How To Fix A Disabled iPhone, Even If It Says It’s Locked

Our phones are little computers that sometimes feel like lock safes storing all of our sensitive and cherished information. But what if you were locked out of your phone for nearly 50 years, and were unable to access photographs from that trip you took with your family, or even make a phone call? It sounds like a nightmare you wake up from with night sweats forming a puddle underneath you. But don't sweat yourself into a lake. Know how to fix a disabled iPhone, and then sleep easy.

According to the South China Morning Post, a little boy in China, who let's be fair here, didn't know what exactly he was doing, locked his mom out of her phone for — wait for it — 48 years. The story goes that the mother lent her son the phone to watch education videos. But as we all know far too well, phones are far too distracting. With so many buttons to push and screens to change, it's hard not to get bored with what you're doing and tap around instead. Which is what happened. And suddenly, after the wrong passcode was entered, the phone racked up, according to the South China Morning News website, "25 million minutes." There's no news on whether the boy got a time out or not, but I bet he had to endure a boring trip to the Apple Genius bar.

If you get the dreaded "iPhone disabled" message, don't be filled with fiery dread. There is a way you can fix it. Just, for the sake of avoiding future headaches, backup all your information ~now~. Thankfully you have a few options to fix a disabled phone.

Restore The Device From Backup

So you've entered the wrong pass code for your phone up to 10 times and now you seemingly can't get in for the next 48 years. Bummer. It's a harsh reality to face. But before reducing to tears and assimilating to your newly forced off the grid lifestyle, you can try this first. LifeWire explains the steps of this action, "To do that, connect your iOS device to the computer you sync it to. In iTunes, click the Restore button. Follow the onscreen instructions and in a few minutes, your device should be usable again. Be aware, though, that this means you'll be replacing your current data with an older backup and will lose any data added since the backup was made." You'll lose some data but at least not all of those precious notes and texts.

Give Recovery Mode A Try

If that unfortunately fails to work, you can give Recovery Mode a go at restoring your phone to at least some of its previously held wonder. MacWorld calls this step "a more drastic method" but alas, what must be done, must be done. MacWorld advises, "Plug the USB cable into your computer but do not connect it to the iPhone. Launch iTunes. Press and hold down the Home button and Sleep/Wake button for 10 seconds until the iPhone powers off. Keep hold of the Home button but let go of the Sleep/Wake button. Plug in the USB Dock/Lightning connector to attach the iPhone to the Mac (keep holding down the Home button). iTunes should give a message stating 'An iPhone has been detected in recovery mode.'"

Apple support also backs this step up. And you'll have to erase your passcode. So hopefully you have the precious cargo your phone holds not-so-dear backed up. Hey, it's either this and starting anew like spring or waiting on the sidelines for 48 years to get back in touch with your ~old~ way of life. And honestly, who knows what devices we'll have at that point?

Set A New Passcode

Now that the worst is over you'll have to set a new passcode. Hopefully it's something you and any toddler can figure out with ease.