A useful trick if you've forgotten your iPad or iPhone's passcode: how to bypass the code and 'hack' your way in.Forgetting the passcode to your iPhone or iPad is a serious situation, but not necessarily a disastrous one. In this tutorial, we explain how to bypass the passcode. You'll have to restore your device (wiping its contents), but at least you'll be able to use it again.
If you have a bit more confidence - and a legitimate reason to want to access an iPhone or iPad for which you haven't got the code - then there is software that can help. We discuss your options here too.
Finally, we'll also cover the basics of removing or resetting the passcode once you've managed to access your iOS device. Read next:
Understanding iOS passcode security
Is it legal to bypass a passcode?
Bypassing passcodes, generally speaking, is on what we'd call the "black hat" (or legally questionable) side of tech support, but there are common and legitimate instances where people have simply forgotten the passcode. In these instances, you'll need to get around the code to use your own device. Nothing dodgy about that.
If you're reading this page because you just pinched an iPhone and then discovered it was locked, however, the police have already been notified and are on their way as we speak. Okay, they're not really, but you will find nothing to help you in this article. Read next: How to fix 'iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes' error messages
Restore your device using Recovery Mode
Restoring an iPad or iPhone and starting again is the best and simplest solution if you haven't got the passcode. It removes your personal information, but if you have a backup you can restore it and it'll be as good as new... but no longer protected by the passcode.
Trying to restore the iPad from iTunes requires a passcode, but you can restore it from Recovery Mode without one. This wipes the device completely and installs the latest version of iOS from scratch.
Note: You will need the Apple ID and password that were used to originally set up the device .
Follow these steps to restore an iPad or iPhone from Recovery Mode:
Charge up the device to at least 20 per cent.
Hold down the power button until the screen says Slide To Power Off. Slide to power off.
Open iTunes on your Mac or PC.
Press and hold the volume down button (on iPhone 7 and 7 Plus) or the Home button (on all other iOS devices).
With the button still held down, plug the device into the Mac or PC.
Note that the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus do not have hardware Home buttons - they are haptic software-based buttons that don't do anything when the device is switched off - which is why you have to hold the volume down button instead of the Home button.
Once you've finished the process, the device should power up in Recover Mode. The screen should display a blue iTunes logo and a white Lightning cable. iTunes should display a message saying 'iTunes has detected an iPad in recovery mode. You must restore this iPad/iPhone before it can be used with iTunes'.
Now do the following:
Click OK and Restore and Update.
Click Restore iPad and let iTunes wipe the software and restore the iPad or iPhone.
Enter the Apple ID and Password that was used to set up the device.
Choose Restore From This Backup to restore the device to its earlier state. Or you can set it up as a fresh model by choosing Set Up As New iPad/iPhone.
Your device will now be up and running as before but without a passcode. You may be prompted to enter your Apple ID, depending on the version of iOS you're running.