Apple usually offers limited attempts to unlock iPhone. Therefore, typing in the wrong entries too many times can get your iPhone completely disabled or locked out, especially when you forgot the passcode. It's an incredibly frustrating situation and it can even get worse if you had the “Erase Data” security feature activated on your iPhone.
To help you avoid this quagmire, this post will let you know how many attempts to unlock iPhone are usually offered by Apple and what happens at every stage. We'll also share several effective methods that will help you unlock your disabled/locked iPhone when you exhaust your attempts. So, read on.
1. How Many Attempts To Unlock iPhone Does Apple Offer?
There are various security measures that Apple offers and one of them is requiring iPhone users to set up an unique passcode that they'll use to unlock iPhone. This security measure ensures no unauthorized user can unlock and access the iPhone and steal or tamper with your data should you, unfortunately, leave or forget your phone somewhere.
So, what if I forget my passcode? Well, the first question in your mind should be how many attempts do I get to unlock my iPhone before it's completely locked or disabled? Generally, Apple allows up to 5 passcode attempts before your iPhone is disabled. From there, your iPhone will get disabled for a specific time with each failed attempt starting from the sixth try. The time locks will be increasing with every failed attempt. Here’s exactly how it works.
Time To Wait To Unlock iPhone
First 5 failed attempts
The iPhone is still safe. You can continue entering your passcode.
After 6th failed attempt
Your iPhone will get disabled for one minute.
After 7th failed attempt
Your iPhone will get disabled for five minutes.
After 8th failed attempt
Your iPhone will get disabled for fifteen minutes.
After 9th failed attempt
Your iPhone will get disabled for one hour.
After 10th failed attempt
Your iPhone will remain permanently locked.
When you enter the wrong passcode on the 10th attempt, there are two outcomes you’re likely to face. The first one is that all the data on your iPhone will get deleted in case you turned on the “Erase Data” function in your iPhone’s Passcode Security Lockout feature. On the other hand, if the “Erase Data” function is disabled, you’ll get permanently locked out of the iPhone.
2. Unlock iPhone Regardless Of The Limited Attempts
Not being able to access your phone because you’re locked out can be frustrating, even if it’s just for five minutes. It’s even more frustrating when you forget the passcode and you’re permanently locked out. If you’re experiencing this, then there are steps you can take to unlock your disabled/locked phone. These methods are pretty effective and versatile. They include using third-party software, iTunes, iCloud, and also your phone’s Recovery mode. They all work quite well, so let’s go through them to give you a better understanding.
FoneGeek iPhone Passcode Unlocker
With the help of FoneGeek iPhone Passcode Unlocker, you don’t have to worry about how many attempts to unlock iPhone you have because it’s able to unlock any disabled or locked iPhone with ease. It’s a very effective iPhone Passcode Unlocker that bypasses all restrictions or locks you’ve set on your device without requiring your Apple ID. It’s simply a hassle-free tool with a user-friendly interface that makes it quite easy to use for beginners. You can use it not only to unlock Screen Passcode, but also to unlock the Screen Time Passcode, unlock Apple ID, and even to bypass the MDM Lock in seconds.
Key features of FoneGeek iPhone Passcode Unlocker：
- Unlock any iOS device with ease without requiring a passcode.
- Get rid of screen time passcode and other restrictions within seconds.
- Easily bypass parental controls.
- Get the MDM profile removed from locked iOS devices.
- Get MDM activated without following the normal procedure of activation.
How to unlock an iPhone easily without losing data using FoneGeek iPhone Passcode Unlocker.
- Download and install this program on your computer. Launch the software and then choose the “Unlock Screen Passcode” mode.
- Now begin the unlocking process by clicking “Start”. From there, get your iOS device connected to the computer through a USB cable and hit the “Next” button.
- FoneGeek will load the information about your device. Once it does, select the appropriate firmware version for your device model. Next, hit the Download button to allow FoneGeek to download the firmware package and verify it.
- After the download and extraction of the firmware, hit the “Start Unlock” button and FoneGeek will unlock your device and notify you on the screen when it's done.
Using iTunes To Unlock The Locked/Disabled iPhone
You can use iTunes to unlock disabled or locked iPhone provided that you’ve been syncing the iPhone to iTunes regularly on your computer. It’s a simple method that works with or without backups and all your data doesn’t get erased. You don’t have to know how many attempts to unlock iPhone you have either. Note though that this won’t work if you turned on Find My iPhone feature or if iTunes requests for your iPhone passcode. If that’s the case, we recommend using the LockErase iPhone Passcode Unlocker.
Limitations of this method:
- It requires the exact iTunes that was synced to your iPhone before.
- You have to be fast to cancel the backup process and the syncing process too.
Unlocking Disabled iPhone With No Backups
- Go to your computer and launch iTunes.
- Get the iPhone connected to the computer. When iTunes recognizes it, you should see it in the devices section.
