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How to Unlock Disabled iPhone without Losing Data?

Help! My iPhone is disabled due to too many incorrect passcode attempts by my child, now it says “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes.” How to unlock without losing data?
Any help would be much appreciated!

You’ve tried to unlock your iPhone over and over again and after 10 attempts you get locked out and told that your iPhone has been disabled, what can you do?

There are plenty of solutions for unlocking a disabled iPhone but the issue that arises is that most solutions involve completely wiping the device. While this does unlock the iPhone, it also removes your data.

So, in this guide, we’ll show you how to unlock disabled iPhone/iPad without losing data.

The methods mentioned in this post can work for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch.

When Your iPhone is Running on iOS 8.0 – iOS 10.1

Users who have an older iPhone or iPad and are running outdated iOS versions, such as iOS 8.0 – iOS 10.1, can use the Siri bug to unlock a disabled iPhone without losing data.

This strategy has been patched in the recent iOS versions so newer models of iOS device will not benefit from this.

How to Unlock Disabled iPhone without Losing Data

Step 1 – Press and hold the Home button to enable Siri, then say “Hey Siri, what is the time?”.

Step 2 – Tap on the Clock application and when the app launches, tap the + icon at the top-right.

Step 3 – In the search bar, enter any text then tap the search bar, press Select All, choose Share…, and tap on the Message option.

unlock iphone passcode siri 1

Step 4 – For the recipient (in the To box), enter any text again. Then tap the Return button on the keyboard and tap the + icon next to the recipient box.

Step 5 – You’ll then be taken to the contact page and you must select Create New Contact.

Step 6 – Tap on the Add Photo box, select Choose Photo, then open any of your albums.

unlock iphone passcode siri 2

Step 7 – Without choosing a photo, wait roughly 10 seconds then press your Home button again and you can freely access your iPhone without the passcode.

Assuming that you’ve been keeping your iPhone up to date with Apple’s official iOS releases, you probably won’t find this useful. Nevertheless, anyone who still owns an iPhone running iOS 8.0 – iOS 10.1 should give this a shot.

When You Have Previously Backed Up with Your Disabled iPhone

The official Apple solution to unlock disabled iPhone/iPad without losing data is with iTunes.

One problem is that for this to work, you must have backed up your iPhone to iTunes before it was disabled. If you didn’t do that, the chances of this working are slim.

If you have taken a backup before, you can still go ahead and take a new backup so that your data loss is minimal. This works because your computer is already recognized as a trusted device, therefore a new backup can be taken.

How to Unlock iPhone Passcode without Losing Data

Here’s what you must do:

Step 1 – Take a USB cable and connect the iPhone to your computer, then launch iTunes.

Step 2 – Click the device icon to select your iPhone and click on Back Up Now.

Step 3. Once it finishes backup, click Restore.

itunes iphone summary

Step 3 – Confirm this action and complete the restore process as instructed.

Step 4 – After restoring your iPhone, set up the device from the factory state until you are able to select the Restore from iTunes Backup technique. Make sure you choose the right backup so that there is no data loss.

Given that the most popular method of backing up an iPhone is now to use iCloud’s backup system, most people don’t use iTunes. Thus, without a previous iTunes backup, you’ll lose all your iPhone data.

To bypass unlock screen on iPhone/iPad without losing data, you will need to use one of our other solutions.

When You Don’t Have a Backup

For anyone who doesn’t already have a backup and wants to unlock disabled iPhone without losing data, you’re not out of luck just yet. The next strategy we’re going to show you involves two steps.

Step 1. Restore Your Disabled iPhone

To begin with, you’ll need to restore your iPhone passcode.

Don’t worry though, even though you are wiping everything from your locked iPhone, we’ll show you how to recover any lost data in the next part of this article.

1. Using Recovery Mode

The first thing you’ll want to try is Recovery Mode. This is a built-in tool that’s already a part of the iOS firmware, so it’s generally the quickest way to get this situation sorted.

You can get accurate steps specific to your iPhone model from the Apple guidance [1], but we’ll be taking the latest iPhone models as an example (iPhone X and newer).

1 – Disconnect your iPhone from the computer if it’s already connected.

2 – Hold both the Side/Lock button as well as either Volume Up/Down button.

iphone xs recovery mode

3 – Continue holding these buttons until you see the Slide to Power Off slider, then slide it.

4 – Connect your disabled iPhone to the computer again, then hold the Side button again.

5 – When you see the Recovery Mode screen you can stop holding the button and follow the iTunes steps.

Doing this is quick and easy, and it’ll completely wipe your device. So we’d recommend the recovery process we’ll be explaining in Step 2.

