Forgot Your Passcode? There's a Way to Unlock Your iPhone Without It

Misremembering your iPhone passcode is a common problem. If you've been locked out of your device, you don't need to start over with a new one. You can regain access in minutes by logging onto iTunes on your computer.
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Your iPhone passcode is there for your security. Without it, anyone from thieves to nosy roommates could gain access to your phone and the personal data it contains. Of course, a passcode only works when you remember it. If you forgot the string of numbers or inputted them incorrectly too many times, the Apple safety feature will end up hurting the same person it’s meant to protect. Fortunately, it’s possible to solve the problem of a forgotten passcode without hiring a hypnotist.

According to Simplemost, the fastest way to access an iPhone when you’re locked out is through your laptop or desktop computer. If you don’t own a Mac, your PC will need to be running Windows 10 or later and have iTunes installed. Start the unlocking process by triggering recovery mode on your phone. To do this, press and hold the buttons for shutting down your device (they vary between models). When the “power off” slider appears, keep holding the buttons until you see a screen instructing you to plug your phone into your computer.

With your phone and computer connected, open iTunes on your Mac or PC and launch the Finder feature. After locating your phone, the application will give you the option to restore it. Select restore and wait up to 15 minutes for the process to work. If you followed the instructions, you’ll have a fresh iPhone waiting to be set up with new information, including a new passcode (just make sure to write down whatever you choose this time and store it in a safe place). Restoring your phone erases data from the last time you used it. To recover that old information, you can use a backup you have saved to your computer or in the iCloud.

If you can’t access Finder on your computer, don’t despair—there’s another, albeit less convenient, way to regain access to a locked iPhone. You’ll need to make an appointment with the Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider to get in-person assistance from an expert. Just make sure you come equipped with additional information, like your Apple ID and password, to prove you’re the device’s true owner.

Once you figure out how to access it, you can use your phone for a number of unexpected things. Here’s how to turn your iPhone into a white noise machine, and here’s the easiest way to text with one hand.