Learn How To Factory Reset Locked iPhone With This Guide


Aug 30, 2023 • Filed to: Remove Screen Lock • Proven solutions

Did you buy a used iPhone from someone only to find that it is locked and you can't seem to unlock it? Or did you forget the iPhone passcode, enter it incorrectly too many times, and get locked out of it?

Whatever the case, and however you end up with a locked iPhone, the only way forward is to reset the iPhone to factory defaults. All you need is a computer, a data cable, an iPhone, and an internet connection. . Below is step-by-step help to factory reset iPhone when locked.

Part I: How To Factory Reset iPhone When Locked

If your iPhone is locked and you are out of tries, your only option is to factory reset the locked iPhone. We prepared some ways for you, two of them being straight from Apple, and we also provide you with another way to factory reset iPhone when locked: using a third-party app to reset the locked iPhone quickly.

I.I How To Factory Reset Locked iPhone Using Find My

Apple introduced Find My as a way to track the iPhone and take specific actions to safeguard the device and data in case of theft, such as playing a sound, erasing the device remotely, locking it, and putting it in Lost Mode. Here is how to use Find My to factory reset iPhone when locked:

Step 1: Go to https://icloud.com in a new browser window or tab and sign in to iCloud using the iCloud/ Apple ID associated with the device you want to factory reset. This is important because if you use any other ID, you will not see that device but the device(s) attached to the ID you entered.

Step 2: Under Find My, select the iPhone you want to factory reset, click Erase iPhone and confirm.

factory reset iphone when locked using find my

It is so simple as that. However, you might be unable to use Find My, for example, when the device is out of coverage area (read: not connected to the internet) or Find My was disabled on the device before getting locked out of it.

In such cases, you will not find your device in iCloud Find My. Then, you will have to factory reset your locked iPhone differently via Recovery Mode.

I.II How To Factory Reset Locked iPhone Through Recovery Mode

To factory reset locked iPhone through Recovery Mode, you need a few things. First, you need the device physically with you and access to a computer, an original Apple data cable, and an active internet connection. During the factory reset process, the software will be downloaded from Apple and verified before, and after installation, so the internet is a must.

Step 1: Plug your iPhone into the computer using an original Apple data cable and launch iTunes or Finder (macOS Catalina and above). From personal experience, you are better off using a genuine Apple cable when dealing with software installs. I struggled once with an aftermarket data cable and thought it was the cable when I replaced it with a simple Apple cable.

Step 2: There are a series of steps to put the device in Recovery Mode. Press the volume up key and release. Then, press the volume down key and release. Lastly, press the power button and keep pressed until iTunes or Finder mounts the device in Recovery Mode:

factory reset locked iphone using recovery mode

Step 3: Now, click Restore and iTunes or Finder will verify a few things and start the firmware download and installation process.

That's it! It is a simple, three-step process. Your phone will be factory reset in a few minutes with the latest iOS release. This process will erase the phone, and you will have to set up everything again. iCloud data will remain untouched.

Now, we understand that if you try the first time to factory reset iPhone when locked, this method might feel dangerous. But, for you especially, we have an app that will guide you through the process with clear instructions so you never feel concerned.

Part II: How To Factory Reset Locked iPhone Using Dr.Fone-Screen Unlock

drfone software

If you cannot use Find My or feel the Recovery Mode process is not very consumer-friendly, we have something for you that will make you smile and feel confident. Dr.Fone is a universally-loved app, vouched for by millions of users worldwide, as the best app to have when you want to perform specific tasks on your smartphone or tablet.

Wondershare Dr.Fone is your single source of a collection of smaller apps with a targeted purpose. So, want to repair system issues?

Use Dr.Fone System Repair. Want to erase the phone or remove aggregated junk? Use Dr.Fone Data Eraser. Want to go outside town to collect Pokémon or want to prank family and be seen roaming the streets of Australia from your home in Germany? Use Dr.Fone Virtual Location to spoof your location and collect Pokémon or play those elaborate, believable pranks on family and friends.

Dr.Fone has an app to factory reset locked iPhone, too. It is called Dr.Fone Screen Unlock. Begin by downloading Wondershare Dr.Fone from the Wondershare website.

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Step 1: Connect the iPhone to the computer using the data cable and launch the app.

Step 2: Select Screen Unlock

drfone screen unlock ios

Step 3: Select Unlock iOS Screen, and you will get this screen outlining the process to enter Recovery Mode on the device:

drfone ios recovery mode instructions

Step 4: Once you followed the instructions, the device should be in Recovery Mode, and the following screen should present:

drfone ios factory reset process

Click Start and Dr.Fone will begin firmware download to your device.

drfone screen unlock now

Step 5: Once the firmware is downloaded and Dr.Fone is ready to proceed, click Unlock Now to factory reset locked iPhone.

Dr.Fone will restore the firmware to the device, and iPhone will be factory reset. Setup will be required.

Part III: FAQs

We have collated some frequently asked questions to help you further.

FAQ 1: How to factory reset iPhone via Settings app?

If your phone is not locked, you can easily reset your iPhone to factory settings. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone

factory reset iphone via settings app

Step 2: Tap Erase all Content and Settings

Step 3: Tap Continue and enter the iPhone passcode

You may be required to enter the Apple ID password to disable Find My.

FAQ 2: How do I turn off iOS passcode?

Apple does provide you with the ability to use your iPhone without a passcode, but in this day and age, it is strongly recommended that you do not. In case you do, here is how to turn off passcodes in iOS:

Step 1: Go to Settings > Face ID and Passcode

Step 2: Enter your phone's current passcode

Step 3: Tap Turn Passcode Off

turn off iphone passcode requirement

Step 5: Enter your passcode again to confirm.

Using your iPhone without a passcode puts both the iPhone and your data at risk, so you should reconsider this choice. However, it is not a recommended choice to make.

The Bottom Line

Getting locked out of your iPhone is never a happy experience. So, when an iPhone gets locked, the only option is to factory reset locked iPhone. Still, it is also about setting the phone up again and restoring all backup data. That takes time and effort because it is not just about resetting the device to factory settings.

Let us save you the trouble with this guide to factory reset locked iPhone easily. Try Dr.Fone-Screen Unlock today and experience the world of tools it has to offer.

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James Davis

staff Editor

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