2. Using iCloud

Another way to erase your iPhone passcode is with iCloud.

For this method, all you have to do is sign into the iCloud dashboard using the same iCloud account which is connected to the iPhone, and erasing it takes just minutes.

1 – Go to iCloud.com and sign in with your iCloud account.

2 – Click the Find iPhone section then press All Devices and select your iPhone from the list.

3 – On the popup window that appears, select Erase iPhone and confirm this action.

icloud erase iphone

4 – The iPhone will be remotely factory reset which will remove the passcode and the device won’t be locked anymore.

This is an effective way to unlock iPhone passcode without computer or iTunes.

If you bought a second-hand iPhone which was disabled but you still don’t want to compromise the data stored on it, consider contacting the original owner so that they can follow these steps with their account.

3. Using 4uKey Software

An alternative solution to unlock disabled iPhone without losing data is to use software like Tenorshare 4uKey.

This software works similar to the other methods and results in your iPhone being unlocked, as well as your iPhone data being removed (not unrecoverable though).

1 – Start by installing Tenorshare 4uKey on your computer and launching it to begin with.

Free Download

2 – When the main menu appears, select Unlock Lock Screen Passcode before connecting your iPhone using a lightning cable and clicking the Start button.

4ukey unlcok lock screen passcode

3 – The next page will instruct you on putting your iPhone into Recovery Mode or DFU Mode. Click the correct tab based on your iPhone model.

4 – After successfully entering either of these modes, you must then choose the firmware required for your locked iPhone. Make sure that the correct iPhone model and iOS versions are listed then click Download.

4ukey download firmware

5 – The firmware will then download and once you click Start Unlock, your iPhone will have the passcode removed and be unlocked.

4ukey remove passcode successfully

You can get the free trial version of Tenorshare 4uKey if you want to try it before you buy it, but you will have to purchase a license if you intend on fully utilizing its features.

Step 2. Recover Data to iPhone

After following any of the three solutions in Step 1 to erase your iPhone passcode, the next step is to recover your iPhone data that was on the device.

You can do this with another piece of Tenorshare software, this time UltData. Here’s how this tool works:

1 – Install the Tenorshare UltData program on your computer and launch it.

Free Download

2 – Click the Recover Data from iOS Devices option on the main menu.

ultdata interface

3 – Connect your locked iPhone using a lightning cable, unlock your device and tap Trust This Computer, and UltData should detect the connection.

4 – Next, choose the data types that you want your device to be scanned for. Click Scan to proceed with the recovery.

ultdata start scan

5 – A quick scan will be conducted and once it is complete, you can browse all of the data that can be recovered from your iPhone.

ultdata preview data

6 – Finally, just select the data to recover.

Tenorshare UltData allows you to recover data that you haven’t backed up which has been deleted, lost, or removed with a factory reset. This makes it perfect for this situation and it’s very easy to use as well.

After using UltData, you finally be able to unlock iPhone passcode without losing data.

Note that once again, the free version can only scan and preview your lost data. To recover your iPhone data, you’ll need to buy a license.

FAQs About Unlock Disabled iPhone without Losing Data

1How do you unlock an iPad without passcode or losing data?

If you have previously synced your disabled iPad to your computer, you can unlock it without losing data with iTunes.

If not, you’ll have to erase your iPad first, then recover data using a third-party data recovery software.

2How can I reset my password without losing data?

You can’t! Resetting password for a disabled iPhone/iPad will erase all data stored in it. But you can recover the data with a data recovery tool after resetting.

3Can iPhone data be recovered after reset?

Yes! You can recover data from an iTunes or iCloud backup.

If you don’t have a backup, a third-party recovery tool such as UltData will recover your iPhone data after resetting.

4How do you unlock a disabled iPhone without iTunes or iCloud?

If the iOS version of your iPhone is between iOS 8.0 and iOS 10.1, using the Siri bug will be a good idea.

If not, third-party iPhone passcode unlocker can help you. However, these tools are not free.


Getting locked out of your iPhone is beyond frustrating and the idea that it can result in your data being lost forever is extremely upsetting.

If you take the time to work through our guide you should be successful in trying to unlock disabled iPhone passcode without losing data.

The downside is that if you don’t have a backup already available, you’re probably going to have to spend some money to buy specialized software like Tenorshare offers. Setting that aside, these methods will certainly deliver the results you hope for.

If it’s a second-hand iPhone, it may be locked to iCloud lock. Don’t worry, you can still remove iCloud Activation Lock without password.

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Bryan is a tech-aficionado whose superpower lies in blabbering interminably about new technologies. He is passionate about helping people solve their iPhone problems with easy and practical solutions.

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