Introduction

If you purchased a used iDevice, forgot the password on your device or have other software related problems that prevent you from restoring the device normally, this guide will help you access Recovery Mode to force it to restore. Please note this is NOT for the iPhone 7 and up, as these devices use a different method to access Recovery Mode.

Warning! This method erases ALL DATA on the device. Take a backup of the data if at all possible (or know you do not need the data).

iCloud warning: iOS8 and up implement an iCloud activation lock. Restoring the device this way will lock you out of your hardware unless you know what the Apple ID that is currently associated with the device. DO NOT USE THIS METHOD ON DEVICES THAT HAVE BEEN BEEN ICLOUD UNLOCKED THROUGH UNOFFICIAL MEANS!

Clearing a unknown password while keeping the data intact is beyond the scope of this guide. The method to access recovery mode is not dictated by what cable you need.
  • Clearing a unknown password while keeping the data intact is beyond the scope of this guide.

  • The method to access recovery mode is not dictated by what cable you need.

  • Plug your device into a computer. Depending on what you have (and when the device was released), you may need a Lightning or 30-pin cable.

At this point it's coming in my computer: itune couldn’t connect to iPod because it's locked with a passcode.

any idea how to solve that?

Mer - Reply

That’s normal. Put the device in recovery mode and it will not have that problem. Just bear in mind you won’t be able to do a backup of your data.

Nick -

Since I got the device for this guide used, the previous owner's name has been blurred out.
  • Since I got the device for this guide used, the previous owner's name has been blurred out.

  • Once the device is plugged in, verify it shows up in iTunes. The device will not sync while it is locked, but this is normal. Tip: Some older devices (and in some cases, firmware) do not notify you that they need to be unlocked to sync it with your computer.

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With the device plugged into the computer, reset the device. To reset the device, press and hold the power button. Do this while holding the home button at the same time. Both buttons need to be held at the same time.
  • With the device plugged into the computer, reset the device.

  • To reset the device, press and hold the power button. Do this while holding the home button at the same time. Both buttons need to be held at the same time.

  • This is the power button.

  • This is the home button.

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The logo at this screen is firmware and device dependent. 30-pin devices show a screen that is similar to this while Lightning devices replace the male USB plug with a Lightning connector. Once the Apple logo shows up on the screen, let go of the power button. Continue holding the home button until the screen on the example device appears.
  • The logo at this screen is firmware and device dependent. 30-pin devices show a screen that is similar to this while Lightning devices replace the male USB plug with a Lightning connector.

  • Once the Apple logo shows up on the screen, let go of the power button. Continue holding the home button until the screen on the example device appears.

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If you have done the previous steps correctly, the device shows up in iTunes in recovery mode. Click Restore iPod/iPhone and then click Restore and Update. Once you do this, you will have to agree to the EULA. Once you agree to the EULA (not shown), iTunes will download the latest firmware. Once it is downloaded, your device will begin restoring.
  • If you have done the previous steps correctly, the device shows up in iTunes in recovery mode.

  • Click Restore iPod/iPhone and then click Restore and Update. Once you do this, you will have to agree to the EULA.

  • Once you agree to the EULA (not shown), iTunes will download the latest firmware. Once it is downloaded, your device will begin restoring.

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Restoring from a backup is not recommended. The main problem is inadvertently restoring a forgotten device password. If you decide to try your luck and cannot guess the password, you will need to repeat this process. Note: Any old backups you know have a password should be deleted.
  • Restoring from a backup is not recommended. The main problem is inadvertently restoring a forgotten device password. If you decide to try your luck and cannot guess the password, you will need to repeat this process. Note: Any old backups you know have a password should be deleted.

  • Once the device is restored, set it up as a new device. Once you set it up the way you want it, make a new backup to fall back on in the future.

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Finish Line

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Nick

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3 Comments

So what happens when this dosen't work?

Ashanti Lewis - Reply

you are a life saver!!!! thank you so much!

laranishino - Reply

This worked. You must continue to hold the home and power button until the apple logo shows up. Once it shows up, hold the home key. Your iTunes will then have a couple prompts.

Ross Kellman - Reply

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