As you probably know, you need to set up a passcode on your iPhone even when the device has full support for Touch ID or Face ID. It is designed to work as a second layer of protection, and you may have to enter the passcode while installing an update or after rebooting your iPhone.
Because you do not have to remember the passcode regularly, there is an increased chance of coming across the iPhone is disabled message on the device. However, it should not be a problem, and Apple asks you to use iTunes or Finder to unlock a disabled iPhone, but this method does not always work.
Therefore, you need to know how to unlock a disabled iPhone with or without iTunes. In this guide, we have covered everything you should know about the process.
What Causes the ‘iPhone Is Disabled’ Message?
The most common reason for the ‘iPhone is disabled’ or ‘iPhone Unavailable’ message on your iPhone is the repeated entering of the wrong passcode. It means you have entered the wrong passcode on your iPhone multiple times.
However, you must understand that your iPhone does not show the iPhone is disabled message after one or two attempts of failure. iPhone will lock your iPhone for a specific time when you enter the wrong passcode multiple times.
The duration will increase until you see the ‘iPhone is disabled’ text that prompts you to connect your iPhone to iTunes. Nevertheless, this issue may appear due to no fault of yours. For instance, if one of your kids tries to unlock the iPhone by entering the wrong passcode, you will soon see the iPhone disabled message.
Now that you know how the iPhone may have gotten disabled in the first place, we will explore options to resolve the issue.
Unlock A Disabled iPhone without iTunes via Find My iPhone
If you are looking for the easiest way to unlock a disabled iPhone, you should try the one where we use Find My iPhone from Apple. This method has a few caveats, but it is nevertheless the official method from Apple. So, before we explore other options, we will see how you can use Find My on your iPhone to unlock a disabled iPhone.
Find My iPhone, currently called Find My, is the built-in anti-theft and device control utility on Apple devices. It is designed to locate a stolen/misplaced Apple device and/or wipe the data on the device. The best part is that the Find My network can access your iPhone even when the device is turned off.
In this case, we use the power of the Find My network to erase your iPhone so that you can regain access to the device using your Apple ID. The steps you have to follow are:
Step 1. Open a web browser and log onto www.icloud.com/find. Alternatively, if you have another Apple device, you can open the Find My app. However, you have to make sure that both your disabled iPhone and the current device are connected to the same iCloud account.
Step 2. On the web browser, you will have to sign into the Find My account.
Step 3. After you have signed in, Find My will locate all the devices connected to the Apple ID.
Step 4. Click the All Devices button and select the iPhone has disabled.
Step 5. Find My will show the current location of the device and a few action buttons.
Step 6. From the menu, click Erase iPhone
Step 7. You will have to confirm the action when asked.
Now, wait for a few minutes when Find My sends the erasure request to your iPhone. Keep in mind it will take some time. Meanwhile, it will be a good idea to connect your iPhone to a power source.
In some time, your iPhone will stop showing the ‘iPhone is disabled’ message. At this point, you will have an almost-new iPhone in terms of software. However, it will be locked to the original Apple ID you used in the first place. It means no one else can use the device.
So, you can go ahead and sign into the Apple ID to continue. Voila! You have successfully unlocked a disabled iPhone without iTunes. You did not have to connect the device to a computer, either. However, there are a few issues with this method. For instance,
- This method will erase all content on your iPhone. Even though you can restore most of the content using a backup, the process can be cumbersome.
- Of course, you cannot use this method unless you have turned on Find My on your iPhone.
- You cannot use this method if you do not have access to your Apple ID.
Therefore, you may need a slightly improved method to unlock a disabled iPhone without iTunes.
Unlock A Disabled iPhone without iTunes via iPhone Unlocker
A more effective way to unlock a disabled iPhone without iTunes is by using a third-party iPhone unlocker for the task. In this case, we recommend using Tenorshare 4uKey, one of the trusted options to remove various types of locks from your iPhone. It has been designed to help you remove forgotten iPhone passcodes, Touch ID, and Face ID from not only iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
Tenorshare 4uKey is available for both Windows and macOS, and the unlocking method works fine with the latest version of iOS and iPadOS.
The steps you have to follow are:
You have to connect the disabled iPhone to your Mac/PC using a Lightning to USB cable.
Now, launch Tenorshare 4uKey and wait for it to detect the device. Once the device is detected, you have to click ‘Start.’
In this step, Tenorshare 4uKey will detect the iPhone model and download the matching iOS firmware. You do not have to worry about the technicalities, though. The app is smart enough to find out the right version of firmware and download it for you. You simply have to select the path where you want to store the files.
Once you have selected the path, click ‘Download’ to proceed and wait for Tenorshare 4uKey to complete the downloading process.
In this step, click the ‘Start Remove’ button and let the lock screen remover app do its job. You have to sit back and relax when the unlocking process takes place.
After some minutes, you will see a Successful notification from Tenorshare 4uKey.
That’s it. You have successfully unlocked the disabled iPhone without iTunes. Of course, this method wants you to connect your device to a Mac or PC, but the effectiveness is impressive for the most part.
Unlock A Disabled iPhone with iTunes/Finder
We should also look at how to unlock a disabled iPhone with iTunes or Finder on Windows and macOS, respectively. Here is how you can go about it.
- First, you have to turn off your iPhone. Since your iPhone is locked, you can use a key combination to turn off the device. If you have an iPhone 8 or newer, you can press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons and use the slider to shut down your iPhone.
- Launch Recovery Mode on your iPhone by holding the Power and the Volume Down buttons.
- You can understand that your device is in Recovery Mode when you see a screen with icons for a laptop and a USB cable.
- Connect the iPhone to your Mac or PC and launch iTunes or Finder
- Locate the iPhone from the list of connected devices
- Whenever you open the device, iTunes/Finder will detect the issue and ask whether you want to Update/Restore the device.
- Click Restore and wait while iTunes/Finder fixes the problem.
The process may take a few minutes and cause data loss. However, if you take regular backups, it is not an issue.
How to Avoid Getting A Disabled iPhone
Here are some tips that will help you avoid getting a disabled iPhone in the first place.
- Make sure that you do not enter the wrong password continuously on the iPhone
- Your iPhone will give you short time-outs when you enter the wrong passcode. Please respect those time-outs and use the time to remember the original passcode.
- You do not have to wait till the iPhone is disabled option to remove the passcode. You may find a few other options if you act before.
While these steps will help you avoid getting a disabled iPhone, you should remember that getting a disabled iPhone is not the end of the world.
FAQs About Disabled iPhone
How to unlock a disabled iPhone?
You can use up to three methods to unlock a disabled iPhone. The first method wants you to use Find My, a feature from Apple. The second method, you can use iTunes to unlock a disabled iPhone. Third, you can use a third-party iPhone unlock software to unlock a disabled iPhone.
What to do when iPhone is disabled? How to unlock it?
You cannot unlock your iPhone using the original passcode once it is disabled. At this point, you need to use either iTunes or a third-party app to get the job done.
Can you unlock a disabled iPhone without iTunes?
Contrary to public opinion, you can unlock a disabled iPhone without iTunes. Even without iTunes, you have two major options to try.
Can I unlock my iPhone without a computer?
Yes, if you have a disabled iPhone, you can unlock the device without a computer. The best method we use is via Find My iPhone on your device. This utility will help you locate and erase the content on your iPhone.
As we said in the beginning, we have covered everything you should know about unlocking a disabled iPhone with or without iTunes. But it will be better to avoid getting your iPhone disabled in the first place; we have a few tips for that as well.