What to do if you forget your passcode/password for your iPhone or iPad
Your passcode is the 4 or 6 digit numerical code that you enter each time you want to use your iPhone or iPad. This code "unlocks" your device and brings you to the home screen. It is an extremely easy and important way to protect the data on your device, and we highly recommend that you use it, even if it seems a bit tedious. What's even more tedious is if you forget your passcode. Now, if you have read the iPhone Manual for Beginners or iPad Manual for Beginners, then you already know the importance of remembering your passcode. If you do forget it, then you will need to erase your device completely and bring it back to its factory condition. This can be a major headache especially if you do not have all of your data backed up to iCloud (also covered in the above books). Regardless, if you find yourself in the situation of forgotten your passcode, here is what you need to do to get back into your device.
Important: The following procedure will erase ALL data on your iPhone/iPad, and if your data is not backed up to iCloud, then you may permanently lose all this data, including your contacts photos, text messages, etc. We highly urge you to try and remember your passcode, and to make sure you use iCloud backup on your device.
How to Get Back into your device if you've forgotten your passcode:
1. First, you are going to need a computer to reset your device. So make sure you have one available.
2. Turn your iPhone or iPad completely off.
3. Next, you will need to plug your device into your computer with its USB cable WHILE doing the following:
- If you have an iPhone X-series or iPhone 8, hold down the power button and then plug your iPhone into your computer. KEEP holding the power button after you have plugged it in until you see the recovery mode screen on your iPhone.
- If you have an iPad without a home button, press and hold the power button while plugging your iPad into your computer. KEEP holding the power button until the recovery mode screen appears on your iPad.
- If you have an iPhone 7, press and hold the volume down button and then plug your iPhone into your computer. KEEP holding the button until the recovery mode screen appears on your iPhone.
- If you have an iPhone 6s or earlier iPhone, press and hold the home button while plugging your iPhone into your computer. KEEP holding the button until the recovery mode screen appears on your iPhone.
4. Now you will need to find your iPhone/iPad on your computer:
- If you have a Windows PC, then you will need to download iTunes on your computer, and this is where you will find your iPhone/iPad. You can download iTunes at https://www.apple.com/itunes/. Download and install iTunes on your computer and then open it up. At the top-left of your iTunes screen, find the icon that corresponds with your iPhone/iPad and click on it. You will then get to choose between Restore or Update, click on Restore. (For more on using iTunes, see How to Use iTunes for Beginners (Windows PC))
- If you have a Mac computer, you can find your iPhone/iPad by opening a Finder window and looking at the left pane. Your device will show up there, which you can click on. After clicking on your device, click on Restore.
5. Your device will now restore itself to factory settings. This process can take about 15 minutes, and your iPhone may reset several times. Once the process is finished, your iPhone/iPad will be in its factory condition. If the process fails, you will need to initiate a restore again using the same steps.
Hopefully this article serves as a reminder that you should write down your passcode somewhere safe so that you never forget it.