It is a frustrating moment when iPhone users face the spiteful Unavailable Lock Screen message due to multiple erroneous passcodes tried. Apple`s max limit stands at five chances, after which your iPhone is locked.

This security feature mitigates the risk that anyone fumbles with your iPhone without your permission.

If you`re one annoyed user looking for quick solutions around this, well we have some good and bad news for you. It is possible to bypass it, BUT you`ll have to wipe your iPhone and lose data in the process. It`s a sad story, we feel you, however, it`s the golden rule of a bypass. That`s why we highly recommend that you backup often, externally on other devices or in the cloud.

Let`s see what are the possible resolutions, so at least access to your beloved iPhone is restored again. We provide five options hereunder, you`re welcome!

1. Wiping the iPhone

By now you know that we`re not talking about the polishing fibre cloth here, but our first option is the radical one.

So, you forgot your passcode, and hopefully have a backup of your data, photos, videos, etc. If you know your Apple ID and password, have internet connection, and your iPhone is on iOS 15.2 or later, then you`re good to go, if not scroll down to the next method.

Follow these steps:

  • If you`re not already on this screen, keep inputting wrong passcodes (since you forgot the correct one) and here you are, the screen should read iPhone Unavailable along with Erase iPhone option.
  • Click on Erase iPhone, system will prompt you with a message that all content and settings will be erased once the reset triggers. To confirm tap Erase iPhone again.
  • Next you have to log out of your iCloud account by entering your Apple ID password.

That`s it! Now, you can notice that your iPhone is wiping out its data and restarting. You can follow this by viewing the progress bar on your display. 

Once the welcome screen greets you, it means that the unavailable lock screen has been removed. Next, you need to set up your iPhone again, while uploading your backed up data, together with a new passcode.

2. Using the iPhone Unlocker

Here`s an option that doesn`t need your Apple ID details, but you`ll need a Mac or PC for this one.

  • Access iPhone Unlocker on your Mac or PC, and click on Wipe Passcode.
  • Connect your locked iPhone to the Mac or PC, if it can`t be read by the other device, switch it to recovery mode.
  • The Mac or PC will prompt you to confirm the device info of your iPhone, next click on the Start button to download the applicable firmware.
  • System will prompt a warning message that all data will be wiped.
  • Input “0000” in the field provided and tap on the Unlock button. The software will then start wiping your iPhone.

3. Via Recovery Mode

This method is processed in two slightly different ways, depends on which iPhone model you hold.

For iPhone 8 or newer models:

  • Turn off your iPhone.
  • Press and hold your side button together with one of the volume buttons, until the power off slider pops up.
  • Move it to the right to power it off, and wait a bit to make sure it`s totally off.Press and hold the side button, get your lightning cable, connect your iPhone to a Mac or PC, and let go the side button when recovery mode screen shows up.

For iPhone 7, 7 Plus, iPhone 6s or earlier:

  • Turn off your iPhone.
  • On iPhone 7 series, press and hold the volume down button get your lightning cable, connect your iPhone to a Mac or PC, and let go the volume down button when recovery mode screen shows up.
  • If you hold an iPhone 6s or earlier, press and hold down the Home button instead of the volume button.

4. iTunes or Finder to the Rescue!

Yes, you read that right. Again same rules apply, as long as you`re ready to lose all data, and ideally have it backed up, you can use one of the above mentioned as follows:

  • Access iTunes or Finder on your Mac or PC.
  • App will prompt you with a message saying “there is a problem with the iPhone that requires it to be updated or restored”.
  • Choose Restore option.
  • Keep an eye on the prompts, and set configurations requested.
  • Erasing process should start.

Note: This applies to Options 3 and 4 – if your iPhone exits recovery mode after 15 minutes, you will need to repeat the process.
Moreover, could be that if you`re using a Mac you`ll need a macOS Catalina 10.5 or later.

5. Do it with iCloud

As long as you didn`t disable this feature, it should be available by default. Ideally, Find My iPhone was enabled via iCloud settings which is linked to your locked iPhone. If so:

  • Enter your Apple ID and Password to reset the unavailable screen via iCloud Find My iPhone website.

In Find My you can also monitor your iPhone via a map and erase content:

  • Tap on “All Devices” at top centre and select the locked iPhone.
  • Next click on Erase iPhone option on the prompted dialog box.

Again we reiterate that following all above procedures the iPhone will be wiped, thus you need to set it up again, upload backed up data and set a new passcode.

…or Hold On a Bit More!

If on the other hand, you want to avoid bypassing procedures or even erasing data, and you`re not in a hurry, maybe you can even remember the passcode if you wash your face and breathe, well the iPhone will display “try again in X minutes”, then you can have another try to re-enter your passcode.

Alternatively, hoping that you backed up your iPhone`s data, follow one of the methods as shown above, and you should be good in no time.