How to fix error on “iPhone XS is disabled. Connect to iTunes” [Troubleshooting Guide]

Locked out of your Apple iPhone XS or iPhone XS is disabled? Well, that happens because everyone forgets. But no need to freak out yet because you still have a chance to get your iPhone back. This error typically occurs when you enter an incorrect passcode on your iPhone in six consecutive times. When this happens, you’ll be locked out and your iPhone is disabled. If you end up facing the same problem and error, then you can refer to the highlighted solutions below. Read on to learn what to do when your iPhone XS is disabled and you’re prompted to connect to iTunes.

When you’re seeing an error prompt that says your “iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes,” it requires you to connect your phone to a computer in order to access its system again. If you backup of your iPhone data frequently and you still remember the correct passcode, then you can deal with this error without losing any critical information. Otherwise, you will need to erase your device and lose all data on it.

For owners 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 problems with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance don’t hesitate to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

First solution: First solution: Sync your iPhone XS with iTunes.

If you still remember the correct passcode and you’ve recently backed your iPhone up before getting iPhone XS is disabled error, then you can restore your device and everything in it by syncing to iTunes. Here’s how:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer that you used to synced before. Be sure to use the Apple-supplied (OEM) cable to connect your device.
  2. Once it’s connected, open iTunes on the computer.
  3. From the iTunes main screen, click the Sync option.
  4. Enter your device passcode when asked to unlock your iPhone. Doing so will back up the iPhone to the computer.
  5. Then click the option to Restore iPhone from the most recent backup.
  6. Follow the rest of the onscreen prompts to complete the process.

As soon as the restore process is finished, you can disconnect your iPhone from the computer and then restart it.

Second solution: Use Find My iPhone to wipe your device.

If your iPhone is connected to the Internet, then you can use Find My iPhone to erase your device through iCloud. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. On your other device, navigate to iCloud website.
  2. From the iCloud sign in page, enter your Apple ID and password if prompted.
  3. Then click on All Devices at the top of the browser.
  4. Select your iPhone XS from the list.
  5. Then click the option to Erase [iPhone]. Doing so will wipe all data on your device and set it up as new or restore it from a backup.

Follow the rest of the onscreen commands to complete the process.

ALSO READ: How to fix iMessage that is not working on your iPhone XS, messages not delivered, scrambled or out of order

Third solution: Restore your iPhone in recovery mode to fix iPhone XS is disabled problem.

If you happened to forget your iPhone passcode, then you’ve got no option but to erase all data and restore it in recovery mode. Performing a recovery mode restore allows you to bypass the lock screen completely and then reset the passcode. Again, all your data on the device will be erased and your iPhone will be back to factory settings. You can restore any backup you’ve made after the restore. If you’re all set to start, then here’s how to bypass and reset the iPhone XS passcode through iTunes:

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer via USB or Lightning cable then open iTunes on the computer. Then put your iPhone in recovery mode with these steps:
  2. Press and quickly release the Volume Up button.
  3. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  4. Finally, press and hold the Side button until the Recovery Mode screen appears. Do not release the Side button when you see the Apple logo as you need to enter recovery mode to restore your device.
  5. When iTunes prompts you to Restore or Update, select Restore. Doing so will trigger iTunes to download the software for your device. If the download takes more than 15 minutes, your phone will exit recovery mode. If that happens, you need to go back to the steps to enter recovery mode again.

Wait for the process to finish and then you can continue with the initial setup process.

Fourth solution: DFU mode restore.

If the previous methods failed to fix the problem and your iPhone is still disabled, then your last option would be a DFU mode restore. DFU stands for Device Firmware Update mode, a state in which your iPhone is still able to communicate with iTunes even when the boot loader or iOS isn’t activated. It’s considered the deepest type of system restore done on an iPhone with an iOS that’s totally borked. Here’s how it works:

  1. Connect your iPhone XS to your computer using the supplied USB cable or Lightning cable that came with it. Once connected, open iTunes on your computer and then continue to the next steps.
  2. Press and quickly 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 goes black.
  3. As soon as the screen turns black, press and hold the Volume Down button while keep holding down the Side/Power button.
  4. After 5 seconds, release the Side/Power button but keep holding down the Volume Down button until your iPhone XS shows up in iTunes.
  5. Release the Volume Down button as soon as your iPhone appears in iTunes.
  6. Follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to start restoring your iPhone through iTunes.

If you’ve managed to restore your iPhone XS in DFU mode, disconnect it from iTunes and then do a force restart to exit DFU mode and switch your device back to normal mode.

Fifth solution: Unlock your iPhone using third-party software.

If none of the prior methods is able to unlock your device, and your iPhone is still disabled, you can try using non-Apple iOS unlock software. These tools can be downloaded through purchase or for free to a compatible computer.

Among the most popular and widely used iPhone unlock software to date are Dr. Fone, iOS Passcode Removal, Tenorshare 4uKey, and iMyFone Lockwiper, to name some.

All these tools are designed with user-friendly interface to cater the needs of novice users. If you’ve ran out of options, then you may have to consider downloading any of these tools on your computer and then use it to unlock your iPhone or bypass its passcode to access the system.

Just connect your iPhone to the computer using the same setup when using iTunes to manage iOS data.

Before downloading any software, be sure to read its descriptions, system requirements and previous user reviews. Doing so will help you determine whether or not the software is compatible with your computer and iPhone system. Reading previews on the other hand, will give you a hint if the software is credible and efficient. With that said, be sure not to miss these crucial details.

You can try using as many tools as you’d like until you find the one that gives you the ultimate solution.

Seek more help to fix iPhone XS is disabled error

Contact your iPhone provider for other options and official recommendations, if you’re still getting the same error or your iPhone XS is still disabled. Or you can also take your device to the nearest Apple-authorized service center and ask some help from an iPhone technician to unlock your iPhone again.

Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS 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. 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.


1 thought on “How to fix error on “iPhone XS is disabled. Connect to iTunes” [Troubleshooting Guide]”

  1. I also had “iPhone disabled” due to forgetting the password. An iPhone unlocking tool is another workable way, such as the TunesKit iPhone Unlocker.

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