- Go to the devices list, select the iPhone name, and then click on the “Setup as a new iPhone” option - not the restore option.
- After selecting “Setup a new iPhone”, click “Restore”.
- Your iPhone will now start to back up, so cancel this process right away - click the small X icon on the status window at the top part of iTunes to do so.
- With the backup process canceled, your iPhone will now start to sync, so cancel this process too. Once you do that, your iPhone will be unlocked immediately without the restoration and syncing process, so you’ll get a device that’s reactivated.
Unlocking Disabled iPhone With Backups
- Start with steps 1 and 2 of the “With No Backups” process.
- Click on Summary under iTunes Settings and then click the “Restore iPhone” button.
- iTunes will then restore your iPhone. Once it’s done, you can have your data back by selecting restore from iTunes backups.
Using iTunes Recovery Mode
iTunes usually offers two options for unlocking iPhone. You can choose to restore a previously saved backup or decide to completely factory reset your phone. The factory reset option is our next method and it needs caution because it can result in all your data and apps getting deleted.
- Results in losing all your iPhone’s data and apps.
Steps to unlock disabled iPhone using iTunes Recovery Mode
Step 1. First, disconnect your iPhone from your computer.
Step 2. Get the iPhone into the DFU Mode.
- Press and hold the Side button together with the Volume Up/Down button.
- Slide the Power Off switch. Now release the Volume button but keep holding the Slide button and only release it once you see the Recovery Mode display.
Note: These steps apply only to iPhone 8 and later models. If you’re using an earlier iPhone model, follow Apple’s official procedure to get your iPhone into the DFU mode.
Step 3. Now get your iPhone and computer connected again using a USB lightning cable.
Step 4. Launch iTunes. You’ll see the option to “Update” or “Restore” your iPhone. If you select “Restore”, the phone will get restored using an available iTunes backup. If you select “Update”, iTunes will update your iPhone’s iOS to the most recent version. So, to factory reset the phone, select the restore option. Either method will erase all your iPhone data.
So far it’s clear that making regular iPhone backups is really important. When you end up in this situation where your iPhone is completely locked and you recently backed up your phone, then you won’t worry much about losing your data and apps if you chose to use this method.
Using iCloud To Unlock Locked/Disabled iPhone
It’s possible to unlock disabled iPhone using iCloud provided you have your Apple ID and you enabled the Find My iPhone feature in iCloud. If that’s not so or you just find this method not ideal for you, then using the LockErase iPhone Passcode Unlocker would be the best option.
- You have to use your Apple ID and the Find My iPhone should be already enabled.
- It works only when your iPhone has been connected to the internet.
Steps to unlock disabled iPhone through iCloud
- Open any browser on other device (computer or iPad) and visit iCloud.com. Sign in using your Apple ID credentials.
- After signing in, head to the top part of the browser’s window and click the “All Devices” option. Go through the list to locate your iPhone. If you don’t find it in the list, unlock the phone using the FoneGeek.
- If you locate your iPhone in the list, select the “Erase iPhone” option and then confirm to perform remote wiping - it will erase the device along with all its associated passwords. For this to happen, though, your phone has to have access to the internet.
- With the iPhone now erased, you can use your latest backup to restore it. But, if there’s no backup, just set up the iPhone afresh like it’s new and enable contacts, notes, and also iCloud photos as options.
3. Can Anything Else Happen After 10 Wrong Attempts?
Yes. Apple offers another security option on iPhone that’s known as the “self-destruct data mode”. It’s an ideal security measure for situations where your iPhone is stolen. It wipes out all the data on iPhone after 10 failed attempts.
To activate it on iPhone 8 and earlier models, go to Settings, open the Touch ID and Passcodes option, and then click on Erase Data. Tap the toggle beside “Erase Data” to enable it. All your data will now get erased once the 10th passcode attempt fails so that no one else can access it.
If you’re using iOS 16 or a recent version, open Settings, select the Face ID and Passcodes option, and then click Erase Data. Now scroll down to find the right option to select.
If you’ve got very sensitive data that you want to protect in case you lose your device, then this iPhone’s self-destruct data mode will come in handy. You can also use it to ensure the safety of your data in the event that your iPhone gets stolen or snatched.
If you’ve forgotten your passcode and you’ve been thinking, “How many attempts do I get to unlock my iPhone?” then now you know, plus also what you can expect after every attempt. You don’t have to be frustrated, though, in case your iPhone gets permanently disabled. With the help of the various solutions we’ve provided above, you can have it unlocked in no time.
However, these methods can lead to your data getting wiped out, except if you use FoneGeek iPhone Passcode Unlocker. It’s the best method we would recommend because it would not only unlock your iPhone without causing any data loss, but you can also use it to bypass other iPhone restrictions and locks. It works fast and it’s also very simple to use. So, try it out.