How to Factory Reset A Locked or Disabled iPhone without iTunes

Last Updated: June 29th, 2023By Categories: Unlock Apple Device

All iPhones are entertaining, helpful, and convenient except for the locked iPhones that you forget the passcode for or disabled iPhones. No one would like to have an iPhone that cannot be unlocked and used.

When you see the “iPhone is disabled connect to iTunes” screen, your iPhone is completely locked out. To enable this iPhone, a factory reset is a must, as you may have already known. And there’s no other way out.

To conduct a factory reset on a locked or disabled iPhone, we may follow the suggestion on the iPhone screen to connect the disabled device to iTunes for fixing. However, it needs a computer and a USB connection. If this is your case, don’t worry, there’re wireless solutions that iTunes and computers are needless.

Read on!

How to Reset A Disabled iPhone without iTunes

Part 1: Reset A Disabled iPhone with iTunes

Follow the sign on your disabled iPhone and connect the device to a computer that’s installed with iTunes. iTunes will detect your disabled iPhone and start up by itself.

Then, you can click on the thumbnail iPhone button to enter the reset screen.

Hit Restore iPhone to begin the factory reset. iTunes will start to wipe everything on your iPhone since then.

Restore iPad with iTunes

However, using iTunes for direct fixing is pretty demanding:

  • When the computer keeps on asking you to unlock the iPhone to trust this computer, you can’t do it on a disabled iPhone.
  • If the Find My iPhone is not turned off on your iPhone, iTunes will fail to reset your disabled iPhone.

When either of these happens, Recovery mode is the ultimate solution.

Factory Reset A Disabled iPhone With Recovery Mode

Recovery mode is the perfect utility when iTunes cannot help you reset the disabled iPhone. This is a system repair tool designed by Apple INC for iPhone owners to repair the disabled iPhone at home with iTunes and a computer.

Simply boot the disabled iPhone into Recovery mode and iTunes will detect the device. Then, you can reset the iPhone even when Find My iPhone is enabled.

First of all, let’s power off your iPhone as the first step to boot up the mode.

Then, we use these keys:

  • Press and release the Volume Up button;
  • Press and release the Volume Down button then;
  • Long press the Power button, and release it when you see the Recovery mode.

iPhone Recovery Mode

Now, take out a USB cable and connect your disabled iPhone to the computer. iTunes will launch and ask you to fix the iPhone via Restore or Update.

Update Restroe iPhone Under Recovery Mode via iTunes

Choose the former option and iTunes will start to restore your iPhone to factory settings.


When the factory reset of Recovery mode and iTunes is done, there’s this Activation Lock screen popping out. You will be required to enter the associated Apple account details. Otherwise, you can’t get into the iPhone even if it’s not disabled anymore.

Part 2: Reset A Disabled iPhone without iTunes

Other than iTunes, we have three more methods to reset a disabled iPhone. Simply pick up the one that fits you best and get your iPhone to work again.

1st Method to Reset A Disabled iPhone without iTunes: Find My iPhone

When Find My iPhone is enabled, we can make use of this security feature to do a factory on the disabled iPhone without touching it.

Try this:

On a browser, log into iCloud Find My iPhone with your Apple account.

When it asks for verification, you can hit Didn’t get a passcode and ask Apple to send you the digits via a phone number (take the Sim out from your disabled iPhone and insert it into another phone) or email.

Two Factory Authentification iCloud Login

After signing in, you will see this digital map where all your Apple devices are shown. Locate the disabled iPhone and then Erase iPhone.

Erase iPhone with Find My iPhone


If you have another iPhone or iPad that’s associated with the same iCloud account, things will be easier. Open the Find My app on the device. Go to Devices and locate your disabled iPhone from the device list. Then, Erase This iPhone.

Erase This iPad or iPhone Via Find My

There you have it. The Find My iPhone will reset your iPhone completely and no more disabled screen will stop your access.

2nd Method to Reset A Disabled iPhone without iTunes: 4uKey

Third-party iPhone unlockers help with a disabled iPhone too. Try the famous icon in this industry, 4uKey. It will reset your iPhone even if you don’t have the iCloud password or screen passcode.

As a professional iPhone unlocker, 4uKey is guarantee of a successful factory reset on your disabled iPhone. When it unlocks your disabled iPhone, it can wipe out every data and settings on the mobile as well just like a factory reset will do.

4uKey iOS Unlocker Interface

It doesn’t matter if your iPhone is locked, disabled, or bugged, 4uKey will unlock it and wipe out everything inside in minutes. To begin a reset on 4uKey, you won’t need to enter any digits.

Simply plug your disabled iPhone toin 4uKey, and click some buttons on its interface to initiate a quick and complete reset.

Download this program on your computer and let’s start to reset the disabled iPhone.

4uKey iPhone Unlocker

echoshare 4uKey iPhone Unlocker

Remove Lock screen, Apple ID, and MDM restrictions in one tool

  • Fix locked, disabled, unavailable iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch
  • Remove Apple ID/iCloud account without password
  • Bypass Mobile Device Management (MDM) with clicks

*Compatible with iOS 16 & iPadOS 16

Step 1:

On your computer, boot up this iPhone unlocker app. Then, on its beginning interface click Start.

On the next page, 4uKey will show you the side effects of unlocking an iPhone with it. For instance, the iOS on your disabled iPhone will be upgraded to the latest available one.

