How do you unlock an old iPhone if you forgot the password?

Many iPhone users have been in the frustrating situation of forgetting the passcode to their device. When you type in the wrong passcode too many times, the iPhone disables itself and requires you to enter the correct password to regain access. If you have forgotten your passcode and your iPhone is locked, don’t panic – there are several methods you can try to unlock your device.

Can you unlock an iPhone without the password?

Yes, it is possible to unlock an iPhone without knowing the passcode. Apple has implemented a few different backdoor methods to help users regain access to a locked iPhone.

Recovery Mode

One option is to force restart your iPhone and put it into Recovery Mode. Here’s how:

  1. Press and hold the Side button and either Volume button until the power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to turn off your iPhone.
  3. Keep holding the Side and Volume buttons until you see the Recovery Mode screen.
  4. Connect your iPhone to your computer while in Recovery Mode.
  5. Open iTunes on your computer and click Restore. This will wipe your iPhone and reinstall the latest iOS version.

Recovery Mode allows you to erase and restore your iPhone through iTunes without needing the passcode. However, this method results in data loss.

DFU Mode

DFU (Device Firmware Update) Mode is another backdoor unlock method similar to Recovery Mode. To enter DFU Mode:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer while turned off.
  2. Press and hold the Side button and Volume Down button for 10 seconds.
  3. Release the Side button but keep holding the Volume Down button for another 5 seconds.
  4. Your iPhone will enter DFU Mode and you can restore it through iTunes to unlock it.

DFU Mode is more reliable than Recovery Mode but also results in data loss when restoring.

iCloud Unlock

If you have Find My iPhone enabled in your iCloud account, you can use the iCloud website to remotely unlock your iPhone. Go to, enter your Apple ID and password, select Find My iPhone, then click Erase iPhone. This resets your iPhone to factory settings without needing the passcode.

Unlock with Apple Support

As a last resort, you can contact Apple Support to unlock your iPhone. You will need to verify you are the owner by providing the iPhone’s serial number and your Apple ID used on the device. Apple can generate an unlock code to regain access, though this method takes time.

What happens when you enter the wrong iPhone password too many times?

If you enter the wrong passcode on your iPhone 6 or more times, it will trigger an automatic lockout for security reasons. Here is what happens at each failed attempt:

Failed Attempts Result
1-4 “Wrong Passcode” message displayed
5 1 minute lockout
6 5 minute lockout
7-8 15 minute lockout
9 1 hour lockout
10 Complete disable, requires connect to iTunes

As you can see, the lockout time increases exponentially with each failed attempt to deter brute force hacking. After 10 failed passcode entries, the iPhone disables itself completely and requires connecting to iTunes to restore.

How to reset iPhone password without iTunes?

If you don’t have access to a computer with iTunes, you can still reset your forgotten iPhone password without it using these methods:

Erase iPhone with Find My

On, you can remotely wipe your lost or locked iPhone to factory settings without needing the password. This erases all data but allows you to set a new password.

Erase iPhone from iCloud Settings

In your iCloud account settings on a computer, you can select Find My iPhone > All Devices > Erase iPhone to reset to factory settings.

Use Device Firmware Update (DFU) Mode

DFU Mode allows you to restore an iPhone through iTunes without the password. Follow steps to enter DFU Mode, then connect to a computer and restore using a trusted USB cable.

Take to Apple Store

Make a Genius Bar appointment at an Apple Store. The Apple techs can unlock your iPhone for you in-store so you can set a new password.

Use Unlock Software

Specialized 3rd party software like iMyFone LockWiper can unlock disabled iPhones without the Apple ID by exploiting system vulnerabilities. However, these methods are not endorsed by Apple and won’t work on latest iOS.

How can I regain access to my disabled iPhone?

If you enter the passcode wrong 10 times and your iPhone disables, don’t panic. You have a few options to regain access:

Restore iPhone Using Recovery Mode

  1. Connect iPhone to computer and launch iTunes
  2. Force restart iPhone into Recovery Mode
  3. Click Restore in iTunes to wipe and unlock iPhone

Restore iPhone Using DFU Mode

  1. Connect iPhone to computer while powered off
  2. Hold Side + Volume Down buttons to enter DFU Mode
  3. Click Restore in iTunes to reset and unlock

Unlock with Find My iPhone

  1. On sign in and select Find My iPhone
  2. Erase iPhone to wipe it and unlock
  3. Set a new password during device setup

Contact Apple Support to Generate Unlock Code

  1. Call Apple Support or visit an Apple Store
  2. Provide proof of ownership of the disabled iPhone
  3. Apple will generate an unlock code to enter and access your device

The easiest way is to restore through iTunes or iCloud. Seeking Apple Support’s help is the last option if nothing else works.

What to do if you forgot iPhone passcode and don’t have computer?

If you get locked out of your iPhone and don’t have a computer to connect to, you still have some password reset options:

Erase iPhone Remotely

On, you can use Find My iPhone to remotely wipe your device to factory settings without needing the passcode or computer access.

Reset at Apple Store

Make a Genius Bar appointment and provide proof of ownership. Apple can generate an unlock code or reset your iPhone to regain access.

Borrow a Friend’s Computer

Connect your iPhone to a trusted friend’s computer to do a restore through iTunes or Apple Configurator and unlock it.

Use Unlock Software on Friend’s Computer

3rd party unlock tools like iMyFone LockWiper can be installed on a friend’s computer to bypass the activation lock and reset your passcode.

Wait for iPhone to Unlock Itself

If you have an internet connection, after enough failed passcode attempts the disabled iPhone will unlock itself after a period of time.

How long does it take for iPhone to unlock after failed attempts?

The automatic unlock time after too many wrong passcode entries on iPhone depends on the current lockout period:

Lockout Period Automatic Unlock Time
1 minute Immediate unlock after lockout ends
5 minutes Immediate unlock after lockout ends
15 minutes Immediate unlock after lockout ends
1 hour Immediate unlock after lockout ends
Complete disable 1-5 days after failed attempt 10

For 1 minute to 1 hour lockouts, the iPhone unlocks immediately when the timer runs out. But for complete disable state after 10 failed passcode entries, it takes 1-5 days to auto unlock.

What to do if iPhone is disabled connect to iTunes?

Seeing the “iPhone is disabled connect to iTunes” message means you entered the passcode wrong 10 times. Here’s what to do:

Connect iPhone to Computer

Connect your disabled iPhone to a computer using a USB cable. Launch iTunes if it doesn’t open automatically.

Force Restart iPhone

Press and hold Power + Home buttons for 10 seconds to force restart your iPhone into Recovery Mode.

Restore iPhone in iTunes

In iTunes, click Restore to wipe your iPhone and reinstall the latest iOS version. This will unlock your device.

Restore iPhone from iCloud

On, erase your iPhone using Find My iPhone. This resets it to factory settings.

Generate Unlock Code

Contact Apple Support to generate an unlock code you can enter to regain access without fully resetting your iPhone.


Forgotten passcodes can be frustrating, but don’t worry – you have options. Recovery Mode, DFU Mode, Find My iPhone, iTunes restore, and contacting Apple Support can all help unlock your disabled iPhone. Just make sure to remember your new password once your device is reset!