If you enter wrong iPad passcode too many times, (more than 5), you will see the “iPad is disabled” message. If you don’t know your passcode, you will have to take steps to unlock your iPad. In this article, we’ll show you all the ways to unlock a disabled iPad without a passcode.
If your iPhone is disabled, see how to unlock a disabled iPhone without iTunes or computer.
There are a few ways you can unlock a disabled iPad, unfortunately — there’s no way to bypass the passcode without factory resetting your iPad.
If you don’t have access to iTunes or Finder, you can restore the disabled iPad to factory settings using Apple’s Find My iPhone web page.
How to decide which method to unlock a disabled iPad
- If you use Find My and iCloud with your iPad, you should use iCloud to erase, then restore your disabled iPad.
- If you don’t use iCloud but regularly back up your iPad using Finder or iTunes, you should use that to restore your disabled iPad using a backup.
- If the first two won’t work for you, you can use recovery mode to factory reset your disabled iPad.
If you don’t use or can’t access iCloud and you don’t have access to a computer, you can take your disabled iPad to an Apple Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. You can make a reservation for the Apple Store’s Genius Bar.
Unlock a disabled iPad using iCloud
It’s pretty easy to unlock a disable iPad using iCloud. You can access iCloud using most any browser, from a computer or a mobile device.
- Using a browser like Safari, Chrome, Edge, etc., navigate to iCloud.com.
- Click on the Find My option in the menu of apps.
- You may need to reconfirm your sign-in by entering your Apple ID and password. Otherwise, you’ll see a map with all of your current Apple products.
- Select All Devices near the top of the page, then select the disabled iPad you need to unlock.
- You’ll see three options: Play Sound, Lost Mode, and Erase iPad. You want to click on the last one.
- Enter your Apple ID password and your disabled iPad will be erased.
- After your iPad restarts, you will be able to set it up as a new device or restore it from an iCloud backup or a backup on your computer using Finder or iTunes.
Unlock a disabled iPad using Finder/iTunes
If you have a Mac running Catalina or later, you can use Finder to unlock a disabled iPad. If you are using a Mac running Mohave or earlier or you are using a PC, you can use iTunes to unlock your disabled iPad.
Unlock your disabled iPad using Finder
- Connect your iPad to your Mac using the appropriate USB cable.
- If asked, trust the computer.
- Open Finder.
- Find your iPad in the left sidebar and click on it.
- Click on Restore Backup, then choose your most recent backup.
- Click on Restore.
- Wait for the process to finish before disconnecting your iPad.
Unlock your disabled iPad using iTunes
- Connect your iPad to the computer using the appropriate USB cable.
- If iTunes doesn’t launch, open it.
- Find a button that looks like your iPad and click it.
- Click on Summary, then click on Restore iPad. Restore erases your iPad.
- Follow onscreen instructions. After your iPad has been restored (factory reset), you can restore from an iTunes or iCloud backup.
Unlock disabled iPad using Recovery Mode
Recovery Mode uses a computer to restore your disabled iPad.
Turn off your iPad
- If you are using a PC, make sure that iTunes is installed on the computer.
- With your iPad not yet connected to the computer, turn off your iPad. iPad with Face ID: Press and hold both the top and volume down buttons. When you see the power off slider, slide it to the right to power off. iPad with Home button: Press and hold the top button until you see the power off slider on the display. Slide the power off slider to turn off.
Connect your iPad to the computer
- After your iPad has powered off, you are going to press and hold one of the buttons while you connect your iPad to the computer. So have the cable already connected to the computer, ready to connect to your iPad.
- The button you will use depends on your iPad model. iPad with Face ID: You will use the Top button. iPad with Home button: You will use the Home button.
- Now, press and hold the appropriate button while quickly connecting your iPad to the computer. Don’t let go of the button until the recovery mode screen appears on your iPad.
Restore your iPad in Finder or iTunes
- On the computer, open iTunes (PC or Mac running Mohave or earlier) or Finder. Click on your iPad. In Finder: Your iPad should be listed in the left sidebar. In iTunes: Your iPad should appear as a button near the top.
- You should see a popup with the options Update, Restore or Cancel. Choose Restore.
- The process should take a few minutes to complete. If it fails — it takes too long, and your iPad exits the recovery screen — start over from the beginning.
- Once the process finishes, you can disconnect your iPad and set it up as new.