How to Get an iPhone Out of Disabled Mode

By Melissa King

If you locked your iPhone with a password but can't remember it, trying to guess it might not be a good idea. If you enter the incorrect password at least six times, the iPhone enters disabled mode to prevent unauthorized access to the device. The iPhone exits disabled mode after one minute, but if you continue to enter the wrong password, it will disable until you sync the device with iTunes. Syncing with iTunes resets your password and restores the device by deleting all content on it. If you've previously synced the iPhone with iTunes, you can restore erased content from a backup.

Exit Disabled Mode if You've Never Synced with iTunes

Step 1

Connect one end of a USB cable to your computer, but don't connect the cable to the iPhone yet.

Step 2

Hold down the "Sleep/Wake" button until you see the red slider display, then slide the slider to power off the iPhone.

Step 3

Connect the other end of the USB cable to your iPhone while holding down the "Home" button to turn on the device.

Step 4

Release the "Home" button when the "Connect to iTunes" message appears on the iPhone's screen.

Click "OK" when iTunes displays a recovery mode message, then click "Restore."

Exit Disabled Mode if You Have Synced with iTunes

Step 1

Connect the iPhone to the computer that you normally use to sync with iTunes, then launch iTunes. If you're asked to enter your password, connect the iPhone to another computer that you have synced with, or follow the restoration procedure in Section 1.

Step 2

Right-click on the iPhone icon in the left pane, then click "Back Up."

Step 3

Select "Restore" when the backup finishes to restore your iPhone and exit disabled mode.

Right-click on the iPhone after the restoration process completes, then select "Restore from Backup..." to replace your deleted content.