4uKey iOS Unlocker Connect Device

Then, connect your iPhone to the computer with a valid USB lightning. Click Next on the interface to the next step.


To keep the factory reset working smoothly, power up your iPhone to 20% or more.

Step 2:

If 4uKey fails to detect your disabled iPhone in the first place, don’t worry. It’s just your iPhone is locked for too long and needs some additional operation.

Follow its on-screen instruction to enable recognition easily. You can choose to boot your iPhone to Recovery mode or DFU mode. Either will make your iPhone detected by the program.

4uKey iOS Unlocker Prompt Recovery Mode

Step 3:

After your iPhone is detected by 4uKey, it will list the information of your iPhone like model and current iOS version. Then, it will ask you to download the firmware that will be later used for the factory reset. Hit Download to start.

4uKey iOS Unlocker start to Download

Step 4:

The loading process takes around 5 minutes depending on your Internet speed. When it’s done, 4uKey will instantly advise you to start unlocking your iPhone.

Hit Start Remove and wait for the unlock to be done.

4uKey iOS Unlocker download Firmware

Wait for a short period of time, 4uKey will finish its reset. Disconnect your iPhone when 4uKey says Unlocked Successfully. You can launch this Apple handset now. No more locked or disabled screen is stopping you. You can set it up like it’s a brand new iPhone.

3rd Method to Reset A Disabled iPhone without iTunes: Security Lockout

If your iPhone is just disabled for a few minutes, the “iPhone is disabled connect to iTunes” sign does not pop out yet. You will have the chance to reset your disabled iPhone on the device without the assistance of a computer or another mobile.

The Security Lockout feature will be our go-to solution here.

This unlocking feature will come into effect when this iPhone is disabled or unavailable for 15 minutes or more. That means you will have to enter the wrong passcodes 7 times to trigger the “iPhone is disabled (iPhone unavailable) Try again 15 minutes” screen.

So, if your iPhone is disabled for just a few minutes, try to unlock it again till you see the related screen.

iPad Unavailable

Then, look at the bottom right corner of the screen, and hit Erase iPhone. The feature tells you that the erase will wipe out all data and content. Hit Erase iPhone to proceed.

On the next screen, enter the associated Apple account and password. Hit Erase iPhone for one last time. The Security Lockout will start to erase your iPhone.

4uKey iPhone Unlocker

echoshare 4uKey iPhone Unlocker

Remove Lock screen, Apple ID, and MDM restrictions in one tool

  • Fix locked, disabled, unavailable iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch
  • Remove Apple ID/iCloud account without password
  • Bypass Mobile Device Management (MDM) with clicks

*Compatible with iOS 16 & iPadOS 16


Sure, when iTunes is not helpful, we can apply to the Find My iPhone feature of Apple to fix a disabled iPhone.

We can either unlock a disabled iPhone on the Find My app of another iPhone or iPad. Or sign into Find My Web to erase the disabled iPhone.

Yes, if you’ve entered the wrong passcodes on an iPhone 10 times, it will activate this “ iPhone is disabled connect to iTunes” sign. This means no matter how long you wait, this iPhone will still be disabled. You have to connect it to iTunes and fix it. Otherwise, the disabled status will exist forever.

  • Normally, when the failed to unlock attempts on an iPhone surpass 5 times, this iPhone gets disabled for 1 minute.
  • The 6th failed attempt will disable your iPhone for 5 minutes.
  • 15 minutes and 30 minutes are the disabled time for the No.7 and 8 unsuccessful unlock.
  • And 1 hour is for the 9th failed attempt.
  • And then it reaches to 10 times, your iPhone will be completely disabled. No matter how long you wait, it won’t get back to normal. You have to reset it via iTunes or iCloud.

When your iPhone is only disabled for 1, 5, 15, 30, or 60 minutes, you can wait till the disabled time passes. And try again.

If you see “iPhone is disabled connect to iTunes”, this iPhone is completely locked out and won’t return to normal unless you put it back to factory settings. Yes, it needs a factory reset to function again.

For you, you need to boot your disabled iPhone to Recovery mode and connect it to iTunes. Then, hit the Restore button to get your iPhone out of disabled mode.

iTunes will not recognize any iPhone that’s locked or disabled for more than one hour. If you still want to use iTunes to fix your iPhone, you need to activate the Recovery Mode on your iPhone.

First of all, power off your iPhone. Next, depending on your iPhone model, we have different steps.

When you’re using iPhone 8, X, 11, 12, 13, 14 (Pro/Max/Plus), or anything newer:

  • Press the Volume Up key and release,
  • Press the Volume Down key and release,
  • Press and hold the Side button.

When you’re using iPhone 7 (Plus):

  • Long press both the Volume Down and Side buttons.

If you’re using iPhone 6, 5, SE (1st Gen), or anything earlier:

  • Long press both the Home and Side buttons.

Release the button(s) when you see the Recovery Mode screen. Take out a USB cable and connect your iPhone to iTunes now. iTunes will detect your iPhone this time.

Sometimes when we are about to turn off the screen lock passcode function on our iPhone, we will fail to do it. Because the Turn Off Passcode option is greyed out. No matter how hard we tap on it, it won’t work.

If this is what bothers you, you can fix it by resetting your iPhone settings. Follow this path: Settings > General > Reset (or Transfer or Reset iPhone) – Reset – Reset All Settings.

Reset iPhone Network Settings

Then, restart your iPhone and try to disable the passcode again.



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