The iPhone prioritizes your data security above most aspects. One of the ways it practices just that is by not letting anyone have unauthorized access to your phone. So, even if it’s lost, your data is safe and sound.
But the same feature becomes counterproductive if you forget the passcode to your iPhone. So, if you have made multiple attempts to enter the passcode, your iPhone enters the disabled state. Along with it, it’ll also show that it can’t connect to iTunes currently. But, still, there’s a workaround to bypass it and get back into your iPhone.
Why is My iPhone Showing Disabled Connect to iTunes?
There is a certain limit up to the number of times the iPhone allows you to enter the incorrect passcode. After every attempt, there’s a certain cooldown duration before you can retry entering the passcode.
For example, after five failed attempts, you’ll see the “iPhone is disabled” error. Afterward, in your 7th, 8th, and 9th attempts, you’ll have to wait for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, and 60 minutes respectively. In your 10th incorrect attempt, you’ll get the iPhone is disabled, connect to iTunes error. This means that iTunes is the last resort and the only solution to revive your phone.
How to Fix “iPhone is Disabled Connect to iTunes”?
When you get this error code, you can’t normally unlock your iPhone even if you wait multiple hours. Now, the only option left is to seek help from iTunes. Using iTunes, we’ll need to wipe all the existing data and restore your saved data from your iCloud backup. Next, all you need is a PC and a lightning cable.
Note: This method only works if you have already backed up your phone completely.
Force Restart iPhone
One of the first steps to try is to see if a simple restart can bypass the error. Depending on your iPhone model, there are slightly different steps to force restart it.
On iPhone 8, SE, X, Xs, XR, 11, 12, 13
For iOS 15, 16, or more recent models of the iPhone, you can follow these steps:
- Press down and let go of the Volume Up button.
- Then, do the same with the Volume Down button.
- Now, hold down the Sleep/Wake button.
- Do this until you see the Apple logo on the screen.
- Lastly, let go of the Sleep/Wake button.
On iPhone 7
Hold down the Volume Down Button along with the Sleep/Wake Button. Continue doing this until you can see the Apple logo. Then, let go of both buttons.
On iPhone 6s
Hold down the Sleep/Wake Button along with the Home Button. Let go of both buttons once you can notice the Apple logo.
Set iPhone to Recovery Mode
Now before we use iTunes, we need to prepare our iPhone by putting it on Recovery Mode. This is a troubleshooting method that completely erases your iPhone’s data. So this will also get rid of the iPhone disabled error.
When your iPhone is successfully in this state, you can see a logo of a laptop and the lightning connector on the screen. Here’s how you can do it:
- Use a USB lightning cable and connect it to a computer.
- Open iTunes on your PC.
- On your iPhone, follow these steps to put it into recovery mode.
- On iPhone 8 or newer: Hold down and let go of the Volume Up button. Now, hold down and let go of the Volume Down button. Press and hold down the Sleep/Wake button until you notice the Recovery Mode screen.
- On iPhone 7: Press and hold down the Side Button along with the Volume Down Button. Continue pressing the buttons until you notice the Recovery Mode screen.
- On iPhone 6s or older: Hold down the Home Button along with the Sleep/Wake Button. Do this for around 10 seconds or until you notice the Recovery Mode screen.
Restore iPhone Using iTunes
Finally, here’s how you can use iTunes to restore the available backup on your iPhone.
- Connect the USB lightning cable to your iPhone. Make sure it’s properly connected to your PC.
- Launch iTunes on your PC.
- If you’re on macOS, open Finder and click on your iPhone.
- After iTunes has detected your iPhone, go to the Backups section and click on Restore iPhone.
- Again, select the Restore and Update option to confirm. This option will also install the latest iOS. Throughout the process, don’t disconnect your iPhone.
- Once the process is finished, you can notice the set-up screen on your iPhone.
- You can now proceed to set up your phone.
If you’ve successfully restored your iPhone, you can now unlock it and continue using it like how it was before.
Using Find My iPhone on iCloud
If you currently can’t use iTunes or Finder, you can also use iCloud to restore your iPhone. Here are the exact steps for it:
- Visit your iCloud on any web browser. Log in using your correct credentials.
- From the many options, click on Find iPhone.
- Click on All Devices and select your iPhone.
- Select the Erase iPhone option and confirm.
Contact Apple Support
If you’re still having trouble regaining access to your iPhone, you can visit any nearby Apple store or the support page.