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iPhone says unavailable? 4 ways to reset it without passcode

A quick and easy guide to completely resetting your unavailable iPhone so you can regain the access when you forget your lock screen passcode.

Jasmin Woods Updated on Jun 21, 2023 2:14 PM

What to do if iPhone says unavailable:

  • If you forgot your iPhone's passcode or it's been unavailable, you'll have to reset it to use it.
  • When your iPhone is running iOS 15.2 or newer, you'll be given an option to erase and reset your iPhone from the lock screen when it says iPhone Unavailable try again in 15 minutes.
  • Even without passcode, you can still reset a locked iPhone to factory settings by placing it into Recovery Mode, or erasing it wirelessly via iCloud Find My.
  • In case your iPhone locks you out completely, the 3rd-party tool iPhone Unlocker is also a great option to factory reset your device without passcode.

Quick ways to reset iPhone without passcode and remove the iPhone Unavailable screen.

Got your iPhone unavailable? Maybe you're trying to unlock your iPhone but don't remember the correct passcode, or perhaps you accidentally entered a few wrong passcodes and got yourself locked out of your phone. Whatever it is, your iPhone will refuse to unlock and get unavailable temporarily because it assumes that someone else is trying to break into it. It's a security measure to protect your personal data.

If you still know your latest iPhone passcode, then just wait a few minutes and enter the correct one to unlock your phone after the on-screen timer ends. Otherwise, the only option for you to regain the access is to do a full factory reset on your locked iPhone.

So whether your iPhone says iPhone Unavailable or Security Lockout, to get back to using your phone, you'll have to erase all your data and return your iPhone to its factory settings:

Reset unavailable iPhone with Apple ID and password (iOS 15.2 or later)

When you're looking to access your iPhone without passcode, whether you forgot the passcode, or your iPhone got an unavailable lock screen and won't let you try, it's always a good idea to force reset the locked iOS device to its factory settings.

Resetting iPhone without passcode has been historically difficult but thanks to the newly added Erase iPhone option — which is attached to iOS 15.2 and later — it's now easier than ever before. Benefiting from the changes, you can now use your Apple ID and password to reset your iPhone completely. And to do that, the locked iOS device should also be connected to the network. If your iPhone checks both those boxes, here's what to do:

First, tap the Erase iPhone option on the iPhone Unavailable or Security Lockout screen. You can easily find it when your iPhone tells you to try again in 15 minutes or above.

Erase and reset unavailable iPhone without passcode.

Next, your iPhone will display an alert to make sure you know that this is going to erase all your content and settings on this device. To confirm the Erase iPhone option, tap on it again.

Tap the Erase iPhone option again to confirm.

Lastly, you'll be asked to sign out of your Apple account. Enter your password to your Apple ID and let the erasing process begin.

Use Apple ID and password to reset the unavailable iPhone.

After that, the locked iPhone will be reset completely. No more iPhone Unavailable or Security Lockout alert on the lock screen. You can use your iPhone again after setup. And if you have a recent backup of your iPhone data that you want to replace, you can choose to restore the data from the backup or download anything you previously saved in your iCloud.

Fix unavailable iPhone without Apple ID password

So, the Erase iPhone option only shows up on the unavailable screen when your iPhone is running iOS 15.2 or higher. If the locked iPhone you want to reset is running an earlier iOS version, then the Erase iPhone method won't be optional for you.

Alternatively, you can use another efficient tool, iPhone Unlocker, to easily perform a factory reset on your unavailable iPhone without using your Apple ID and password. In fact, it works with all iPhone models, and you can wipe and reset any locked iOS device no matter what iOS version your iPhone has installed.

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Install iPhone Unlocker on your computer to reset an unavailable iPhone without passcode.

1. Launch it on your Mac or Windows PC. Select Wipe Passcode to begin.

Choose Wipe Passcode to factory reset the unavailable iPhone.

2. Connect the unavailable iPhone with USB cable, and follow the instructions on the screen to put your iPhone into its Recovery Mode.

Connect iPhone and enable it to enter Recovery Mode.

You can also click the underlined prompt to force your locked iPhone into Recovery Mode. This is to ensure your computer can successfully recognize the unavailable iOS device.

3. Once connected, check your device information and click the Start button to continue. Then let iPhone Unlocker download the appropriate iOS firmware for your iPhone to reset.

Check device information and download suitable iOS firmware for reset.

