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How to Factory Reset iPhone When Locked

If your iPhone is locked, then you can unlock it by resetting the iPhone. This article will recommend several ways to help you reset your locked iPhone to its factory settings.

Alice Estelle
Updated on Nov 25, 2022

You can try using a third-party tool like iPhone Unlocker to factory reset iPhone from a lock screen.

It's important to have a passcode on iPhone for security reasons. If someone gets ahold of your iPhone, they won't be able to access the personal information unless they know the passcode.

But there are times when your iPhone gets locked because you forgot the passcode. Or maybe you enter the wrong passcode too many times and you get locked out of your iPhone. When the iPhone is locked, factory resetting iPhone is the only way that allow you to unlock it and remove the passcode.

If you want to perform a factory reset while your iPhone is locked, then you can try the Erase iPhone, iTunes or Find My methods. Besides, you can also try an amazing third-party tool like iPhone Unlocker to reset a locked iPhone to its factory settings.

Table of Contents

Things you should know before resetting

If you are locked out of iPhone, factory resetting the locked iPhone is the only way you will be able to regain access to it. When you factory reset a locked iPhone, all data and information will be deleted, including the passcode, bringing the iPhone back to its original state.

This will also effectively prevent your locked iPhone from falling into the hands of others, who will not be able to access your private information and important data stored on the iPhone, even if they want to force it open.

Note: Don't worry, if you have created a backup of your iPhone on the computer or iCloud before it was locked, then you can restore your deleted data from the backup after you finish the reset. But if you don't have a backup, then you will have to set up iPhone from scratch.

Factory reset your locked iPhone via Erase iPhone

If you forget your iPhone passcode, you can factory reset your locked iPhone via Erase iPhone, a new feature introduced by Apple when the device was upgraded to iOS 15.2 or later. The Erase iPhone will appear on the bottom right of the screen after several incorrect passcode attempts.

Using the Erase iPhone option will help you reset iPhone without computer if your iPhone is locked. But there are some prerequisites for using the Erase iPhone option. The locked iPhone should be running iOS 15.2 or later and have an available network connection. In addition, your Apple ID password will be required.

Steps 1. Keep entering the wrong password until you see Erase iPhone option appear in the lower right corner of the screen. Tap on the Erase iPhone option.

Step 2. When you come to a warning page telling you that this will erase all your data and settings, tap the Erase iPhone option in the lower right corner again.

Step 3. Follow the prompts to enter your Apple ID password. When the iPhone is verified successfully, the process of resetting your locked iPhone will start automatically.

Once the reset process is over, you will be able to access your iPhone again without a passcode, and then you can start setting up your iPhone by following the on-screen instructions.

Tip: With the backup created before the iPhone was locked, when you follow the prompts to set up iPhone to the Apps & Data step, you can select the Restore from iCloud Backup or Restore from Mac or PC option to recover the lost data.

But if your iPhone doesn't have network or hasn't been upgraded to iOS 15.2 or above, then you can use a useful tool like iPhone Unlocker to reset the locked iPhone to its default settings.

Reset an iPhone when locked via a third-party tool

If Erase iPhone option doesn't work due to its limitations, then choosing iPhone Unlocker is the best way to reset iPhone to its factory settings when locked.

iPhone Unlocker is a tool designed to help iOS devices solve password problems, working with all versions of iPhone and iPad. It only takes a few clicks of the mouse to factory reset the locked iPhone in twenty or thirty minutes without any technical requirements.

Download and install iPhone Unlocker, then follow the steps below to reset your locked iPhone.

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1. Run iPhone Unlocker and connect your locked iPhone to the computer with a USB cable. Click the blue Wipe Passcode option on the main page and then click Start.

2. In order for the software to recognize your device, you need to click the "Device connected but not recognized?" link on the page and follow the tutorial to make iPhone enter Recovery Mode.

3. Verify the related information of iPhone or select the correct one and click Start.

4. It will download the appropriate iOS firmware package for your device.

5. Once the download is complete, an Unlock Confirmation window will pop up. When you have browsed the information in the warning section, enter 0000 according to the prompt and click the Unlock option.

