iPhone Unavailable? 6 Hacks to Fix Locked-Out iPhone Screen

Have you forgotten your iPhone passcode? And maybe you tried to enter it multiple times and ended up getting locked out with the “iPhone Unavailable” message?

This is super frustrating, but don’t fret; there are hacks for a workaround.

You can simply wait for the timer to tick down and enter your passcode again. But if you have completely forgotten it, you have to choose the ‘Erase iPhone’ option to set up your phone anew.

You can also use iTunes, Find My, or third-party software to get past the lockout.

Let’s go deep into each iPhone unavailable hack and figure out what works best for you.

Why Do You Get the “iPhone Unavailable” Message?

Before breaking through the dreaded “iPhone Unavailable” message, let’s first take a few moments to understand why your device throws this message in the first place.

Usually, it happens after entering the wrong passcode six times consecutively. Apple sets a security protocol against brute-Force attacksOpens in a new tab. by automatically locking your device if the wrong passcode is entered too many times.

This security feature prevents strangers from repeatedly trying out different codes to access your device. It’s especially useful when your powered-down iPhone gets picked up by someone else.

How Long Will the “iPhone Unavailable” Message Remain Active?

After five incorrect attempts to enter your passcode, a one-minute timer will be set.

If you keep trying and enter the wrong code again, the timer will keep increasing with delays of five, 15, and 60 minutes with each subsequent attempt.

Number of failed attemptsTime locked out
1-5 timesNo lockout
6 times1 minute
7 times5 minutes
8 times15 minutes
9 times60 minutes
10 timesiPhone Unavailable/Disable

But then, things take a more frustrating turn. When you use up all ten allowed incorrect attempts, your iPhone gets locked permanently.

No timer will be displayed anymore to give you a chance to try again, meaning you’ll have to resort to other unlocking methods.

6 Hacks to Get Past the “iPhone Unavailable” Locked-Out Screen

If you find yourself in the midst of an “iPhone Unavailable” message, there’s nothing to worry about.

Simply try the six options we’ve shown below, one at a time, and hopefully, you’ll successfully break the lockout.

Option 1: Wait for the Timer to Run Out

Okay, this one’s no hack, and it might seem tedious. But technically, it’s the safest and most secure way. Plus, your phone won’t be erased, so there’s that.

What you’re going to do is simply wait – what else, right?

Wait till the time limit runs out, and then you can enter your passcode again.

Wait for the Timer to Run Out

Do note this method isn’t recommended if you have no idea about your lost passcode, as you’ll have to lose quite some time waiting around.

Option 2: Tap ‘Erase iPhone’ and Reset Device

Rather straightforward, this hack would require you to erase everything inside the phone with all its content and settings being wiped out.

So, you want to be sure you have your data backed up on iCloud before proceeding. Also, this only works on iOS 15.2 and newer.

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Keep typing in your passcode. When reached the limit, you’ll see the “Erase iPhone” option pop up in your screen’s bottom right corner.
Erase iPhone
  • Tap on the option, and you’ll be notified that this will erase all your data. If you’re okay with that, go ahead and confirm.
Erase all Content And Settings data
  • Now your iPhone will ask you to enter your Apple ID password to confirm the erase process.
Apple ID password to confirm the erase process.
  • Once you’ve entered your password, the erase process will begin. And when it completes, your iPhone will be ready to be set up like a new one.

Option 3: Restore through iTunes

Restoring your iPhone is another way to hack it out of the locked state. You can try it without worries if you’ve recently synced your phone to iTunes.

Primarily, this can help you access your phone without needing its passcode. And most importantly, you can keep all your personal data intact despite needing to lose them first in this recovery mode.

Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer with a USB cable and launch iTunes.
iPhone to your computer with a USB cable
  • On your iPhone, press and hold the Side/Power button to enable recovery Mode.

Depending on the model, you’ll have to use the accurate combination side buttons.

iPhone ModelSteps to Enable Recovery Mode
iPhone 6s or earlierHold down the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons until the Apple logo appears.
iPhone 7 & 7 PlusHold down the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons until the Apple logo appears.
iPhone 8 and LaterQuickly press and release the Volume Up button, then quickly press and release the Volume Down button.Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the recovery mode screen appears on your iPhone.
  • Once you see the iTunes logo on your iPhone and the “Connect to iTunes” message, release all the buttons.
Connect to iTunes message, release all the buttons
  • When you open iTunes, you’ll see a pop-up message prompting you to update or restore your iPhone.
  • Then, just hit “Restore.”

