Can't remember the PIN or password for your iPhone? Don't worry, we'll show you how to put things right.
Once a passcode is set on an iPhone, there's nothing that can be done to get around it - the passcode is there to make sure your data is secure. There's no limit to the number of times you can try the passcode, but after five attempts it'll be disabled for one minute. You can try again after a minute has passed - but the more attempts you make, the more this time increases.
If there's no way of getting back into your iPhone, the last resort is to reset it back to factory settings. This will remove the passcode – but it will also remove all the data on your handset. Once reset, you'll be able to set your phone up again, restoring your data from your most recent iCloud or iTunes backup – don't worry, the passcode isn't backed up.
You'll need to know your Apple ID and password to set it back up, as resetting or restoring the iPhone's operating system doesn't remove the Activation Lock.
You can use the iCloud website to reset your iPhone. Your phone will need an internet connection for it to work - Wi-Fi or mobile data is fine.
Go to the iCloud website and log in with your Apple ID and password.
Click Find iPhone at the bottom.
If you only have one Apple device, you should see it onscreen. If you've more than one, click All devices and choose the right one from the list.
On the phone menu, click Erase iPhone. You'll need to click Erase again to confirm.
Confirm your Apple ID to continue. Click the arrow, type your password then click the arrow again.
If you've set up 2-factor authorisation, type the code sent to your phone in the boxes onscreen.
Contact numbers and messages can be shown on a reset iPhone to help reunite them with their owners. You won't need to do this, so tap Next, then Done.
Give the phone a few minutes to reset. When it turns on, it'll ask you for your Apple ID and password to get past the 'Activation lock'. After you've done that, you can set up the phone again, and restore your iCloud backup - if you need help with that, check out our guide here.
If you can't use iCloud to reset your handset, you can use a computer running the latest version of iTunes to reset it instead. It'll also need to be connected to the internet to download a fresh copy of the phone's operating system.
On your PC or Mac, open iTunes.
Connect your iPhone to iTunes using a cable. When iTunes tells you it can't connect to the phone because it is locked, click Cancel.
You need to put your iPhone into recovery mode. Keep it plugged in with the USB cable, and follow the steps for your model:
iPhone X, 8 & 8 Plus: Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then Volume Down, then press and hold the Side button until you see the 'Connect to iTunes' screen.
iPhone 7 & 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Power and Volume Down buttons at the same time, until the 'Connect to iTunes' screen appears.
iPhone 6s or earlier: Press and hold the Power and Home buttons at the same time until you see the 'Connect to iTunes' screen.
You'll get a pop-up on your computer with an option to update or restore. Click Restore, and it'll start resetting your iPhone. It might have to download a new copy of the phone's software, which can take a while.
When the restore is finished and it turns on, it might ask you for your Apple ID and password to get past the 'Activation lock' if you were signed into iCloud on it. After you've done that, you can set up the phone again.
When the phone restarts, you'll be asked to put in your Apple ID and password to get past the 'Activation lock'. When you've done that you can set your phonre back up and restore your stuff from a backup in iCloud - our guide will show you how.
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