Forgot iPhone Passcode? How to Recover it Without Losing data

Forgot your iPhone Passcode and don’t know how to reset it? Is the iPhone screen showing ‘iPhone Disabled‘? If yes, there are two news – one good and another bad. The good news is you do not have to worry. Your iPhone has not become a brick. Using the solutions below, you will be able to use it again. The bad news is if you do not have the iPhone’s backup on the computer or in iCloud, all the data currently on your iPhone can never be recovered!

What to do if you Forgot iPhone Passcode

The first thing you should do when you are locked out of your device is back it up.

Backup Your Locked iPhone

To backup your locked device, you should have synced the device with your Mac or iTunes at least once without restarting your iPhone after that. It is because your iPhone has the PC/Mac as a trusted device. If you have never synced your iPhone and you forgot the passcode, there is literally no way to restore it without losing the data.

For now, assuming you have synced the iPhone, follow the process given below:

Step #1. First off, connect your device to the computer using the USB cable and launch iTunes or if you are running macOS Catalina launch Finder.

Step #2. Now, for iTunes, select your device by clicking on the iPhone logo. For Finder, click on your iPhone’s name.

Step #3. Next, allow iTunes to sync your device and make a backup. For Finder, if you see Back Up Now under Backups, click on that.

Once your iPhone has been backed up, you should see the date and time when your device was backed up under ‘Last Backup.’

If, by the above method, you could not create a backup and you have no other backup or iCloud backup, then, in that case, you won’t be able to save any data which is currently on your iPhone. It will be lost because, in the next steps, we will be erasing everything from the iPhone.

Before you follow any step mentioned below:

  • Make sure you have your Apple ID and the password that was signed in to the iPhone. If you use 2-factor authentication for Apple ID, have the phone number or another Apple device nearby so you can receive the code
  • Have a strong internet connection

Recover iPhone Passcode Using iTunes or Finder

Step #1. Make sure your iPhone is not connected to the Mac. Turn off your iPhone. Now, read the below step entirely and then proceed.

Step #2. In this step, we will be connecting our iPhone to the Mac holding a button to enter the recovery mode. Now which button to press, depends on the iPhone model. See below for your iPhone. Keep holding the button until you see the recovery-mode screen. The recovery mode screen comes after you see the Apple Logo.

If you have,

  • iPhone X or later, or iPhone 8/8 Plus: Connect your device to your computer while holding the Side button (Lock button)
  • For iPhone 7/7 Plus: Connect your device to your computer while holding the Volume down button

Release the button when you see the recovery screen. (see image below)

Put your iPhone in Recovery Mode

Step #3. Finder on the connected Mac will automatically launch and tell you that there is a problem with the iPhone. And it requires to be updated or restored.

Restore or Update your iPhone in Finder on MacStep #4. Click on Restore.

Step #5. Click on Restore and Updated. (Next, agree to the terms if asked)

Restore iPhone Password using Finder on macOS Catalina

Finder or iTunes will download software for your device.

If it takes more than 15 minutes for the download to complete or process to finish, your device will exit recovery mode, and you’ll need to repeat the above steps. Also, if Wi-Fi or internet connection is disconnected on your Mac, it might say ‘The software for the iPhone was corrupted during download’. In this case too, you will have to disconnect and reconnect the iPhone and try again.

After the process is complete, you can set the phone as new or restore it from computer backup or iCloud backup.

Restore iPhone Password Without iTunes (using iCloud)

This method works when your iPhone, whose password you have forgotten, is with you and is also connected to Wi-Fi or Mobile Data. It can also be used if your iPhone has been stolen, and you need to erase your private data on it.

Step #1. Open a browser, go to and sign in using your iCloud credentials (Apple ID)

Sign in using your Apple ID in iCloud on Web

Step #2. Click on Find iPhone. (Fill iCloud password again if asked.)

Click on Find iPhone in iCloud Web

Step #3. Now from All Devices, click on the iPhone’s name.

Click on All Devices and Select Your iPhone name in Find iPhone on iCloud

Step #4. Click on Erase iPhone and follow the simple instructions.

Click on Erase in Find iPhone on iCloud

Click Erase Again to Confirm to Restore iPhone Password using iCloud

Step #5. Enter your iCloud password if asked. On the next screen, you can also choose to show a phone number that will be displayed on the screen after the iPhone has been erased. You can also type a message to be shown on the iPhone screen.

Once the erase has been completed, the iPhone will restart. You can now set it as new or restore it from computer backup or iCloud backup.

So, this is how you can start using your iPhone again if you forgot your password. Now, whether you were able to recover your data or not totally depends on you creating the backups!

If you are using iTunes on a PC or on Mac not running macOS Catalina then restoring via iTunes is an option.


Apple making the iPhone password system strong is good for security and eventually good for our data. From now onwards make it a habit of backing up your iPhone regularly with your Mac/PC or turn on iCloud backup. Also, set a password that you can remember (which, of course, is not too easy for others to guess).

One pro tip is to restart your iPhone every week. After a restart, your iPhone asks for your password and does not unlock just by Face ID or Touch ID. If you input your password every week, chances are you will remember it. Also, restarting your iPhone fixes several small glitches and keeps it working smoothly.

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The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

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