Saturday, August 24, 2013

iPhone is disabled try again in 22,955,128 minutes!

From time to time you may enter your iPhone, iPad or iPod lock screen password wrong. The first few times you enter it wrong, you will get an error message like this:

If you keep trying and enter it wrong every time, you will get this screen:

If you still keep trying, and really piss the phone off, you may get this screen after a few attempts:

In case you are wondering, that's 44 years! While I understand the message, I wonder what Apple was thinking when they created this system. Surely they didn't expect people to wait that long to use their phone again! 

The good news is, you won't have to wait for 44 years to use your phone again. The bad news however is that you may or may not lose all your files and apps depending if you regularly back up your phone to either iCloud or your PC. 

How to fix this mess:

Case 1: If you have previously synced your device with iTunes:
    • You may be able to reset the passcode by restoring the device. To do so, do the following:
      • Connect the device to the computer with which you normally sync and open iTunes. Note, that if iTunes prompts you to enter the passcode, try another computer that you have synced with. 
      • Right-click the device in the left column and select Back up.
      • When the backup is complete, select Restore.
      • When finished, restore from your most recent backup.

Case 2: If you have never synced your device with iTunes, and don't have it backed up to iCloud:
    • Connecting the device may result in this error message: "iTunes could not connect to the [device] because it is locked with a passcode. You must enter your passcode on the [device] before it can be used with iTunes." You have pretty much lost all your content and apps at this point, but can still use the phone by wiping everything out and bringing it to the factory setting. To do so, do the following:
      • Disconnect the USB cable from the device, but leave the other end of the cable connected to your computer's USB port.
      • Turn off the device: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until the red slider appears, then slide the slider. Wait for the device to turn off.
      • While pressing and holding the Home button, reconnect the USB cable to the device. The device should turn on.
      • Continue holding the Home button until you see the "Connect to iTunes" screen. When this screen appears, release the Home button.
      • iTunes should alert you that it has detected a device in recovery mode. Click OK, and then click Restore to restore the device.

Case 3: If you have never synced your device with iTunes, but DO have it backed up to iCloud:
    • Follow the steps outlined in Case 2 above to wipe out your phone and re-install the factory software and setting. 
    • Once this is done, in the welcome screen chose "Restore from iCloud" and follow the on screen instructions to restore all your content and apps to their previous state, which means you get all your stuff back to the point you backed up to the cloud. So depending on when you last backed up to the iCloud you may only lose a few days worth of stuff. 

I hope this information comes in handy for someone. Feel free to leave any comments or questions you may have below.

Pete Soheil
DigiOz Multimedia, Inc.


ピギ said...

On iOS 7+ with a TouchID you can unlock it by restarting and using your fingerprints.

DigiOz Multimedia said...

@ ピギ - Not if the phone is already locked.

Unknown said...

What if I haven't backed up my ipod? Do I have to lose all my data, or is there another way? (Also, I am sort of annoyed that my ipod missed the whole "Connect to ITunes" step and waited until I turned it back on to tell my I have to wait 44 years!)

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Take a look at this tool. It may help you recover your data from your locked device:

Paul Brighton said...

Useful information like this one must be kept and maintained so I will put this one on my twitter list!

DigiOz Multimedia said...

Sounds good, thanks Paul!