4. When the firmware is downloaded, the unavailable iPhone is ready for the reset. So here, enter '0000' when the popup window appears. Confirm your decision by clicking the Unlock button.

Before unlocking:

  • Removing the unavailable black lock screen will erase all your data and reset your iPhone to its factory settings. Also, your iPhone will install the latest iOS when it's unlocked.
  • You can restore your data from a previously created backup after unlocking.

Confirm unlocking and apply a full factory reset on the unavailable iPhone.

Wait for the progress bar to finish. After that, your iPhone will be completely reset. The iPhone Unavailable will be removed from your lock screen. Once setup is complete, you can get into your iPhone's Home screen again.

The iPhone Unavailable lock screen will be erased after unlocking.

Use iTunes to factory reset unavailable iPhone when locked out

If you have iTunes or Finder installed on your computer, you can easily and quickly wipe the iPhone Unavailable message from the lock screen. To proceed that, you'll need to put your Security Lockout iPhone into Recovery Mode in order to erase all your data and reset the device.

To get started:

  • If you're using macOS Catalina (10.15) or above: click Finder to create a new window.
  • If your computer is running macOS 10.14 or earlier, or Windows: open iTunes.

1. When iTunes or Finder opens, power off the unavailable phone.

2. Force your iPhone to enable Recovery Mode so you can perform a hard reset on it:

  • For iPhone 8 and newer iPhone models: keep holding the Power button.
  • For iPhone 7 / 7 Plus, press the Volume down button for a moment.
  • For iPhone 6s and older models, press and hold the Home button.

Remember to hold the correct button while quickly connecting your phone to computer. Don't let it go before you see the Recovery Mode screen.

Keep holding the proper button till you see this Recovery Mode screen.

3. iTunes or Finder will pop up a messages box as soon as your iPhone is in Recovery Mode.

4. You'll be given the two options — Restore or Update. To factory reset the locked unavailable iPhone, select Restore here.

Restore iPhone to factory settings and the unavailable message will be gone.

5. Confirm to apply the Restore option. And let your iPhone go through the resetting.

It will erase all your content and settings along with the lock screen. When it's done, your iPhone will restart and you can set it up again when the Hello screen comes up.

Factory reset an iPhone using iCloud Find My

When you are locked of an unavailable iPhone and don't have a computer nearby, here's how to reset your iPhone without passcode and computer:

If you previously enabled the Find My feature on the unavailable iPhone, remember that you can always use it to remotely locate and reset the locked iPhone from iCloud website. The option should be available if you have another Apple device that uses the same Apple ID to authenticate. Make sure the locked device is connected to cellular or Wi-Fi network.

  • On another Apple device, visit iCloud, and sign in to your Apple account.
  • Select Find My among the options.
  • Click All Devices at the top. Pick the unavailable locked iPhone from the list.
  • Choose Erase iPhone and confirm.
  • For security, iCloud will send you a verification code to one of your other Apple devices. When you get the code, enter it to verify.
  • Once done, the erase will be performed automatically on the unavailable iOS device.

Using iCloud Find My, you can remotely factory reset iPhone without iTunes or computer.


Can I unlock my iPhone without erasing my data when it says iPhone Unavailable?

The iPhone Unavailable or Security Lockout is a new feature attached to iOS 15.2 and above. It allows you to erase and reset a locked iPhone without passcode or using a computer. Unfortunately, the only option to bypass the iPhone Unavailable screen and unlock your iPhone when forgot passcode is to erase your iPhone and return it to factory settings.

How long will the iPhone Unavailable screen last?

After entering several incorrect passcodes in a row, you'll get an iPhone Unavailable message on your iPhone lock screen. For six wrong attempts, the 'iPhone Unavailable try again in 1 minute' alert appears. If you keep trying but fail to unlock, then you'll see 'iPhone Unavailable try again in 5 minutes'. Then, the eighth attempt for 15 minutes, and the tenth for an hour. If you cannot enter the correct passcode after that, your iPhone will lock you out completely. You'll have no choice but to do a full factory reset to regain the access.

Can I restore my data if I reset my unavailable iPhone?

You can restore all your content and settings from a backup to your erased device if you've created a backup of your iPhone recently. After the reset, your iPhone restarts. You can swipe up the Hello screen, and follow the instructions to set up manually. When reach the Apps & Data screen, you can choose to restore your data from an iCloud backup or from your Mac or PC. This way, you can get your data back from where you backed up your iPhone.

Restore your data from iCloud backup or from Mac or PC.

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