iPhone Unavailable or Security Lockout? 3 Ways to Unlock It

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Jerome Mills

4 min read

Summary: This guide will walk you through how to unlock your iPhone when it is unavailable or security locked. 

It is very common for an iPhone to be locked. Basically, your iPhone won’t be unlocked until you enter the correct passcode. However, if you enter the wrong passcode for several times, your iPhone will be locked forever. Even if you remember the correct lock screen passcode, it won’t help. So how can you unlock a disable iPhone?

Don't panic. Here, we'll show you how to unlock your iPhone when “iPhone Unavailable” or “Security Lockout” screen shows.

iPhone Unavailable/Security Lockout? 3 Ways to Unlock It

What Does iPhone Unavailable or Security Lockout Mean?

This means that you have entered the wrong passcode too many times. Apple locks your iPhone from prying eyes.

When you enter the wrong passcode for the 5th time, you will see a message “iPhone Unavailable Try Again in 1 Minute. If you enter the wrong password again after 1 minute, you will need to wait 5 minutes. If you still enter the wrong password for the 7th time, you need to wait 15 minutes. The more wrong attempts, the longer you have to wait. After 10 wrong attempts, you iPhone is totally disabled and you will see the message Security Lockout.

If you iPhone is locked forever, how do you unlock it? Read on.

How to Unlock iPhone via Security Lockout

If your iPhone is permanently locked, the only way to unlock it is to reset it. Fortunately, Apple introduced the "Secure Lockout" feature in iOS 15.2, which allows you to quickly unlock your iPhone without computer.

Unlock iPhone with Security Lockout

Before resetting your iPhone, make sure the following:

  • 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 reset your iPhone:

  1. Tap Erase iPhone at the bottom of the Security Lockout screen.
  2. Tap Erase iPhone again to confirm your action.
  3. When prompted, enter your Apple ID password to sign out of your Apple ID.
  4. Click Erase iPhone to permanently delete all content and settings from your iPhone.
  5. Once the process is complete, reset your iPhone and restore your data via iCloud, iTunes, or other backup methods.

How to unlock iPhone via iCloud

If you don't see the Erase iPhone button, or the Erase iPhone button is unavailable, you can unlock your iPhone through iCloud. Here’s what you need to do.

  1. Open Safari and visit icloud.com.

  2. Enter your Apple ID and password.

  3. Follow the onscreen instructions to authenticate again.

  4. Tap Find My iPhone, and then tap All Devices.

    Log in to iCloud

  5. Select the iPhone you want to reset and tap Erase iPhone.

    Erase Device from iPhone
  6. Follow the onscreen instructions to enter your Apple ID password and all data on your iPhone will be deleted.

How to unlock iPhone via Finder or iTunes

Both of the above methods do not require a computer to unlock your iPhone. If you want to unlock your iPhone with a computer, use Finder or iTunes.

  • For Macs running macOS Catalina and later, use Finder.
  • For Macs running macOS Mojave, use iTunes.
  • For Windows PCs, use iTunes.

The steps are roughly the same for Finder and iTunes. Here’s how:

  1. Turn off your iPhone.

  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer via a cable, then press the corresponding button 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.
  3. Continue to hold the button until the Recovery Mode screen appears on your iPhone.

    iPhone Recovery Mode Screen
  4. Open Finder or iTunes on your computer and locate your iPhone.

  5. You will see Restore and Update options. Select the Restore option. Then, the computer will automatically begin downloading the software for iPhone and start the recovery process. (The download process takes about 15 minutes.)

    Restore iPhone in Recovery Mode
  6. Once the recovery process is complete, unplug the cable from the computer and reset your iPhone.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you have successfully unlocked your iPhone through these methods. Please note that these methods will erase all data on your iPhone. It is recommended that you back up your iPhone regularly to avoid unnecessary data loss.

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