My iPad (2.5yo) has a device passcode that I seem to have forgotten, and only way around seems to be to "erase" the device (by pressing Home and top power button together to hard-reset), but that always simply restarts the device and does nothing else, i.e. it doesn't go into the so-called "Recovery mode" but instead boot into regular iOS where I can login to use various iOS apps. I was following procedure mentioned here: https://support.apple.com/en-in/HT204306#recovery

The device passcode is needed to "pair" the device with iTunes (on my Windows PC), as it is not paired yet, and nor is the device sync'd with iTunes.

Please note that I've already tried all passwords I could recollect and am at the 8th attempt, where device gets disabled for 15minutes, and for next wrong attempt, I think it'd get disabled for 1 hour.

Also, I am able to login to the iPad using touch-id, and launch applications etc. Only the "device passcode" is what I think I have a problem with.

  • You did connect your iPad to your computer before restarting? Is Find my iPad disabled?
    – nohillside
    Oct 26, 2018 at 13:43
  • Yes, I did. However, I think I am in sort of a corner-case where this would have been the first time I'd have connected my iPad to iTunes on my PC, and to do so it apparently needs the device passcode (which I've forgotten). So even though iPad detects that it is connected to iTunes/PC, and asks me if it is a trusted computer (to which I say yes), it doesn't enter the recovery mode -- probably because the handshake between iPad and iTunes/PC wasn't complete. Seems like a chicken-and-egg problem.
    – bdutta74
    Oct 26, 2018 at 13:51
  • You're aware that you are not supposed to merely press the home and top buttons, but to press and hold them down? If I recall correctly, it can take up to ten seconds before it responds with the restore screen. If you let go of either button too early, that won't happen. Oct 26, 2018 at 13:58
  • Indeed, I did press and hold them down, both at the same time, pretty firmly. I've tried that with the iPad already connected with PC via USB and also while disconnected from the PC.
    – bdutta74
    Oct 26, 2018 at 14:01

1 Answer 1


To put your iPad in restore mode:

  • Connect your iPad to your computer (iPad and Computer turned on, iTunes opened on computer)
  • Press and hold Sleep/Wake + Home button until the screen goes black
  • Release the Sleep/Wake-Button but KEEP PRESSING THE HOME BUTTON until the iTunes logo appears on the iPad. Now in iTunes you should be able to press "Restore".

(The iPad Software will download, if the iPad exits restore mode while the download happens repeat the steps when the software finished downloading...)

NOTE: All the data on the iPad will be lost.

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