If you forget your iPhone or iPad password, what should you do? Is it possible to recover the password or erase the information on the device?
Today’s smartphones and tablets are unlocked with technologies such as fingerprint sensor and face recognition. Apple’s iPhones and iPads are equipped with both Touch ID and Face ID technologies, and the user unlocks the phone through these two authentication methods. Continued use of these methods may sometimes cause the user to forget the password assigned to the device.
What to do in such times? Fortunately, if you forget your iPhone or iPad password, there is still a way to access your device’s content, but don’t forget that you’ll need your Apple ID password.
Method One: Restore Data via iCloud
If you have the Find My iPhone enabled on your Apple iPhone or iPad, you can simply erase the information on your device through a web browser. Note that this will erase all that is on your phone or tablet; however, you can later restore the data through the backup version you saved to iCloud.
Here’s how to retrieve information on your iPhone or iPad through Find My iPhone:
1. Open iCloud.com
2. Log in with your Apple ID username and password.
3. Click Find iPhone.
4. Search the map for your iPhone and click on it.
5. Click “Erase iPhone” option.
By going through the above steps, your iPhone or iPad data will be completely erased and the device will return to factory settings. You can then restore the data through the backup stored in iCloud.
Method Two: Restore via iTunes
If you don’t have Find My iPhone enabled, or could not successfully erase via iCloud, you can also do so via iTunes.
The first step is to place your iPhone or iPad into recovery mode.
- iPhone X or later, and iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus: Press and hold the Side button and one of the volume buttons until the power off slider appears. Drag the slider to turn off. Connect to your computer while holding the Side button. Keep holding the Side button until you see the recovery-mode screen.
- iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPod touch (7th generation): Power off your device. Connect to your computer while holding the Volume down button. Keep holding the Volume down button until you see the recovery-mode screen.
- iPhone 6s or earlier, iPod touch (6th generation or earlier), or iPad with Home button: Power off your device. Connect your device to your computer while holding the Home button. Keep holding the Home button until you see the recovery-mode screen.
Once you’ve done that, iTunes (or Finder if you’re running macOS Catalina) should tell you that there “is a problem with the iPhone that requires it to be updated or restored.”
In this prompt, click “Restore” and your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch will erase all content and settings.
Once you boot back up, you can go through the iOS setup process and either setup the device as new or restore from an iCloud backup. In either scenario, you can set a new passcode for your iPhone or iPad.
When your device turns back on after being restored, you’ll likely be presented with an Activation Lock screen – either on the PC or Mac you used to perform the restore, or on the iOS device itself. Here is where you’ll be required to enter your Apple ID and password to gain access to your device.
You can read more about Activation Lock in Apple’s support document here.
Have you ever forgotten your iPhone or iPad passcode? How did you gain access to your device? Let us know down in the comments.