How to Unlock a Disabled iPhone/iPad without iTunes?

Hi Darren, Thank you so much for sharing so many helpful tips. I’m now facing an annoying problem. I forgot my passcode which was set a long time ago. I can only access it via fingerprints. Yesterday, when I reboot my iPhone, it required me to enter the passcode which I don’t know. Due to too many incorrect attempts, it was disabled. iTunes failed to unlock it. So, is there any way I can use to unlock a disabled iPhone without iTunes? Any help would be much appreciated!

This is one of my readers sent to me. I think there is more than one issue like this. That’s why I made this post.

Of course, there are several ways allow you to reset a disabled iPhone without iTunes.

Before coming to the article, you should never miss the first part.

Have You Tried the DFU Mode?

It’s a little early to say “iTunes failed to unlock my iPhone” before you try the DFU mode with iTunes.

Most of the people have been wrong to believe that DFU mode equates to Recovery mode.

However, they are different. iPhone restored with DFU mode owns a purer iOS system than Recovery mode.

So, when you cannot unlock your disabled iPhone in Recovery mode, you can try to unlock it in DFU mode.

Steps to Unlock a Disabled iPhone in DFU Mode

Step 1. Connect the device into your computer.

Step 2. Put your device into DFU mode:

For iPhone 8 or Later:

  • Quickly press the Volume Up button then Volume Down button. Press and hold the side button, don’t release it while the screen turns black.
  • While still holding the side button, press and hold the Volume Down button for 5 seconds
  • Then release the side button and hold the Volume Down button for 10 seconds.


For iPhone 7/7Plus:

  • Press and hold the Volume Down and side buttons for 10 seconds.
  • Release the the side button and continue holding the Volume Down button for 5 seconds.


For iPad & iPhone 6 or Earlier:

  • Press the Home and Power buttons for 10 seconds.
  • Release the Power button but continue holding Home button for 5 seconds.


Step 3. Launch iTunes, you should see a message stating that “iTunes has detected an iPhone in Recovery mode…” although it is in DFU mode. Click OK.


Step 4. Then Click on Restore iPhone to download the firmware package to restore your iPhone to the latest iOS.

After the above steps, your disabled iPhone will be unlocked.

Still need help after reading the first part? Read on to find the ultimate guide on how to fix a disabled iPhone without iTunes.

Like most of my posts, I’ll share pros and cons for each method.

How to Unlock a Disabled iPhone without iTunes? Give iCloud a Try

The first one to undisable an iPhone without iTunes would be using iCloud. Let’s cut to the chase:

Unlock a Disable iPhone without iTunes – via iCloud

Step 1. Go to via your browser.

Step 2. Here, you’ll be asked for iCloud account credentials. Enter the account and password to log in.

Step 3. Now, you’ll see several options, click on “Find iPhone”


Step 4. Afterwards, click on “All Devices” at the top of the window. Then choose your disabled iPhone.


Step 5. Here are three options available for you:

  • Play Sound: Make your iOS devices vibrate and play a sound immediately for two minutes. This helps you to find your iPhone if you lost it nearby.
  • Lost Mode: Allows you to lock and track your lost iOS devices remotely.
  • Erase: Erase all the data and settings from your iPhone (except iCloud account).


All of the above options only work when your iPhone is online.

Here choose the Erase option. If your device is online, the remote erase begins. Or it will remote erase the next time it’s online.

Step 6. Last, set up your device and restore it from your iCloud backup (if available).

Let’s see the pros and cons of this method.


  • Unlock iPhone passcode without iTunes.
  • If there is a backup in iCloud, you can unlock your disabled iPhone without losing data.


  • Find My iPhone must be enabled before your iPhone is disabled.
  • It only works when your iPhone is online (connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi or Cellular ). In other words, if both Wi-Fi and Cellular options have been turned off before the iPhone is disabled, this method will never work.

If iTunes failed to reset your disabled iPhone, and Find My iPhone hasn’t been enabled, you can still unlock your device. Read on to find how.

How to Unlock a Disabled iPhone without iTunes or iCloud?

Neither iTunes nor iCloud work for your disabled device? Fear not, you can also use third-party software.

Here recommend Tenorshare 4ukey, this software is the most mature unlock software among competitors.

windows-version mac-version

Let’s cut to the chase:

Steps to Fix Disabled iPhone without iTunes or iCloud

Step 1. Launch Tenorshare 4ukey on your computer. Then click on Unlock Lock Screen Passcode.

unlock lock screen 4ukey

Step 2. Boot iPhone into DFU/Recovery mode.

4ukey enter recovery mode

Step 3. Download the matched firmware package. And start unlock after downloading.

4ukey start download firmware

It will take about 5 mins to enable a disabled iPhone.

remove passcode successfully

You may wonder the difference between Tenorshare 4ukey and iTunes:

Compared with iTunes, Tenorshare 4ukey has two more unlock methods which enable you to unlock a disabled iPhone while iTunes cannot work for you.


  • Unlock a disabled iPhone without iTunes or iCloud
  • Two more unlock methods than iTunes
  • Support all iOS versions and devices including the latest iOS 15 and iPhone 12
  • Remove passcode, Touch ID, Face ID without any password
  • No tech knowledge required


  • Although it owns the highest success rate among all the methods, it’s not free.

That’s all about unlocking a disabled iPhone without iTunes or iCloud, if you have any questions, feel free to contact me or leave your comments.

About the Author

Darren is an Apple Certified Independent Technician with a passion for researching all aspects of phone locks, including Activation Lock, carrier lock, screen lock, FRP lock, and more. With years of experience in the mobile phone industry, Darren has become a leading authority in his field and has been a sought-after consultant for individuals and businesses seeking to unlock their devices.


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