How to Reset a Lost iPad Passcode

Tablets such as the iPad are a very popular device due to their portability, and the amount of tasks you can do with it. This being said, iPads are also a common target for crooks. Apple devices, such as the iPad, are such a hot item that a whole unit of the NYPD‘s job is to find lost iPhone and iPads.

While it is important to keep eyes on your device at all times, another precaution is to set a passcode. Using a passcode with the iPhone and iPad helps prevent crooks from accessing your data in the event that your device is lost or stolen.

How to set a passcode on the iPad & iPhone.

Enter Passcode

Setting a passcode of either a four digit code, or a more advanced word and number combination, is a great way to keep your personal data on the iPhone safe. But there is a drawback that is not often mentioned.

Lost iPad Passcode.

If you cannot remember the passcode that you set for your iPad there is no way to recover what the passcode is. While this seems extremely devastating, this does not mean that your iPad is an entirely useless shiny metal hunk.

You Won’t Lose Your Data.

The way to regain access to the iPad will not lose the data on your device, as long as you have previously backed up your device to iTunes on your computer or to iCloud. Having a prior backup is key, so that when the device restores, your data is re-synced with the iPad.

Unfortunately for those who have not completed any backups, the data on the iPad will be erased during the process.

For Those Who Have Synced:

For those who previously have backed up their iPad to a computer, follow the steps below.

Plug the iPad into a computer with a USB cable and open iTunes. Once iTunes loads and recognizes the iPad, select iPad in the top right.

Tap iPad


On the main screen for the iPad settings choose Back up Now.

Back up Now


The iPad will begin a backup of all your photos, apps, and other content that is on the device. Wait for this backup to finish before proceeding to the next step.

Backing up Data

Once the backup is complete, tap Restore iPad.

Restore iPad

On the next window choose the backup that you just created, and then let iTunes restore the device. Once the restore is complete all of your content will sync back to where it was before, and you can create a new passcode.

For Those Who Haven’t Synced.

If you are sure the you have never synced your iPad with a computer, follow the steps below to regain access to the iPad. I must stress again that only use this as a last resort, as you will lose all the data on the device.

If you have access to a computer follow the same steps listed above to restore the iPad. Since this iPad hasn’t been backed up before, skip to the restore iPad step. This will wipe all the data from the iPad. Once the restore is complete, you can create a new passcode for the iPad.

If an error occurs asking for the passcode before you can restore follow these steps:

1) Disconnect the USB cable from the iPad, leaving the other end plugged into the computer.

2) Hold the Wake/Sleep button and power off the device.

3) Once the device is off, plug the cable back in and wait for the device to turn on.

4) iTunes will then recognize the device in Recovery mode. Select OK and then Restore the iPad.

Remote Wipe.

Another tip is using the Find my iPhone feature to wipe the data from an iPad. This is especially useful if you have lost your iPhone and it has important information on it, or if you do not have a computer with you to restore the iPad.

To use remote wipe the iPad must have the Find my iPhone app already installed. Go to a web browser and use your Apple ID to login to Once logged in, select Find my iPhone. Once the devices load select the iPad and hit Erase iPad to remotely wipe the device.