I forgot my iPad passcode

Written by david nield Google
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I forgot my iPad passcode
Use the iTunes software on your PC or Mac to bypass the passcode feature. (Getty Thinkstock)

If you've forgotten the passcode used to gain entry to your iPad then you must connect the device to a computer and use iTunes to restore it. The restore process wipes all of the content and settings on the iPad, so you'll need to apply the most recent backup to recover your data. You can then set up a new passcode.

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Restoring your iPad

By plugging the iPad into the computer you usually sync it with, you can use iTunes to wipe the device, restore the most recent backup and then set up a new passcode. Ensure you are running the most recent version of iTunes before starting the process. Switch to the iPad summary screen in iTunes once the device is connected, then click the "Restore iPad" button. Choose to make a fresh backup of your iPad if the option appears, then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

iTunes error

If the standard restore process doesn't work, and iTunes displays an error message, additional steps are required. Unplug the USB cable from the iPad, leaving the other end of the cable connected to your computer, then turn off the iPad by pressing and holding the iPad's Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds and dragging the red slider appears. Next, press and hold the Home button and reconnect the iPad to the USB cable at the same time. Continue pressing the Home button until you see the "Connect to iTunes" message on the iPad. Click "OK" to bypass the first alert about recovery mode and then choose the restore option on the subsequent screen to begin the recovery of the iPad.

Starting again

When the restore process has finished the iPad will have been returned to its factory defaults. At this point a screen appears within iTunes asking if you want to "Restore from this backup" (to return your iPad to a previous state) or "Set up as new iPad" to start from scratch (setting up new syncing rules for your music and video, for example). Select the "Restore" option to re-apply the settings and content syncing options saved from the most recent backup. You can use the backup that was created just before the restore process was started, or choose a previous backup you've made using iTunes or the iCloud service.

Other options

If you are unable to restore the device using iTunes, or you don't have access to a computer, you may be able to restore the iPad using the Find My iPhone feature in iCloud (log in via the iCloud website to use it). This option will only be available if you've previously set up the iCloud functionality from your iPad. Alternatively, take the iPad into an Apple retail store for advice -- they may be able to restore the iPad for you, but your data will be lost and you will have to start again from scratch.

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