How to Fix “iPhone Unavailable” without Computer (2024)

We show you four best ways to fix the "iPhone Unavailable" screen without computer

By Dave Johnson - Executive Editor
3 Min Read
  • If your iPhone says iPhone Unavailable and don’t have a computer nearby, you can still unlock it.
  • If your iPhone displays an "iPhone Unavailable" error with a timer, wait for the timer to expire and enter your passcode correctly.
  • You can also use iCloud or Find My app to erase data to remove the iPhone Unavailable message.

You’ve pulled your iPhone out of your pocket only to be greeted with an error that says "iPhone unavailable" with seemingly no solution. As frustrating as it can be to have the “iPhone Unavailable” error, rest assured that there are several tips and tricks that can help you fix this issue.

While you most likely triggered the iPhone Unavailable screen through your own actions, it’s possible someone else did it without your knowledge. Whatever the reason, we’ll show you how to fix the iPhone Unavailable error without a computer, either for yourself or someone else—and possibly even save a life.

What Does “iPhone Unavailable” Mean?

The “iPhone Unavailable” screen pops up when there have been several unsuccessful password attempts. This is Apple’s way of guarding against brute force attacks, where someone tries multiple passcodes to break into your phone.

In most cases, you will see a timer beneath the message informing you of how long you need to wait before your iPhone becomes available again. After five incorrect attempts, the timer is set to a minute, with the delay increasing to five, 15, and 60 minutes with each subsequent attempt.

After 10 incorrect passcode attempts your iPhone will be permanently locked, with no timer displayed. Below, we’ll show you how to fix iPhone Unavailable without computer, including using the Erase iPhone option, iCloud, and the Find My app. Let’s jump into details.

How to fix “iPhone Unavailable” without computer

Fix “iPhone Unavailable” by Waiting It Out

If your iPhone is flashing an “iPhone Unavailable” screen with a countdown, don’t fret – just hang in there. Once the timer runs down, you can get back to your phone using the right passcode. Be very careful when doing this, since entering the wrong passcode will increase the timer again (for example, from one minute to five on the second attempt).

Fix “iPhone Unavailable” by Restoring Your iPhone

If your iPhone says “iPhone Unavailable” and there’s no timer, it means the waiting game won’t do the trick. Sadly, your iPhone is locked for good and you’ll need to erase and restore it from scratch. After entering the wrong passcode a few times, you’ll get an "Erase iPhone" option in the bottom corner of the lock screen. This lets you reset it right from there, no computer needed.

To erase your iPhone and remove the iPhone Unavailable message without using a computer, follow these steps:

  1. On the iPhone Unavailable screen, select Erase iPhone.
  2. Enter your Apple ID password to log out of your Apple account.
  3. Press Erase iPhone again, and your iPhone will reset.

Get rid of iPhone Unavailable With iCloud

As long as you’ve enabled Find My iPhone, which should be on by default, you can use iCloud to remotely erase your device and remove the iPhone Unavailable message. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Using any web browser, visit iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID and password.
  2. Select the Find My option.
  3. Choose your phone from the list and select Erase This iPhone.

Your device will erase itself remotely, removing everything including the iPhone Unavailable message. Note that this doesn’t disable the Activation Lock feature, so you will need to enter your Apple ID and passcode before setting up your iPhone to confirm that you’re the actual owner. Once you’ve done that, you can complete the setup process and choose to restore a backup from iCloud or set your iPhone up as brand new if you prefer to do that instead.

Use Find My app

If you have another iPhone or iPad, you can use the Find My app to wipe your iPhone and start over fresh at any point after the "iPhone Unavailable" screen first appears and bypass the requirement for any other tools like a computer or web browser.

  1. Open the Find My app.
  2. Tap Devices” tap.
  3. Select the phone that says “iPhone Unavailable.”
  4. Press “Erase This Device.”
  5. Tap “Continue.”
  6. Tap “Erase.”
  7. Enter your Apple ID Password.
  8. Tap “Erase” to confirm.

Remember to Always Back Up Your Devices

Now that you’ve successfully fixed iPhone Unavailable problem without a computer, you’re back into your iPhone. To avoid this happening again, it might be a good idea to make a note of your iPhone’s passcode somewhere.

And, as an extra safety precaution, make sure to regularly back up your iPhone in case you ever experience the iPhone Unavailable notification again. But don’t just back up your iPhone to your computer, store it on an external device for added security.

By Dave Johnson Executive Editor
Dave Johnson is the editor-in-chief at GeeksChalk where he oversees all of site’s evergreen content to ensure it’s up to date with the latest information. Hailing from New Jersey in the US, he has over seven years of experience in the tech journalism space and holds a degree in English Literature. In his spare time, Dave can found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, and petting every dog he comes across in the outside world.
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