After you have entered the passcode wrong to unlock your iPhone multiple times, you may find your iPhone is locked and a message “iPhone is disabled” shows on your screen.
According to the number of your failed passcode attempts, you may see different types of iPhone disabled messages. There can be “iPhone is disabled, try again in 1/5/15/60 minutes”, or the crazy “iPhone is disabled for 24 million minutes”, and even like “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes”.
What’s the cause of these iPhone disabled messages? And how to unlock a disabled iPhone to get access to it again. Read on this post and learn about it.
[Jan. 22 Update!] If you update your iPhone to iOS 15, instead of “iPhone is Disabled”, you will see “iPhone Unavailable” on your screen when you fail to unlock your phone for several times. Although the expression changes, “iPhone Unavailable” is the same as the iPhone disabled problem, and all the methods below are also applicable for it.
Basically, your iPhone is disabled because of too many wrong passcode entries. If you forget the correct passcode and enter the incorrect one for certain times, your iPhone will be disabled or unavailable for the sake of security. It happens when you enter different wrong passcodes 6 times or more, and the situation is most likely that you leave your iPhone to your kid, and she/he pushes the buttons of the locked screen randomly for lots of times, etc.
According to the particular messages you see, the reasons and solutions are a bit different:
When you see “iPhone is disabled, try again in X minutes”
Normally, if you enter 5 incorrect passcodes in a row, the iPhone will be disabled for 1 minute. And for 7 incorrect entries, 5 minutes; 8 incorrect entries, 15 minutes; 9 incorrect entries, 60 minutes. And for 10 incorrect passcode entries at a time, iPhone is disabled and asks you to connect to iTunes.
If you remember your passcode, you can simply wait for the minutes and try again, but you should try very carefully at the 10th time, which is the last chance for you to enter a passcode, or you have to restore your iPhone to enable it.
If you have forgotten the passcode, you will have to unlock the disabled iPhone with the methods in the next part.
- In the situation that you have enabled Erase Data in Touch ID & Passcode, it will delete all data on the iPhone after entering the wrong passcode for 10 times.
When you see “iPhone is disabled for X million minutes”
This exaggerated number usually appears when your iPhone has a broken screen or has been jailbroken. This happens because your iPhone resets its internal clock to midnight of January 1, 1970, or the Unix Epoch where Time = 0. In this case, the lock time can change from a few minutes to millions of minutes.
One of the common solutions is to insert a new working SIM card into your iPhone and it may get the current time. If this doesn’t work, you try the restoring methods in the later part. This will require you to use iTunes or third-party software.
When you see “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes”
As we say above, this message or the similar “iPhone is disabled, connect to a Mac/PC” (for iOS 14) appears when you have 10 incorrect attempts. You don’t have to be too worried because it’s still recoverable, but unfortunately, you cannot fix it without losing data because it requires you to restore your iPhone to wipe the passcode.
Now look at the 4 workable methods to get your disabled iPhone back to normal status. Please note that all the solutions will erase your data to recover your disabled iPhone, and you had better prepare a backup beforehand.
Actually, Apple provides an official way to enable your iPhone by restoring it with iTunes. However, iTunes is hard to use for many people because there are usually unexpected errors and it’s time-consuming to perform the unlocking with iTunes.
If you want an easy and fast way to get into the disabled iPhone, FonePaw iOS Unlocker is a good way to try. It’s a handy third-party tool that focuses on helping you effortlessly unlocking your iPhone, including wiping the screen lock passcode, removing Apple ID, and retrieving Screen Time passcode.
It helps you unlock the disabled iPhone so quickly and safely that you will be surprised at how convenient it is.
How to Unlock a Disabled iPhone with FonePaw iOS Unlocker
Step 1. Download FonePaw iOS Unlocker on your computer.
Step 2. Enable the program and you will see three options on the homepage.
Wipe Screen helps you get into the disabled iPhone quickly.
Remove Apple allows you to reset the Apple ID or log in with a new account.
Screen Time enables you to retrieve the Screen Time and Restrictions passcode.
Step 3. Tap Wipe Passcode and connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable. Check if the information of your device is correct and click Start to continue.
It will begin downloading a firmware package for your device.
Step 4. When the firmware package is downloaded, a prompt will ask you to enter "0000" to confirm the unlocking.
Enter it and click Unlock to continue. When the progress goes to 20%, you will need to put your phone into Recovery Mode to continue.
The program will show you detailed instructions to teach you how to do it. So you don't need to worry about the process.
Step 5. When your phone enters Recovery mode, the process will go on. Wait till it finishes and your disabled iPhone will be unlocked successfully.
