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How to Save Your Data When Your iPhone Is Disabled

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Jul 12, 2024 • Filed to: Backup & Restore Data • Proven solutions

Backing up your iPhone regularly is a wise practice ensuring your valuable data's safety and security. It safeguards against accidental loss and provides a lifeline when faced with the challenges of a locked or disabled device.

Although it's possible under certain circumstances, backing up a locked iPhonecomes with its own set of obstacles. So today, we will discuss how to back up a locked iPhone thoroughly to ensure the safety of your data.

Part 1: What Happens to a Locked and Disabled iPhone?

In this locked or disabled state, most functions of the iPhone become inaccessible. You can't use your apps, access settings, or get to your personal data on the device.

You’ll need the correct passcode or biometric authentication to unlock it. If someone repeatedly enters the wrong passcode, the iPhone gets disabled temporarily. You will get longer disabling times for each subsequent incorrect attempt.

So, backing up a disabled iPhone is challenging due to Apple's security measures. Certain functionalities, like creating backups, are restricted in this state.

  • Forgotten Passcode: If you forget your iPhone passcode, repeated failed attempts to unlock it can lead to temporary or permanent disabling.
  • Failed Attempts: When someone repeatedly tries to guess the passcode on your iPhone, it triggers the device's security mechanism and temporarily disables it.
  • Device Seizure: In some cases, your iPhone may be seized by law enforcement or unauthorized individuals who try to gain access. This can lead to the device being locked or disabled.

This situation might sound frustrating. In the following sections, we will discuss further various methods to overcome these challenges and ensure the safety of your data when dealing with a locked or disabled iPhone.

Part 2: How to Back Up a Locked and Disabled iPhone

If you have ever connected your iPhone to a computer and granted it the "trust" permission, there is a possibility to back up your disabled or locked iPhone using that computer. If not, you might have to erase all of your data to get your access back.

By default, all iPhone models running the latest iOS have iCloud Backup enabled. If you haven't purposely turned off this feature, you can have a backup of your disabled iPhone on iCloud.

Method 1: How to use iCloud to backup a locked iPhone:

  • Step 1: Bring the disabled iPhone near a previously connected WiFi network.

The iPhone should automatically connect to this WiFi network and initiate data backup to iCloud, even without unlocking.

  • Step 2: Allow at least 30 minutes for the backup process to complete.
  • Step 3: Access to iCloud.

If available, use any accessible device to open a web browser and sign in to icloud.com.

  • Step 4: Check if you have been backing up your data.

Navigate to the Photos, Contacts, Notes apps, etc. on iCloud to verify if your iPhone data has been successfully backed up.

Backup locked or disabled iPhone using iCloud

Method 2: How to backup disabled iPhone with iTunes:

  • Step 1: Connect to your computer.

Using a USB cable, connect the disabled iPhone to a trusted computer with iTunes installed.

  • Step 2: Launch iTunes on the computer.

If your iPhone information is not visible, click the iPhone icon at the top of the iTunes window.

  • Step 3: Set the backup.

On the left sidebar, select "Summary." Then, navigate to the Backups section on the right and choose "This Computer." Click "Back Up Now" to initiate the immediate backup of the disabled iPhone to the computer through iTunes.

  • Step 4: Restore the backup using iTunes.

After the backup process is complete, you can proceed to unlock the disabled iPhone by erasing its data. Once the iPhone is unlocked, you can restore the data from the backup by selecting the "Restore Backup" option within iTunes.

Backup locked or disabled iPhone using iTunes

Bonus Tip: How to Backup Your iPhone with Easy Software

Now you understand why it's crucial to back up your iPhone before any unfortunate events occur. In this regard, using a third-party app for backup offers convenience and efficiency. One recommended software is Wondershare Dr.Fone.

Dr.Fone provides a comprehensive backup feature designed to safeguard your iPhone data effortlessly. It has several key features to help back up your data efficiently:

Dr.Fone da Wondershare

Wondershare Dr.Fone

Selectively backup your iPhone contacts in 3 minutes!

  • One-click to backup the whole iOS device to your computer.
  • Allow previewing and selectively export contacts from iPhone to your computer.
  • No data loss on devices during the restoration.
  • Works for all iOS devices. Compatible with the latest iOS version. New icon
Available on: Windows Mac
3981454 people have downloaded it
  • User-friendly interface
  • Ensure no data loss
  • Preview before restoring your data
  • Compatible and support a wide range of iPhone models

How to back up your iPhone with ease using Dr. Fone's backup feature:

  • Step 1: Open Dr. Fone's backup feature

Open the Dr.Fone software on your computer and connect your iPhone. Make sure that Dr.Fone recognizes your device. In the left panel of Dr.Fone, click on "My Backup" and then choose the "Back Up Now" option.

Backing up iPhone with Dr.Fone Back Up feature

  • Step 2: Wait until it finishes the backup.

Allow Dr.Fone to complete the backup process. The software will automatically detect and back up various types of files from your iPhone. See how far the backup progress is on the screen.

Wait for the Dr.Fone backup process to be done

  • Step 3: Preview and access your backup

After the backup is finished, you will see a prompt window with detailed information about your backup. You can preview your backup contents before restoring them, ensuring that you have selected the necessary data.

To access the backups, you can either click on "View Backups" or manually locate the backup folder by selecting "Open in Folder."

Access backup data on Dr.Fone

Safe downloadsafe & secure

Part 3: Preventative Measures for Future Backups

What can you do to ensure the ongoing safety and accessibility of your iPhone data? We have some tips to prevent any problems with your future backups. Follow these recommendations to minimize the risk of data loss and enhance security:

  • Auto-backup your data

Opt for automatic backups on your iPhone to streamline the process. By activating this feature, your device will regularly create backups without the need for manual intervention. This helps ensure that your most up-to-date data is always protected.

  • Keeping your iPhone passcode secure and accessible

Maintain a strong and confidential passcode for your iPhone that is not easily guessed. Avoid using common patterns or personal information that could be easily identified.

  • Regularly backing up your iPhone to prevent data loss

If you dislike auto-backup, you can regularly back up your iPhone. Determine a backup schedule that suits your needs and make it a habit.

  • Encrypting your backups for enhanced security

Consider encrypting your backups to provide an additional layer of protection. Encryption involves securing your data with a password. Only authorized individuals can access it.

  • Storing backups in a safe and accessible location

Select a secure storage location for your backups. This can include external hard drives, cloud storage services, or multiple locations for added redundancy.


1. Can I back up a locked iphone if I forget the passcode?

It is possible to back up a locked iPhone if you forget the passcode but under certain circumstances. You need to have your iCloud account connected to other devices and make sure you enable auto backup.

Another method is using iTunes. You will need iTunes that is still connected to your iPhone device, then back it up to your comp

2. How do I restore my locked iPhone from iCloud backup?

After unlocking your iPhone, you will receive a prompt on the Apps & Data screen, allowing you to restore your data from iCloud. Select it and wait for a few minutes until it finishes the restoration.


Backing up a disabled iPhone can be challenging due to Apple's security measures. If you have previously connected your iPhone to a trusted computer, you can use iCloud or iTunes to back up your disabled device.

iCloud allows you to back up your iPhone over a previously connected Wi-Fi network, while iTunes enables you to back up your iPhone to a computer. Additionally, using third-party software like Wondershare Dr.Fone provides a user-friendly and efficient way to back up your iPhone data.

safe Downloadsafe & secure

James Davis

staff Editor

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