Reset iPhone Passcode Without Losing Data
If you’ve forgotten your passcode, you’re locked out of your iPhone. Sadly, there’s no way to recover the passcode itself. It’s gone. But not all is lost. In cases like this, your biggest worry is about the data. What if you end up losing all your precious photos and messages? Don’t worry, there’s a safe way out.
You can still restore your iPhone to the state that it was before you were locked out. And you won’t even lose any of your data in the process. The process is going to be a bit convoluted. You’ll have to erase your phone and then restore it again. But you’ll be able to restore the data from a backup.
If you don’t have a backup, you have to try some of the riskier methods to try and keep your data.
So having a backup makes your life much easier and guarantees you will be able to keep all your pictures, reminders, notes, videos, calendars, contacts, call history, text messages etc. currently on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
How to unlock your device if you have an iTunes backup
Step 1: Connect your iPhone to the Mac or PC using the Lightning cable.
Step 2: Open iTunes and select your device from the top left menu.
Step 3: Wait while iTunes start syncing your device automatically.
Wait until the back up is complete. Go back to the main menu and you’ll see the time stamp for the latest backup. Confirm that it is for the backup you just made.
Step 4: Restore your iPhone or iPad using iTunes. This is like performing a factory reset on the iPhone using iTunes. Your iPhone will be wiped and it will reinstall the latest operating system.
Step 5: Go through the process of setting up your device as if it is brand new – agree to the terms and conditions, enter your Apple ID, set up iCloud and so on.
Step 6: You will then get to a screen which shows your latest backup. Choose to restore it. The restore is done via WiFi and may take quite a while to do so be patient.
Once the restore is complete, you’ll be presented with the iPhone in the state that it was previously. All your apps and data should be right there.
How to Turn Off Find my iPhone From Anywhere
If your iPhone is locked up and it has Find my iPhone enabled, you might have issues restoring it. If Find my iPhone is turned on, the activation lock is enabled as well. Before you use a third party app to remove the passcode lock, you should first disable Find my iPhone.
Thankfully, you can do this from any web browser. Open iCloud.com and log in with the Apple ID associated with the iOS device. Then click on the Devices button. From the list, find the iOS device and click the X button next to it. The device will be removed from your iCloud account and Find my iPhone will be disabled as well.
Reset iPhone Passcode Without Losing Data
If you don’t have a backup and you’re locked out of your iPhone, sadly, there’s no official way to restore your iPhone without losing the data. You’ll have to put your iPhone in recovery mode and restore it using iTunes. But this way you’ll lose all data.
One way out of this is by using iCloud backup. If you’ve enabled iCloud Backup for contacts, apps or app data, you can restore it all after resetting the device without any issue.
You can also go to nearest Apple store, or Apple reseller and they will help you perform the reset.
It doesn’t matter if you bought the device from that store or not. Apple’s attitude is they will help you as it is one of their devices. So don’t be shy – go and see them or a reseller and they will help you.
Alternatively, you can use third-party apps and services for unlocking your iPhone. We’ve previously talked about dr.fone’s Toolkit. Using their repair feature, you can unlock the iPhone without losing data. But it’s a paid app and the mileage will vary based on which version of iOS you’re running.
dr.fone is a good alternative if nothing else is working. This tool will restore your iPhone by reinstalling the operating system (to the latest iOS version). And in doing so, it will reset everything about the OS to the default, including removing the passcode.
Here’s how to use dr.fone to unlock your device
Step 2: Launch dr.fone app and click on the select the Unlock tool.
Step 3: After reading through the terms and implications, click on the Start button.
Step 4: You’ll now need to put your iPhone into recovery (DFU) mode. On your iPhone 8 or iPhone X style device (with a notch), press and hold the Power (or Side button) and Volume Down button together for 10 seconds. Now let go of the Power/Side button and keep holding the Volume Down button until your device enters recovery mode. If you’re using an older iPhone, use the Home + Power button combination instead.
Step 5: In the next step confirm the details of your iOS device and download the latest firmware.
Step 6: Once the firmware has been downloaded, click on the Unlock Now button and wait. Let the app do its thing. The app will reinstall the OS. This can take some time.
Step 7: If the process was successful, you’ll see that your phone lock was removed successfully. If it didn’t work on the first try, don’t be discouraged. Try once more.
Why is resetting a forgotten passcode and keeping my data so difficult?
Apple makes the passcode reset difficult on purpose. It is a security feature to prevent your data from getting into someone else hands, if your device is stolen.
In fact, the security on iOS is so advanced that the FBI had to pay $1.3 million to crack it.
It is a huge inconvenience but at least you know your data is safe if your device is stolen. I realize this isn’t much comfort if you have simply forgotten your passcode, but until Apple comes up with a simpler solution then this is the way it is.
Related article: How To Reset iPhone (Soft, Hard & Factory Reset For All Models)