Your iPhone says “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes” and you can’t access it? It doesn’t let you enter your passcode to unlock it? If you are stuck in this situation and don’t know what to do, then you have come to the right place. This post will demonstrate how to fix this issue to get your iPhone out of disabled mode and unlocked.
Why does my iPhone say “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes”?
If your iPhone says “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes”, it is usually because you have entered the wrong passcode too many times in a row on its lock screen. This is an Apple security feature designed to prevent iPhone passcodes from being maliciously guessed or brute force cracked. As a result, once the number of incorrect passcode entries in a row reaches the limit set by Apple (usually ten), your iPhone will display “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes”. The message means your iPhone has been locked down for security purposes and needs to connect to iTunes to be unlocked. If this occurs with iOS 15.2 or above, the iPhone will display iPhone Unavailable, which is the same as the “iPhone is disabled” issue.
The iPhone disabled issue can occur in the following scenarios.
- You forget your iPhone passcode and then keep entering the wrong one to unlock your device.
- You leave your iPhone with a young child, and then he keeps typing in random passcodes.
- You put your iPhone in your pocket or bag, and then it tries to unlock itself with a random passcode.
- Your iPhone has a screen problem or a settings conflict that causes it to be disabled and say “connect to iTunes”.
What to do when iPhone is disabled and says Connect to iTunes?
When your iPhone says “iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes”, restarting it or waiting a while doesn’t change anything. This means that your iPhone will be disabled forever until you connect it to iTunes to fix it. But what if your disabled iPhone can’t connect to iTunes, or you don’t have a computer nearby to run iTunes? Fortunately, there are several methods that allow you to fix or unlock a disabled iPhone without iTunes and a computer. Let’s start learning about these methods.
Method 1: Fix disabled iPhone by connecting to iTunes
Simply connecting the iPhone to iTunes without taking any further steps does not get it out of disabled mode and unlocked. What you have to do is to restore the iPhone to its factory settings using iTunes to remove all data, including the disabled mode.
Make sure you have a computer with the latest version of iTunes installed on it, then follow the instructions below to fix your disabled iPhone.
Step 1: Unplug the disabled iPhone from your computer if it’s connected, and then turn it off.
Step 2: Press and hold the correct button while immediately connecting the iPhone to the computer using a USB or USB-C cable.
If you use iPhone 8 or later, it’s the Side button you need to press and hold. Press and hold the Volume down button if it’s an iPhone 7. And, press and hold the Home button on an iPhone 6s or earlier.
Step 3: Keep holding the button until you see the recovery mode screen on your iPhone, then release it.
Step 4: Open iTunes and it will automatically detect your connected iPhone and pop up a small dialog box containing Update and Restore options. To get your iPhone out of disabled mode, select the Restore option.
Step 5: Select Update and Restore, then follow the on-screen instructions and iTunes will restore your iPhone to factory settings.
Step 6: Once the factory restore is successful, your iPhone gets out of disabled mode and restarts. Then you simply need to re-set it up to gain access.
Method 2: Unlock disabled iPhone without iTunes
If your disabled iPhone won’t connect to iTunes, or iTunes doesn’t work for you, here’s how to get your iPhone out of disabled mode without connecting to iTunes. What you need is the iSumsoft iPhone Passcode Refixer. iSumsoft iPhone Passcode Refixer is a specialized iPhone unlocking tool that allows you to unlock locked and disabled iPhones without using iTunes.
You first need to install iSumsoft iPhone Passcode Refixer on your Windows 10/11 PC, then adhere to the instructions below to unlock your disabled iPhone without iTunes.
Step 1: Open iSumsoft iPhone Passcode Refixer and select the Unlock Lock Screen option.
Step 2: On the following page, simply click the Start button to confirm that you want to use this option to unlock your disabled iPhone.
Step 3: Connect your disabled iPhone to your PC using a USB or USB-C cable, put it in recovery mode, and then click Next on the software page.
Step 5: Your connected iPhone will be instantly recognized by the software, which will then display your device type on the interface. The Apple firmware required to unlock the disabled iPhone must then be downloaded. When you click the download button, the software will automatically begin downloading the necessary firmware; all you have to do is wait a short while for the download to finish.
Step 6: After downloading the firmware, click the Unlock button and the software will immediately start unlocking your disabled iPhone.
Step 7: After a few minutes, the software screen will show “Unlocked Screen successfully”, meaning that your iPhone is out of disabled mode and unlocked.
Method 3: Fix the disabled iPhone without iTunes and computer
What if you don’t even have a computer to run iTunes or iSumsoft iPhone Passcode Refixer to fix your disabled iPhone? If that’s the case, we recommend borrowing a computer from a friend. If you are unable to borrow a computer, iCloud is the last resort to unlock an iPhone that is disabled and says “connect to iTunes” without using iTunes and a computer. Note that this method works only if you have “Find My iPhone” enabled on your iPhone.
Make sure your disabled iPhone is powered on and connected to the network, then follow the steps below to fix it without using iTunes and a computer.
Step 1: Go to icloud.com on any working device such as an iPhone, iPad or Android phone, then sign in with your Apple ID and password used on the disabled iPhone.
Step 2: If you can sign in, click the Find My app on the iCloud home page. If you can’t sign in due to two-factor authentication, click Find Devices on the verification code entry page.
Step 3: On the iCloud Find Devices page, select your iPhone that is disabled, and then tap Erase iPhone.
Step 4: Follow the on-screen instructions and the iCloud Find Devices service will erase your iPhone to get it out of disabled mode.
To Sum It Up:
Your iPhone may get disabled and say “connect to iTunes” due to too many passcode attempts, screen issues, or software glitches. To fix this issue and get your iPhone out of disabled mode, you can connect it to iTunes and then perform a factory restore. If your disabled iPhone won’t connect to iTunes, iSumsoft iPhone Passcode Refixer is your second option, which allows you to fix and unlock your disabled iPhone without iTunes. If you don’t have a computer, iCloud is the last resort to unlock your disabled iPhone without a computer.
All three methods mentioned above will delete all user data on the iPhone, so you will need to restore data from a backup after your iPhone successfully gets out of the disabled mode. There is no way to unlock an iPhone that is disabled and says “connect to iTunes” without losing any data unless have already backed up the iPhone before it gets disabled.