Is it possible to reset iPhone passcode without losing data?

Quick Answer

It is possible to reset an iPhone passcode without losing data, but it requires bypassing the iPhone’s security mechanisms. The most reliable methods involve using specialized software or taking the phone to an Apple Store or third-party repair shop. Resetting the passcode through normal means like DFU mode will erase the device.


The passcode lock is an important security feature on iPhones that protects personal data in case the device is lost or stolen. However, forgetting the passcode can be a big hassle, especially if you don’t have a backup or method to recover the data.

Apple makes it very difficult to bypass the passcode without erasing the phone through measures like encryption. So in most cases, resetting the passcode requires erasing the device and restoring from a backup.

But there are a few methods that can reset the passcode without data loss by exploiting software vulnerabilities or hardware access. While not endorsed by Apple, these options are useful as a last resort for accessing an iPhone with a forgotten passcode and no backup.

Reasons to Reset iPhone Passcode Without Losing Data

Here are some common reasons you may want to reset an iPhone’s passcode without erasing its data:

Forgotten Passcode

The most obvious scenario is forgetting your iPhone’s passcode. This often happens after not using the device for an extended period. If you don’t have a backup, removing the passcode without data loss may be the only way to recover access.

Passcode Changed by Someone Else

Someone else changing the passcode, like a mischievous friend or family member, can also lock you out of your iPhone. You’ll want to reset their passcode change without losing your data.

Passcode Disabled After Too Many Failed Attempts

Entering the wrong passcode too many times will disable the passcode entry for increasing durations. But this makes it impossible to enter the correct passcode once remembered. Resetting the passcode can fix this problem.

Preparing to Sell iPhone

Before selling or gifting an iPhone, you’ll want to remove personal data but also reset the passcode so the next owner can set up the device themselves.

Removing Screen Time Passcode

Kids may set a Screen Time passcode on their iPhone without the parent’s knowledge. Parents may want to remove the Screen Time passcode while keeping the child’s data intact.

Common Ways That Don’t Work

Many intuitive options for resetting an iPhone’s passcode simply won’t work without erasing your data:

iTunes or Finder Restore

Connecting the iPhone to a computer and restoring via iTunes or Finder will force a reset of the passcode. However, this will also completely erase the iPhone’s contents by necessity.

iCloud Erase and Restore

Erasing the iPhone remotely through Find My and then restoring from an iCloud backup is another way to reset the passcode. But again, this can only restore data if you have a backup.

DFU Mode Restore

DFU or recovery mode can let you restore an iPhone through iTunes without entering the passcode. And again, this forces the iPhone to be wiped.

Reset All Settings

Resetting all settings through the Settings app only resets network settings, privacy settings, and similar options. It does not remove or reset the passcode.

Erase All Content and Settings

Erasing all content and settings from the Settings app will wipe the device and require reactivation and passcode creation. It does not simply remove the current passcode.

Can Apple Reset iPhone Passcode?

Apple can reset the passcode of an iPhone at an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. However, they will still erase the iPhone before removing the passcode as part of the procedure.

Genius Bar staff at Apple Stores can bypass the activation lock and reset passcode if you can provide proof of purchase or the original receipts for the iPhone and accessories.

There is no way for Apple to reset the passcode remotely through customer service. Physical access to the iPhone is required to verify ownership before passcode removal.

So while Apple can reset the passcode easier than you attempting it yourself, this will still result in data erasure unless you have a backup.

Software Methods To Reset Passcode

Now let’s look at some methods that can actually reset an iPhone’s passcode without erasing its data.

The main options involve using various iOS hacking tools and exploits that bypass Apple’s security protections. However, many of these exploits get patched by Apple over time.

None of these methods are endorsed by Apple and typically violate their terms of service for bypassing security mechanisms. But they may be your only recourse in times of desperation.

PassFab iPhone Unlocker

iPhone Unlocker from PassFab is Windows-based software that can remove the passcode from any iPhone or iPad model running all versions of iOS.

It works by exploiting undisclosed vulnerabilities in order to gain access to the operating system and reset the passcode. This process takes about 10-20 minutes.

