How to Fix "iPhone Is Disabled, Connect to iTunes" - 4 Ways

Clare Phang
Last updated: May 30, 2024

In this blog post from Dr.Buho, we'll explore four effective methods to resolve your "iPhone Is Disabled, Connect to iTunes" issue and get your iPhone back in working order.

When your iPhone shows the "iPhone Is Disabled Connect to iTunes" message, you can't use your iPhone for anything except for making emergency calls.

If you're stuck in the same frustrating situation and don't know what to do, follow this guide. We'll first explain what the "iPhone Is Disabled, Connect to iTunes" message means and then provide you with four methods to get your iPhone out of disabled mode. We hope at least one of these fixes will work for you.

Let's dive in.

4 Tested Ways to Fix "iPhone Is Disabled, Connect to iTunes"

What Does "iPhone Is Disabled Connect to iTunes" Mean?

The message "iPhone Is Disabled Connect to iTunes" means that your iPhone has been permanently locked because of ten consecutive incorrect passcode attempts. Apple introduced this security feature to keep your iPhone safe from unauthorized access.

iPhone Is Disabled

Physically, you have ten attempts to unlock your iPhone. After entering the wrong passcode for the sixth time, your iPhone will be temporarily disabled, and you'll need to wait for a specific timer to expire before you can try again. The more incorrect passcode attempts you make, the longer you'll have to wait before your next try. Depending on the number of incorrect attempts, you will see the following alerts:

  • Incorrect passcode 6 times in a row: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 1 minute.
  • Incorrect passcode 7 times in a row: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 5 minutes.
  • Incorrect passcode 8 times in a row: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 15 minutes.
  • Incorrect passcode 9 times in a row: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 60 minutes.
  • Incorrect passcode 10 times in a row: iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes.
Update
If your iPhone is running iOS 15.2 or later, including iOS 17, you will see iPhone Unavailable or Security Lockout instead of this "iPhone Is Disabled Connect to iTunes" message on your screen. You can use the same methods mentioned in this article to solve your issue.

Before you reach the "iPhone Is Disabled Connect to iTunes" screen, you still have a chance to unlock your iPhone using the correct passcode. However, if you find yourself completely locked out, how should you proceed to unlock your iPhone?

Read on to learn how.

How to Fix "iPhone Is Disabled, Connect to iTunes" with Finder/iTunes

Once your iPhone is permanently locked, you won’t be able to unlock it until you connect it to Finder or iTunes on a Mac or PC.

The tools you need:

  • A Mac or PC
  • A USB Cable

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Turn off your iPhone.

  2. Connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC via a USB cable.

  3. Because Apple uses different methods based on the model of iPhone you have, you need to press and hold the appropriate keys to put your iPhone into Recovery mode.

    • iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and successors, iPhone SE (2nd and 3rd generation): Use the Side button.
    • Phone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Use the Volume Down button.
    • Phone SE (1st generation), iPhone 6s, and earlier models: Use the Home button.
    iPhone Recovery Mode Screen
  4. Open Finder or iTunes.

    • For Macs running macOS Catalina and later, use Finder.
    • For Macs running macOS Mojave and earlier, use iTunes.
    • For PCs running Windows 10 and later, use iTunes.
  5. Click the iPhone icon, then click the Restore or Restore iPhone option.

    Restore iPhone in Recovery Mode
  6. Your computer will start downloading the firmware and restoring your iPhone.

  7. Unplug your iPhone and set it up when the reset process is complete.

Tips
  1. If you have a backup of your iPhone, restore your data after setting up your iPhone.
  2. If your iPhone won’t connect to iTunes, reinstall iTunes, connect your iPhone to a computer after it’s in Recovery mode, or use another USB cable.

How to Fix "iPhone Is Disabled, Connect to iTunes" with BuhoUnlocker

An alternative method to unlock a disabled iPhone is through BuhoUnlocker, a user-friendly tool designed to unlock various types of locks on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. With this convenient tool, you can quickly regain access to your device – no need for passwords or iTunes.

DownloadRuns on Windows & Mac
Security Verified & 100% Safe

The tools you need:

  • A Mac or PC
  • A USB Cable
  • BuhoUnlocker

Here's how to unlock your locked iPhone using BuhoUnlocker:

  1. Download and install BuhoUnlocker on your computer (PC or Mac).
  2. Launch it and click Unlock Screen Passcode.
    BuhoUnlock Unlock Screen Passcode
  3. Click Unlock Now.
    Unlock Screen Passcode with BuhoUnlocker
  4. Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable, then put it into recovery mode.
    Put iPhone In Recovery Mode
  5. Download the latest firmware for your device.
    Download Firmware for iPhone
  6. When the download finishes, click Unlock Now and wait for the unlocking process to complete.
    Unlocking iPhone Screen Passcode with BuhoUnlocker
Tips
  1. All your data will be lost. But if you have a backup, you can restore your files from the backup later.
  2. On the market, you'll find various iPhone unlocking software options. If BuhoUnlocker doesn't quite fit your requirements, you could give EaseUS MobiUnlock a shot.

How to Fix "iPhone Is Disabled, Connect to iTunes" with iCloud

The methods mentioned above require a computer. However, if you don't have access to one, you can still unlock your iPhone without a computer.

iCloud can help you unlock your iPhone without the need for a computer. However, this method will only work if the disabled iPhone has an active data connection and its 'Find My' feature is enabled.

  1. On your iPad, another iPhone, or a friend’s iPhone, visit icloud.com/find.
  2. Use your Apple ID and password to log into iCloud.
  3. From the All Devices list, select your disabled iPhone.
  4. Tap Erase This Device and enter your iCloud password to sign out of Apple ID.
    Erase iPhone with iCloud
  5. Tap Erase to delete all the contents on the disabled iPhone.
  6. Set up your iPhone.

How to Fix "iPhone Is Disabled, Connect to iTunes" with Find My App

The Find My or Find My iPhone app can also help you unlock your disabled iPhone.

Here are the steps:

  1. Open the Find My or Find My iPhone app on your iPad or other iPhone.
  2. Switch to Devices and select your disabled iPhone.
  3. Tap Erase iPhone.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to delete everything on your disabled iPhone.
  5. Set up your iPhone.
unlock-iphone-with-find-my-iphone-app.png
Note
Make sure the disabled iPhone is connected to the network and its Find My feature is turned on.

Bonus: How to Avoid Your iPhone Being Disabled

We know how frustrating it is to be unable to use an iPhone because it is disabled. To prevent your iPhone being disabled from happening again, take the following steps:

  • Set an easy-to-remember passcode, or write down your passcode.
  • Set up alternative locking methods, such as Touch ID and Face ID.
  • Avoid accidental touches in pockets.
  • Avoid accidental touches by children.
  • Turn on the Erase iPhone feature, which will automatically wipe your iPhone data after 10 wrong passcode attempts. (Use this method with caution.)

Final Words

Hopefully, you have successfully unlocked your disabled iPhone by using one of the above methods. Note that all these methods will erase all data on your iPhone. It is a good idea to back up your iPhone regularly to avoid the risk of losing important data.

Clare Phang has been captivated by the world of Apple products since the launch of the iconic iPhone in 2007. With a wealth of experience, Clare is your go-to source for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and all things Apple.