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Got your iPhone unavailable? Here're 4 solutions to fix it!

So you forgot your passcode on the iPhone and gets an unavailable message after wrong code entry? There are several options to fix iPhone Unavailable problem.

Jasmin Woods Updated on Jun 21, 2023 2:46 PM

Have you ever accidentally made your iPhone unavailable? Wondering how to regain the access to your iPhone? Here's exactly what you need when your iPhone says unavailable.

What can I do if my iPhone is unavailable?

  • You can get past iPhone Unavailable issue with "Erase iPhone" option that displays on the "Security Lockout" screen after a few wrong passcode attempts. This will require your Apple ID and password to restore your phone.
  • One of the ways you can fix an unavailable iPhone is with Finder or iTunes — However, you will have to enter the device into recovery mode and connect to a computer.
  • Third party tool like iPhone Unlocker also helps erase the unavailable screen on an iPhone or iPad within minutes.
  • If you log into iCloud.com, you'll locate your unavailable iPhone and see Erase iPhone option, which lets you restore the device to factory settings and gets it working again.

An unavailable iPhone error is often caused by entering wrong passcode too many times in a row.

There is no denying that iPhone is one of the most widely used and safest mobile devices. And almost every iPhone user has set a screen passcode which will only allow its owner to read the files inside. However, if you forgot the passcode to your iPhone and input wrong attempts more than 5 times, you'll get an "iPhone unavailable" message on your iPhone screen with a time period ranging from one minute to an hour, which is pretty irritating.

If you're trapped in that situation, this guide is here to help you regain approach to your iPhone when there is an Unavailable message on the screen. It applies for iPad, as well.

Why is my iPhone unavailable?

If your iPhone does have a lock code, you will have a chance to input the passcode for 5 times. If all of the 5 attempts fail, your iPhone will make itself unavailable. That's where you'll receive an 'iPhone Unavailable, try again in 1 minute' message on the screen.

If you keep guessing the passcode, the sixth wrong attempt will lock you out for 5 minutes. And the seventh, 15 minutes. The more you guess, the longer you have to wait for a next try. When it accounts to 10 times, your iPhone locks you out permanently, and you'll find either the message 'iPhone Unavailable' or 'iPhone Security Lockout' and the option to 'Erase iPhone' without a timer on the screen, or the iPhone erases itself.

How to fix an iPhone that gets unavailable error?

Once your iPhone gets unavailable, no more attempts for you. You can't access it unless you set it to erase all settings and content on the device, which is a brilliant security measure in case your iPhone falls into a wrong hand.


  • Apple has made it clear that users can regain access to their unavailable iPhones but the process will erase all the data on the device and return it to factory settings. Luckily, you can retrieve your files from a previous backup or download whatever you have from iCloud where you've synced with your iPhone.

Use Erase iPhone feature on the screen after 7 failed attempts (iOS 15.2 or later)

Apple knows how painful it is when you can't remember your passcode to your iPhone, and now allows you to use Apple ID and password to unlock an unavailable iPhone screen and reset it to factory settings.

If the wrong code is entered a few times in a row, it will disable your iPhone in case unauthorized access and display an Unavailable message on the screen. If you do reach the 7th incorrect guess, you'll be presented with a "Security Lockout, try again in 15 minutes" and, at the same time, get an "Erase iPhone" option located in the lower right corner of the screen. The option will reset your device completely and erase all personal data, including the forgotten passcode, giving you ability to set up your iPhone again.

Note: Before you can wipe the unavailable iPhone, make sure that your device is running iOS 15.2 or newer, you know your Apple ID and password that is used to set up the phone, and your device is connecting to a Wi-Fi or cellular network. If not, go skip to the next method.

Here is how to bypass the iPhone Unavailable screen.

1. Keep trying to enter your passcode until you see Security Lockout screen appear. You should now see the "Erase iPhone" option in the bottom right corner.

If you just forgot iPhone passcode and haven't got iPhone unavailable screen yet, you will try entering your passcode five times from your device Lock Screen until it shows you "iPhone Unavailable" screen. You then continue to enter code when it asks you to try again to get "Erase iPhone" option.

2. Tap Erase iPhone in the bottom right side.

3. In the next page, it tells you that performing "Erase iPhone" will erase all your content and settings on the device that's in security lockout. Tap "Erase iPhone" again to confirm.

4. Enter your Apple ID password (not the screen passcode) to sign out of your Apple ID.

5. Tap Erase iPhone. Wait for it to wipe your device into factory settings which deletes all of your data and settings. When it completes, you're able to set up your iPhone from scratch or restore your data and settings from a backup if it's available.

If you see an "iPhone is disabled" error on the screen instead, your device may have an iOS version 15.1 or earlier and you need to try other methods in this post.