The main advantage of iPhone Unlocker is it requires no technical knowledge to use. And it has consistently worked on all iOS versions, even as Apple patches exploits. is a web-based unlocking service. You mail your locked iPhone to them, pay a fee, and their technicians use proprietary software to reset the passcode within a few business days.

They claim to work with all iPhone models and iOS versions. The advantage is convenience since you don’t need to do anything technical yourself. The downside is time without your iPhone and risk of shipping damage.

GrayKey iPhone Unlock Box

GrayKey is a specialized hardware device marketed to law enforcement, military, and private forensics groups. It can unlock even disabled or damaged iPhones running up to the latest iOS.

GrayKey exploits undisclosed vulnerabilities in iOS to remove the passcode in around 2 hours. But it costs $15,000 – $30,000 so is prohibitive for individuals to purchase.

Cellebrite Premium

Cellebrite Premium is a high-end mobile forensics package able to unlock and extract data from many feature phones and smartphones. It supports bypassing locks and passcodes on iOS devices.

Like GrayKey, Cellebrite is extremely expensive, selling for upwards of $10,000. It’s aimed at government and corporate forensics teams rather than average users.

Hardware Methods Using Microsoldering

Microsoldering is a technique that involves physically altering an iPhone’s internals through soldering and chip removal. In some cases, it may allow resetting the passcode by accessing the phone’s memory chips directly.

This requires advanced technical skills, specialized tools, and risk of damaging the device. It’s essentially the equivalent of digital surgery on the iPhone.

Some potential microsoldering techniques include:

NAND Mirroring

NAND mirroring involves desoldering the NAND flash memory chip, copying its data to a new chip, and replacing the original. By doing this, you may be able to reset the passcode with the new mirrored chip while preserving the original data.

NOR Data Extraction

Some older iPhone models stored encryption keys in NOR flash memory. Carefully desoldering the NOR chip and externally reading its data can potentially give access to reset the passcode.

IPA Installation

It may be possible to manually install an IPA file of a hacking app like Sliver or Checkra1n by desoldering the flash memory chip and using external programming tools. These apps could then disable the passcode.

Should You Use These Bypass Methods?

Resetting an iPhone’s passcode using unauthorized exploits involves seriously compromising iOS security measures. Apple strongly cautions against these methods for good reason.

Bypassing the passcode could expose your data to new vulnerabilities if done improperly. It may also permanently damage the iPhone if the microsoldering isn’t done precisely.

Apple doesn’t condone these methods and may refuse to service any iPhone with signs of tampering. Future iOS updates could also re-lock a device unlocked using some exploits.

You should only attempt these methods as an absolute last resort when you have no other way to recover your lost iPhone data. Backing up regularly via iTunes or iCloud can avoid these risky passcode resets in the future.

Best Practices To Avoid Needing Passcode Bypass

Resetting an iPhone’s passcode without data loss should never be your first choice. Here are some tips to avoid getting locked out in the first place:

Set a Passcode You Won’t Forget

Don’t use random passcodes that you’re likely to forget. Opt for a combination of numbers that has personal significance.

Write Down the Passcode

Keep a written record of your iPhone’s passcode in a safe but accessible place in case you forget it later on. Never store passcodes digitally where they could be hacked.

Use Touch ID or Face ID

Use biometric authentication like fingerprint or face recognition rather than a passcode for convenience. You can’t forget your own biometrics!

Regularly Back Up Your iPhone

Back up to iCloud or iTunes so you always have a data backup to restore in case your passcode is forgotten or lost.

Log Out of Locked Passcode After Time

Set your iPhone to automatically log out of passcode lock after several minutes or hours so you don’t get locked out if leaving your phone briefly.


While possible through unauthorized software or hardware methods, resetting an iPhone’s passcode without erasing data is risky, difficult, and not condoned by Apple. You should only attempt these methods as an absolute last resort when no backups exist.

To avoid getting into this situation, always set a memorable passcode, enable biometrics, write down your passcode, and maintain current backups. With proper precautions, you should never need to use exploit tools or microsoldering to reset a forgotten or lost iPhone passcode.