Can you bypass the iPhone lock out?

Getting locked out of your iPhone can be incredibly frustrating. If you enter the wrong passcode too many times, your iPhone will lock you out for increasing periods of time before it requires you to connect to iTunes to reset it. This security feature is designed to protect your data if your iPhone ends up in the wrong hands. However, it can feel like overkill if you simply forgot your passcode or your child was playing with your phone.

The short answer is yes, there are a few different ways you can bypass the iPhone lockout on your own without having to reset your device. However, the techniques vary depending on how up-to-date your iOS software is. Apple is continually strengthening security with every iOS update to make it more difficult to bypass the lock screen.

Using Siri

If you have Siri enabled on your locked iPhone, you may be able to use voice commands to bypass the lock screen. Siri does not authenticate users, so anyone can access it on a locked iPhone.

To try this method:

  1. Press and hold the Home button or Side button to activate Siri.
  2. Say something like “Siri, open Settings.”
  3. On the Settings screen, you should be able to turn off the passcode lock option.

This technique works on older iOS versions up to iOS 12. In iOS 13 and later, Apple restricted Siri’s capabilities on the lock screen so it can no longer open many apps or bypass the passcode.

Using VoiceOver

Similar to Siri, you may be able to use the VoiceOver screen reader to bypass the lock screen on older iOS versions. VoiceOver reads text aloud and allows navigation using gestures.

To try this:

  1. Press the Home button three times quickly to activate VoiceOver.
  2. Use VoiceOver gestures to open the Settings app.
  3. Navigate to and turn off the passcode lock option.

As with Siri, Apple restricted this in later iOS versions so VoiceOver on the lock screen can no longer access Settings in iOS 13 and later.

Via iTunes or Finder

If you sync your iPhone with iTunes on a PC or Finder on a Mac, you may be able to bypass the lock screen by putting your iPhone into recovery mode and then restoring from a backup. This will reset your device and result in data loss, but will let you regain access without your passcode.

To do this:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
  2. Put your iPhone into recovery mode – this will vary by model but generally involves holding the Home and Power buttons down for 5-10 seconds until you see the recovery mode screen.
  3. In iTunes or Finder, click Restore to restore your iPhone from a previous backup.
  4. Follow the on-screen steps to complete the restore process.

Your iPhone will reset to its state from your latest backup. While you will lose any data created since that backup, you will be able to access your iPhone again without needing your forgotten passcode.

Using Screen Time Passcode

If you have Screen Time parental controls enabled, you may be able to bypass the main passcode lock by using the Screen Time passcode.

To try this method:

  1. On the lock screen, tap Forgot Passcode?
  2. Enter your Screen Time passcode when prompted.
  3. You should now be able to access your iPhone and disable the main passcode lock.

This technique only works if you have Screen Time set up with a different passcode than your main device passcode. It essentially acts as a backdoor passcode.

Via iCloud

If you have Find My iPhone enabled in your iCloud account, you can use the iCloud website to bypass the iPhone lock screen.

To bypass with iCloud:

  1. On a computer, log into and click Find My.
  2. Select your locked iPhone.
  3. Click Erase iPhone at the bottom of the screen.
  4. Click Erase again to confirm.

After a short time, your iPhone will reset to factory settings, allowing you to access it again. However, this will erase your data. Make sure to have a recent backup through iCloud or iTunes.

Using Lock Screen Exploits

There are various lock screen bugs or exploits for older iOS versions that security researchers have uncovered over the years. These can enable access to your iPhone without the proper passcode in some situations:

  • iOS 12.3 and earlier – The LockScreen bypass exploit lets you open contacts and photos.
  • iOS 11.4.1 and earlier – A USB Restricted Mode exploit allows USB access if you connect a Lightning cable within one hour of the last time the device was unlocked.
  • iOS 10.x – The ZecOps tool provides a brute-force option to guess iPhone passcodes.
  • iOS 9.3.5 and earlier – Browser-based jailbreak methods give root access without unlocking.

