There’s good news and bad news to people who’ve forgotten the iPhone passcode. The good news is that all is not lost. The bad news is that you can’t recover the passcode in anyway.

Unless of course, by a stroke of luck and genius, your brain remembers the passcode again.

The only way to regain an entry into your iPhone is to restore it. Yes, that’s going to delete all data but, incidentally, even when you are locked out of your iPhone, you can backup data from it.

That’s kind of the irony that you don’t want to happen to you but hey, every once in a while, someone gets locked out of his house, car or email accounts. Add iPhones and iPads to that list.

Forgot iPhone PasscodeSo you’ve forgotten the passcode of iPhone. Now what?

This is the process we’ll be following:

  1. Backup all your data via iTunes
  2. Put your iPhone in DFU mode to auto-restore in iTunes
  3. Restore the iPhone from the saved backup

It’s actually a simple method but it also means two things:

  • You’ll most likely upgrade your iPhone / iPad to the latest version
  • If you had jailbreak, you’ll lose that

So here’s how to get back into your iPhone and reset the passcode:

#1. Backup All Data: Before you proceed, make sure you have disabled backup encryption in iTunes. (in iTunes Summary section).

Disable iTunes Backup Encryption
Disable iTunes Backup Encryption

Connect your iPhone to the computer with the USB cable. ITunes should fire up (if not, open it up). Click on your device on the side-bar (or top-right). In the Summary tab, click on Back Up Now. It might take a while before the process is done. To check if the backup was successful, click on Restore Backup and check the date on the latest backup file.

#2. Restore in DFU: To put your iPhone in DFU mode, follow instructions here. iTunes will automatically ask you to restore the device. Clicking on Restore will update the firmware of your iPhone. This will erase all data, including removal of passcode.

#3. Restore from Backup:Now, don’t setup your iPhone. Just connect it to iTunes (remove it once and re-connect it to the computer). Now, click on the device name (from top-right or from side pane) and in the Summary tab, click on Restore Backup. Select the recent backup and your iPhone should be back. The passcode should be gone now.

I know that restoring your iPhone with loss of data sounds scary but if you are stuck at the lockscreen because you forgot your passcode, this is the best way. I’ve tried jailbreak methods but none seem to be working now.

  • donelee

    Once you lost iPhone passcode and want to reset it, you can follow the following steps:

    Step 1: Connect iPhone to computer via a USB cable> launch iTunes on computer.

    Step 2: When you launch iTunes, it will automatically sync your device. But if it doesn’t, you need to do it on your own, which means you have to do the following steps: Click “View”> “Show Sidebar”, then your iPhone will be displayed in the left sidebar.

    Step 3: When iTunes have synced and backed up your device, please go to “Device” in the sidebar. Then click on Summary tab. Next go to “Restore iPhone” button.

    Step 4: Finally, click on “Restore Backup” to restore iPhone from iTunes backup files and then you can reset your iPhone passcode.

    If you have backed up data to iTunes previously, you can use FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery to extract data and save them to your computer.

  • JM

    This is pure crap: it does not work. I have tried it 20 times on an iPhone 6 with “iPhone Disabled … Connect to iTunes” message. First, I can’t get the forced recovery to work. Second, iTunes wants me to do something on the phone- which is locked. The “something” is iTunes wants sends a message to the phone to verify that it can trust the “computer” but if the phone is locked/disabled you can’t respond to that message so you are stuck.

    Why put these steps in here when they don’t work is beyond me. I wasted so much time trying this method but no luck.

  • adrianna m

    it wont let me back it up!! HELP!!!!!!

  • Zoe

    Does this save your notes and app progress I.e. Games? And your photos? I don’t really care about messages and stuff I just have some really important projects and documents I don’t want to lose.

  • Juanita

    It doesnt work if the iphone is locked … but there is a solution look for a program called iexplore from Macroplant and from there you will have access to the iphone drive iven if is locked … :)

    • larry

      not really,… it only reads from a previous backup… and NOT whats on the phone

  • Nirupama

    Hi, can I do this with any computer? Because I changed my laptop and I didn’t connect my phone to it even a single time..

  • Nav Bajwa

    Can I do it on any computer?

  • Steph

    THIS WORKS!!!! I had never backed up my iPhone before so I thought I would lose all my files but this website was heaven sent! Thank you so much!!!!! My iPhone hung when I was activating my passcode so the numbers got jumbled up. So happy I found a solution through this site!

  • skyler

    You cant back it up if you forgot the passcode, there is nothing you can do at all. You have to restore the last time you backed up, for me it was 5 months previous.

  • Amy

    Amy • 6 minutes ago

    If I follow the method above, will all of my phone data be saved, including current contacts, text messages, voicemails, and Words with Friends games?

    • Ella McCreary

      not the text messages. I don’t know about voice mails. If you have game center, than yes words w/ friends