iPhone Unavailable? 8 Ways to Unlock Your iPhone [2024 Update]

Jerome Mills
Last updated: Dec 6, 2023

This guide covers why your iPhone displays the "iPhone Unavailable" message and what you can do to unlock your iPhone. Read on for details.

Your iPhone plays an essential part in your life. But what happens if it displays the "iPhone Unavailable" message?

Don't worry; it's a situation many iPhone users may encounter, and fortunately, this issue is not permanent and can be fixed.

In this comprehensive guide, we will first explain what "iPhone Unavailable" means and then show you various methods to unlock your disabled iPhone.

So, let's dive in.

iPhone Unavailable? 8 Ways to Unlock Your iPhone

What Does "iPhone Unavailable" Mean?

The "iPhone Unavailable" message means that you have entered the wrong passcode multiple times in a row. In this situation, you must wait for a certain period before attempting to unlock your iPhone again.

How Long Can an iPhone Be Unavailable For?

The more incorrect passcode attempts you make, the longer the iPhone Unavailable screen stays active. Depending on the number of incorrect passcode attempts and your iOS version, you may see the following alerts:

  • 4 times: "iPhone unavailable try again in 1 minute"
  • 5 times: "iPhone unavailable try again in 5 minutes"
  • 6 times: "iPhone unavailable try again in 15 minutes"
  • 7 times: "iPhone unavailable try again in 1 hour"
  • 8 times: "iPhone unavailable try again in 3 hours"
  • 9 times: "iPhone unavailable try again in 8 hours"

How to Unlock the "iPhone Unavailable" Screen

Whether you remember your iPhone passcode or not, the "iPhone Unavailable" issue can be resolved. Here are some ways you can try.

Method 1. Wait and Try Again

When your iPhone shows "iPhone Unavailable", there's no need to worry. Simply wait for the timer to expire and then enter the correct passcode to unlock your iPhone.

See what to do if the iPhone Unavailable timer not going down.

Method 2. Unlock Your iPhone via "Passcode Reset" [iOS 17]

"Passcode Reset" is a new feature introduced by Apple in iOS 17, PadOS 17 and later. This feature allows you to use your old passcode to temporarily access your iPhone if you forget your new passcode.

This method does not require a computer and does not result in data loss, making it the best option for unlocking your iPhone when you forget your passcode.

Here's how to use "Passcode Reset" to unlock your iPhone:

  1. Tap the Forgot Passcode? option in the bottom corner of the "iPhone Unavailable" screen.
    Reset Passcode on iOS 17
  2. Tap Enter Previous Passcode.
    Use Old Passcode to Reset iPhone Passcode on iOS 17
  3. Enter your old passcode and set a new passcode for your iPhone.
  1. Make sure your iPhone is running iOS 17 or later.
  2. "Passcode Reset" only gives you 72 hours to reset the iPhone passcode using your old passcode.

Method 3. Unlock Your iPhone via Resetting [iOS 17]

If your iPhone displays "This iPhone is in security lockout" after tapping the "Forgot Passcode?" option on the "iPhone Unavailable" screen, the best way to unlock your iPhone is by resetting it.

  1. Tap Start iPhone Reset.
    Reset iPhone on iOS 17
  2. Enter your Apple ID password to sign out of your Apple ID.
    Sign Out of iCloud
  3. Tap Erase iPhone to erase all content and data on your Mac.
  4. When your iPhone restarts, set it up, restore your backup, and set a new passcode.

Method 4. Unlock Your iPhone via "Erase iPhone" [iOS 15.2 - 16.9]

If your iPhone is running a version between iOS 15.2 and iOS 17, you can use the "Erase iPhone" option to quickly reset your iPhone without a computer.

Make sure your iPhone meets the following requirements:

  • Your iPhone is running iOS 15.2 or later.
  • Your iPhone is connected to a cellular or Wi-Fi network.
  • You know your Apple ID and password.

