I Forgot My iPhone Password: What Do I Do?

Written by diana v. faustmann Google
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I Forgot My iPhone Password: What Do I Do?
Remember your iPhone passwords (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

You can set multiple passwords to restrict the use of your iPhone and deny access to its backup and voicemail. If you've forgotten any one of these passwords, don't panic. For the most part, restoring your device or calling your carrier can resolve the issue. A lost backup encryption password is an exception; until you remember your password, you may continue to use your device but without access to your data and media.

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Device and Restrictions Passcodes

You may have programmed a password to unlock your iPhone when you wake it from sleep. You may have also programmed the same or a different password to restrict the use of certain apps. If you forget either password, then you will need to restore your iPhone as described below. This process will reinstall the latest iPhone software and erase all your data and media. You can then recover your device's contents from your most recent iTunes backup.

Restoring from a Backup

Connect your iPhone to the computer that you normally use to sync it. Launch iTunes and choose your iPhone under the Devices list to the left. Then select the Summary tab on the upper right. Click "Check for Update" to download the latest iTunes software, and then select "Restore." On the pop-up windows that follow, choose "Back Up" and "Restore," and then wait for the "Set Up Your iPhone" screen. Choose "Restore from Backup" and then select a backup date. If you recover from a backup made under iOS 4, iTunes will remind you that you previously had a password and ask if you want to set a new one. Do so if you wish.

Encryption Password

You may have encrypted your backups when syncing your iPhone on iTunes to padlock your information. When you're restoring from an encrypted backup, iTunes asks for your encryption password. If you forget this password, your previous data and media will be unrecoverable. If all attempts at remembering fail, consider wiping your device clean and starting fresh. Recover your device as described earlier, but instead of choosing "Restore from Backup," select "Set Up as a New Device." Your iPhone will be restored to its original factory condition.

SIM PIN

You may have locked your SIM Card with a Personal Identification Number to prevent unauthorised phone and data usage. Your wireless carrier typically provides your SIM PIN, which is unique to your SIM Card. iPhone gives you three attempts to input the correct PIN before it requires another password called the PIN Unlock Key. If you forget your PIN number or need a PUK code, contact your carrier. If you enter the wrong PUK several times, you will permanently disable your SIM Card. You will then have no recourse but to replace it.

Voicemail Password

You may have activated a password to prevent others from accessing your voicemail from another phone. If you have forgotten your voicemail password, contact your carrier for assistance in recovering it.

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