I forgot my iPhone's lock code. I don't believe I have an iCloud/Find my iPhone configured on there. I never synced with iTunes. I'm fine with deleting all the content on the device.

I tried following the directions on Apple's website to enter recovery mode:

  1. Tap Volume up button.
  2. Tap Volume down button.
  3. Press and hold the side button.
  4. This shows me the "slide to power off" slider and a "cancel" button.
  5. Continuing to hold it restarts the iPhone.
  6. The Apple Logo appears.
  7. I continue holding the side button because it states:

    don't release the buttons when you see the Apple logo, wait until the connect to iTunes screen appears

  8. After the phone is done rebooting, I see a screen that says:

    iPhone is disabled. try again in 15 minutes.

  9. It does not enter recovery mode.

Note: I did try entering the passcode several times a day before and it got disabled for 15 minutes at the longest setting. However, I waited over 12 hours before I tried again, so the 15 minutes should not be a problem. To be sure, I waited another 15 minutes and repeated the whole process to no avail.

I even tried holding all 3 buttons to perform a restart, but this just entered Diagnostics mode, didn't show up in iTunes, and had no option to enter recovery mode.

No matter what I do, I can't get iTunes to recognize the device to start the recovery process.

I tried on another computer to no avail.

Any ideas how to enter recovery mode or wipe a phone if you forgot its password and it went into "disabled" mode?

1 Answer 1


Looks like the way to resolve this is:

  1. Tap volume up
  2. Tap volume down
  3. Hold side button
  4. When the "slide to power off" screen appears, let go of the side button.
  5. Slide to power off the phone completely.
  6. Once the phone is shut off, make sure it's plugged into iTunes.
  7. Hold the side button to power on and continue holding it until the recovery screen shows up.

Therefore, the key is to shut it down completely instead of using the restart method as Apple recommends.

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