Unlock Tips

iPhone iPad Locked for Years? What Can I Do

by Jenefey Aaron   Updated on 2023-03-22 / Update for  Unlock iPhone

You must have heard that someone locks or disables their iPhone or iPad because they had forgotten the passcode. They will get locked out for minutes or hours. But it happens that people say that their iPhone is locked for 19, 47 or even longer, 100 years and they have no chance to guess passcode again. In this article, we will focus on how to fix iPhone locked for years.

Part 1: Can An iPhone Be Disabled For Years

iPhone locked for years or iPad disabled for years. To some people, it might look like a strange thing. But let me tell you, this is possible and it happens. You probably enter the passcode wrong so many times, like 12 times, that gets your iPhone disabled for 19 years. Another scenario could be that someone’s iPhone or iPad got disabled and years later, when they found their old device and turned it on, they were shocked to find out iPhone locked for years.

Part 2: What To Do If iPhone is Locked For Years

In either case above, let’s say that you are among those unfortunate ones whose iPhones are disabled for years, all you need do is to try out any of the fixes described below. They will erase and unlock your iPhone or iPad.

1. Erase iPhone in Security Lockout Screen

Although your iPhone is locked for years, it will see a security lockout screen on iOS 15.2 and later. You cannot enter the passcode again but you will get the Erase iPhone option. You just need Apple ID and password for this method.

  • Tap on the Erase iPhone option present on the right bottom of the screen. (If there is no such Erase option, then you have no choice but go for other methods below.)
  • Enter the Apple ID and password present on this iPhone. Once you do so, the iPhone will be erased completely.

    unlock iphone unavailable
  • All locks removed and then you can set up your iPhone as new.

2. Unlock Disabled iPhone or iPad with 4uKey

Having iPhone disabled for years and no Erase iPhone option for you? In this case, we have a professional unlocking tool - Tenorshare 4uKey that can fix your iPhone. 4uKey supports unlocking all iPhones and iPads without passcode.

  • Download, install and run 4uKey on your computer. Click Start to begin the process.

    iphone locked for years - unlock with 4ukey
  • Connect your iPhone to the computer using the lightning fast cable so that 4uKey can detect it. Click on "Next".

    connect locked iphone to 4uKey and start removal
  • Download the latest firmware package then. Click "Download".

    download firmware
  • Click "Start Remove". Once the process is complete, all of your data including passcode will be erased and you can set the iPhone up as brand new now.

    unlock iphone without passcode with 4ukey

3. Restore iPhone with iTunes

You may not want to use third-party software. The third option to fix iPhone locked for years that we have on hand is to connect to iTunes. This method is a bit technical as it requires iPhone recovery mode. Also iTunes restores your iPhone/iPad to factory settings.

  • Take your iPhone and connect it with your computer and open iTunes.
  • Now put your iPhone into recovery mode to let iTunes detects your iPhone. (See how to do it below)
  • On your computer, you will see a pop up on iTunes. Click on OK. Then click on Restore iPhone.

    restore iphone recovery mode itunes
  • Restore will begin and the process takes some time to complete.

To put your iPhone into recovery mode, follow the instructions below properly.

  • For iPhone 8 to iPhone 14, press the Volume Up button and quickly release it. Then the same goes for Volume Down button. After that, press and hold the Power button until you see the recovery mode screen.
  • For iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, press and hold the Power button and the Volume Down button together.
  • For iPhone 6 and earlier, press and hold the Power button and the Home button together.

    restore iphone recovery mode itunes

4. Erase iPhone in iCloud

Now here is the last method for iPhone iPad disabled for years. It also uses the Apple ID and password and needs Find My iPhone. You can sign into the iCloud website from a browser on any device like your friend's phone.

  • Go to iCloud.com and login using your Apple ID and password. Then click on Find iPhone.

    erase iphone recovery mode icloud
  • Click on the All Devices tab and select your disabled iPhone from it.
  • Click on the Erase iPhone option. Confirm the pop up with your Apple ID password. Your iPhone disabled for years will reset in a few minutes.

    erase iphone recovery mode icloud

Part 3: Can A Locked iPhone Be Used

A locked iPhone cannot be used. You won't see any data except what is showing on the lock screen. However, a locked iPhone can be used after it gets unlocked. Entering the correct password once the security timeout ends and use your iPhone normally. If it is locked for years or permanently, resort to any method listed above.


Having an iPhone locked for years is a challenging news. But your device will not be left useless. Trying out different methods like using iCloud, Tenorshare 4uKey or iTunes which get your iPhone back to working conditions. And you can recover your data from previously created backup.

Remove Any Password in Minutes