The details vary for each flaw, so search for guides specific to the iOS version you have to see if there is an applicable bug that can get you in. However, most of these exploits do not work on up-to-date iOS versions as Apple patches them.

Using MDM Profiles

If your iPhone is managed through an MDM (mobile device management) solution provided by your employer, school, or other organization, the administrator may be able to remotely bypass the passcode.

They can send a lock-screen bypass code through the MDM server which gives temporary access to your iPhone. This could allow you to change your passcode without fully resetting the device.

Contact your organization’s IT department to see if they can assist with sending a lock screen bypass command via the MDM profile on your managed iPhone.

Using Forensic Tools

There are forensic access tools created for law enforcement that can crack into iPhones. Tools like Cellebrite’s UFED Physical Analyzer and Grayshift’s GrayKey box are extremely expensive but designed to gain access even to locked, encrypted iPhones.

Average users do not have access to these commercial forensic unlocking tools. While they can unlock pretty much any iPhone, they are restricted only to government agencies like police departments that have lawful reasons to crack phones in their investigations.


While there are techniques that can bypass an iPhone’s lock screen under the right conditions, they are becoming less reliable as Apple improves security with each iOS release. Most options involve losing data, require older iOS versions with known bugs, or only work if very specific circumstances are met.

To avoid getting locked out, make sure to always remember your passcode, write it down somewhere safe in case you forget, and keep your iPhone and iOS version up to date. If you do get stuck at the lock screen, contact Apple Support to see if they can run remote diagnostics to verify your identity and potentially assist with disabling the passcode.

But in general, there is no magic way to unlock a fully up-to-date iPhone without the proper passcode or erasing contents. Your data is designed to remain inaccessible even to you if you forget the code. This prevents anyone else from being able to easily bypass security and steal private information if your iPhone is lost or stolen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bypass iPhone lock screen without data loss?

Unfortunately, most lock screen bypass methods will result in data loss. Options like restoring via iTunes, using iCloud Erase, or forensic unlock tools require wiping the iPhone first. The only ways to potentially bypass the lock without data loss require exploiting bugs and flaws in older iOS versions that Apple has since patched in later updates.

What happens if I keep entering the wrong passcode?

After 5 wrong passcode attempts, your iPhone will disable touch input for 1 minute. After 10 failed attempts, another 5 minute lockout begins. Once you reach 10 failures, the lockout time continues increasing up to 1 hour per attempt. If you enter the wrong code 10 times in a row, you will need to connect to iTunes to perform a factory reset before using the iPhone again.

Can Apple unlock my iPhone if I forget the passcode?

No, Apple itself cannot bypass the passcode lock on your iPhone. This is a security measure to protect your data by preventing anyone other than you from accessing your phone. If you forget your passcode, Apple can only perform a factory reset to wipe the device, just like you can do yourself through iTunes restore or iCloud erase.

Can I reset my iPhone without the password?

Yes, you can erase and reset your iPhone to factory default settings without knowing the passcode by using recovery mode in iTunes or the “Erase iPhone” option in iCloud. This will remove the passcode requirement but also permanently delete all your data. Make sure you have a current backup before resetting your iPhone without the passcode.

What is the best way to recover a disabled iPhone?

The recommended way to recover a disabled iPhone due to too many failed passcode attempts is to connect it to a computer and do a factory reset through iTunes or Finder. This will wipe the device but allow you to set it up like new again. If you have a recent iCloud backup, you can then restore your data from there after the reset completes.


  • Bypassing an iPhone’s lock screen is difficult but possible in some cases.
  • Older methods like using Siri or VoiceOver no longer work in current iOS versions.
  • Restoring through iTunes or erasing with iCloud can reset a locked iPhone but results in data loss.
  • Exploiting iOS bugs and flaws allows lock screen bypass on some older iOS versions.
  • Apple continually patches security vulnerabilities, so most bypass methods do not work on up-to-date iPhones.

Getting into a locked iPhone without your passcode requires very specific circumstances. To avoid being locked out, always remember your passcode and keep your iPhone’s software updated.