Ending up having a disabled iPhone due to consecutive incorrect passcode entries is somewhat imbecile but it happens. In fact, there are some iOS users who ended up having a disabled iPhone even if they did not attempt to unlock their device. Nonetheless, this can happen when you put your iPhone in hip jacket pockets, front pants pockets, or pouches and the display is awaken.
Another possibility is when other people like your kids or some snoopers perhaps, had made several failed attempts to unlock your device. For 1 to 5 incorrect passcode attempts, that won’t be a problem. For 6 incorrect attempts, your iPhone will be disabled for 1 minute and so on. But if 10 incorrect attempts are made, that’s when you will face the worst dilemma as your iPhone will become completely disabled. When you’re prompted with a message that says, “iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes,” you can’t use your device until it’s re-enabled. As a security precaution, a locked iPhone requires a passcode or Touch ID for full access to be granted again.
Unfortunately, there is no other way for you to unlock a disabled iPhone. Even the Apple technician’s at the Genius bar can’t do anything about it since they don’t (so far) have the tool to unlock a disabled iOS device. Hence, the only way to enable your iPhone back is to completely erase it through iTunes or iCloud. This means a chance of permanently losing critical data that you haven’t backed up. Nonetheless, this would be the only option you’ve got to use your hefty iOS handset. Read on to learn what to do if your iPhone XS Max is disabled (intentionally or not).
For those who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this phone. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, contact us anytime through our iPhone issues questionnaire.
First solution: Erase and restore your iPhone in iTunes (standard restore).
If you’ve synced your iPhone XS with iTunes before it was disabled, then you can restore it with iTunes to remove your passcode. This will erase everything on your device including its passcode. Here’s how it’s done:
- Connect your iPhone XS Max to the computer that you synced with it before.
- Open iTunes on that computer then wait for it to sync your iPhone and create a backup.
- After the sync and backup process, click the button to Restore [Your Device].
- Follow the onscreen prompts and when you reach the Set Up screen while restoring your iPhone, tap to select the option to Restore from iTunes backup.
- Select your iPhone XS Max in iTunes then follow the next command prompts.
You can refer to the date and file size to select the most relevant backup file to restore from.
Second solution: Erase your iPhone in recovery mode.
If you haven’t synced your iPhone with iTunes, then you will need to use recovery mode to restore it. This will erase your iPhone data and its passcode. To get started, connect your iPhone to the computer and open iTunes. While your iPhone is connected, follow these steps to enter recovery mode:
- Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
- Next, press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
- Then, press and hold the Side/Power button until you see the Connect to iTunes screen. This means that your iPhone has entered recovery mode.
- When you see the option to Update or Restore, choose Restore. Doing so will prompt iTunes to start downloading the software for your device. The download usually takes 15 minutes (utmost). If it exceeds 15 minutes and your device exits recovery mode, then you will need to perform the above steps to enter recovery mode again.
Wait for the restore process to finish and then you can proceed to the initial setup process and set up your iPhone XS Max as new.
Third solution: Erase your iPhone in DFU mode.
The deepest type of system restore you can do on an iPhone is a DFU (Device Firmware Update) mode restore. Here’s how to put your iPhone XS Max in DFU mode and restore it in iTunes:
- Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then quickly press and release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side/Power button until the screen turns completely black.
- As soon as the screen turns goes black, press and hold the Volume Down button while you keep holding the Side/Power button.
- After 5 seconds, release the Side/Power button but continue to hold the Volume Down button until your iPhone shows up in iTunes on your computer.
- When your iPhone appears in iTunes, you can release the Volume button as your iPhone is already in DFU mode.
At this point, follow the onscreen instructions to restore your iPhone XS Max through iTunes.
Note: If you see any items like the Apple logo displayed on your iPhone screen, it means that you’ve held down the Volume Down button for too long and you haven’t entered DFU mode successfully. That also denotes the need for you to start from the very beginning. Putting an iPhone XS Max in DFU mode is a bit of a challenge thus patience is key.
Fourth solution: Erase your iPhone in iCloud.
If your iPhone XS Max was signed into iCloud and you had enabled Find My iPhone before it was disabled, then you can use Find My iPhone to erase your device. So here’s what you should do then:
- On your other device, open iCloud.com in any web browser.
- Then log into your iCloud account by entering the correct credentials.
- From the Main Menu, click on Find iPhone.
- Enter your Apple ID and password if prompted to confirm sign in.
- After successfully signing in, click on All Devices at the top of the screen.
- Click to select your iPhone XS Max.
- Select the option to Erase your device. This will remotely delete everything on it.
Wait until your iPhone is finished erasing. Once it’s completely erased, you can set up your device as new.
Fifth solution: Use third-party iOS recovery tool.
Aside from iTunes, there are also many other iOS restore and recovery software created by third-party developers. These tools work almost the same as iTunes does when it comes to repairing and restoring iOS. If you wish to try your luck in these tools, just pick the most reliable and effective software that is compatible with your iPhone and computer. Then download and install the software on your computer. Once it’s completely installed, connect your iPhone XS Max to your computer via USB/Lightning cable, launch the software on the computer, then select your device. All necessary controls and command buttons to erase and restore your iPhone should be accessible from the main menus so all you have to do is follow the onscreen instructions to finish the entire process.
Seek more help
For other options and further suggestions, contact your iPhone provider/carrier or Apple Support. While it’s mentioned earlier the Apple technicians don’t have the tools to unlock a disabled iPhone, it still won’t hurt to take your device to the Genius Bar as they will still be able to help you in restoring your iPhone in recovery mode or carry out a DFU mode restore for you. Note that Apple does not charge any fee for support so shouldn’t cost you any amount. Some iOS users also recommend making an appointment online through the Apple Support app using another Apple device.
Connect with us
If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS Max smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XS Max. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.
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