If you are as careful as us, you most likely have a passcode set for your iPhone. However, we are all humans, and we often tend to forget things. And if you have unfortunately found yourself on the error screen, which says “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes,” there’s no need to worry. Well, your iPhone is not beyond saving as we will teach you how to fix the “iPhone is disabled” error and restore your disabled iPhone in this article.
“iPhone Is Disabled, Connect to iTunes” Error [SOLVED]
This article will cover the entire process of restoring a disabled iPhone, including how to remove the passcode and restore your backup data.
What Happens When Your iPhone Is Disabled
More likely than not, you have ended up on this screen because you failed to enter the correct passcode for your iPhone multiple times. While Apple is pretty forgiving and gives users ample chances to enter the code, your iPhone is disabled when you exceed the total number of tries. It is then you will see the “iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes” error.
A disabled iPhone is essentially is one that has been locked to protect the owner’s data and the rest of the content. If your device has reached this stage, then the only way to get access back to it is by connecting the iPhone to iTunes and attempt a restore process. Keep reading as we have detailed this process below.
Can I Fix My Disabled iPhone Without Losing Data?
Users whose iPhones have only been disabled until the 1-hour timeout can still unlock it, provided they enter the correct passcode when the timer ends. However, if your iPhone is disabled, then, unfortunately, you will indeed lose all your data unless you created a backup before the error.
You might think that if you take it to Apple, the Genius Bar can unlock it for you. However, as per the knowledge available, even Apple support can’t restore a disabled iPhone without erasing it first. This is no doubt a part of the strict privacy practices Apple enforces. So if you are a user looking to fix a disabled iPhone, learn how to restore it below.
Things You Need to unlock a Disabled iPhone
Before we begin the process to unlock a disabled iPhone, we will need a few things ready. Make sure you have this list ticked off before you proceed.
1. A Working Mac or Windows PC
If you are trying to restore a disabled iPhone, this is the one thing you absolutely need. A working Windows PC or a Mac will allow you to connect the iPhone and begin the recovery process. However, it doesn’t have to be your computer. So if you find yourself without a PC, borrow your friend’s laptop or Macbook, and get to work.
If neither of the two is possible, you should reach out to an Apple Retail Store for more help.
2. iTunes or Finder
The next thing you will need is either iTunes or Finder to solve the “iPhone is disabled, Connect to iTunes” error. We will connect the iPhone to the PC or Mac and then use iTunes to restore the device. Windows users can download iTunes from either the Microsoft Store (Free) or Apple’s website. Mac users with macOS Catalina or later can use Finder for the same process. However, if you want to use iTunes, make sure to update it using the built-in App Store.
3. An iPhone or iPad
If you don’t have Mac or PC, you can use the Find My app on another iDevice to unlock a Disabled iPhone as long as you’ve previously enabled this feature.
4. Optional – iCloud Backup
This one is only applicable if you don’t already have automatic iCloud backup enabled or haven’t backed up your iPhone in a long time. As mentioned above, if you haven’t made a backup of your iPhone before, you won’t be able to retrieve your data.
Remove the Passcode from Your Disabled iPhone
Since we are trying to restore a disabled iPhone after you failed to enter the passcode, it’s only natural that we will need to remove it before we proceed. We will do this through a simple process that will put your iPhone into DFU or Recovery mode, which will allow us to connect the iPhone to iTunes. However, before you begin, connect your iPhone’s lightning to USB cable to your PC with the lightning end ready to connect to the iPhone when we say so. Depending on your iPhone model, follow the steps below:
Removing Passcode from iPhone with Face ID
- Make sure your iPhone isn’t connected to the computer yet.
- Press and hold the Side button and volume up or volume down button until the power off slider appears. Drag it to the right to turn off your iPhone.
- Next, press and hold the Side button while connecting your iPhone to your computer. That means it’s time to plug in the lightning cable. Keep holding the Side button until you see the iPhone’s recovery mode screen.
Your iPhone’s passcode has now been removed, and it is connected to your computer. Keep reading to know what to do next.
Removing Passcode from iPhone with Home Button
- Make sure your iPhone isn’t connected to the computer yet.
- Press and hold the power button until the power off slider appears. Drag it to the right to turn off your iPhone.
- Press and hold the Home button while connecting your iPhone to your computer. Keep holding the Home button until you see your iPhone’s recovery mode screen.
Your iPhone’s passcode has now been removed, and the device is connected to your Mac or Windows PC. Keep reading to know what to do next.
Steps to Fix “iPhone is Disabled, Connect to iTunes” Error
Now that your iPhone is connected to either iTunes or Finder, you will likely receive a pop-up showing you that there’s a problem with your device. However, if that doesn’t happen, we can easily locate your iPhone and start the process to restore your disabled iPhone. Depending on the software you are using, follow the steps below:
Locate your Disabled iPhone in iTunes
Once your iPhone is connected to the computer, you will see it in the upper-left corner of the iTunes window. Click on it to get a pop-up regarding the disabled iPhone. If you do not see a device icon, try reconnecting the iPhone or updating your OS and iTunes.
Locate your Disabled iPhone in Finder
If you are a Mac user running macOS Catalina or later, you can find your iPhone in the Finder’s sidebar. Simply click on it to see your iPhone’s information.
Fix Your Disabled iPhone and Get It Working Again!
Once your iPhone is connected to your PC or Mac, you will see a message. The pop-up will give you the option to “Update your iPhone” to fix the issue, but since we got here by an incorrect passcode, we will click the Restore button.
Click and confirm any confirmation boxes that appear, and you are all set! The iPhone will now begin the restoration process, and iTunes or Finder will download the necessary software on your iPhone. Restoring a disabled iPhone is a quick process and should be done in about 15 minutes if you have a decent internet connection. If your iPhone exits the recovery mode before it’s fixed, follow the steps to remove the passcode and start again.
Once done, you will be met by the iPhone’s hello screen, where you will need to set up your device to use it.
How to unlock your iPhone using Find My iPhone
If you don’t have Mac or iTunes installed on your computer, you can use Find My iPhone as long as you’ve previously enabled this feature.
- Go to the Find My iPhone website . Or if you have another iOS device like an iPhone, you can open the Find My iPhone app on that device.
- Log in to your iCloud account, if you aren’t already.
- If you’re using the Find My website, click the “All Devices” link and select your locked iPhone from the list.
- Now, select Erase iPhone.
- A window will appear, confirming that all your iPhone’s content and settings will be erased. To complete the restore, click ”Erase.”
- If you’re using the Find My iPhone app, select your iPhone from the visible list of devices and then tap Actions.
- Now choose ”Erase iPhone,” and confirm the choice by tapping the red ”Erase iPhone” button.
After the iPhone is erased and restarts, you can then restore your iPhone with a recent backup.
Restore Your Disabled iPhone in a Few Easy Steps!
That’s pretty much it. Following the above step-by-step process will ensure the “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes” error is fixed without any problems. Once you restore your disabled iPhone and start fresh, Drop a comment and let us know which method worked for you.
These problems/solutions are found and effective on iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone XR, iPhone X S, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max.