How To Fix A Disabled iPhone?


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If you are an iPhone user, your eyes must have read this message at least once in your screen time, “iPhone is disabled,”. The probable reason for this anxiety is multiple attempts of entering the wrong passcode. When you make 10 attempts in a row to unlock your iPhone, it will get automatically disabled. Sometimes you fall into difficulty without even realizing it, especially when the phone is in your pocket or a bag.

The simple way to get rid of the annoyance is to factory reset your device to remove the lock and passcode, then re-sync it with iTunes/iCloud or with some alternate technique. How you can do it, will tell you shortly, stay tuned….Another potential reason for this issue is an iPhone SIM card is not supported.


Why iPhone gets disabled?

It’s a common blip, and the likely reason is the frequent wrong efforts that are made to access the device.

To wake your iPhone from sleep, you need to enter the right passcode. You can do it via:

  • Facial recognition
  • Use Touch ID

The passcode is a thread of characters that are used for authentication on your iPhone, which is something similar to an account password for Windows users. The only difference is, you do not need to maintain a profile on iOS phones. Your iPhone becomes inactivated if it senses an incorrect passcode attempt. The message on the screen is important to remember, which will show how long you must pause before you can try to unlock the phone again:

  • Wrong passcode 5 times in a row: iPhone is disabled for 1 minute.
  • Wrong passcode 7 times in a row: iPhone is disabled for 5 minutes.
  • Wrong passcode 8 times in a row: iPhone is disabled for 15 minutes.
  • Wrong passcode 9 times in a row: iPhone is disabled for 60 minutes.
  • Wrong passcode 10 times in a row: iPhone is indefinitely disabled.

In this case, you cannot access your data. Plus, the good news is, it is not a terminal problem, and you can definitely fix it.

You can opt for any of the methods conversed in this article to have little idea of how to reset a disabled iPhone. By the following techniques to reset, remember it will erase the phone’s data.

What caused you stuck in this situation?

There are two circumstances to reach the said scenario:

Careful passcode entry:

When you forgot your password, and to unlock your digital device you make multiple wrong attempts. On the flip side, someone else has tried to intrude on your data who doesn’t know your correct code.

Accidental passcode entry:

It rarely happens, when you accidentally entered passcodes into your device, which is not correct. It causes your iPhone to get disabled and usually happens when you store your phone in your pocket.

What Is A Self-Destruct Mode?

Self-Destruct mode is a security feature that makes your iPhone an empty vessel after making a maximum of 10 attempts at guessing the passcode. It is pertinent to note, that your iPhone may erase all personal data if:

  • The wrong passcode was entered 10 times
  • Self-destruct mode is turned on

What You Should Not Do To Fix A Disabled iPhone?

The best thing in the scenario of a disabled iPhone is just to wait and leave it for a while to unlock it later. Each time you fail to unlock your device will instruct on the amount of wait (time) you need to do before making the next attempt. Additionally, the minutes will change depending on how many unsuccessful efforts are made to unlock the device. If you get failed even after making a 10th fluke in a row, your iPhone will stay disabled for an indefinite amount of time.

Long story short, you should wait instead of making wrong commands to avoid inconvenience. Because indefinite disability of your iPhone has no cure but wait. There is no scientific invention to date to speed up this counter or bypass it.

However, here are a few tips which you can use to avoid the trouble.

  • Wait for the specified time to get passed, and then try to enter the passcode again
  • Do not enter the same guess twice
  • You should write your passcode in your journal/diary

How to Reset Disabled iPhone Without iTunes/iCloud

If you are not interested in iTunes/iCloud for some reason, Tenorshare 4uKey is an effective software that has been purposefully intended to repair a disabled iPhone by restoring data. Plus, the software is easy to comprehend and simple to use.

Here are some easy steps to reset a disabled iPhone with Tenorshare 4uKey

  • Download, install and launch Tenorshare 4uKey on Mac/Laptop
  • Connect your disabled iPhone to this Mac/laptop by using a USB cable
  • Click on “Start”
  • Choose the location/path where you want to download and store the Firmware package
  • Click on “Download”
  • Once the new package has been downloaded to the specified location, click on “Unlock Now”
  • You can download the backup from iTunes or iCloud

How to Reset a Disabled iPhone with iTunes

If you want to restore the data with iTunes, you need a backup beforehand. Bear in mind, iTunes is extremely cumbersome to use. You need to do is:


  • Disable the Find My iPhone feature
  • Connect your disabled iPhone to your Mac/laptop via a USB cable
  • Tap iPhone and go to the Summary tab
  • Once the backup is created, click on “Restore”.
  • Confirm to restore your iPhone to Factory Settings, by tapping on “Restore and Update”
  • All the personal data on your phone including the passcode will then be removed
  • Restored everything from a created backup by clicking on “Restore from iTunes backup”

It is pertinent to note, that if you have not ever synced your iPhone with iTunes, you need to go to Recovery mode first and recover your device.

Follow the steps below to go through the process

  • Connect your iPhone to the Mac/laptop via USB lightning
  • Launch iTunes on the device
  • Switch off your device, in the case of iPhone XS, X, 8, or 8 Plus, and force restart your device by pressing and releasing the volume up and down button
  • Press and hold the side button until the Recovery Mode screen (Connect to iTunes) flashes
  • In the case of iPhone 7 or 7 plus, switch it off, by pressing the volume down button and side button together till Recovery Mode is displayed on the screen
  • For iPhone 6S or any other earlier versions, you need to switch it off and press the top button and home button till the Recovery Mode display screen appears
  • Force restarting the device using the above-mentioned methods
  • Get enter the recovery mode
  • Click on “Restore”
  • Click “Restore and Update” to download new software and move for full data restoration
  • Head to the setting
  • Reset the passcode

What You Should do if your iPhone won’t connect to iTunes?

In rare cases, your iPhone is refused to get connected to iTunes in a disabled state, thus leaving the above-mentioned option useless. In this case, you need to restore your iPhone with iCloud. Bear in mind, this option is viable only when:

  • You previously set up Find My iPhone
  • Disabled iPhone has a connection to the internet

We regret to inform you that otherwise, you need to visit an Apple Store or get in touch with customer support.

So, we move further by assuming that the above-mentioned conditions are fully met.

Follow the steps below to recover your device


  • Go to on any computer or smartphone
  • Sign in to your iCloud account
  • For first-time users, you should know that you can only avail of this option if you have enabled “Find My iPhone” on iCloud. Unless you will have to choose any of the above-mentioned options. If yes, then follow the rest of the procedure to restore the data
  • Take another device or a Mac/laptop
  • Open your browser, navigate to
  • Sign in using your iCloud Apple ID details
  • Click “All Devices”
  • Select the device which you want to reset
  • Click on “Erase iPhone”

Final Verdict

Expectantly, this helping guide has helped you to unlock your disabled iPhone. It is highly suggested, that you should be penned down your passcode to ensure your phone won’t become disabled again. It is a proactive approach to avoid the irking situation in the future. Or you can also download a password manager for better convenience.