Note: Choosing ‘Update’ will download and install the latest iOS but won’t unlock your iPhone right away. Instead, when you turn it on, it’ll give you more unlocking attempts. So, it’s good to try this method after remembering your passcode after using up all the attempts.

Option 4: Use a Third-Party Software

If the iTunes restoration isn’t convenient enough an option to explore, using a third-party software might be.

Third-party software like iMyFone LockWiperOpens in a new tab. can help you bypass the iPhone screen lock without all the fuss. It can also help you whether you’re dealing with a broken iPhone screen or have entered too many incorrect passcodes.

Besides, LockWiper can also remove Apple ID and MDM locks without a passcode. Here’s how you proceed:

  1. First, download and install LockWiper on your computer. Then, hook up your iPhone to your computer’s USB port using a lightning cable and select the “Unlock Screen Passcode” mode.
hook up your iPhone to your computer’s USB port using a lightning cable
  • Next, download your iPhone’s firmware package and click the “Start Unlock” button.
Start Unlock" button

Once the package extraction is complete, enter 000000 to confirm and initiate the unlocking process.

initiate the unlocking process

And just like that, your iPhone will be unlocked without needing any passcodes.

Option 5: Unlock Via Find My

Lastly, if you have Find My enabled on your device, you can take advantage of it to unlock your iPhone. This service allows you to erase your phone’s content while still allowing you to access your device once again.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Find My iPhone through Opens in a new tab.icloud.comOpens in a new tab. or the Find My app on your iPad or another device.
  2. Log into your Apple ID.
  3. Select the iPhone that says unavailable under All Devices in the top bar.
unavailable under All Devices in the top bar.
  • Choose the “Erase iPhone” option.
Choose the "Erase iPhone" option.

This process could be quite fast since there is no firmware involved.

Option 6: Trick Siri to Unlock for You

Let’s say losing your iPhone data is definitely off your agenda. So, when getting past a locked screen without a passcode, you’ll want to try Siri first.

This hack involves tricking Siri by asking to set a reminder that you can tap to reach your home screen.

However, it’s worth noting that this method may only work on older devices with a home button and older iOS versions. Newer models like the iPhone X, XR, and later are completely off the grid.

To give this method a shot, here’s what you can do:

  1. Activate Siri and say, ‘Remind me.’
  2. Then set any reminder, like wake me up at 8 am or snack time, when she asks you what to set a reminder for.
  3. Now Siri will set your reminder and show it on the screen.
  4. Simply tap the reminder, and whatever comes on the screen, press the home button to access your home screen.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have further queries regarding the iPhone Unavailable issue, we hope the following answers to some of the most commonly asked questions will clear things up.

Can I use Touch ID or Face ID to unlock my iPhone if it is unavailable or disabled?

Unfortunately, you can’t. If your device is showing an unavailable or disabled message, Touch ID or Face ID (depending on your model) won’t work to unlock the device. Trying out the options we’ve outlined above is your only likely getaway.

Can I bypass the iPhone Unavailable screen by entering the DFU mode?

It’s unlikely to work. From what we’ve found, several Reddit usersOpens in a new tab. tried bypassing their locked-out screen and entering DFU mode, but they’ve all failed.

This is because DFU (Device Firmware Upgrade) doesn’t reset the passcode counter like restoring the device.

Can I prevent the “iPhone Unavailable” message from appearing?

You can prevent the “iPhone Unavailable” message from appearing only by entering the correct passcode on your iPhone.

If you have difficulty remembering your passcode, the AppStore has several password manager apps that you can use to store it securely and remind you when needed.

Can I get through the “iPhone Unavailable” message by jailbreaking?

According to some Reddit threadsOpens in a new tab., it seems like you might be able to unlock your jailbroken iPhone with the help of SSH, Cycript, Coolstar, or AFC2.

However, we don’t recommend this method because of the security risks involved. Besides, you may end up bricking your device in the process.


So, there you have it – all the ways to deal with the dreaded “iPhone Unavailable” message. Hopefully, the guidance we provided here should be just enough to help you tackle this annoying issue without further trouble.

However, if you’re still stuck or extra cautious to not lose data, try contacting Apple support or visit your nearest Apple Service Center or retail store with your locked iPhone.

They might help you restore your iPhone and give you access to its screen again.

On a final note, always try to keep passcode, and data backed up somewhere that’s safe. That way, you’ll barely need to worry when such an issue comes up again down the road.

Suhel Rana

Hi! This is Shuhel and I've been working as an iPhone technician for over 10 years. At Techiaid, I write content on a vast range of topics on iPhone software and hardware issues. iPhone issues are nothing to be trifled with. So, you'll definitely need to consult someone who knows the ins and outs of different iPhone models.

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