How To Unlock A Disabled iPhone – Enable Your iPhone Again With Our Straightforward Guide

We all love iPhones, and everyone anticipates getting their hands on the new models released every year. Not to say that the Apple users have a glitch-free experience with their iPhones; in fact, iPhones do come with their fair share of setbacks.

Getting locked out of your iPhone is one of those problems you might have experienced, and that is how you are here searching for ways on how to unlock a disabled iPhone.

It isn’t a great feeling to pick up your iPhone only to get greeted with an “iPhone is disabled” message flashing on its screen. The most annoying thing is when you have just bee using your iPhone a few minutes ago, put it down and when you get back to it, you get the disabled message.

Now, you are probably racking your brain trying to figure out what went wrong or maybe you do know how your iPhone ended up getting disabled. Regardless, let’s go right into exploring how to unlock a disabled iPhone.

How Did Your iPhone End Up Getting Disabled?

iPhones get disabled because of some different reasons starting with the common user-initiated human error issues, and all the way up to the more complex non-user initiated issues. The most common reasons why iPhones get disabled include:


You would be surprised at the number of disabled iPhones traced back to the actions of little kids playing around with buttons.

how to unlock a disabled iPhone - toddler with iPhone

The chances are that when you have a toddler at home, you will at one time or another hand them your iPhone to keep them busy. You will think that it is fine, after all, you have passcode locked your iPhone and there isn’t much they can do with it.

Well, you might have forgotten that kids are quite the little geniuses and after entering the wrong numbers a couple of times you end up with a disabled iPhone.

    how to unlock a disabled iPhone - iPhone passcode         Pesky Snoops

Then there are those pesky snoops including family members, spouses, boyfriend/girlfriends, or friends who decide that they must know what you have hidden inside your iPhone.

After trying various combinations a couple of times, they leave you with a diminished level of trust in them and a disabled iPhone.

        Your Fault

Also, it could just be your fault, sometimes we just forget those number combinations, and it even gets worse if you have a couple of Apple devices with different passcodes.

Some Apple users have also complained of the occasional jamming of the number buttons leading to entering the wrong passcode several times.

What Happens When You Enter The Wrong iPhone Passcode?

You can activate the passcode on your iOS device to require people to key in a set of digits to gain access to your iPhone.

Your iPhone gets disabled you enter the wrong iPhone passcode six times in a row for one minute.

how to unlock a disabled iPhone - iPhone is disabled

However, with seven to nine incorrect passcode entries your iPhone gets disabled for five to 60 minutes. It is possible to even get an incredible number of minutes such as 25 million minutes, and obviously, that would be a very long time to have to wait for your iPhone to get disabled.

Entering the wrong passcode ten times results in a disabled iPhone that requires an iTunes connection or its content could get erased.

How To Unlock A Disabled iPhone Locked Because Of Entering The Wrong Passcode

As much as you may not want to hear it, unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to unlock a disabled iPhone and keep all your data intact.

You have two choices; you either wait out the disable time or use iTunes to wipe out the iPhone and start afresh. However, you can restore your phone using a backup after wiping it out on iTunes. There are different ways to go about erasing your device before restoring it using a backup.

        iTunes Erase

You can choose to wipe your iPhone clean using iTunes as long as you had synced it to iTunes. Follow these steps to erase your iPhone using iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone to iTunes via the sync computer.
  2. Access iTunes and if it asks you for a passcode use another sync computer or access it using recovery mode.
  3.  iTunes will then sync your device and create a backup.
  4. Once the sync process is complete, select the restore option.
  5. At the setup screen stage, choose the “Restore from iTunes backup” option.
  6. Choose your iPhone in iTunes and remember to look at the dates as well as the size of each backup to select the most recent or relevant.

        iCloud Erase

If you have activated the Find My iPhone feature on your iPhone, you can log into your iCloud account via the iCloud website to erase and restore it. Follow these steps to wipe your iPhone clean using iCloud:

  1. Access the website using another device or a computer.
  2. Sign in using your Apple ID and password.
  3. Choose your iPhone from the All Devices option at the top of the browser window.
  4. Select “Erase (your iPhone)” and erase iPhone passcode.
  5. After wiping your iPhone clean, you can then restore it using a backup or set it up afresh.

how to unlock a disabled iPhone - iCloud erase iPhone

          Erase Using Recovery Mode

It could just happen that you have never synced your iPhone with iTunes and have not set up Find My iPhone when your iPhone gets disabled. In this case, you will have to erase your iPhone and its passcode using recovery mode. Follow these steps:

1. Connect your iPhone to your sync computer and open iTunes.

2. Force restart your iPhone while connected.

  • Press the Home and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously and hold them, on iPhone 6s or earlier devices. Hold on to the buttons even as the Apple logo appears and only release them when the recovery mode screen appears.
  • Press the Volume Down and Sleep/Wake buttons simultaneously and hold on iPhone 7 or newer devices. Keep holding even after the Apple logo appears and only release after the recovery mode screen appears.

3. You will have the option to either update or restore, and you should select restore. iTunes will then download the relevant software, but if the process takes longer than 15 minutes, your iPhone will exit the recovery mode, and you will have to initiate the process all over again.

4. However, if all goes well, the process will finish up and you can setup your iPhone to use it once again.

Also, sometimes after connecting your iPhone to iTunes, it may fail to sync your device with a message that the iPhone has an existing connection to another computer. Otherwise, use the “Erase and Sync ” option in this case.

You Have Unlocked A Disabled iPhone, What Next?

Finally, you have figured out how to unlock a disabled iPhone, and you have it working again. Don’t be too happy about it and overlook a few important things that will provide the needed layer of security to prevent possible future iPhone disables.
how to unlock a disabled iPhone - Change iPhone passcode

Most importantly, you need to set a new iPhone passcode. Make it one that is easier to remember, if you are the one who caused your iPhone to get disabled by entering the wrong passcode. Either way, if your iPhone got disabled because of someone trying to access it without your knowledge, you still want to keep it better secured by setting a new passcode.

Last but not least, enjoy your iPhone, they do come with a fair share of setbacks, but they continue to hold high rank as one of the most coveted smartphones out there.

Find more information about how to check your iPhone IMEI or if you are ready to sell your iPhone online when it is time to trade up from our guide.

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