How to Unlock Your iPad Using iCloud
By Alan Sembera
When you lock yourself out of your iPad, the standard unlocking method involves restoring the device through iTunes. However, you can alternatively unlock the tablet through iCloud using a feature that's normally reserved for lost or stolen devices. For this to work, you must have enabled the Find My iPad feature on your tablet before it became locked. If you use iCloud to back up your iPad, you can unlock the iPad without losing your settings. If you don't have a backup, however, your personal information and app data is permanently lost.
Navigate to Apple's Find My iPhone page (link in Resources). Alternatively, if you have another Apple device, you can download and launch the free Find My iPhone app from the Apple store.
Sign in to iCloud using the Apple ID associated with the iPad.
Click "All Devices," and then select your iPad.
Click "Erase iPad," and then re-enter your Apple ID password. Enter any phone number and message. This information displays on the iPad screen, and is normally used to help you recover your iPad if you lose it.
Turn on your iPad, and then wait several minutes for iCloud to erase the information on the device. If your iPad uses only Wi-Fi, the device must be within range of your Wi-Fi network.
Restart the iPad, if necessary, to bring up the Activate iPad screen, and then enter your Apple ID and password. The iPad opens to the setup screen because you erased all of your information.
Tap "Set Up Your Device" to begin reconfiguring the tablet.
Tap "Restore From iCloud Backup" if you have a backup of the iPad on your iCloud account. Sign in to iCloud again, if prompted, tap "Choose Backup," and then select the most recent iCloud backup to restore your iPad without the lock code.
- Information in this article applies to iPads running on iOS 7. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
Alan Sembera began writing for local newspapers in Texas and Louisiana. His professional career includes stints as a computer tech, information editor and income tax preparer. Sembera now writes full time about business and technology. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Texas A&M University.