How to reset your iPhone passcode

If you’ve ever forgotten your iPhone passcode, you know how inconvenient it can be. All your contacts, photos, social media accounts, and more are safely tucked away between that lock screen – but you can’t get to any of them.

Maybe you recently reset the passcode, and can’t for the life of you remember what to. Or maybe you haven’t used the phone for a while, long enough to forget how to get in there.

Whatever the problem, Apple’s made sure you can reset your forgotten iPhone (or iPad or iPod) passcode.

Hopefully, you backed up your device recently though, as you might lose some of your most recent data from the process. Apparently, the people always harping on about backing up your device weren’t doing it for their own enjoyment, so proceed with caution.

How to reset your iPhone passcode

Before you reset your passcode, you’re going to need to pick a way to erase your device. Unfortunately, this is a prerequisite for resetting your iPhone passcode if you’ve forgotten it. Hence the backup comment – if you didn’t back up prior, there’s no saving your device’s data.

iPhone 8 or Later

To reset a newer model iPhone, things have changed a bit. You will need to use your computer just as you did with older models. Before connecting and following the reset options listed below, put your iPhone into recovery mode.

  1. Do not plug your phone into your computer just yet. Long-press the side button until the phone gives you the slider to power down.
  2. Drag the slider across the top of the screen and turn it off.
  3. Long-press the side button again while plugging it into your computer.

If you’ve done this properly, your phone will resemble the screenshot above.

Reset your passcode using iTunes

  1. If you’ve previously synced your device with iTunes, you can erase your device and its passcode on the software. Connect your device to the computer you sync with, and open iTunes
  2. If you’re asked for a passcode, try another computer you’ve synced with. If this doesn’t work, resort to recovery mode
  3. Wait for iTunes to sync your device and make a backup
  4. When the sync and backup are completed, click Restore iPhone (or relevant device)
  5. In the process of restoring your iOS device, you’ll reach the Set Up screen. Here, tap Restore from iTunes backup
  6. Select your device in iTunes. Pick the most relevant backup according to date and size

Reset your passcode with recovery mode

  1. If you’ve never synced with iTunes or set up Find My iPhone in iCloud, recovery mode is your only option for restoring your device – a feat that will erase the device and its passcode. First, connect your iPhone to your computer and open iTunes
  2. When your device is connected, force restart it
  3. You’ll be met with an option to Restore or Update. Select Restore. Your iPhone will then download software for your device
  4. When the downloading process has finished, you can set up and use your device.

Reset your iPhone passcode


You’ll be asked if you want to set up a passcode upon the initial setup of the device. If you skip this step – or if you set up a passcode and change your mind about it later (1234 not providing the adequate security you thought it would), you can set or reset it later. Just follow these simple steps.

  1. Head to Settings 
  2. Scroll down until you find Touch ID and Passcode
  3. Select either Turn Passcode On or Change Passcode. The former will require you simply to set a new passcode, while the latter will require you to enter your current passcode before changing to a new one

Simple. Until you forget your passcode and have to erase the device and start afresh, in which case refer to the malarkey above.

It’s important that you have your iCloud password handy while performing all of these steps. Apple now has an “Activation Lock” so even if you wipe the phone, it won’t be usable until the proper iCloud credentials are verified on the phone.

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