Use recovery mode suggested by Apple

What to do if your iPhone displays unavailable message but no "Erase iPhone" to choose from? You will want to try another way suggested by Apple — Recovery Mode integrated in iTunes or Finder app.

First, run iTunes or Finder (macOS 10.15 and later) on your computer.

Don't rush to connect your iPhone to the computer. Shut down your device and then place it to recovery mode. The operation varies from model to model.

Here's what recovery mode looks like on your device.

  • For iPhone 6 and earlier, hold the Side button for seconds until the power off slider shows up. Slide it to shut down the phone. Press and keep holding the Home button while plugging the iPhone to your computer. Only let go of the button after there's a recovery mode screen on your iPhone.
  • For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, press the button on the right side until the power off slider comes up on the screen. Swipe it to the other side, and your iPhone will be powered off. Then hold the Volume down key and connect iPhone to computer at the same time. Don't release the button before the recovery mode screen appears.
  • For iPhone 8 and later, press both Volume down and Side button. Wait until power off slider flashes. Drag it to turn off your device. Then hold the Side button and plug the iPhone to computer simultaneously. Don't relax your grip until it's got a recovery mode screen.

Once it's connected successfully, a massage box will come into sight offering you two options, "Restore" or "Update" to choose from. Here, click "Restore".

Restore an unavailable iPhone to factory defaults.

Then, another message box appears asking whether you're sure to restore this iPhone with knowing all of your media and other data will be totally erased during the process.

Confirm the "Restore and Update" option, which allows the computer to download the latest iOS software for your device. And you can get access to your iPhone after the process is done.

Your media and other data on the unavailable iPhone will be erased completely.

Fix 'iPhone Unavailable' issue via iPhone Unlocker

Available for both macOS and Windows system, iPhone Unlocker is one of the most popular apps with a range of different patterns that you can use to solve the passcode problems on your Apple device in the easiest possible way. You'll appreciate its simple interface and the easy-to-follow wizard of resetting your device. No matter what model your device is, you can easily remove the disabled screen via iPhone Unlocker even you're a computer noob.

Download Now!

for Windows | for MacOS

Here're steps to follow for unlocking unavailable iPhone.

Step 1: Launch iPhone Unlocker

Launch iPhone Unlocker on your Mac or PC. Choose 'Wipe Passcode' and click "Start."

Step 2: Confirm your device information

Connect your device to the computer and let it enter recovery mode if it isn't detected by the machine.

You can learn how to force your iPhone to enter recovery mode by following the onscreen instructions.

Then confirm your device information and hit "Start" button.

Step 3: Download firmware package

It will download an iOS firmware for your device to get rid of the unavailable screen.

Once downloaded, an alert window jumps out letting you know that the following process will unlock the device and also erase all your data. Now, enter "0000" and then click "Unlock" to confirm the option, which will start fixing process immediately.

Step 4: Begin unlocking process

It may take a few minutes. Keep your device connected until the process is accomplished.

After that, there's no more Unavailable or Security Lockout screen on your device. You can set up the iPhone from the beginning and pick a new passcode. And you can also retrieve your data from a backup or download your settings and content from iCloud.

Video guide: How to Fix iPhone Unavailable

Also see: iPhone is disabled connect to iTunes (iOS 15.1 or earlier)

Fix an iPhone with unavailable screen by iCloud

iCloud is built for Apple users to upload their data on the device and sync their iPhone, and it also includes a built-in feature, Find My, which allows you to locate and erase your iPhone or any other Apple device from anywhere as long as the device has enabled Find My and also is connected to the Internet.

First, log in to iCloud Find My using your Apple ID which are also used to set up the locked iPhone. You can use your iPad, Mac, PC or any smartphone that can open a browser.

Here's what you see if you're using a computer.

Wait for a few seconds, all your devices under the same Apple ID will be located on a map automatically.

Click 'All Devices' at the top. And select your unavailable iPhone from the list.

Then hit the "Erase" button, which will give you a warning message that all your content and settings on the device will be deleted completely.

Click "Erase" again to confirm your option.

After confirmation, it will start erasing the phone and remove the unavailable screen. Once finished, your iPhone will restart like a brand new one. And you will regain the access to it without passcode. You may also Find My to reset an iPad that says unavailable.

Don't receive 'iPhone is unavailable' message in the future

To avoid getting an unavailable screen on the iPhone in the future, you can pick a password that is easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess. And try not to let your iPhone out of your sight so that others won't have the chance to put in wrong attempts which may cause your iPhone to be unavailable. Besides, backing up your iPhone regularly can prevent you from losing data, which would be a good choice if you like changing your passcode a lot.

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