During the day, I’m a Mobile Device System Administrator. Every once in a while, I have to schedule the repair of damaged devices or resell/recycle old devices. I try and try…and try to remind my users that they need to remove their data and restore their devices back to factory settings before sending them back to me.
Most comply, but more often than I would like, I get a device from somebody who just packed them up and shipped them off. Since our mobile device policy forces users to add a passcode to their devices, well…let’s just say there’s a good chance that I will get a little surprise (read: do extra work) every time I power up a returned device.
Since I know some of you are the Mobile Device Managers for your friends/family/household, and may have “forgetful users” of your own to support, you can use this little trick to remove the passcode on your device by putting it in Recovery Mode:
- Open iTunes on your computer (PC or Mac. If you have a Chromebook, you just lost one) and connect your device.
- Press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons until you see the “Connect to iTunes” symbol on your device.
- Follow the instructions on how to Restore your device in iTunes.
BE AWARE, going through the restore procedure WILL wipe all your data off the device, so be sure to have a back up #BackDatAssetUp. The positive is that doing this will keep certain settings intact…Like your Apple ID, so if your device is lost/stolen, it can’t just be completely reset and reused using this method.
Tip: Do not follow this procedure if you are trying to sell/recycle/donate your devices. Check out this Apple support link on the necessary steps to remove the Apple activation lock from your device.
Most importantly, you will now have access to you device. Recovery mode also works if you think you have completely messed up your device while doing things like installing iOS 10 Public beta, or attempting to jailbreak your device.