6. After you click unlock, the software will start the factory reset process to unlock your iPhone, please wait patiently.

When prompted that the reset was successful, your iPhone will restart with the hello page, and then you can start setting up the iPhone like a brand-new phone. During setup, you can restore your lost data from backup if you have one.

Prefer video content to text? Watch the video below.

Reset locked iPhone to factory settings via iTunes

Apple has introduced one of the official methods that allows users to carry out a factory reset on an iPhone that is locked by using iTunes. But this method requires you to put your iPhone into Recovery Mode and use the latest version of iTunes.

Note: If you are using a PC, make sure it is running Windows 10 or above.

1. Open the latest version of iTunes on the desktop and plug your iPhone into the computer.

2. Then use the right combination of buttons to put your iPhone into Recovery Mode.

  • For iPhone 8 or later, including iPhone SE (2nd generation): Quickly press the Volume up button and the Volume down button in sequence, then press and hold the Side button. Release the buttons when Recovery Mode appears on the screen.
  • For iPhone 7 series: Keep holding the Volume down button and the Side button at the same time. when you see Recovery Mode on the screen, release both buttons.
  • For iPhone 6s or earlier, including iPhone SE (1st generation): Press and hold the Side/Top button and the Home button at the same time. when you see Recovery Mode on the screen, release both buttons.

3. Click the iPhone icon in the upper left corner of the iTunes main page, and when prompted to choose the Restore option or the Update option, choose the Restore option to continue.

4. In the next window that pops up, select the Restore and Update option to begin the reset.

Note that if iTunes takes too long to download the software for your device, your iPhone will exit Recovery Mode and you will need to follow the step 2 to put it back into Recovery Mode.

Factory reset a locked iPhone via Find My iPhone

If your locked iPhone has Find My turned on and is connected to Wi-Fi or data network, then you can use iCloud Find My iPhone to remotely factory reset the iPhone when locked.

1. Go to iCloud.com on the website and log in to iCloud with the same Apple ID credentials as your locked iPhone.

2. Select Find iPhone, the last icon on the main menu.

3. Click All Devices at the top of the map showing the address of your device and find your locked iPhone from the list.

4. Select the Erase iPhone option in the small pop-up window.

5. Click on Erase to confirm your selection to initiate the reset process.

Bonus: How to reset iPhone from Settings

If your iPhone doesn't get locked and you know your iPhone passcode, then resetting your iPhone to default settings will be a breeze.

1. Go to Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone > Erase All Content and Settings.

2. Tap on Continue option and enter the passcode to unlock iPhone.

3. When you have finished entering your password, a box will appear at the bottom of the screen to confirm your choice, tap on the Erase iPhone option.

Once your iPhone has been erased, it will restart and take you through the setup process.

Note: Factory resetting an iPhone with or without the passcode will cause the data stored in the iPhone to be deleted.


Can I unlock my iPhone without losing data?
The answer to this question is no unless you created a backup before the phone was locked. Because unlocking your iPhone by factory resetting will delete everything you have stored on your iPhone, including data. But if you have a backup, you can restore the lost data from the backup.
How to use iCloud to back up data?
First, go to "Settings" and tap [your name]. Then choose "iCloud" and select the "iCloud Backup" option. Next, turn on the "Back Up This iPhone" option, so that when your iPhone is connected to the Internet, iCloud will automatically back up your data every day. If you need to back up manually, choose the "Back Up Now" option.
What should I do if my iPhone screen shows iPhone Unavailable?
When your iPhone shows iPhone Unavailable, it means you have entered the wrong password many times. If you can't enter the correct password then you will be locked out of iPhone. But you can try the Erase iPhone, iTunes, Find My and iPhone Unlocker methods described in this article to solve this problem.
About Alice Estelle
Alice Estelle has been a newspaper editor and a book editor with extensive writing experience. She also has deep research in the field of mobile software and is keen on exploring and solving various problems of iOS and Android systems.
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