(5 Ways) How to Bypass Security Lockout on iPhone/iPad

by J. Robertson Macaulay D. Young Updated On Dec 13, 2023 Published On Mar 23, 2023 iOS

Forgetting the passcode to your iPhone or iPad is a lot more common than you may think. The only issue is when you enter the wrong passcode on an iPhone or iPad multiple times; you are at risk of facing a security lockout.

In this guide, we'll guide you through the steps to unlock the security lockout on your iPhone or iPad. Let's begin!

security Lockout

What Is Security Lockout on iPhone?

The Security Lockout system on an iPhone is a protective measure implemented by Apple in iOS 15.2 update to ensure the security of your device and its data from unauthorized access.

If someone attempts to unlock your iPhone with an incorrect passcode more than 5 times, the device enters a security lockout state, displaying the iPhone Unavailable or Security Lockout screen. This prevents sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.

How long does the Security Lockout message last?

To avoid accidentally locking yourself out of your iPhone forever, Apple has introduced these security lockout times. The length of these lockout times depends on how many incorrect passcode attempts are made on the login screen and the iOS version you are using.

You have several attempts to enter the correct passcode before your iPhone displays the iPhone Unavailable or Security lockout screen. After that, the lockout time increases with each unsuccessful attempt.

For iOS 16 or later

  • On the 4th failed attempt: iPhone unavailable try again in 1 minute
  • On the 5th failed attempt: iPhone unavailable try again in 5 minutes
  • On the 6th failed attempt: iPhone unavailable try again in 15 minutes
  • On the 7th failed attempt: iPhone unavailable try again in 1 hour
  • On the 8th failed attempt: iPhone unavailable try again in 3 hours
  • On the 9th failed attempt: iPhone unavailable try again in 8 hours

For iOS 15.2 - iOS 15.8

  • On the 6th failed attempt, Your iPhone is locked for 1 minute
  • On the 7th failed attempt, Your iPhone is locked for 5 minutes
  • On the 8th failed attempt, Your iPhone is locked for 10 minutes
  • On the 9th failed attempt, Your iPhone is locked for 15 minutes
  • On the 10th failed attempt, Your iPhone is locked for 1 hour
  • On the 11th failed attempt, your iPhone becomes permanently locked

What's the difference between Security Lockout and iPhone Unavailable?

Even though both terms mean the same thing, you'll only see the "Security Lockout" screen if your phone is connected to the internet (using cellular or Wi-Fi) and you've turned on Find My. If not, you'll see the iPhone Unavailable message.

Bypass Security Lockout Using "Erase Device"

Before applying "Erase Device" to bypass the iPhone security lockout, Please ensure:

  • You know the Apple ID/password for the device.
  • Your device must be connected to a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
  • Your device should have at least iOS 15.2 installed.

For iOS 15 and 16

Here are the steps:

1. Once the iPhone is locked out, and you cannot further enter the passcode, tap the Erase Device option.

2. Tap Erase Device again before providing your Apple ID credentials.

3. Press Erase Device again to reset the device to default settings.

4. Now, follow the onscreen instructions to enable the phone, and if you have a backup on iCloud, restore it as well.

Bypass Security Lockout Using the Official Way

For iOS 17

If you're using an eSIM and your iPhone is running iOS 16 or an earlier version, it's crucial to reach out to your carrier first. Ask them for a QR code to help you reconfigure your eSIM.

Follow these steps if you encounter the "[Device] Unavailable" screen on an iOS 17 device:

1. Enter your passcode on the Lock Screen until the "[Device] Unavailable" screen appears.

2. Tap on the "Forgot Passcode?" option in the bottom corner of the screen when it becomes available.

3. On the next screen, tap "Start [Device] Reset" to confirm.

4. Enter your Apple ID password to sign out of your Apple ID on your device.

5. Tap "Erase [Device]" to permanently delete all your data and settings.

6. If you use an eSIM with iOS 17 or later, you can choose to keep your eSIM and erase your data or delete your eSIM and erase your data.

Once your device restarts, follow the on-screen instructions to set it up again, restore your data and settings from a backup, and set a new passcode.

unlock iphone security lockout For iOS 17


  • If you can't follow these steps, you have the option to use a computer to reset your device.
  • The "Security Lockout" screen is accessible only with an active cellular or Wi-Fi connection, and you must have previously enabled Find My on your device.
  • If you recently changed passcodes, you can use your old passcode within 72 hours to sign in temporarily. Use the Passcode Reset feature by tapping "Forgot Passcode?" on the Lock Screen, follow the on-screen instructions, enter your old passcode, and set a new one immediately.

If you recently changed passcode on iOS 17 or later

If you recently changed your passcode on iOS 17 or later, you have a 72-hour window during which you can still sign in using your old passcode. Here's how to do it:

1. On your device's Lock Screen, keep trying your passcode until you see the "[Device] Unavailable" screen asking you to try again later.

2. When possible, tap on "Forgot Passcode?" in the bottom corner of the screen.

3. Select "Try Passcode Reset."

4. Enter your old passcode and follow the onscreen instructions to set a new passcode. Remember to change it immediately after signing in.

Use your old passcode, if you recently changed your passcode on iOS 17 or later

Via iCloud.com

With the help of the Find My iPhone feature on your iCloud account, you can also quickly bypass the security lockout.

