iOS Passcode Lock (Part 4): How to remove a passcode lock using Recovery Mode for a disabled iPad, an iPad stuck in Guided Access, or that has locally created Restrictions
In parts 2 and 3 of this 4 part iOS Passcode lock series, you learned how to remove a passcode lock located on the lock screen with Apple Configurator and AirWatch. Now, we will discuss how to remove a passcode lock using recovery mode for a disabled iPad, an iPad that is locked in Guided Access, or that had locally created Restrictions that need to be turned off and the passcode is unknown.
Written by Gerald Proctor, iOS Device Management Administrator
When the Apple logo appears, release ONLY the Sleep/Wake button and continue to hold the Home button until the connect to iTunes graphic appears on the iPad screen.
Next, connect the iPad to the computer. Ignore any message that appears in iTunes.
On the iPad, press and continue to hold BOTH the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button. You will need to continue to hold BOTH of these buttons as the iPad screen goes black and restarts—this can take upto 60 seconds.
In iTunes, if there was a message that appeared when you originally connected the iPad press cancel to this message. A pop-up window should appear explaining that the software on the iPad needs to be restored to factory settings or updated. On the keyboard, press and hold the option key and then click the Restore button.
NOTE: Placing an iPad into Recovery Mode and restoring it to remove a passcode completely erases all the information, apps, photos, and profiles from the iPad. If the iPad was previously supervised via Apple Configurator, the iPad must be re-supervised after placing it into Recovery Mode and restoring it.
Before you Begin
Recovery Mode & Restoring the iPad
First, using a computer, open iTunes.
In the pop-up window, navigate to the downloads folder, select the iOS update file you downloaded earlier from the Compliance Site, and click Open.
NOTE: If you select the incorrect iOS Update file you will receive a message stating that the iPad could not be restored because the firmware file is not compatible. Click OK. Hold down the option button and click Restore iPad. Navigate to the downloads folder and choose the appropriate iOS Update file. You may need to download a different iOS Update file from the Compliance Site if the original downloaded file does not work for the model iPad you are attempting to restore.
If the appropriate iOS Update file was chosen, the below message will appear...
Click Restore. The process will take about 10 minutes to complete and you will see the iPad screen go black and an Apple logo will appear with a progress bar beneath it. Once the process is complete iTunes will display a "Welcome to Your New iPad" message.
Ignore the "Welcome to Your New iPad" options in iTunes, disconnect the iPad from the computer, and quit iTunes.
You have now successfully completed placing the iPad into Recovery Mode and restoring it via iTunes. If the iPad was originally supervised via Apple Configurator you will need to open Apple Configurator and re-supervise the iPad. If the iPad was not supervised you can now manually proceed to set the iPad up via the iPad set up screens.