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How to get photos from a locked iPhone

iPhone stores all your memorial photos you shot, but what happens when the passcode is forgotten? Here's how to get your photos if your device is locked.

Blake Sullivan Updated on Aug 8, 2023 9:16 AM

I have an iPhone 11 with iOS 14. It's now in a state of lock after many times to enter the passcode, leaving with a message saying "iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes". Before I restore to factory reset, is there any way to get off more than 1000 photos from the locked iPhone first because I hate to lose them all?

As an iPhone users, you may always create a passcode to keep prying eyes out of your personal data when you set it up. However, there're occasions that you can't remember the passcode even though you've tried many versions of entries before getting it right. And therefore you lose access to the iPhone, leaving alone the data on it, especially the precious pictures.

How do you deal with this if you see a prompt that says your iPhone has been disabled? How can you unlock iPhone without passcode to get those irreplaceable and important photos? Never fear, it's not hard to do so and you just need a right tool. Follow along with article, you'll be able to get pictures off a locked iPhone with least effort.

Part 1: Recover photos from disabled iPhone - 3rd party way

It might sound serious, but with iOS Data Recovery tool, you can easily recover photos without unlocking from iPhone, and save yourself from the hassle of having to erase everything off device.

The utility is developed with an advanced file scanning mode that smartly bypasses the forgotten passcode of iPhone, and recover all existing as well as deleted images to a user-specified location. Another great thing is that it's able to get the pictures from previous iCloud & iTunes backup before fully restoring iPhone through iTunes, iCloud or Recovery Mode.

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Option 1: Get images off locked iPhone without backup

Despite you're locked out of iPhone and haven't made any backup, you have great chance you can gain access to iPhone's storage and get the photos from as long as the iPhone can be recognized by computer and can be backed up with iTunes. Here's what to do.

  • Now that you've install the tool on your computer, launch it and click "Recover from iOS Device" mode from the left menu.
  • Hook up iPhone with computer and click Start Scan button.
  • On the pop-up, choose "Camera Roll" option and other options associated with pictures under "Media" section, then click Next button to start a scan.
  • When the scan is done, select the photos you want back, and click Recover button.

The pictures locked in the iPhone should be saved on computer. You can repeat the process if you would like to get anything off your disable iPhone to make a backup.

If your computer can't recognize your locked iPhone or the touchscreen on the device doesn't work at all, restoring photos from backup is the last resort. Keep on reading and trying the next option.

Option 2: Recover photos on locked iPhone from iTunes backup

If you have iTunes backup but you don't want lost other current data after restoring with iTunes, you can use that tool to achieve this and restore the photos on iPhone, regardless of the passcode lock.

  • Choose "Recover from iTunes Backup File" module to display all iTunes backup copy.
  • Select a backup and press Start Scan button. Wait the process to finish.
  • In the results window, choose "Camera Roll" from the left portion, and hit Recover button.

Once you're done with restoring locked iPhone photos to local computer, move to the next part, which will help to remove forgotten passcode on iPhone, restore pictures as well as reset a new passcode.

Part 2: Retrieve photos from locked iPhone with backup - Apple route

According to Apple Official, the way to recover an locked or disabled iPhone is to erase the device completely so as to remove the passcode. Unless you make a backup to store the photos and other valuable stuff before locking the iPhone, there's no way to salvage current data. This is why you should first use the program mentioned in Part 1 to recover photos on iPhone once it's locked.

Here are the options you can go about with by which you can get rid of the original passcode, depending on whether you have had iPhone set to backup with iTunes and iCloud or not.

Option 1: Retrieve photos on locked iPhone from iTunes backup

Use iTunes to erase and restore iPhone:

  • Connect iPhone to the computer you previously synced with.
  • Open iTunes. If you're asked for a passcode, try to use iCloud or recovery mode. Otherwise, wait for iTunes to sync iPhone and make a backup.
  • When it's done, click Restore iPhone button and the passcode should be removed at this point.
  • You should now set up the device. When you reach App & Data screen, tap Restore from iTunes backup.
  • Select your iPhone in iTunes and choose the most relevant backup to restore from.

Now, you can get into iPhone without passcode but you can set a new one as normal. The images in iTunes backup are restored to Photos app in iPhone as well.

Option 2: Restore pictures from locked iPhone with iCloud backup

If you've enabled Find My iPhone feature in the locked iPhone, you can use iCloud to remove forgotten iPhone passcode lock. After that, set up the iPhone and choose Restore from iCloud backup. This way you could restore photos from iPhone that's locked by password.

Option 3: Use recovery mode to erase iPhone (not recommended)

If you've never sync iPhone with iTunes and iCloud, the only way to erase an iPhone that is locked with a forgotten passcode is to use recovery mode. This is often a trade-off you have to make between an unusable iPhone and important photos.

Here is the procedure of getting photos from a disable iPhone without having access to the original computer it was synced to:

  • Plug iPhone (7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X, Xs, Xs Max, Xr, etc) to any computer and run iTunes.
  • Once it's connected, force it to enter recover mode. (The key of entering recovery mode varies from different iPhone models. Turn to Apple support page to get proper key.)
  • When a dialog window appears, click Restore button.
  • iTunes begins wiping out all content and settings on the iPhone. If the process takes over 15 minutes, the device will exist recovery mode and you need to repeat the steps above.
  • When you've successfully done that, wait for the process to complete.

Doing this you can unlock the disabled iPhone and have access to it, but you will lose all your pictures after all.

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