3 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2013 3:31 PM by Gary5x5
AzzaadNehil Level 1 Level 1


                   My iPad is disabled (as my kids kept guessing & entering wrong password to unlock it in order to play games. Now it keeps displaying iPad Disabled, Connect to itunes. Please give me suggestions on how to unlock or reboot it. Thanks very much in advance.

  • By: Aman Nehil ~ AZZAAD

iPad, iPad 1st Generation
  • Texas Mac Man Level 8 Level 8

    iOS: Device disabled after entering wrong passcode



    Using iPhone/iPad Recovery Mode



    Saw this solution on another post about an iPad in a school enviroment. Might work on your iPad so you won't lose everything.



    ‘iPad is disabled’ fix without resetting using iTunes


    Today I met my match with an iPad that had a passcode entered too many times, resulting in it displaying the message ‘iPad is disabled – Connect to iTunes’. This was a student iPad and since they use Notability for most of their work there was a chance that her files were not all backed up to the cloud. I really wanted to just re-activate the iPad instead of totally resetting it back to our default image.

    I reached out to my PLN on Twitter and had some help from a few people through retweets and a couple of clarification tweets. I love that so many are willing to help out so quickly. Through this I also learned that I look like Lt. Riker from Star Trek (thanks @FillineMachine).

    Through some trial and error (and a little sheer luck), I was able to reactivate the iPad without loosing any data. Note, this will only work on the computer it last synced with. Here’s how:

    1. Configurator is useless in reactivating a locked iPad. You will only be able to completely reformat the iPad using Configurator. If that’s ok with you, go for it – otherwise don’t waste your time trying to figure it out.

    2. Open iTunes with the iPad disconnected.

    3. Connect the iPad to the computer and wait for it to show up in the devices section in iTunes.

    4. Click on the iPad name when it appears and you will be given the option to restore a backup or setup as a new iPad (since it is locked).

    5. Click ‘Setup as new iPad’ and then click restore.

    6. The iPad will start backing up before it does the full restore and sync. CANCEL THE BACKUP IMMEDIATELY. You do this by clicking the small x in the status window in iTunes.

    7. When the backup cancels, it immediately starts syncing – cancel this as well using the same small x in the iTunes status window.

    8. The first stage in the restore process unlocks the iPad, you are basically just cancelling out the restore process as soon as it reactivates the iPad.


    If done correctly, you will experience no data loss and the result will be a reactivated iPad. I have now tried this with about 5 iPads that were locked identically by students and each time it worked like a charm.



    Try it and good luck. You have nothing more to lose if it doesn't work for you.


     Cheers, Tom

  • Deepikaminacs Level 1 Level 1

    When you set up a passcode to secure the use of your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and you then enter the wrong passcode, you may see a red "disabled" message. This article will help you:


    iOS: Device disabled after entering wrong passcode


  • Gary5x5 Level 1 Level 1

    The "Texas Mac Man," or "Tom," mentioned that when restoring a locked-out iPad, the restore process can be cancelled just after it starts by hitting the "x" in the progress window. Doing this, he says, will prevent the full restoration of the iPad, and will prevent it from being erased, thus leaving the iPad unlocked and accessible, with all its data in place. I just tried this with an iPad that one of our students just locked up accidentally by entering the wrong passcode too many times. However, cancelling the restoration just after it started was not possible when I tried it; there was no "x" displayed in the progress window. I think Apple may have changed the process so that theives cannot use it to gain access to personnal information on a stollen and locked up iPad. So the only option now is to just let iTunes go ahead and restore the iPad, completely erasing it. Students just need to learn to back up their iPads regularly.