iPhone 5: Forgot Password

Whether you’ve forgotten the password to your Apple iPhone 5 or somehow a lock has appeared on the center of the screen and you can’t get past it, you’ll have to reset and restore the device. A common thing that happens is a person will leave their iPhone 5 unattended, and as a joke, somebody will set a screen password on it. This can sometimes result in the user being┬ápermanently┬álocked out of the device. Follow these steps to get it working again.

Note: This process will wipe all data from your iPhone 5. You may be able to sync most of the data back once you have restored it.

1. With the iPhone 5 disconnected from your computer, power it off. Press and hold the Power button on the top of the device for a few seconds, then slide the red slider. If this method doesn’t work, press and hold the Power and Home buttons for a few seconds until it goes off.

2. With the iPhone 5 off, press and hold the Home button while connecting it to the computer you registered it from. It should then power on.

3. Keep holding the Home button until you see a Connected to iTunes message appear on the screen.

4. Open iTunes and it should provide a message about an iPhone connected in Recovery Mode.

5. In iTunes, select the Summary tab and click Restore and follow the prompts.

When the process is finished, your iPhone 5 should be available again without the need for a password.


  1. stian says

    Thank you! It doesnt matter if its been synced or not, just make sure its off completely, hold down the home button and THAN plug in the cord, and keep holding it till the itunes icon and ur cable is visable on ur phones monitor.

  2. courtney says

    i stupidly set a passcode on my phone and have forgotten it. a tried to restore it and it still has a passcode on it.. any ideas on how i can fully reset the phone so the passcode will be gone completely? i only got this phone yesterday, thanks.

  3. heeelp says

    Can someone answer this question please. If my iphone wasn’t synchronized on my puter. How can I reset it to factory conditions without putting my password in ? I cannot rememeber the dang password or I wouldn’t have this problem. And itunes will not carry on restoring or resetting my phone unless the passcode is entered.
    PLEASE HELP !!!! I really want to use my iphone again. TY :o)

  4. Rico says

    Can someone answer the question if the iphone has never been synchronized on the puter before? I am not able to restore it as itunes will not carry on restoring unless the passcode is entered. What happen next?

  5. Alex says

    umm please help! i did all that and i took a really long time to load but i just checked my iphone and theres still a password on it!!!

  6. Caroline says

    What if i dont have the computer where the phone was registered, can i still unlock a disabled phone?

  7. Mary says

    Anna, ^ That exact error message happened to me too. I would love to know what I can do to get around it.

  8. anna says

    I followed all of the directions but after I clicked on Restore and agreed to Apple’s terms and conditions, it tried to download but then an error message appeared:

    “There was a problem downloading the software for the iPhone “iPhone”. The disk could not be read from or written to. Make sure your network settings are correct and your network connection is active, or try again later.”

    What should I do next? Please help…
    Thank you…

  9. Zach says

    I tried it just how it says and it was working great, however, the phone turned on after about 30 minutes and iTunes told me that I need to enter the passcode to have it reset. Is there a way to get the iPhone to not attempt a backup? I don’t need the files from the phone to be backed up, just a straight forward factory reset. Thanks!

  10. Al says

    I found an iPhone 4. It’s been at my store for a month now. Says no service and has a password lock screen. Is there any way of getting the owners info so I can return the phone? Any info would be greatly appreciated

  11. Mussadiq says

    i have same problem, forgot screen lock password, click restore button and from last 4 hours some thing is downloading, dont have any other way to recover it?

  12. Miljan says

    when i try to restore my iphone 4 i sow message that iphone will download new sw for my iphone, i dont want ios 5.1.0 i have 5.0.1 with jailbrake, can i restore iphone without dowload new sw?

  13. Jennifer says

    You posted here a month before asking the same question. Just return the phone to the owner. I realize this post is almost a year old but how can you keep an iPhone that long that you couldn’t unlock? I hope you gave it back eventually.

  14. miss Doe says

    Please explain how!!! I dont have my old computer, and have no idea what my passcode is. Lesson is don’t change things when drunk you’ll tend to forget.

  15. cas says

    tried the procedure ALREADY but in the middle of restoring my iphone4s turns on and will not continue its process and my i tunes will begin to give error code. what to do, need it soon as possible

  16. Mehta says

    Hi i am using iphone 4 and the problem with me is that i got my phone upgraded from the store but when the backup has to be recovered the itunes asks for password and i havnt set any password for it and so i cant recover my contacts, etc plz help as to how can i decode or break the password and have my backup recovered asap plz

  17. Alexis says

    Will My Pictures Be Deleted?? My pictures Are Very Important To me. By the way i have an iphone 4

  18. confused says

    i tried restoring my iphone through itunes but no luck as it just says *the iphone software update server could not be contacted. an internal server error occured* what does that mean?

  19. Anthony says

    Help would be appreciated. managed to get the iphone up and running again, but we can’t remember the password aligned to the saved data for the phone on itunes. is there any way to get round this? thanks!

  20. Maria says

    I just got a new Iphone 4g and I want to restore it but he needs the password, what’s the default password??

  21. Stacy says

    Can you unlock an iPhone that you no longer have a service plan for? I switched over to a droid phone but use my iPhone as the iPod but my 4yr old disabled it by entering the wrong passcode a lot! It say’s its disabled for 21million minutes! I tried the above but it keeps saying that I do not have an active service plan.