Although FonePaw iOS Unlocker is a fast way to unlock the disabled iPhone, there are several things that you should keep in mind before using it:
You will need to register before unlocking.
Removing the lock screen will erase the data and settings on your device as well.
You'd better turn off Find My iPhone before unlocking. If it is enabled, you will need to enter the iCloud password to reset your device after the unlocking.
Your device will be updated to the latest iOS version after the unlocking.
After multiple wrong passcode attempts, if your iPhone is disabled and asks you to “Connect to iTunes”, you can directly follow the instruction to connect your iPhone to iTunes (or Finder for a Mac) and restore the device. A restore will erase everything on the iPhone, including its passcode.
Since restoring iPhone with iTunes will delete all data, you should connect the phone to a Mac or PC that you have previously synced your iPhone with (if you have) and make a backup before the restore.
If you have synced your iPhone to iTunes before
Step 1. Connect the device to the computer with a USB cable (the one you've previously synced the device too). Then, open iTunes.
Step 2. Click your iPhone icon, then tap "Summary" at the left pane and click Back Up Now to create an iTunes backup.
Step 3. Click "Restore iPhone". Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the restore process.
Step 4. After restoring, your device will be wiped clean and restored as a new device. When the iOS Setup Assistant asks to set up your iPhone, choose "Restore from iTunes backup." Just select your device in iTunes and choose the most recent backup of your iPhone.
When you have no iTunes backup
If you never synced your iPhone with iTunes, you're going to see some errors: "iTunes can't connect to the device because it has a passcode applied. Enter the passcode before it can connect to iTunes". If so, you need to bypass the disabled screen with iTunes in these steps.
Step 1. Launch iTunes and connect your iPhone to the computer.
Step 2. Put your disabled iPhone into recovery mode. According to your iPhone model, the method is different, you can refer to https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201263 to look up how to let your iOS device enter recovery mode. If you successfully put your phone in recovery mode, you will see this recovery screen.
Step 3. Locate your iPhone in iTunes. When you see the option to Restore or Update, choose Restore.
If you can't use iTunes to unlock iPhone, FonePaw iOS System Recovery is also a great alternative to fix the disabled problem, which is a useful iOS system recovery tool specialize in solving iOS system problems including disabled iPhone, update failure, iPhone black screen, and etc.
Note: This method works for those who don't need the data anymore since it may erase your phone contents.
Step 1. Get iOS System Recovery on PC/Mac
Click the following button to get the program on your PC/Mac and move to the "iOS System Recovery" interface.
Step 2. Detect iPhone/iPad
When you connect the device into the PC, the program will detect it with ease. Thus, click "Advanced mode" to fix the disabled iPhone.
Step 3. Put Your Device into DFU Mode
To get started in this way, it is in need to get your iPhone into DFU mode so that the program will go on fixing your case.
Step 4. Select Device's Info
After detecting, the program will show your device information. Double-check the details and confirm whether it is correct. Once it shows any wrong info, please select it manually.
Tip: There is a guide for you to check the model details if you click the question mark next to the "Device model".
Step 5. Fixing Your iPhone Back to Normal Status.
In this step, you have to keep the mobile connected to the computer. The screen will display the repair process. As "Repair completed" comes, you can now access your iPhone
- If your device is set with an iCloud activation lock, this guide cannot deal with this but you could refer to How to Bypass iCloud Activation Lock
If you have "Find My iPhone" enabled on your iPhone, you can use "Remote Wipe" to erase the contents and passcode of your device. This method does not require you to use iTunes or even a computer. You can erase your iPhone directly via iCloud.com or the iPhone app for iCloud.
Step 1. Go to icloud.com with your Apple ID and passcode (the one you use with iCloud rather than your iPhone passcode that you do not remember).
Step 2. Click "Find My iPhone", then "All Devices" at the top of your browser window. Then, select the device you want to erase.
Step 3. Click "Erase iPhone" to remote wipe the device and its password.
Step 4. When iOS Setup Assistant on your iPhone asks to set up your iPhone, choose "Restore from iCloud backup" or "Restore from iTunes backup" to restore your phone data.
If you want to get your data back on disabled iPhone after erasing it, FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery can be helpful to regain
the deleted data and existing files from iCloud/iTunes backups.
iPhone is Enabled!
Now the "iPhone is Disabled" error is fixed and the iPhone is unlocked. Nevertheless, if you don't want your iPhone to get disabled again because you forgot the iPhone passcode, you should either:
- Replace digit passcodes with Touch ID or Face ID on your iPhone which requires no remembering.
- Be sure to backup your iPhone with iTunes or iCloud.