What to Do if You Forgot Your iPhone Passcode

Sometimes you quickly create a passcode while setting up your new iPhone just so you can start playing around with it sooner. However, once it comes time to unlock your iPhone the next time you want to get on it, you suddenly don’t remember what passcode you used. Luckily, there are ways to reset your iPhone’s passcode, but it’s not a simple fix.

You might think that forgetting your passcode seems like an impossible task, but it happens, and sometimes even your kids can get on your iPhone and set a passcode lock (hey, anything’s possible!). If you forgot your passcode, not all hope is lost, and you’ll be able to get your phone back after it’s all said and done.

In order to reset a forgotten passcode, you have to reset your iPhone back to factory settings, which will wipe everything on the device, but you can backup your iPhone to your computer through iTunes beforehand, without needing the passcode.

2014-04-30 15.13.55

If you’ve read other ways that you can reset your passcode, don’t believe them, because they don’t work. And definitely don’t pay for a service that claims to be able to reset your forgotten passcode. That only way you can reset it is if you restore your iPhone to factory settings, and then restore a previous backup so that you’re not starting from scratch.

Instructions

First off, the only way you can keep all of your data on your iPhone and not lose it is if you previously synced your iPhone to your computer before. If you’ve never synced your iPhone to your computer, then you’re out of luck and will simply just have to restore your iPhone to factory settings, losing all of your data.

If you have previously synced your iPhone with iTunes on a Mac or Windows computer, you can reset your iPhone to factory conditions and then restore a backup. If you don’t have any backups, you can still back up your iPhone to your computer through iTunes without having to enter the passcode, since your computer is a trusted computer that has been synced to before.

Advertisement

After backing up your iPhone, you just need to reset your iPhone and have the backup restored onto the iPhone using iTunes.

  • Connect your iPhone to your computer and open up iTunes.
  • Select your iPhone in the upper-right corner of the window, and then click Summary at the top of the screen, if it’s not already selected
  • If iTunes doesn’t automatically synchronize your iPhone, do it manually at this point. This will also back up your iPhone so that you’ll have the latest back up restored to your iPhone when it’s all said and done.
  • Click on Restore iPhone… and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the restore process.

restore-iphone

  • Once the restore is done, the iOS Setup Assistant will ask how to set up your iPhone. Tap on Restore from iTunes backup.
  • Select your iPhone in iTunes and choose the most recent backup of your iPhone to restore.

After this process, your iPhone should now be restored back to its former glory with all of your data still intact. The passcode lock will be disabled, though, so if you decide to re-enable it, be sure to come up with a passcode that you can easily remember this time around.

It would be awesome if there was an easier and quicker method to reset a forgotten passcode, but you unfortunately have to go through the tedious restore process in order to reset your passcode if you forgot it. On the flip side, this proves how secure your data is when you have a passcode enabled. Of course, this won’t stop iPhone thieves from restoring your iPhone and claiming it as their own, but at least they will never have access to your personal information, and that’s perhaps the most important thing.

Prevent a Forgotten Passcode

It’s always important that you remember your passcode when you set one up, but it’s easy to just type any passcode you can think of so that you can make your way through the setup process more quickly. However, be sure that when you go to set up your passcode on your iPhone, use a passcode that you can easily remember, such as a series of numbers that have significance to you, like your birthday or your favorite numbers.

Also make sure that you’re consciously aware of the passcode that you set up. Sure, it might be easy to remember (like 0000 or 1234), but if you don’t remember setting it up, then you most likely won’t remember passcode itself. If you have to, write down your passcode until you can embed it into your muscle memory.

Comments

  1. Drew Costen says

    You can also do what I did. I created an identity/ICE wallpaper for my lock screen. That way, whether I lose my iPhone or I’m injured, all someone has to do is look at the lock screen to figure out who to contact.

  2. Mike says

    “If you’ve read other ways that you can reset your passcode, don’t believe them, because they don’t work. And definitely don’t pay for a service that claims to be able to reset your forgotten passcode.”

    This is not entirely true. Depending on which model and iOS version, passwords are in fact sometimes 100% recoverable. Don’t take my word for it though. Watch the video: http://youtu.be/U9koLNAR9SY

    Also if you have a jailbroken device there are situations where the password keychain can be completely removed from the device. Ifunbox is one of many programs that can help you to achieve this.

  3. Taccu says

    Thanks for very detailed instructions. I have sync my iphone with iCloud, not iTunes than you suggested. Can i restore my iphone in same way from iCloud, if I have forgotten passcode?

Leave a Reply