How to Reset an iPad Without a Password

Use iCloud or Recovery Mode

What to Know

  • From iPad: Turn off and connect cable to iPad > hold down Home/top button > connect to computer > click Restore.
  • From the web: Log in at iCloud.com > Find iPhone > Devices > the iPad > Erase.

This article covers two ways to reset an iPad to factory settings without the password.

How Do I Reset My iPad to Factory Settings Without the Passcode? 

Apple added the requirement of entering the password used to activate the iPad as a security and anti-theft measure. While this is a great security feature (it really works well), it does mean there's a problem when you don't have the password. We can get you sorted out, but there's one very important downside to be aware of: when you follow the instructions in this article, you'll delete all data from the iPad. If your goal is to return the iPad to factory settings (maybe you are selling it), this procedure is probably what you want. If you are troubleshooting, you'll have to set up the iPad from scratch and can optionally restore the iPad from a recent back up (assuming you have one, of course).

These techniques apply both if you don't have your Apple ID password and if you don't have the iPad passcode needed to unlock the tablet.

Reset iPad to Factory Settings Using a Computer

There are two ways to reset an iPad to factory settings without a password. The first involves using a computer to put the iPad into Recovery Mode and then resetting. Here's what to do:

  1. Your first step depends on the kind of computer you have.

  2. Turn off your iPad.

  3. Again, the kind of computer you have determines this step:

    • For a Mac running macOS Catalina (10.15) and higher, open the Finder.
    • On a PC or an older Mac, open iTunes.
  4. Connect the USB syncing cable to your iPad, but not yet to your computer.

  5. If your iPad has a Home button, hold that down and connect the cable to the computer.

    If your iPad doesn't have a Home button, hold down the Top button and connect to the computer.

  6. Keep holding the button until the Recovery Mode screen appears on the iPad.

    An iPad showing the restore screen

    iPad image: Apple Inc.

  7. On the computer, click on the iPad in the Finder window (in the sidebar, under Locations) or in iTunes under the top left playback controls.

    The iPad device in a Finder window under the Location section of the Sidebar.
  8. In the window that appears, click Restore and follow the onscreen prompts.

    Screenshot of restoring an iPad on the Mac
  9. At the end of the process, your iPad is back at factory settings and ready to be set up from scratch.

Reset iPad to Factory Settings Using a iCloud

Don't have a computer to use? You can reset an iPad to factory settings without a password via iCloud by following these steps:

  1. Make sure the iPad is connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network.

  2. On another device, go to iCloud.com and log in using the Apple ID associated with the iPad.

  3. Click Find iPhone.

  4. Click All Devices and then click the iPad you want to reset.

    Screenshot of Find my iPhone on iCloud.com
  5. Click Erase iPad.

  6. Follow the onscreen prompts and, after a few minutes, your iPad will be back at factory settings and can be set up from scratch.

FAQ
  • How do I unlock an iPad without a password?

    You can't unlock your iPad unless you know the passcode. To regain access to it, you'll need to reset it from iCloud.com or in Recovery Mode, as in the steps above.

  • How do I remove the passcode from an iPad?

    You can't reset an iPad passcode unless you know the existing one. Go to Settings > Face ID & Passcode and enter the passcode. Then, scroll down and tap Change Passcode. Enter the new number, and then verify it.

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