It’s the type of scenario nightmares are made of. You’ve just restarted your iPad 10.2 and put your fingers on the keyboard, ready to type in your password— only to find out you’ve completely forgotten what it was. Could it be threehandedcow495? No, that was the desktop password. What about spicy!duck? No, that was your myspace password from grade school. You madly try every combination of every word and number that has meaning to you, only to end up with a lock screen that makes you wait 453 minutes before you can try again.
It’s easy to forget seldom used passwords, and if you hardly ever restart your iPad and usually get by with Face ID your device’s password may have gone rusty with use. If you’ve just changed your password and forgot to write it down, you’ve also got a high chance of forgetting before the next time it is demanded of you. Here’s our advice: keep it written down somewhere, be that be on an index card at the back of your sock drawer or the flyleaf of your favorite novel.
But hindsight is 20/20, and we may be just a little too late with that advice. If you’re sitting there with your locked password and your brain a complete blank, wondering if you’ll have to sell the iPad for parts on eBay, here’s the good news: you don’t have to. There are ways to unlock an iPad if the passcode is disabled or forgotten. The main problem you may face is loosing your data: unlocking your data means returning it to factory settings. If you’ve got a backup, though, you’ll be able to get back to the point in time right before the back up was taken.
If you regularly connect your iPad to your laptop, you probably have iTunes on your computer. You probably also have collection of backups made just in case of disaster. If you’ve got a recent one; you’re in luck. Unfortunately unlocking your iPad with iTunes always involves erasing the entire device, but if you restore from your backup you’ll hit the ground running and hardly know you had to build from the ground up.
If you don’t have iTunes on your computer, you probably don’t have any physical backup either, but you may be backed up to the cloud. You can use this backup to restore your device. If it turns out you didn’t set up cloud backups, you’ll have to start from scratch, but do make sure you put in place a robust backup plan for the future just in case this happens again.
If you’ve tried to enter your password over and over again, getting it wrong each time, your passcode will be disabled. What this means if even if you go make yourself a coffee, look out into the far distant horizon, and suddenly remember it, it won’t be any use to you anymore. Your iPad has decided that you are persona non grata, and it is fully determined to protect the contents of your iPad from you at all costs.
If your passcode is disabled, you can still go through the steps above and restore your iPad. You’ll loose your data unless you have a backup, but if you have a recent backup everything in it will be automatically returned to your device. Pictures, apps, settings, and emails will all be re-loaded to your device and the only thing different will be the brand-new password which, this time, you’re not going to forget.
So write down your password, make your backups, and keep your data safe. If you care about what’s on your iPad, you’ll want to protect your device with an iPad 10.2 case as well— and we do have a recommendation or two.