Richard, my colleague, forgot his iPhone’s security passcode and entered it incorrectly several times. He found his iPhone disabled with a permanently locked screen. And he was so worried about his emergency contacts, photos, and data. Finally, he called me and asked for the best possible solution.
Forgetting the passcode and getting the device disabled has been a common issue among the users. Being a technician, I even personally solved thousands of such issues.
Here in this guide I’ve shared how I solved Rechard’s issue. I hope it will be a didactic guide for you to restore your disabled or unavailable iPhone without losing any essential data.
So, no more words. Let’s have a few minutes and learn the step-by-step guide thoroughly.
- Factors behind Disabled or Unavailable iPhones!
- Method One: Restore Disabled or Unavailable iPhones or iPads on iTunes/Finder
- Method Two: Restore Disabled or Unavailable iPhones or iPads on iCloud!
- Frequently Asked Questions-FAQs
- Concluding Comment
Factors for iPhone’s Disabled or Unavailable Screen:
- Entering the wrong security passcode repeatedly (maximum 10 attempts)
- No update of Apple ID for a long time
- Device Hacking
However, using a wrong passcode after several attempts is the most common reason for a disabled or unavailable iPhone screen. You get a few tries to recover your screen with the correct passcode.
|Number of Attempts||Time to Reattempt||Disability/Unavailability Status||Action|
|1-5 attempts||Try again in 1 minute||Disabled but not locked||Put right passcode|
|6-7 attempts||Try again in 5 minutes||Disabled but not locked||Put right passcode|
|8 attempts||Try again in 15 minutes||Disabled but not locked||Put right passcode|
|9 attempts||Try again in 60 minutes||Disabled but not locked||Put right passcode|
|10 attempts (maximum)||After 60 minutes of 9 attempts||Disabled and locked||Restore Required|
So, you must restore your iPhone or iPad when you enter an incorrect passcode for ten tries repeatedly. And it requires erasing the existing settings and contents, including the passcode. Now, let’s look at the guide to restoring disabled or unavailable iPhones without losing data.
I recommend Richard iTunes or Finder to restore his disabled or unavailable iPhones without data damage. The self-driven method requires no iCloud account except a Mac or PC and a USB cable. It is a proven method and recommended by the Apple Support Center. Let’s move on step-by-step.
Step-1: Prepare Your devices
The first step is to manage a Mac or PC with the latest iTunes application. If it is a PC, the operating system must be Windows 10 or later. Manage a USB cable to connect your computer.
Step-2: Turn Off the iPhone
You need to turn off your iPhone. Don’t forget to unplug your device from a charger or computer before turning it off. However, the switching-off process differs from one model to another. Check the process by model here.
|Model: iPhone 8, iPhone 8-Plus, iPhone X or later, iPhone SE (2nd & 3rd generation.||Press and hold the ride-sided power button and left-sided volume down button together until the power-off slider comes.|
|Model: iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6S||Press and hold the right-sided button until you see the power-off slider on the screen.|
|Model: iPhone 5S or earlier, iPhone SE (1st generation)||Keep pressing the upper button until the power-off slider appears on the screen.|
Finally, drag the slider from left to right and wait for a while to ensure your device’s turning off mode.
Step-3: Initiate Recovery Mode
In this step, you have to initiate the recovery mode of your iPhone and connect to a Mac or PC with a USB cable. Finding recovery mode differs based on the device’s models. Let’s see!
|Model: iPhone 8, iPhone 8-Plus, iPhone X or later, iPhone SE (2nd & 3rd generation).||Tap the right-sided button until the recovery mode appears.|
|Model: iPhone 7 or iPhone 7-Plus||Tap the volume down button until the recovery mode comes on the screen.|
|Model: iPhone 6S, iPhone 5S or earlier, iPhone SE (1st generation)||Press and hold the ‘Home’ until the recovery mode appears.|
N.B. Press and hold the proper button and connect your device to a computer immediately using a USB cable. Don’t relax the button until you see recovery mode on your iPhone’s screen. It takes a while.
Step 4: Locate and Restore
It is time to locate your iPhone in iTunes or Finder to start restoring your device. You will find your iPhone icon on the upper left corner of the iTunes or Finder interface.
A popup interface appears with ‘update’ and ‘restore’ icons. Click on the ‘restore’ option to erase existing settings, contents, and passcodes. Be patient and wait for a while to end the entire process.
Important: You must make a backup of your files, photos, contacts, and applications in iTunes or computer memory before clicking on the ‘restore’ icon. It will protect your essential data from loss.
An Apple iCloud ID can be a reliable way to restore disabled or unavailable iPhones and iPad with no risk of data loss. However, it requires a ‘Find My iPhone’ enabled device to apply the method. Follow the steps.
Step 5: Sign in to iCloud
Open your browser and go to the iCloud login page. Log in to the iCloud account with your Apple ID and password. If you forget your Apple ID and password, you can retrieve them.
Step 6: Open Find iPhone
You will find the iCloud dashboard after successfully logging in with your Apple ID and password. Then, click on the green-colored ‘Find iPhone’ icon to proceed. It may ask for Apple ID & password again.
Step 7: Find and Select Device
Finding a device from the ‘All Device’ dropdown menu is the next job. Select your iPhone from the listed device shown on the dropdown menu. Here, your device must be ‘Find my iPhone’ enabled to locate and select.
Step 8: Erase iPhone
A popup page with the ‘Erase iPhone’ icon will appear at the right-bottom corner. Click on the erase option to start erasing all existing contents and settings. It requires reentering Apple ID and Password.
Step 9: Reset & Restore a Backup
Wait for a while to end the erasing process and say ‘Hello’ on the screen. Now, you can transfer photos, files, apps, and essential data to your iPhone from iCloud or iTunes backup.
Important: Don’t forget to ensure a backup of your existing files, folders, photos, apps, and data to proceed with erasing your iPhone. It prevents critical data loss during restoring disabled iPhones.
Frequently Asked Questions-FAQs
FAQ. What should I do after restoring my iPhone?
You should launch a new setup to use your iPhone if you have restored it once. Set the following functions to make your device ready to use.
- Select your language to operate.
- Select your country of origin.
- Choose how to transfer your data via iCloud, Mac, and PC backup.
- Set a face ID and passcode to ensure more data security.
Moreover, you can turn on automatic updates and other user-friendly features to make your device handy to use. Set up screen time with a passcode to set your time limits on your device and your child’s device.
FAQ. What to do if you cannot recognize your iPhone on a computer?
Sometimes, you may face device-recognizing issues on your computer connected with a USB cable. Your computer cannot recognize your connected device due to unknown errors. Let’s learn how to fix it.
- The device must be turned on and unlocked on the screen.
- Install the latest iTunes version on your computer.
- Tap the trust icon if you find the trust in this computer alert.
- Unplug all USB connections from your computer except your iPhone.
- Restart your Mac or PC.
- Restart your iPhone.
- Try again to recognize your device.
If you still find the issue, you can change your Mac or PC with the latest operating systems and iTunes.
Hope you are now confident in restoring your disabled or unavailable iPhone or iPad without data loss. Both methods are proven by Apple Support and trusted by thousands of iOS device users.
Fortunately, you can apply these simple methods by yourself. It is as simple as operating an iPhone or a computer. My guide will be a bonus book to make the job easier than ever with step-by-step explanations.
However, don’t make the mistake of ensuring a backup of your existing files and data on iTunes, iCloud, and the computer before erasing. It prevents unavoidable data loss while restoring a disabled or unavailable iPhone.