How to Resolve Passcode Issues on Your iPhone or iPad

Where our lives are intricately woven with our iPhones and iPads, a forgotten passcode can be a major setback. When you encounter the dreaded “iPhone is disabled” message, panic and frustration can set in. But fret not, for iOS 17 and later offer innovative features to help you regain access to your device. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the steps to resolve passcode issues and unlock your iPhone or iPad.

Resolving Passcode Issues on iOS 17 and Later

You’ve tried unlocking your device with the wrong passcode multiple times, and now you’re staring at an alert that tells you your iPhone or iPad is disabled. It’s a situation that’s both stressful and frustrating, but there is hope.

Method 1: How to Passcode Reset in iOS 17 and Beyond

In iOS 17, iPadOS 17, and beyond, Passcode Reset offers a valuable solution for those who forget their new passcode. It allows you to use your old passcode for 72 hours to access your device, giving you time to set a new passcode. Here’s how to use Passcode Reset:

From your device’s Lock Screen, attempt to enter your passcode incorrectly five times until you see the “[iPhone] Unavailable” screen.

  1. Tap the “Forgot Passcode?” option in the bottom corner when prompted.
  2. Select “Enter Previous Passcode” and enter your old passcode.
  3. Follow the onscreen instructions to set a new passcode.

Method 2 : Expire an Old Passcode Faster Than 72 Hours

If you want to expedite the process and make your old passcode invalid before the 72-hour window ends, you can do so by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap “Face ID & Passcode.”
  2. Enter your passcode.
  3. Tap “Expire Previous Passcode Now.”

Passcode Recovery on Earlier iOS Versions

For those using iOS versions prior to 17, the process of passcode recovery may vary. Here’s how to regain access to your device if you’re not using iOS 17 or later:

How to Reset Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch Without a Computer

If you’ve found yourself in a situation where your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch displays an “iPhone is disabled” message or a “Security Lockout” screen, you might be feeling stuck. However, you can regain access to your device without the need for a computer by following these steps:

Requirements for Resetting Your Device Without a Computer:

Before you proceed with resetting your device without a computer, make sure your device meets the following requirements:

  • Your device must be running iOS 15.2 or iPadOS 15.2 or later.
  • Ensure your device is connected to a cellular or Wi-Fi network.
  • You’ll need your Apple ID and the associated password.

Restarting Your Device:

One key point to note is that when the “Security Lockout” message appears on the Lock Screen, restarting your device will prevent it from reconnecting to Wi-Fi until it’s unlocked. Cellular devices will reconnect to a cellular network if there’s active service.

Using a Computer as a Last Resort:

If you find yourself unable to follow the above steps, you can always use a computer to reset your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. This method provides a reliable way to regain access to your device and is particularly useful in situations where your device doesn’t meet the specified requirements or if Passcode Reset isn’t working for you.

In summary, knowing how to reset your device without a computer can be a valuable skill, especially if you encounter issues like “iPhone is disabled” or the “Security Lockout” screen. These steps empower you to regain control of your device with your Apple ID or, as a last resort, with the assistance of a computer.

How to Fix “iPhone is Disabled. Connect to iTunes” Error

If you’ve encountered the dreaded “iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes” message on your device, don’t worry. This issue can be resolved, and you can regain access to your apps, media, messages, contacts, and other smartphone content. Here’s what you need to do to fix it:

Unlocking Your iPhone:

If your iPhone is temporarily disabled due to incorrect passcode attempts, the simplest way to unlock it is to wait for the specified duration. You’ll see the countdown on the lock screen, and once it reaches zero, you can try again.

Using iTunes for Recovery:

However, if you’ve reached the point where your iPhone is disabled indefinitely and the “iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes” message appears, you’ll need to use iTunes for recovery. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Connect your iPhone to a Mac or PC using a USB cable.
  2. Depending on your iPhone model, you may need to follow specific instructions to enter recovery mode.
  3. Once in recovery mode, choose the “Restore” option.

Please keep in mind that during the restore process, all your data will be erased, and your iPhone will be restored to the latest compatible iOS version. If you have a backup, you can recover your data; if not, you’ll start with a clean slate.

What to Do If iPhone Won’t Connect to iTunes:

In some cases, your iPhone might not connect to iTunes for various reasons. If that’s the case, you can still restore your device using iCloud if you have “Find My iPhone” set up. Here’s what to do:

  1. Log in to your iCloud account from a computer or another iOS device.
  2. Select “Find iPhone” and then choose your disabled iPhone.
  3. Click on “Erase iPhone,” which will remove all data on your device and remove the passcode.

Be aware that using iCloud for recovery will result in data loss, but it’s an alternative if iTunes isn’t an option.

Proactive Measures to Prevent a Disabled iPhone

In addition to knowing how to recover from a disabled iPhone, it’s equally crucial to understand how to prevent it from happening in the first place. By taking some proactive measures, you can significantly reduce the risk of encountering the frustrating “iPhone is disabled” message. Here are some steps to avoid this scenario:

  1. Set a Memorable Passcode: One of the primary reasons for an iPhone to become disabled is repeated incorrect passcode entries. To prevent this, choose a passcode that’s not only secure but also easy for you to remember. Avoid using easily guessable combinations like “1234” or “0000.”
  2. Biometric Authentication: If your iPhone supports it, take advantage of biometric authentication methods like Touch ID or Face ID. These features offer a convenient and secure way to unlock your device, reducing the need to enter your passcode frequently.
  3. Occasional Passcode Use: While biometric methods are highly convenient, they shouldn’t make you complacent. You’ll still need to use your passcode occasionally, especially when the biometric features can’t be used, such as after a device restart or when your face or fingerprint isn’t recognized.
  4. Prevent Unintended Screen Activation: To minimize the chances of someone inadvertently entering incorrect passcodes on your locked iPhone, disable features like “Tap to Wake” and “Raise to Wake.” These settings can activate the screen with unintentional touches and potentially lead to the device being disabled.

Taking these proactive steps can significantly reduce the likelihood of your iPhone getting disabled due to passcode issues. It’s always better to avoid the situation altogether rather than deal with the hassle of recovery.


In the world of ever-evolving technology, it’s easy to forget a passcode and lock yourself out of your iPhone or iPad. However, with the guidance provided in this article, you have the tools to regain access to your device, regardless of the iOS version you’re using. Whether you choose to use Passcode Reset, your Apple ID, or the computer method, there’s a solution tailored to your specific situation. The next time you encounter the dreaded “iPhone is disabled” message, remember this guide – your gateway to seamless connectivity. Your iPhone or iPad will be back in your hands in no time.

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