One way to ensure the safety of your phone is to keep it password protected. Most people use a password they remember, often a series of numbers.
iPhones, like other smartphones, allow you to lock your phone with a passcode of your choice. To keep the phone protected, entering the incorrect password too many times will lock the phone. This keeps thieves from stealing your personal information if they steal your phone.
Oops, I Locked Myself Out of My iPhone!
Unfortunately, this means you might lock yourself out of your own iPhone, simply by making a mistake. The number of people who lock themselves out of their phones is higher than the number of thieves who attempt to break into these devices.
While passcodes are an important level of protection, they also mean you’re in danger from yourself. Once your device has been locked, you need to unlock the device. That could mean either paying a professional at your local Apple store to unlock it for you or restoring the device yourself.
Do It Yourself
If you accidentally lock yourself out of your iPhone, you don’t have to find an Apple store or local big box electronics retailer to have a professional charge you hundreds of dollars to unlock the phone. It is possible to do this yourself, at no cost, but it means you have to understand the steps.
Use iTunes: Keeping your iPhone information backed up is important, so be sure to take advantage of Apple’s cloud storage options like iTunes. If you have not backed up your information before you reset your device to unlock it, you will lose your contacts, photos, and more.
- New model iPhones (X, 6, and later): Make sure the device is not connected to a computer. Hold down one of the volume buttons on the left side and the on/off button on the right side until the power slider appears. Drag this to turn off your device. Then, connect your phone to your computer while holding the side power button until the Recovery screen appears.
- iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: Similarly, turn the device off and then connect it to a computer. Hold the volume button, rather than the power button, until the Recovery screen appears.
- iPhone 6 and earlier: As with the other devices, hold the buttons and drag the power slider until the device turns off. Then, plug the device into your computer. Hold the Home button on the front of the iPhone 6 until the Recovery screen appears.
Once you reach the Recovery screen, follow the steps until the phone is unlocked. You will then need to access iTunes to restore your phone’s information and settings.
Use Siri: If you have not backed up your phone’s information in a while, or you have not taken advantage of the cloud storage through iTunes, you can use Siri if your iPhone has this program.
It is important to note that this is not an official fix, so it is not sanctioned by Apple. It only works on iOS devices with iOS 8.0 to iOS 10.1. This method of unlocking your phone is more of an accidental loophole than an actual solution, so it is better to use Apple’s official, promoted fix through iTunes.
Here is how to use Siri to help you unlock your iPhone:
- Hit the Home button to activate Siri.
- Ask for the current time by saying, “Hey Siri, what time is it?”
- Once Siri responds, a Clock icon will pop up. Tap the clock face.
- On the Clock World page that opens, click the + button in the top right to add another clock.
- You will be asked to search for a location for your new clock. Type anything you want to get some options, then click Select All.
- Select All will bring up a menu with Cut | Copy | Define | Share. Click Share.
- Pick the Message app from the Share list. This allows you to draft a new message.
- Type anything in the message’s To field, like your own email address or phone number. Then hit Return on the keyboard.
- Return will highlight the text you entered, so you can tap the Add icon to add this information in a new contact. Click Create New Contact.
- Rather than saving the information you entered, select the Choose Photo option to open the photo library on your phone.
- Wait a few moments.
- After a minute or two, hit the Home button, allowing you to enter the unlocked Home screen of your phone.
Use Find My iPhone: The Find My iPhone program was designed to help you locate a lost iPhone through a connection to your computer. You can also remotely reset the device to protect your personal information if your phone was stolen.
You can use this program to unlock your phone if you accidentally locked it. Again, this is not an Apple-sanctioned method of unlocking your phone, but it can work if you need to access the device and do not want to reset it through the traditional method.
- Log into the program on your computer, and select the iPhone name that has been locked.
- Click Erase Phone to reset the device.
- Restore your contacts through iTunes or your other cloud storage backup.
Use a third-party app: You may be able to find a cheap or free app to download that can unlock your phone for you without having to reset the phone and potentially lose your data. These apps may not be safe, and they may steal your personal information or hack into your phone. It is safer to use Apple’s method, and keep your iPhone information backed up in iTunes.
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