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Kids were playing with my iPhone X and disabled it (entering wrong password multiple times, "iPhone disabled. Connect to iTunes" on screen).

I know the password, but there's no way to enter it. I don't have a backup, and I want to keep my data on the phone. (I know there's a reset option, which I'll use as the last resort)

This answer on iFixit from 2019 claims that if I update the phone from iTunes, it will allow me to enter the password in an hour.

Can anyone confirm if this works? I don't want to try it and make things worse.

UPDATE: Got off the phone with Apple support, they told me there's no way to get the data back without the backup. So I guess iTunes update referenced in the linked post no longer works that way.


UPDATE 2: Updated via iTunes, was not prompted to backup or to enter password in 1 hour. Phone still says "Connect to iTunes" after update. So I guess Apple support tech was right.

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  • How long is the current timeout? That comment implies you get a strike and know how long you have to wait, not that it shortens the penalty time before you get another chance to enter it wrongly or rightly.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 20:16
  • @bmike no timeout, wrong password was entered too many times.
    – roman m
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 20:21
  • Aah - so you’re forced to connect to iTunes. I hope you get it unlocked.
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 20:32

2 Answers 2

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I would connect this to any iTunes you have that has ever had a chance to save an unlock key for that device. Unless you already have a trust relationship between iTunes in a computer and this phone, it’s going to wait for you to decide to erase it or you find a way to jailbreak it or crack the protection.

If you have full trust, it will reverse the disable when it’s connected to the internet and your phone is connected and everything is working. Update should prompt to make a backup, allow it. Restore likely will not do a backup, but I don’t have a disabled device to test this for you.

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  • I have trusted Mac, it only offers to Restore or Update. But I don't have a backup to restore from.
    – roman m
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 20:34
  • Update should be safe. That offers to backup in my experience
    – bmike
    Commented Aug 23, 2020 at 20:34
  • Ran update, didn't prompt to back things up or enter password - too bad.
    – roman m
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 18:45
0

The iFixit post you reference says to play the device in recovery mode, then update it through iTunes. To enter recovery mode, follow the instructions here. Make sure to choose update when prompted and not restore. If an update isn't available you can for a newer version of iOS to be released, but that may take months.

Apple says the update option will not remove data, but I cannot be sure myself as I've never tried it before.

Otherwise you could try 3rd-party blocking software, but that is risky and potentially dangerous and therefore I wouldn't recommend it.

Your only option might be to restore and loose your data.

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