iPhone is Disabled? 3 Effective Ways to Unlock It [2023]

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Robert Hunt
Last updated: Jun 14, 2023
Summary: Get an error saying 'iPhone is disabled. Try again in 1 minute'? Not a problem. Follow this manual article to learn what to do when your iPhone is disabled.

iPhone has a self-protection method, which occurs when you, or someone else, try to enter the wrong passcode too many times. A common alert message will warn you this "iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes". You can use a computer, iCloud (the Find My iPhone service) or other ways to unlock your disabled iPhone. Read on to find a perfect solution for you.

iPhone is Disabled? 3 Effective Ways to Unlock It

Why Is My iPhone Disabled?

Either it's a 4-digit or a 6-digit passcode, the unlock screen of your iPhone can be easily broken by brute-force attempts. To prevent this disaster happens, Apple set a fence if an iPhone gets too many incorrect passcode entry attempts. Here’s how the "iPhone Disabled" error messages (and time delays) tie into the number of wrong guesses:

  • 6 incorrect guesses: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 1 minute
  • 7 incorrect guesses: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 5 minutes
  • 8 incorrect guesses: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 15 minutes
  • 9 incorrect guesses: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 60 minutes
  • 10 incorrect guesses: iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes

What To Do When My iPhone Gets Disabled?

You might find your iPhone has locked itself up right from your pocket, even without awareness. This can happen when your finger accidentally triggers the wrong passcode input, resulting in your iPhone becoming disabled. So, what to do when you have a disabled iPhone?

The simplest means is to await the suggested time, then enter to correct passcode to unlock your disabled iPhone. If you can’t remember your passcode when you try again, use iTunes/iCloud to put your iPhone in recovery mode, which allows you to erase the disabled iPhone, giving you access to set it up again.

How to Unlock Disabled iPhone Using iTunes

The first approach to handle with a disabled iPhone requires a Windows PC or Mac computer, which has the latest version of iTunes (Finder for Mac) installed. Besides, you also need an Apple certificated USB cable to connect your iPhone to your computer. Here are detailed steps on how to fix and unlock a disabled iPhone with iTunes (Finder for Mac).

How-To Steps to Unlock Disabled iPhone with iTunes:
  1. Disconnect your disabled iPhone from the computer and then shut it down. The method of powering off an iPhone depends on what iPhone model you’re using.
  • To shut down an iPhone 8/8 Plus and all newer models: Press and hold both the Side button and the Volume Down button until you see the Power Off slider.
    Shut Down an iPhone 8/X/11/12/13
  • To shut down an iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone 6/6s Plus: Press and hold the Side button until you see the Power Off slider.
    Shut Down an iPhone 7/6s/6 Plus
  • To shut down an iPhone SE (1st generation) and all earlier models: Press and hold the Top button until the Power Off slider appears.
    Shut Down an iPhone 5/4S/4/SE
    After seeing the Power Off slider shows up your disabled iPhone screen, drag the slider (left to right) to turn off your iPhone. Wait at least a minute to make sure it shuts down completely.
  1. Put your iPhone in recovery mode. Before doing so, make sure you understand the correct button/button combo per your iPhone model. hold the button firmly and long enough until you go to next step.
  • For an iPhone 8/8 Plus and all newer models (iPhone 13/12/11/Xs/Xr/X) use the Side button.
  • For an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus use the Volume Down button.
  • For an iPhone SE (1st generation), and iPhone 6s, iPhone 5/5s/5c/4s/4 and earlier use the Home button.

Next, press and hold the right button tightly and immediately connect your disabled iPhone to the computer. Don't unlease the button until you see the Recovery Mode screen showing on your iPhone.

  1. Open the Finder app on your Mac (macOS ) or the iTunes app on your Windows PC computer. On the left sidebar of iTunes/Finder, you can find your iPhone icon and when you see a dialoge saying There is a problem with the iPhone "iPhone" that requires it to be updated or restored, you have two options Update or Restore. Use Restore to unlock your disabled iPhone.

After finishing the iPhone Restore process, you can disconnect your iPhone from the computer and set up and use it as new.

How to Unlock Disabled iPhone Using iCloud

A secondary way to solve the iPhone is disabled issue is to use the Find iPhone option is iCloud. It will not only save you the trouble to find a computer, but also helps erase and restore a disabled iPhone remotely. An additional tip is that erasing your device from iCloud will automatically enable the '"Activation Lock'" feature, which helps protect your device from unauthorized access. Your Apple ID and password are required to reactivate the device.

Here's what you need to do:

  1. Go to iCloud.com on your browser app > Choose the Find iPhone option.

    Log in to iCloud
  2. Click All Devices at top, then select the disabled device you want to unlock.

    Click All Devices
  3. Click Erase [device] > Enter your Apple ID password when asked > If you are using your own computer and click Trust to skip the verification step.

    Erase Disabled iPhone from iCloud
  4. After erasing your disabled iPhone, you can restore it from an existing backup. After that, you can use this "Disabled" iPhone as normal.

How to Unlock Disabled iPhone Using BuhoUnlocker

Not a fan of Apple iTunes or iCloud? You're not alone. Neither the iTunes app nor the iCloud service is friendly to entry-level users. At this time, you need a professional iPhone Passcode Unlocker software to save you from this iPhone is Disabled issue. BuhoUnlocker is the simple and effective tool that can help you quit the iPhone is Disabled screen and turn your device back to normal.

Free DownloadRuns on Windows & Mac
Security Verified & 100% Safe

Here's how it works:

  1. Download, install, and launch BuhoUnlocker on your computer.
  2. Click Unlock Screen Passcode > Start.
    Select Unlock Screen Passcode
  3. Connect your iPhone to your computer with a USB cable.
  4. Follow the prompts to put your iPhone into recovery mode.
    Put iPhone in Recovery Mode
  5. Download the iOS firmware suitable for your iPhone, and click Start Unlock.
    Download iOS Firmware for iPhone
  6. When your iPhone restarts, the previously set screen lock is successfully removed.


Do you have some clues to handle with your iPhone is Disabled issue? Wish our suggestions above may help you solve the issue soon. At last, don't forget to download the latest version of BuhoUnlocker to get you out of any iPhone lock down problems.

Robert Hunt

Expert and editor of iPhone-related issues with over five years of experience, focusing on writing guides for disabled iPhone unlock, iPhone repair, etc.