Apple Device - Recovery Mode, Activation Lock, Passcode

Modified on Fri, 02 Mar 2018 at 10:26 AM

At some point you may come across an apple device (iPhone, iPad, iPod) that has an "Activation Lock" or is disabled due to entering the passcode to many times. The passcode can be bypassed but the activation lock can not. Therefore here are your options for both the activation lock and the disabled passcode issue.

Activation Lock 

This usually occurs when the apple device has been used by a previous owner but they did not sign out of their ipad within the itunes and app store section and icloud. It is also possible that they may have locked the ipad from the "find iphone"app on You will not be able to wipe the device clean and bypass this activation lock due to the way Apple's Security is setup. 

Therefore, here are your options:

  1. Contact the previous owner - this may or may not be an option but if it is, it's the easiest way to resolve this issue. If they are not with you and the device or they do not feel comfortable giving you their apple id and password information, then you can tell them to go to They would then sign in with their apple account information and then click "all devices". From there, they would select the device in question and choose "remove from account" and confirm by typing in their apple id password. This will remove the device from their account and you should be good to go. However, you may need to restart the ipad.
  2. Contact AppleCare (800-800-2775) - When you contact apple, you will need to let them know the situation regarding the activation lock and will have to show them proof of purchase to prove to them that it is your device. Then they will refer you to a special department that takes care of these issues and will unlock the iPad for you. From what I was told, this special department can not be contacted directly, but they will probably supply you with an email address for this department so that you can send in all your documentation that will need. 

Disabled/locked - due to passcode entered incorrectly

When an apple device is disabled it is usually due to entering the passcode incorrectly too many times or the previous user created a passcode on the device.

The only way to bypass a passcode is to perform a factory restore/wipe while in recovery mode. Recovery mode allows for the device to proceed even though it's currently disabled and needs a passcode. First, here are the things you will need:

  1. Connect your apple device to your computer with your USB cable
  2. Open itunes
  3. Put your device into "recovery mode". Recovery mode is when you see the itunes logo and the usb cable icon displayed on the apple device. Here is how to put the device into recovery mode according to the model of your device.
    • On an iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Then press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Finally, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery-mode screen which appears after the apple icon.
    • On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery-mode screen which appears after the apple icon.
    • On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery-mode screen which appears after the apple icon.
  4. Itunes should then prompt you with an option to update or restore. Choose restore. Follow the onscreen instructions to continue. Itunes may take the time to download and install an up-to-date iOS version in the process so it can take some time.


Was this article helpful?

That’s Great!

Thank you for your feedback

Sorry! We couldn't be helpful

Thank you for your feedback

Let us know how can we improve this article!

Select atleast one of the reasons
CAPTCHA verification is required.

Feedback sent

We appreciate your effort and will try to fix the article