  22. jama says

    i bought someone an iphone and sent it to then after installing a lot of apps. the mistake i did was i put a password and 4got to giv her, she tried different passwords after she cudnt get a hold of me, which eventually locked the iphone 4…i really don’t want her to wipe clean the phone is thea a way she can get in the phone without restoring or can she back up the data before she restores it? and no i dnt back the data up…

  23. Syleks says

    I have iPhone4 with pin code but i forgot it and i can’t enter into my galery on my phone, how can i return again my code ? if you can help me please

  24. Dev says

    It restored the phone to factory settings but now it says install a valid sim card with no pin lock

  25. Gareth says


    I have followed your instructions but it just comes back on and says I still need a passcode? Can anyone please help??!!

  26. Steph says

    I’m new to this iPhone stuff. I did a sync to my phone prior to these steps. I don’t know how to get all the stuff I synced back onto my phone. Can you help with steps?

  27. John Doe says

    yes i have unlocked an i phone that has been taken, removed the password and reactivated a phone before it’s very possible and very easy to do. No AT&T can’t track this, very easy to do and no I won’t explain how to do it!

  28. Jessica says

    Thanks for the great instructions! Had to go through them twice though because it didn’t work for some reason the first time. Don’t give up right away if the same thing happens to you!

  29. krizanjie says

    is it true that the only way to unlock the passcode is to restore the iphone to its original setting? all the apps and details will be deleted?

  30. krizanjie says

    i lost my iphone 4, somebody stole it from me. my iphone is password protected. all my personal details are there. is there a way that he can unlock my iphone and get all the details in it?

  31. Jason says

    I forgot my pass code; if I followed your instruction on resetting my phone, will it erase the pictures or videos on my phone?

  32. AliC says

    i have just had the same problem. after clicking restore shortly after it asks for a password. did you ever make your way around this?

  33. haley says

    first download the software, then put iphone into udf mode by using these original directions, and then restore.
    i found an iphone with a lock but i finally got it to work this way!

  34. Keshab says

    I use iphone4, but i did the factory reseting all, after that there is nothing showing in my phone , only apple logo is showing, can you tell me the next procedure, how can i use my phone as it before ??



  35. jacob says

    right i have forgotten my passcode and i did what it said to and it still requires a passcode

  36. Peter yei says

    I had found a iPhone 3Gs and it’s at the lock screen now and I do
    Not have the register pc. How can I solve this problem?

  37. dal says

    im having the same problem, im not using the original computer and the error box comes up, is there a way to restore my iphone ?

  38. Maria Teresa says

    Great instructions, but I just bought mine today and never registered it to my computer! What do i do?

  39. Mitch says

    If it was found in the street, how about grabbing the serial number and calling around to see who lost the phone so you can get it back to its rightful owner?

  40. Damien says

    Okay so the iPhone 4 that I am trying to restore won’t wipe the pass code. I bought it from a friend who can’t remember what the pass code is, and every time i restore it, it powers back on and still insists on having a pass code. Ive looked online and for videos and i can’t figure out what to do..help please?(:

  41. Tanya says

    Im having the same problem. it starts to restore/update but then comes up with an error. i dont have the original computer. can anyone help me get past the passcode plz?

  42. FrankB4U says

    Someone stole my iPhone 4. I had a password on it and IMEI and Serial had been reported to Police, Apple and AT&T. I don’t know if anyone has been succesful removing the password from and iPhone 4. If they are able to remove it, without restoring, they can pop in another SIM. I’ve been told by ATT that stores won’t sell micro sims without the phone being present but I guess you can always cut your own. I’ll wait and see what happens. Also hacktivation seems to work only with 3G and 3GS.
    Any comments?

  43. Brian says

    Brilliant! Works on 3G too. My iPhone broke and I had to take a spare from work which had a passcode set by someone else. Your guide is better than others I have read – the important bit is holding down the home button as you plug the iPhone into your computer. Thanks

  44. james says

    I ma getting the same problem as Ed as i am not using the same computer..the error message keeps coming up an dwont go away. arrgghh!!

  45. JP says


    For some reason, after I did restored bout 10 min or so before completed, The iphone automatic turn ON by itself without complete RESTORES and SCREEN PASSCODE ON. I try to RESTORE many time but never get complete cause is AUTOMATIC TURN ON BY ITSELF. Any suggestion? By the way I have IPHONE 4

  46. Jewel says

    it actually says, itunes could not connect to the iphone guest phone because it is locked with a pass code. you mmust enter a passcode on the iphone before it could be used with itunes.

  47. Jewel says

    It is saying that it cant work because of the password needs to be entered to unlock the phone. Do i have to have the iphone software updated to itunes before i restore the phone?

  48. Mitch says

    @Ed – You should be able to do a restore on any computer, but if you don’t have the original computer the data on the device will be lost.

  49. Ed says

    What if you don’t have the original Computer is there an alternative way to you can remove the passcode? Is there any way to restore the phone regardless of lost content?

  50. Robert says

    This is, BY FAR, the best thing i have found on this subject. After spending nearly 20 minutes on google trying to find this very thing. Great.

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