Here's how to unlock your iPhone via "Erase iPhone":

  1. Keep entering the wrong passcode until you see the Erase iPhone option appear on the "iPhone Unavailable" or "Security Lockout" screen.
  2. Tap the Erase iPhone option at the bottom of your screen.
    iPhone Unavailable with Erase Option
  3. Enter your Apple ID password to sign out of your Apple ID.
  4. Tap Erase iPhone again to confirm that you want to delete all of your data and settings.
  5. When your iPhone restarts, set it up.
You won't see the "Erase iPhone" option unless you previously enabled "Find My" on your iPhone.

Method 5. Unlock Your iPhone via BuhoUnlocker [iOS 8 - 17]

Another way to unlock the "iPhone Unavailable" screen is by using BuhoUnlocker. This tool is designed for unlocking various locks on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, including screen passcodes, screen time passcodes, MDM restrictions, and Apple ID passwords. No iTunes or passcodes are required, and it can be mastered in a few seconds.

DownloadRuns on Windows & Mac
Security Verified & 100% Safe

Here's how it works:

  1. Download, install, and launch BuhoUnlocker.
    Unlock Locked iPhone via BuhoUnlocker
  2. Connect your iPhone to your PC or Mac via a USB cable.
    Put iPhone into Recovery Mode
  3. Follow BuhoUnlocker's instructions to put your iPhone into recovery mode.
  4. Download the firmware for your iPhone and unlock your iPhone in minutes.
    Download Firmware for Your iPhone

Method 6. Unlock Your iPhone via iTunes/Finder

iTunes and Finder can assist you in unlocking your iPhone. If you've previously synced your iPhone with iTunes or Finder, you can easily restore your iPhone to unlock it. If you haven't done that, you'll need to manually put your unavailable device into recovery mode to erase it.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
  2. Put your iPhone into recovery mode:
    • iPhone 8 or later: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button, then the Volume Down button. Then press and hold the Side button until the recovery mode screen appears.
    • iPhone 7 or 7 Plus: Press and hold the Side button and Volume Down button until the recovery mode screen appears.
    • iPhone 6s or earlier: Press and hold the Side button and Home button until the recovery mode screen appears.
  3. When you see the following screens on your iPhone, it means your iPhone is in recovery mode. At the same time, Finder or iTunes will automatically prompt and ask you whether you want to Update or Restore your iPhone.
iPhone In Recovery Mode
  1. Select Restore, confirm your action, and wait for the restoring process to complete.
    Restore iPhone In Recovery Mode
  2. When your iPhone restarts, set it up again.

Method 7. Unlock Your iPhone via iCloud

If your iPhone is not available to you, iCloud can be of great help. You can find your iPhone with iCloud and remotely erase your iPhone.

Note that this method only works if you have enabled "Find My" on your iPhone.

  1. Visit https://www.icloud.com/find.
  2. Enter your Apple ID and password to log into iCloud.
  3. From the All Devices list, select the iPhone you want to erase.
  4. Click Erase This Device, enter your Apple ID password, and follow the onscreen instructions to erase your iPhone remotely.
    Erase iPhone via iCloud
  5. If you want to remove this device from your iCloud, click Remove This Device (optional).

Method 8. Unlock Your iPhone via the Find My App

The Find My app is built into iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Once your iPhone is signed in with the same Apple ID and has the "Find My" feature enabled, you can use the Find My App on your iPad, Mac, or another iPhone to remotely manage it. Follow the following steps:

  1. Open the Find My app.
  2. Switch to Devices and select the iPhone you want to unlock.
  3. Tap Erase This Device.
    Erase iPhone via the Find My App
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to delete all content from your iPhone.
  5. When you see the Hello screen on your iPhone, set it up.

Final Words

Hopefully, you have successfully unlocked the iPhone Unavailable screen through one of the above methods. Keep in mind that most of these methods will delete all data on your iPhone. It is recommended that you backup your iPhone regularly to avoid unnecessary data loss.

Jerome Mills

I am Jerome Mills, a passionate enthusiast of all things Apple. I'm expertise in crafting tech-related articles, with a portfolio of more than 100 articles covering various Apple products like the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.