How to Fix a Disabled iPad

Getting a disabled iPad to work again

What to Know

  • A disabled iPad is caused by too many attempts to log in with the wrong username and password.
  • To fix an iPad that is disabled, reset the iPad to the factory default or try Recovery Mode.
  • Resetting to factory default erases everything on your iPad, but you can restore it all from a backup.

This article explains how to deal with a disabled iPad. If your iPad is stolen and someone tries to hack the code, your iPad disables itself after too many incorrect passcode attempts, a security feature on the iPad that safeguards your privacy. Information in this article applies to iPadOS 14, iPadOS 13, and all currently supported versions of iOS.

My iPad Is Disabled and I Didn't Type in a Wrong Passcode

If you (or anyone else) types the wrong passcode into your iPad, it eventually disables itself completely. When your iPad is disabled, someone entered the wrong passcode often enough to disable it. If you have a toddler or an older kid, the child may have typed in the wrong passcode without realizing what might happen to the iPad. Consider childproofing your iPad.

How to Get a Disabled iPad Working Again

If your iPad becomes permanently disabled, your only choice is to reset it to its factory default state. If you set up Find My iPad, the easiest way to reset the iPad is through iCloud. The Find My iPad feature contains a way to reset the iPad remotely. The iPad doesn't need to be lost or stolen; this method resets it without resorting to iTunes. Here's how:

  1. Log in to your iCloud account at www.icloud.com.

    Apple ID on Sign in to iCloud page
  2. Select Find iPhone.

    Find iPhone on iCloud.com
  3. Choose your iPad.

  4. Select the Erase iPad link.

    Erase iPad button in Find my iPhone on iCloud.com

If you haven't set up Find My iPad, the next best option is to restore it from the same computer you used to set it up or from the computer you use to sync the iPad to iTunes. Connect your iPad to the PC using the cable that came with the iPad and launch iTunes. This connection should start the sync process.

Let this process finish so that you have a backup of all the stuff on your iPad and then choose to restore the iPad.

What If I Didn't Sync My iPad With My PC?

The Find My iPad feature is important. Not only is it an iPad-saver if you lose your device or if the tablet is stolen, but it can provide an easy way to reset the iPad.

If you haven't set it up and have never set up your iPad with your PC, you can still unlock it by going through the iPad's Recovery Mode, which is more involved than a normal restore.

After you restore your iPad, make sure Find My iPad is turned on in case you have any problems in the future.

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