We have all (well most of us) have locked our device at one time or another. Maybe our children have grabbed hold of it and tried to “guess” what your code is. Yeah – been there done that. There are two ways to unlock your device – both scary but both work!
If you’ve forgotten the passcode to unlock the iPhone|iPad then you will need to connect it to the computer that you normally sync to and you should then be able to reset the iPad and restore/re-sync your content to it – you may need to put the iPad into recovery mode in order to be able to reset it
If you've never synced with iTunes or set up Find My iPhone in iCloud, you'll need to use recovery mode to restore your device. This will erase the device and its passcode.
Connect your iOS device to your computer and open iTunes.
While your device is connected, force restart it:
On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time. Don't release when you see the Apple logo. Keep holding both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.
On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Don't release when you see the Apple logo. Keep holding both buttons until you see the recovery mode screen.
When you see the option to Restore or Update, choose Restore.
iTunes will download software for your device. If it takes more than 15 minutes, your device will exit recovery mode and you'll need to repeat steps 2 and 3.
Wait for the process to finish. Then you can set up and use your device.
Erase your device with iTunes
If you’ve synced your device with iTunes, you can restore your device.
Erase your device with iTunes
Connect your device to the computer you have previously synced with
Open iTunes. If asked for a passcode, try another computer you've synced with, or use recovery mode (HERE)
Wait for iTunes to sync your device and make a backup
Once the sync and backup have finished,click Restore
When you reach the Set Up screen while restoring your iOS device, tap Restore from iTunes backup
Select your device in iTunes. Look at the date and size of each backup and pick the most relevant one
Now there is another way – but you MUST be GOOD with using a mouse quickly and know your way around iTunes (Note: this will only work on the computer it was last synced with)
iPad is disabled fix without resetting using iTunes
Today I met my match with an iPad that had a passcode entered too many times, resulting in it displaying the message ‘iPad is disabled – Connect to iTunes’. This was a clients iPad and since they use it mainly for most of their work there was a chance that her files were not all backed up to the cloud. I really wanted to just re-activate the iPad instead of totally resetting it back to our default image.
I reached out to my friend on Twitter and had some help from a few people through retweets and a couple of clarification tweets. I love that so many are willing to help out so quickly.
Through some trial and error (and a little sheer luck), I was able to reactivate the iPad without loosing any data. Note, this will only work on the computer it last synced with. Here’s how:
Open iTunes with the iPad disconnected
Connect the iPad to the computer and wait for it to show up in the devices section in iTunes
Click on the iPad device when it appears and you will be given the option to restore a backup or setup as a new iPad (since it is locked)
Click ‘Setup as new iPad’ and then click restore
The iPad will start backing up before it does the full restore and sync. CANCEL THE BACKUP IMMEDIATELY. You do this by clicking the small x in the status window in iTunes
When the backup cancels, it immediately starts syncing – cancel this as well using the same small x in the iTunes status window
The first stage in the restore process unlocks the iPad, you are basically just cancelling out the restore process as soon as it reactivates the iPad
If done correctly, you will experience no data loss and the result will be a reactivated iPad. I have now tried this with about 5 iPads that were locked identically by people and each time it worked like a charm