How to Factory Reset Your iPhone Without a Password: 5 Methods

June 5, 2023 • Zachary Amos


Do you know how to factory reset your iPhone without a password? Usually, it’s as easy as going into your settings, but it gets a bit more complex when you don’t have the passcode. Luckily for you, there are five methods to fully reset your device that don’t require a password.

Why Should You Factory Reset Your iPhone?

You have to fully reset your iPhone if you don’t have the password — there’s no getting around it. Apple has built-in protection that protects it against other people trying to access your information. After six attempts, it shuts off and won’t let anyone in. It’s usually a good thing, but it can be frustrating when you’re the owner and can’t get access. 

There are also more mundane reasons you may need to factory reset it. For example, it’s necessary if you plan on selling it because it removes all personally identifiable information from the device. If you found one of your old phones and want to make some money off of it, you need to wipe it first. It’s a bit trickier when you can’t remember the passcode, but there are still five different methods you can try.

What You Should Know Before You Begin

A factory reset makes the phone like new and puts it in the state it was at the Apple store before you ever got it. It clears every bit of data on the phone except for the primary operating system. If you don’t have a backup of your iPhone on the cloud or on your computer, you’ll lose all of your data — that means no more photos, passwords or apps. 

The iCloud Backup option automatically backs things up, but it’s not on by default. Relax — you can create backups without knowing your passcode if you don’t have iCloud enabled. It’s not essential, but it means you get to keep everything on your phone. Downloading your information after the factory reset is pretty quick and saves your data, so it’s worth the extra effort. 

How to Factory Reset An iPhone From the Lock Screen

Do you want to know how to factory reset your iPhone without a password simply by using your lock screen? A fairly recent iOS update enabled this option for all iPhone users. 

  1. Security Lockout

You can factory reset using the lock screen with the security lockout feature. You’ll need to use all your passcode attempts to make it work. You get a confirmation once you’ve done so with a message that appears informing you that your phone is disabled. 

A pop-up will appear on the bottom right of your screen with the option to “Erase iPhone.” Press it and input your Apple ID password to sign out, then tap the choice it gives you to erase your data and reset your phone. Keep in mind that your phone must have iOS 15.2 or later to use this method.

How to Factory Reset An iPhone With a Computer

It doesn’t matter if you have a Windows or Mac computer since these options cover both. Keep in mind you might have to have iTunes downloaded or know your login information for them.

  1. iTunes App on Windows

You can reset an iPhone through iTunes if you have a Windows computer. Simply plug it into your computer, and the app will open up. You can troubleshoot with different cords, ports and computers if it doesn’t work the first time. The small phone-shaped icon on the top left of your screen is what you’re looking for — select it to continue. Click “Summary” and “Restore” on the pop-up and follow the directions it gives you to reset your phone. 

  1. Finder on Mac

Plug your iPhone into your Mac with a cord and pull up Finder. Click on your device once it appears on the left sidebar. A pop-up with the options to “Restore” and “Update” will show up. Select “Restore” to begin the factory reset. Keep your device connected for the entire time it takes to reset.

  1. Find My iPhone Website

Do you want to know how to factory reset an iPhone without a password or iTunes? This choice is pretty simple. It’s set up so that you can reset your device if it’s been stolen, so it works perfectly if you’ve forgotten your passcode. 

The website for the find my iPhone option lets you bypass the typical waiting period. If you know your Apple ID and password, you can sign in and erase your phone’s data. Simply click on the trash can icon with the words “Erase iPhone” to reset your device.

  1. Recovery Mode

Recovery mode is a feature on your iPhone that lets you factory reset using Finder on Mac. It’s a bit tedious, but it’s sure to work. You have to fully turn off your device to begin. Once it’s off, you need to press and hold a model-specific button while plugging it into your computer. Hold the right side button on iPhone 8s, Xs and later. With 7s, you hold the volume down button on the left side. SE models, 6s and earlier versions use the home button. 

Keep holding down the entire time you connect your device to your computer — only let go once you see a black screen with a white cord, arrow and computer symbol. Open Finder and click the left sidebar icon with your phone’s name. A pop-up will appear with the choices to update or restore. Select the “Restore” option. Once it starts to factory reset, you’ll have to keep it plugged in for the entire time. 

While recovery mode might seem like the other options with extra steps, it’s your surest choice. Sometimes, computers either don’t recognize an iPhone or don’t “trust” it. Usually, getting around that is as simple as logging into your phone and allowing them to connect. Since you don’t know your passcode, you can’t do that. This method ensures the devices are fine with each other and can save you time. 

What to Do After a Factory Reset

You get the option to restore your phone from a backup or start from scratch after factory resetting your phone. Choose whichever one you want and continue to set up your phone by following all the prompts. 

If you had to do a factory reset because you simply forgot your password, it’s wise to write it down so you remember it. Setting up Face ID could also help. Be mindful that a factory reset isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can solve a ton of issues that typically bug iPhone users. That being said, you only need to do it once or twice a year or when you encounter big software issues, so it’s nice to avoid it when it’s unnecessary. 

Five Methods to Factory Reset Without a Password

Resetting your iPhone without a password is pretty simple. You can use a Windows or Mac computer or even do it right from your lock screen. Any of these five methods are great options if you want a simple solution.