If you have password protected your iPhone and forgot the password to unlock the device then the only way to unlock the device is to factory reset iPhone. You can unlock password protected iPhone device by connecting it to PC or Mac and reset it to factory settings i.e. the original state when you bought the device. This method wipes out current data from iPhone but if had iCloud or OTA backup enabled you should be able to easily recover or restore the backup after unlocking the iPhone. Here see how you can reset iPhone to factory settings to unlock the device.
There are two ways you can follow to unlock locked iPhone. In the first method you can reset the device directly and in the other method you can connect iPhone to PC or Mac and factory reset via iTunes.
First method is easy to follow because it is quick and doesn’t require PC or Mac connection for restoring factory settings but this works if your device is lost or stolen, if its password protected and you forgot the password then follow instructions in the second method. Password protected iPhone can only be reset to factory settings from iTunes via PC or Mac.
You can follow the method that best suits your needs, both work like a charm. Note: This guide can also be used for factory restoring iPad and iPod beside iPhone.
Another thing to keep in mind is if iPhone iCloud activation is use to lock iPhone then you cannot factory reset iPhone via iTunes because iTunes does not delete iCloud data unless and until iPhone is restored from the device itself or you enter the Apple ID linked to the device.
Before You Start:
There are some prerequisites that must be followed before starting iPhone factory reset process with iTunes or without it.
- Install iTunes application for Mac or Windows PC: Download iTunes from Apple’s website for your PC and install it. Latest version is required for successful factory reset.
- Turn off Find My iPhone feature: If Find My iPhone feature is enabled, make sure to turn it off before resetting the device back to factory settings. In case you forgot to turn this feature off and initiated factory reset process then make sure that you have Apple ID linked to that device ready. For that, open iTunes, go to Help and select Check for Updates, download and install latest updates.
- Last but not the least, backup entire device data before factory reset as it will wipe out current data on the device. To do so, open iTunes on PC or Mac and connect your device with it via USB cable. Open Summary tab, click Back Up Now button to backup all the data on iPhone. You can recover this backup after factory resetting your device.
1 – Factory Reset from iPhone Settings
This method is for those who are not facing forgotten password issue and are just interested in factory resetting the iOS device for some reason. This method doesn’t require you to connect the device with iTunes or PC, you can reset factory settings directly from iPhone Settings. You can follow this method before lending your device to somewhere or planning to sell it for good as it will erase the data so that the next person who owns the device cannot get access to your device data.
Follow steps below to reset iPhone back to factory settings.
1 – Backup iPhone data on PC or external device.
2 – Open the Settings app on iPhone and tap General option and then scroll down to the bottom.
3 – Now tap on the Reset button.
4 – Next, tap on Erase All Content and Settings option. If you want to delete only settings then tap Reset All Settings.
5 – Tap Erase iPhone on the confirmation pop-up box to start the factory reset process.
Depending on the device data, it could take several minutes before the restore process is complete.
2 – Factory Reset iPhone via iTunes
This second method requires you have a PC/Mac nearby with an iTunes software installed on it. Then:
1 – Open iTunes on PC or Mac.
2 – Connect your iPhone with PC or Mac via USB cable.
3 – When your device name appears on iTunes screen, it means the device is successfully connected with PC or Mac.
4 – Click the Summary Tab on iTunes.
5 – Click the Restore iPhone button on iTunes main screen to start factory reset process.
6 – Now click on the Restore button when asked to confirm your selection.
7 – This will start the factory reset process.
iTunes automatically install latest iOS version during the factory reset process. When your device is back on, it will be on the latest iOS version with all users installed data erased from the iPhone. Your device will be back to new as if you just bought it.
Thought? Share comments below if you have any queries.