I recently lent an older iPhone 4 to a family member. They’ve since upgraded to an iPhone 5 and returned my older iPhone. With it returning to home base, I planned to restore it, clean it up and perhaps sell it. When booting up initially, I received a warning in iTunes that it could not be accessed due to a passcode. Now I could have phoned my niece, but remembered there is an easy way to restore an iPhone without a passcode.
Connect your iPhone to your Mac or PC using the included USB cable.
- Press and hold the sleep/wake – power button at the top of your iPhone
- You’ll have the option to Slide to power off and you’ll want to do just that.
- Release the sleep/wake button
- Immediately press and hold the home button
In a matter of seconds, you should see this screen on your iPhone prompting you to connect to iTunes.
With iTunes open on your computer, you’ll see a message stating, “iTunes has detected an iPhone in recovery mode. You must restore this iPhone before it can be used with iTunes”.
If and when you press ‘Ok’, you’ll find yourself back in iTunes with an option to Restore iPhone. If you click on this button, iTunes will restore this iPhone to its factory state. You’ll be forewarned of the following:
Are you sure you want to restore the iPhone to its factory settings? All of your media and data will be erased, and the newest version of the iPhone software will be installed.
To proceed, select Restore and Upgrade. Upon completion, you can enter your iCloud and Apple ID credentials during the initial iPhone setup process.
There are many reasons why you might need to restore an iPhone that is protected by a passcode. Follow these easy steps to restore your iPhone. If you are forgetful, remember to use a passcode that’s easy to remember, but unique enough that it won’t be easily guessed should your iPhone fall into the wrong hands. And next time you lend out an iPhone, be sure to ask them to restore it before returning it locked.