Forgot Your iPhone Password? Here's How to Get It Fixed

iPhone is considered one of the most secure smartphones available on the market. The level of security it ensures can be illustrated by the fact that even FBI specialists struggle to unlock iPhones when they need to extract information from criminals' devices. They simply cannot figure out the passcode set on the phone. In case you are a new iPhone user and know nothing about iPhone security settings, here's a brief explanation for you.

The iPhone passcode is one of the security measures iOS users can turn on. As soon as this feature is enabled, the smartphone starts asking for a password. In the past, passwords used to be simple codes consisting of 4 digits by default, but with iOS 9, Apple introduced a more secure six-digit passcode. Users can also set complex passwords that contain letters, numbers, and special characters. Six-character alphanumeric passcodes offer more than 1 million combinations, so it is, without a doubt, harder to crack them. Considering the fact that the device needs approximately 80 milliseconds to check whether the entered passcode is correct, it would take 5.5 years to try all possible password combinations. Users are also free to choose the desired length of the passcode, i.e. create a custom alphanumeric passcode, so it would be best to go up for maximum security. If the alphanumeric password is longer than six characters, the estimated cracking time increases.

How do I set a Custom Alphanumeric Code for my iPhone?

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Go to Touch ID & Passcode.
  3. If asked, enter your passcode.
  4. Tap Change Passcode.
  5. Enter your old passcode, if asked.
  6. Locate Passcode Options above the keypad.
  7. Tap on it.
  8. Once you are presented with three options (Custom Alphanumeric Code, Custom Numeric Code, and 4-Digit Numeric Code), tap on Custom Alphanumeric Code.
  9. Enter the desired alphanumeric password.
  10. Tap Next in the top-right corner of your screen.
  11. Re-enter your new alphanumeric password.
  12. Tap Done.

Tip: You should set a password that would not be too predictable to others.

A tiny problem with strong passwords

Longer and more complex passwords are inevitably more secure, so individuals who value their privacy tend to choose them over simple passwords to keep their private data from prying eyes. Do not forget that you are highly responsible for the security of your iPhone, so never set a weak password just because it is easier to type it. According to data, 50% of all users still use weak passwords like 123456, Password, and qwerty. Do not be one of them!

All experienced specialists agree that complex passwords are better than simple ones, but there is one thing they do not accentuate – it is not so easy to remember them. According to one study, 37% of all people forget their passwords at least once a week. We do not know how many iPhone users participated in this study, but they are no different from other users judging from all these posts regarding the forgotten iPhone password that appear on the Web every day.

Oh no, I forgot my iPhone password. What should I do now?

You might not know what is going on if you see a message saying that your iPhone has been disabled, but we can assure you that it has nothing to do with cyber criminals. Most probably, the message was triggered because you forgot your iPhone password and thus entered it incorrectly 6 times in a row. In case you forgot your password and, as a consequence, entered a wrong passcode more than 6 times, you might get the “23 million minutes message” claiming that you could not use your iPhone for 23 million minutes. It is not as bad as it seems, believe us. It does not mean that you will have to wait that long because of the forgotten password. The password problem can be fixed by erasing all data from your device. By doing so, you will erase the forgotten password and could set a new one in its place.

As the saying goes, you have to sacrifice something to gain something. It is the same with the forgotten iPhone password recovery. If you forgot your password and, because of this, decide to opt for erasing data from your smartphone, you will inevitably lose your personal data, including your photos, music, messages, and more. In other words, your iPhone will be reverted to the state you first took it out of the box. This will not be a problem only if you have a recent backup of your data because you could easily restore lost files from it. Actually, you are not completely doomed even if you do not have a backup because you could redownload content, e.g. your apps right after the forgotten password reset.

Fix the forgotten password problem

There are three ways to remove the forgotten iPhone password:

  • iTunes: if you can connect your iPhone to your computer and you sync it with iTunes regularly, this might be the best option for you.
  1. Connect your smartphone to the device you synced with.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. Enter iTunes account information, i.e. your Apple ID, if required.
  4. Wait until iTunes sync your device and creates a backup.
  5. Click Restore iPhone.
  6. When you get to the Setup screen, tap Restore from iTunes backup.
  7. Select your device.
  8. Choose the backup to restore your phone from.
  • iCloud: if you have Find My iPhone enabled on your device, you can choose this option. It is the most suitable for those users who do not have physical access to their smartphones or cannot connect them to their computers.
  1. Log into iCloud.
  2. Click Find iPhone.
  3. If you use more than one device, click All Devices and select the one with the forgotten password.
  4. Click Erase.
  5. Check the box to confirm your choice.
  6. Click the click Erase [device]
  • Recovery Mode: you should choose this option if you have never synced your phone with iTunes and/or iCloud as it is your only chance to regain access to your phone.
  1. Connect your device to the computer.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. Reset iPhone:
    • iPhone X/iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus: Press and then quickly release Volume Up. Press and quickly release Volume Down. Press and hold the Side
    • iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold Side and Volume Down buttons simultaneously.
    • iPhone 6s and earlier: Press and hold Home and Top (or Side) together.
  4. Choose Restore.
  5. Setup your phone when Restore finishes.

What can I do not to forget my password ever again?

According to GlobalWebIndex data, users have 5.54 social media accounts on average. Without a doubt, these are not all accounts they have since they send emails and actively use a bunch of other online services on a daily basis, which means that an average user might need to remember more than 10 different passwords several times a day. If simple (and insecure) passwords like 123456 are used to protect accounts, it is, of course, not a real challenge to memorize them; however, could you remember several complex passwords (e.g. I!r|!*_@%?;0@#=-*!|U=*3@) consisting of a mix of symbols, letters, numbers, and special characters? We do not think so. This is where the main problem lies.

More old-school users keep their complex passwords written on a sheet of paper, which is considered to be a highly insecure practice since it might be lost or end up in the wrong hands. Instead of writing passwords down, some users entrust them to simple password management systems integrated into their web browsers. Technically, the latter is a more reliable way to store passwords but you should still not expect them to be 100% safe because they will all end up in cyber criminals' hands if malware affects your device and manages to access web browsers. This is the reason why you should not keep all your passwords listed in an unprotected document on your PC too.

In our opinion, using a trusted password manager like Cyclonis Password Manager is the best solution to the problem and the easiest way to keep all your passwords at your fingertips. Cyclonis will keep all your saved passwords encrypted and even enter them into login forms for you to help you access your accounts quicker, meaning that you will not need to type complex passwords manually anymore. Speaking about password managers, they can automatically save passwords only from devices they are installed on, so you might need to create a Private Note (Wallet-> Private Notes-> New Note) on the Windows version of Cyclonis Password Manager to save your iPhone password. We are 100% sure that we will not hear “I forgot my iPhone password” from you ever again if you use it.

July 23, 2018

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