Can I factory reset my iPhone if I forgot my passcode?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can factory reset your iPhone if you forgot your passcode. A factory reset will erase all data and settings on the iPhone and restore it to its original out-of-the-box state. This will allow you to bypass the forgotten passcode and set up the iPhone like new.

Steps to Factory Reset an iPhone With Forgotten Passcode

Here are the steps to factory reset an iPhone when you’ve forgotten the passcode:

  1. Connect the iPhone to a computer it trusts via the lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes on the computer and select the iPhone.
  3. While the iPhone is connected, force restart it by pressing and quickly releasing the Volume Up button, then pressing and quickly releasing the Volume Down button, then press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery mode screen.
  4. In iTunes, a message will pop up asking if you want to restore or update. Select Restore.
  5. iTunes will download software for the iPhone and restore it to factory settings, deleting all data and settings in the process.
  6. The iPhone will reboot into the Hello screen to set up as a new device.

This process will remove the forgotten passcode and erase all data on the iPhone. Be sure to back up any data you want to keep before factory resetting.

Other Ways to Reset an iPhone With Forgotten Passcode

Here are some other methods to reset an iPhone when locked out:

Use Find My iPhone

If you have Find My iPhone enabled in iCloud, you can remotely erase the iPhone to factory reset it, even if you can’t unlock it. Just log into on a computer and select Remote Erase Device.

Enter Recovery Mode

You can force the iPhone into recovery mode to trigger a reset:

  1. Connect iPhone to computer via USB.
  2. Force restart: Volume Up, Volume Down, hold Side Button.
  3. Keep holding Side button until you see the Recovery Mode screen.
  4. In iTunes, click Restore to factory reset.

Use an MDM Profile

If you had an MDM (mobile device management) profile installed, the provider may be able to remotely wipe and reset your device. Contact them for assistance.

Take to Apple Store

Make a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple store. They can factory reset the iPhone for you if you provide valid proof of ownership. May be a fee without AppleCare+.

Before You Reset iPhone

– Back up data you want to keep by connecting to iTunes when unlocked.
– Sign out of iCloud and media purchase accounts.
– Disable Activation Lock in Find My iPhone if enabled.
– Know your Apple ID and password to set up the iPhone later.

Resetting will wipe all data, settings, apps, and access without possibility of recovery.

What Happens When iPhone is Reset?

Here’s what happens when you factory reset an iPhone:

  • iPhone reboots and displays the Hello screen to set up as new.
  • All settings are erased and reset to defaults.
  • All apps that didn’t come preinstalled are removed.
  • All files, documents, photos, and other data is deleted.
  • Home screen layout resets to default.
  • Messages, call history, and other records are wiped.
  • You are logged out of all accounts like iCloud, iTunes, etc.

Essentially the iPhone reverts to its original new state, as if you just took it out of the box.

Will a Reset iPhone be Locked?

After a factory reset, the Activation Lock feature will be enabled if Find My iPhone was previously turned on.

Activation Lock prevents the iPhone from being used until the previous owner’s Apple ID is entered. This is an anti-theft measure.

If you factory reset your own iPhone, you just need to enter your Apple ID to reactivate it. But if resetting a used or second-hand iPhone, the previous owner will need to remove it from their iCloud account first.

Reset iPhone Without Passcode or iTunes

If you don’t have access to a trusted computer with iTunes, you can still reset an iPhone in a few ways:

Recovery Mode

Force into recovery mode then connect to computer and click Restore.

DFU Mode

Put the iPhone into DFU (device firmware update) mode, then connect to iTunes and click Restore.

iCloud Erase

Remotely wipe the iPhone via Find My iPhone on if enabled.

Third-party Apps

Some apps like iMyFone LockWiper can unlock and reset iPhone without passcode.

Apple Store

Make a Genius Bar appointment and have Apple reset your iPhone. Fees may apply without AppleCare.

Reset Disabled iPhone

If the iPhone is disabled after too many passcode attempts, you can still reset it a few ways:

  • Force into recovery mode and restore in iTunes.
  • Use Find My iPhone iCloud erase.
  • Use a third-party unlocking app or service.
  • Take to Apple Store for factory reset.

The disabled state is designed to prevent unauthorized access, but does not prevent a factory reset.

Reset iPhone Without Losing Data

To reset an iPhone without losing your data, you have a couple options:

Soft Reset

This resets settings but keeps data intact:

  1. Go to Settings > General > Reset.
  2. Tap Reset All Settings.
  3. Enter passcode and confirm reset.

Restore from Backup

Factory reset the iPhone, then restore your data during setup:

  1. Create an iTunes or iCloud backup.
  2. Factory reset the iPhone.
  3. Restore from the backup during device setup.

This will erase the iPhone but retain your data. Make sure your backup is current before resetting.

Reset iPhone Without Computer

You can reset an iPhone without a computer in a few different ways:

  • Use Find My iPhone remote erase
  • Use device recovery mode to force reset
  • Use an MDM tool if enrolled in management
  • Use a third-party app to unlock and reset it
  • Take to Apple Store for reset without computer

The key is entering recovery mode or using iCloud website if Find My iPhone was enabled. This allows device reset without connecting to a computer.

Reset iPhone Without Apple ID Password

If you don’t know your Apple ID password, you can still reset your iPhone a few ways:

Trusted Computer

Connect to a trusted computer you’ve synced with before to reset in iTunes.

Family Member’s Computer

Connect to a family member’s computer you’ve logged into before with Family Sharing.

Recovery Mode

Force iPhone into recovery mode and reset without entering Apple ID.

Apple Support

Contact Apple Support to remove Activation Lock without your password. You’ll need proof of ownership.

Apple Store

Make a Genius Bar appointment and show valid ID to remove Activation Lock.

Reset iPhone Using Recovery Mode

Here are the steps to reset an iPhone using Recovery Mode:

  1. Connect iPhone to computer with USB cable.
  2. Force restart: Volume Up, Volume Down, hold Side Button.
  3. Keep holding Side button until Recovery Mode screen appears.
  4. In iTunes click Restore to reset iPhone.
  5. iPhone will reboot and restore itself.

Recovery Mode bypasses the setup lock screen so you can wipe the device. This works if you forgot passcode or Apple ID password.


Factory resetting your iPhone is possible if you’ve forgotten your passcode, though it will permanently erase all data. Make sure to exhaust all options to recover your passcode before resetting the device. Back up important data first and disable Find My iPhone if you want to avoid Activation Lock. With the proper steps, you can wipe your iPhone and restore it to factory settings, even if locked out.