out of your iPhone, you need to accept the fact that there is absolutely no way to crack an iPhone Passcode.
Even Apple representatives won’t be able to unlock your iPhone for you in case you forget your iPhone Passcode or get locked out of your iPhone for exceeding the allowed number of password attempts.
However, the good news is that you can still get access into your Locked iPhone and you may even be able to recover all your iPhone contacts, apps, photos, music and more by using the steps provided below in this article.
Backup Locked iPhone’s Data to Computer
Even though your iPhone is locked, you will still be able to backup your iPhone’s current data to a computer using iTunes, without having to enter your Passcode.
Since you had previously made an iTunes backup and authorized your Computer to access your iPhone, iTunes will not ask you to enter your iPhone’s passcode and you will be able to make a backup using the steps below.
Note: You won’t be able to use this method in case you have never previously made a Backup of your iPhone using iTunes. In such a case, you can skip this method and move to iCloud Method or the Recovery Mode method.
1. Open iTunes on your computer and Connect your Locked iPhone to the computer using its USB cable.
2. On iTunes, click on the phone icon located below the top menu bar (See image below). This will bring up iTunes Settings menu that you can see in Step 3 below.
3. Under the section Backups, select This Computer and make sure that the option “Encrypt iPhone Backup” is unchecked. (See image below)
Un-checking “Encrypt iPhone Backup” option will backup your iPhone without including the information about your Account and other Passwords on your iPhone
4. Next, click on the Back Up Now button to start the process of backing up your iPhone to your local computer (See image below)
The time to make a backup of your iPhone will depend on the amount of data on your iPhone. You will be able to see the progress of the iTunes Backup on the top bar of your computer.
After the Backup Process is completed, make sure that iTunes has really made a backup file by using the steps below.
1. Click on Edit and next click on Preferences from the drop-down menu
2. On the next screen, click on Devices.
You should be able to see a backup of your iPhone with your name or the name of the iPhone (John’s iPhone or such) and the time of the backup (See image above).
Erase Locked iPhone and Restore Using iTunes Backup
The next step is to Erase the current data on your iPhone including its lock screen password and Restore your iPhone using the iTunes backup that you have just created above.
Since we had Unchecked the option “Encrypt iPhone Backups”, the most recent backup copy of your iPhone will not have any information about your Passwords on iPhone.
1. While you are still on iTunes with your iPhone connected to your Computer, click on Restore iPhone button to start the process of Restoring your iPhone (See image below)
2. You may see a popup, asking you whether you want to make a backup of your iPhone before starting the Restore Process. Click on Don’t Back Up Option, to start the process of Restoring Your iPhone.
3. The Restore Process will take several minutes, patiently wait for the Restore Process to be completed until you see the Hello > Slide to Set Up Screen (See image below)
4. Start Setting up your iPhone by follow the onscreen instructions, until you reach the Apps and Data Screen (See image below)
5. On the Apps and data Screen, click on Restore From iTunes Backup (See image above).
6. On the next screen, select the most recent backup of your iPhone that you had just created and patiently wait for your iPhone to be Restored using the backup file.
After the Restore is completed, your iPhone should have all the information from its last backup, but it no longer will have the Passcode enabled.
Erase Lost iPhone’s Data and Restore Using iCloud Backup
In case you have enabled “Find My iPhone” feature on your iPhone, you will be able to Erase all the data on your iPhone including its Lock Screen Password and restore your iPhone using an iCloud backup.
1. Using a Computer, sign-in to your iCloud Account with your Apple ID (Not your iPhone Passcode but your Apple ID that you use to login to iTunes, App Store and iCloud)
2. Next, click on Find My iPhone icon
3. Enter your Apple ID Password in order to Sign-in to Find My iPhone service.
4. On the next screen, click on All Devices (you will find this at the Middle of your Screen) and then click on the iPhone that you want to Erase (See image below)
5. Once you click on iPhone in Step 4 above, you will see 3 options for your iPhone at the top right corner of your screen (See image below)
6. Click on Erase iPhone (See image above) to Erase all the data on your iPhone, including the Lock Screen Passcode that is keeping you out of your iPhone.
7. You will be asked to Enter your Apple ID password to Confirm Erasure of your iPhone’s data.
8. Once the data on your iPhone is Erased you will see the Hello Screen on your iPhone, prompting you to Start Setting Up your iPhone (See image below)
9. Start Setting up your iPhone by following the onscreen instructions, until you reach the Apps and Data Screen (See image below)
10. Tap on Restore from iCloud Backup to start the Process of Setting Up your iPhone from the last backup as available on iCloud.
Once the Restore Process is completed, your iPhone will have the most essential information as typically available in an iCloud Backup and you will be able to login to your iPhone without a Passcode.
Erase iPhone Using Recovery Mode
If you have never made an iTunes Backup or set up Find My iPhone, your only option is to use Recovery Mode to restore your iPhone. This will Erase all the data on your iPhone, including its Lock Screen Passcode.
1. Open iTunes on your Windows Computer or Mac.
2. Make sure your iPhone is completely turned off and attach it to the Computer using a USB cable.
3. Next, press and hold the Home button, and do not release the home button when you see the white Apple logo appearing on your screen (See image below)
4. Keep holding the Home button until you see the iPhone Recovery Mode Screen (iTunes logo and cable) – See image below.
5. Your iPhone is now in Recovery Mode and you can release the Home Button.
6. Next, you will see an iTunes Message on your screen with options to Cancel, Update, and Restore your device to Factory Default Settings (See image below)
7. Click on the Restore button to start the process of Restoring your iPhone to its Factory Default Settings.
Note: Your device may exit recovery mode in case iTunes takes more than 15 minutes to download the software for your device. In such a case, repeat steps 3 and 4 to get back to recovery mode.
8. Once your iPhone is Restored to Factory Default Settings, you will see the iPhone Welcome Screen with Slide to Set Up option (See image below)
9. Start Setting up your iPhone by following the onscreen instructions, until you reach the Apps and Data screen (See image below)
10. Since you do not have an iCloud or iTunes backup, choose Set Up as new iPhone option and complete the Set up Process (See image above)
Now that you can freely access your iPhone, make sure that you Set Up your iPhone to backup automatically to iCloud and also get into the habit of making a complete backup of your iPhone using iTunes.