If you’ve installed any kind of security feature on you mobile device, you’ll have to enter a password to make it work. It is entirely possible you forget that password, and if you fail to enter the security code a number of times, your iPhone is disabled, rendering it all but useless. Fortunately, there are ways of solving this problem, which we will address in the following post.
Your iPhone is Disabled. What to do?
Device was never synched with iTunes
In the past, in order to update your iPhone or install applications, you had to connect it to your computer and upload it from there. Nowadays high speed WiFi allows you to download content directly to your phone, but it also means you might never have felt the need to sync the device with iTunes.
If you’re in this situation, you have to take the USB power cable and connect with it the phone and your computer. If you’re using a Mac for this, iTunes is already installed, but if you’re using a computer which runs of Windows, make sure you first download and install iTunes yourself.
When you connect the two pieces of hardware, iTunes will automatically launch and create a backup of all the data on your phone. First of all, you will receive a message which says iTunes isn’t able to connect to your device because it is locked. It will also ask you to enter the pass code to solve this issue.
Now, instead of clicking “Cancer” or “Try Again”, simply reboot your phone by holding down the power button and the home button at the same time. When the Apple logo appears, release the power button, while continuing to hold down the home button. An icon will appear shortly on the iPhone screen which will tell you to connect the device to iTunes.
Then, a message will load on your computer stating that a phone is currently in recovery mode and that it is connected. Finally, you will have to choose whether you want to restore the iPhone to factory settings or restore it from a backup — you will want to do the latter.
When the iPhone is backed up and the data removed from the iPhone and put back through iTunes, the pass code is removed, however all your information will be restored from the backup you created when first connecting the iPhone to your computer.
This entire process could take quite some time, since it involves deleting everything on the hard drive and then re-uploading it all back, however after everything is completed you’ll be able to use your iPhone again. You might to set a password you can remember this time!
Device has already been synched with iTunes
If your device has already been connected to iTunes, the problem will be much easier to fix, since the computer already has your data. You’ll need to connect the USB data cable to the computer and the device, and then launch iTunes. The program will detect the iPhone and sync up all the data.
At this point you may or may not be asked to enter the pass code (depending on which version of the operating system you are running), however this is inconsequential since all you have to do is hold down the power button and the home button until the screen goes black and the Apple logo appears. When this happens, release the power button, while still pressing the home button.
An image will appear shortly depicting a USB cable pointing towards the iTunes logo, meaning the system wants you to connect to iTunes. Because you already have, a prompt will appear on your screen asking if you want to restore the iPhone to factory settings or if you want to install backed up information onto the device.
You could of course just reset your phone to factory settings if, for whatever reason, you want to start all over again, but you’re more likely to want to simply restore from backup, which will re-install everything back on your iPhone.
As we’ve explained earlier, this could take some time, depending on how much data there is to install, but at the end of the process you’ll have the use of your mobile phone back. It’s also important not to disconnect or turn off your computer or your device during the process – if this happens, you’ll need to start everything over again!
Other iOS devices
The great thing about Apple products is that there’s basically a single process you need to follow to perform a restore from backup, and it’s entirely based on iTunes. This means that if you’re experiencing issues with your iPad or iPod, you’ll basically have to go through the same steps to solve them (though there are older versions of these devices which may be a bit trickier to fix).
What this means is that whenever your Apple device is disabled because you failed to properly type in the pass code, all you need is a computer with iTunes installed and the USB power cable you have to use to connect the two pieces of equipment. Depending on your particular situation, follow the set of steps detailed above and you’ll regain the full use of your device in no time.