How Can I Get My iPhone to Unlock When It's Disabled?

by Amanda Gronot
Daniel Barry/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If you enter the wrong passcode into your iPhone too many times, it will become disabled, which means that you won't be able to enter a passcode attempt again for a certain period of time. If you continue to enter the wrong passcode, that period of time will continue to increase -- reaching all the way up to 10 years. Once your iPhone is disabled, you'll need to restore it to use it again. You must do this on the computer with which it was last synced.

Step 1

Plug the USB cable for the disabled iPhone into the phone. Plug the other end into a USB port on the computer with which the phone was last synced.

Step 2

Open iTunes if it doesn't open automatically.

Step 3

Click the name of the iPhone in the Devices section of the left side of the iTunes window. The Summary page appears.

Step 4

Click the "Restore" button in the center of the Summary page. A dialog box appears.

Step 5

Click to back up the device. In the next dialog box, click "Restore." Leave the iPhone plugged in at all times.

Click to set up your iPhone as a new phone or from a backup when the restoration is complete and a new page appears in iTunes. If you choose to use a backup, click the backup date from the drop-down menu. If you opt to set it up as new, enter the required information and select which media you wish to sync.


  • If the iPhone isn't yours and you don't have the computer with which it was last synced, you can't unlock it; this prevents thieves from unlocking stolen iPhones.


  • Write down your passcode in a safe place to avoid hassle in the future.


Photo Credits

  • Daniel Barry/Getty Images News/Getty Images

About the Author

In 2008 Amanda Gronot began her professional career as a writer for a research company. She helped ghostwrite a book for a prominent CEO and has had essays and translations published in the prestigious classics journal "Helicon." Gronot graduated with a four-year Master of Arts/Bachelor of Arts in classics from Yale University.

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