How to Use iTunes to Unlock an iPhone

When you can’t manage to access your iPhone, iTunes is here to help. Below, we look at how to unlock a locked iPhone using iTunes. Whether you remember the password and lock passcode or not, there’s a way out unlocking your iPhone.

In addition, it also makes no difference what triggers your iPhone to lock and display the unavailable or Security Lockout screen, such as forgotten passwords, numerous unsuccessful login tries, a jammed lock screen, or other unforeseen problems. You can effortlessly and effectively solve this problem by using iTunes to unlock your iPhone.

Notice: All your data and settings will be erased when you unlock your iPhone with iTunes to make it work again. If you have an up-to-date copy of your phone’s data or can do a backup when you unlock the phone, you will not lose your data. You can restore the iPhone from the previous backups to get your data back. If you don’t, you’ll lose everything after having the phone back on.

To use iTunes to unlock your iPhone (or Finder), all you need are:

  • A computer (It’s best to use a laptop or desktop with which you’ve already used iTunes to sync your iPhone.)
  • A USB cord from Apple

There are 2 proven ways to use iTunes to unlock your iPhone:

Method 1:

For this method, it’s important to note that if you use a computer with which you’ve previously synchronized an iPhone using iTunes, you can’t use iTunes on that computer.

Below we look at how to operate iTunes on a PC to unlock an iPhone passcode, which is almost the same as using iTunes or Finder on a Mac.

1. Use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to your computer.

2. Open up iTunes. Check that you are using the newest iTunes version.

3. If you’ve synced your iPhone with this computer using iTunes, at the top left corner of the iTunes window, an iPhone icon will appear when iTunes finds it. (In Finder, the device will appear in the left sidebar.) Just click it. If not, proceed to step 4.

4. Click Summary on the left side of the iTunes screen. If you don’t have a backup of the iPhone you want to unlock, click the ‘Back Up Now’ button to use iTunes to create one. Move on when you’re done. (If you’re using Finder, click General. Then, choose “Back up all the data on your iPhone to this Mac ” and click Back up Now to make a backup.)

5. Press the “Restore iPhone” button, and then press it again. The phone will then start to be unlocked by iTunes.

Method 2:

This method applies for 2 scenarios:

  1. If you use an iPhone on a computer that has never been synced with iTunes and, 
  2. if you can’t get iTunes or Finder to recognize your iPhone because you forgot the passcode for the lock screen or because it says, “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes”? 

Good news is, you don’t have to worry as you can fix it by putting your iPhone into recovery mode and then using iTunes without a passcode to unlock your iPhone.

Recovery mode puts an iPhone in a state where iTunes (or Finder) can find and restore it. Different models have different ways to get into recovery mode. For:

iPhone 8, X, XS, XR, SE (2nd Gen), 11, 12, or later: 

It would be best to keep pressing the up/down volume and side buttons. When the power off slider appears, you can turn off the device by letting go of the controls and dragging the slider to the right. Afterwards, keep holding the Side button as you connect your iPhone to the computer until you see the recovery mode screen.

iPhone 7 (Plus):

Keep holding the Side button until the red power off slider appears. Move the slider to turn the device off. Next, keep holding down the Volume down button, and connect your iPhone to the computer in the meantime. When the recovery mode screen appears on your device, release the button.

iPhones older than 6s:

Hold the Side (or Top) button until “slide to power off” appears on the screen. Then, drag the red slider to the right to turn off your device. Afterwards, hold down the Home button while you connect your iPhone to your computer. Let go of the button when the phone goes into recovery mode.

If going with the iTunes option to unlock your iPhone, here’s how to go about it. In the window of iTunes or Finder, choose to Restore when a box pops up with the Restore and Update options.

Afterwards, iTunes (or Finder) will clean your iPhone and reinstall the last installed iOS software. If your device leaves recovery mode on its own after 15 minutes, you’ll need to repeat the steps above to get it back into recovery mode, so you can use iTunes to unlock your iPhone.

Once iTunes is done unlocking the phone, you can set it up as a new phone or follow the steps below to restore from an iTunes or iCloud backup.

Restore from a backup in iTunes:

After iTunes unlocks your device, when it starts up, follow the instructions on the screen to set it up. When you get to the screen for Apps & Data, choose Restore from Mac or PC. Then, plug your iPhone up to your computer. Click your iPhone in iTunes (or Finder) and then click Restore Backup. Select the backup you want to utilize and then click Restore.

Restore from a backup in iCloud:

Tap Restore from iCloud backup on the Apps & Data screen. Sign in with your Apple ID to iCloud and choose a backup to restore and follow through with the steps.

iPhone Unlocker is an excellent alternative to iTunes.

iPhone Unlocker also makes it easy to wipe a clean iPhone to unlock it with no buttons to be pressed, fixing problems that come up when unlocking an iPhone through iTunes, such as:

  • “To allow access, please tap your iPhone…” in iTunes.
  • When you try to back up your iPhone in iTunes, you get the message, “iPhone is locked with a passcode. Please try again later.”
  • iTunes tells you that “The iPhone is locked with a passcode so that iTunes couldn’t connect to it. Before using your iPhone with iTunes, you must enter your passcode.”

This tool can also erase the Apple ID, Touch ID, or Face ID with just a few clicks. It can unlock your iPhone, iPad, or iPod to remove the passcode for the lock screen or Screen Time. That’s how you can get into your iPhone.

Using this information, you can rest assured to have your iPhone unlocked, not only using iTunes but also through the alternatives presented above. In case you still find it difficult to unlock your iPhone, consider visiting Mr. Fix Cell Phone & Computer Repair for assistance.