However, please make sure the following requirements:

  • The locked device should have enabled the Find My iPhone before it is locked.
  • The device must be connected to a network for this method to work.
  • You'll need the Apple ID and password you used to set up your device.
  • A browser to visit icloud.com is required.

The steps are as follows:

1. Open the iCloud website and enter your login credentials to access the platform. You can use any device and browser here.

2. Next, tap the Find My option, and click on All Devices before selecting the locked iPhone.

3. Next, click on Erase iPhone to reset the device to default settings. This will also remove the passcode on your device.

4. Wait for the process to finish. After that, you can setup your device without the security lockout screen!

Wait for the process to finish

Unlock Security Lockout Using a Computer

Another quick way to unlock Security lockout involves using a computer. If you've synced your iPhone or iPad to iTunes or Finder before, you can use a recent backup to restore your device and the passcode as well.

Here's how to do it using iTunes or Finder on your Windows or Mac computer:

Using a Windows Computer:

  1. Connect your disabled device to the computer you synced with using a Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes. If it doesn't ask for a passcode, you're good to go. If it does, try another computer you synced with.
  3. Wait for iTunes to sync your device and create a backup.
  4. After syncing, click "Restore iPhone" and let the process finish, reinstalling iOS from scratch.
  5. Once complete, the iOS setup screen will appear on your device. Tap "Restore from iTunes backup."
  6. Choose the latest backup to restore your data, remove the passcode, and set up a new one.

Unlock Security Lockout Using a Computer

Using a Mac:

  1. Connect your disabled device to your Mac with a Lightning cable.
  2. Open Finder and find your device in the sidebar under Locations.
  3. Click on "General" at the top of the window.
  4. Scroll down to "Backups" and choose "Restore Backup."
  5. Pick the backup you want to restore from (either locally or on iCloud).
  6. Enter your Mac password and click "Restore." This will restore your data, remove the passcode, and let you set up a new one.

Using a Mac

Unlock Security Lockout Using Recovery Mode

If you haven't synced your iPhone or iPad to iTunes or Finder before, your only choice is to restore your device in Recovery Mode. This will wipe out all your data and set up your iPhone or iPad as a brand new one.

Check the following steps to learn how to unlock the iPhone security lockout using Recovery Mode:

1. Turn off the iPhone.

 power off iPhone

2. Then, enter Recovery Mode by applying the below-mentioned instructions relevant to your iPhone model:

For iPhone X and later:Quickly press and release the volume up button. Quickly press and release the volume down button. Then, press and hold the side button until the recovery mode screen appears.

iPhone 8 or later in recovery mode

For iPhone 7 and subsequent versions: Keep pressing the the top (or side) and Volume Down buttons until the Recovery Mode is shown.

iPhone 7 in recovery mode

For iPhone 6 and older: Continue holding the Home and the top (or side) buttons till the point when the screen shows the Recovery Mode icon.

iPhone 6s in recovery mode

3. Now, access iTunes on Windows computer or older macOS versions or open Finder on later Mac computer.

4. Connect the iPhone to the computer.

5. Click Restore when iTunes displays the following notification: "There is a problem with the iPhone that requires it to be updated or restored".

finder recovery mode notification

It will take approximately 15 minutes for iTunes to restore the device.

Unlock Security Lockout without iTunes or iCloud

If the upper methods took too long time that you can bear, or you just want to find an easier way to unlock your device without iTunes or iCloud, don't worry, there's another solution: Unlockit iPhone.

This software is one of the most effective iPhone unlockers which can help you unlock iPhone unavailable or security lockout and regain access to your iOS device in just a few simple steps.

The software also offers several other features, such as bypassing Apple ID, MDM lock, and screen time passcode.

Here is how you can navigate this software after downloading it on your computer:

Step 1: Launch the Software

After downloading and running the program on your computer, click "Unlock Screen Passcode" section.

Also, connect the locked iPhone to the computer.

launch Unlockit iPhone

Step 2: Download Firmware

Unlockit iPhone will display the correct model and software version of the iPhone. Click Download to download the firmware.

download is complete

Step 3: Bypass the Security Lockout

When the firmware is downloaded, click the Remove button to bypass the security lockout screen on the device.

unlocking is complete

It is that simple!


Are There Any Ways to Unlock the Security Lockout iPhone Without a Computer?

Yes! Use your smartphone to access the iCloud account. From there, you can remotely reset the locked-out iOS device. Once the process is complete, power the iPhone and set up the device using your Apple ID credentials.

Can you Fix iPhone Security Lockout Without Losing Data?

We have bad news!

Once you enter the wrong passcode for the 10th time, and the device is permanently locked out, there is no direct way to bypass it without data loss.

So it is essential to create your iPhone backup on iCloud or iTunes regularly. This way, your files will be available instantly once you factory reset the iPhone.

To Conclude

You may feel that forgetting your iPhone passcode and getting locked out from it is a bit clumsy.

Do not beat yourself up, as it can happen to the best of us. The important thing is to act appropriately to re-access it without further delay.

Simply apply any of the top methods mentioned in our guide, like Unlockit iPhone, to make the iOS device functional again.

J. Robertson Macaulay D. Young

Mako is a technical writer with a passion for all things tech. Whether you're wondering about how to fix your iPhone or Android device or trying to get something to work in your settings, Mako is your go-to for professional help. He loves writing, testing solutions, and most of all, making sure his research is factually accurate.

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