In addition to protecting your iPhone with a passcode, another layer of security that prevents your kids or unauthorized people from accessing the apps beyond the permitted time limit is a Screen Time Passcode. But what if you forgot the passcode? What happens after 10 failed Screen Time Passcode attempts? Do you get completely locked out? Or does your iPhone become permanently unusable? How can you resolve the issue?
There could be several more questions like this, and that’s what the following sections will address. Here, you will learn some of the most trusted and proven methods to get your iPhone back to normal after 10 failed Screen Time Passcode attempts.
What Happens After 10 Failed Screen Time Passcode Attempts
Being a sophisticated operating system, iOS doesn’t let you enter the wrong Screen Time Passcode 10 times in a single go. Instead, it first gives you five chances to type the correct one. If you can’t unlock your phone even after the said number of attempts, as you enter an incorrect passcode for the sixth time, the device gets locked for one minute. From this point onwards, each failed attempt increases the lock time. A complete list of the number of unsuccessful passcodes and the duration iOS locks your smartphone for is as follows:
- 6th Unsuccessful Attempt – Locks for 1 Minute
- 7th Unsuccessful Attempt – Locks for 5 Minutes
- 8th Unsuccessful Attempt– Locks for 15 Minutes
- 9th Unsuccessful Attempt – Locks for 60 Minutes
- 10 Unsuccessful Screen Time Passcode Attempts – Locks for 60 Minutes
(Note: This is when you try to turn off or change Screen Time Passcode and enter the wrong one for the 10th time.)
Now, as the title says, the question arises, what happens after 10 failed Screen Time Passcode attempts? The good news is, even if your unsuccessful Screen Time Passcode attempts reach the said threshold, your iPhone doesn’t get permanently unusable as you are not completely locked out, and you can still use your device to make phone calls or access the apps that aren’t monitored by Screen Time. However, to reclaim access to the apps that were protected with Screen Time, you must recover the passcode. A few proven solutions to resolve the issue are suggested below.
How to Reset or Remove the Screen Time Passcode Without Losing Data
Although Apple is notorious for erasing all data from its iDevices (if this feature is enabled) as soon as it detects suspicious activities (10 failed screen passcode attempts), if you’re locked out due to failed Screen Time Passcode attempts, things are not that bad. That said, you can try the following methods to reset or remove the Screen Time Passcode without losing your valuable data.
Method 1: Use ‘Forgot Passcode’
If you’ve entered your Apple ID while setting up Screen Time Passcode, things would be easier for you. All you need to do is, use the ‘Forgot Passcode’ feature and use your Apple ID and password to remove the passcode. The process is explained below:
- Go to the Settings app.
- Scroll down and tap Screen Time.
- Tap Change Screen Time Passcode on the Screen Time window.
- Tap Change Screen Time Passcode from the box that pops up at the bottom.
- Tap Forgot Passcode on the next screen.
- On the Screen Time Passcode Recovery window, enter your Apple ID.
- Tap OK from the top-right corner.
- Enter new passcode when iPhone prompts.
- Confirm the new passcode.
Note: If you chose to change the Screen Time Passcode, iPhone will prompt you to enter a new one after it verifies your Apple ID credentials. On the other hand, if you selected to turn off the passcode, after entering your Apple ID and password, the phone will take you back to the Screen Time window from where you can enter a new Screen Time Passcode, or drop the idea of using it altogether.
Method 2: Use a Third-Party Tool
Even though Apple’s built-in features are quite sufficient to help when you forgot the Screen Time Passcode. If you also forgot the password of the Apple ID or have no access to the Apple ID that is used to set up the Screen Time restrictions, you have to use an efficient third-party tool that can resolve the problem with merely a few mouse clicks.
When talking about locked Screen Time due to failed passcode attempts, one such app that can help you make your device accessible again is AnyUnlock by iMobie. AnyUnlock is available for both Windows and Mac computers and can do the following:
- Remove Screen Time and Restriction Passcodes from your iDevice without erasing it.
- Remove Apple ID from your iDevice.
- Remove screen lock from your iDevice.
- Bypass Mobile Device Management (MDM) on your iDevice.
- Bypass iCloud activation (in some cases).
You can use the following steps to get rid of Screen Time Passcode on your iPhone if it has been locked after 10 failed attempts:
- On your Windows or Mac computer, use your favorite web browser to download iMobie AnyUnlock from the official website.
- Use the Lightning Cable to connect your iDevice to the computer.
- Launch AnyUnlock.
- Click Unlock Screen Time Passcode.
- Click Start Now and then Unlock Now.
- Wait while AnyUnlock removes Screen Time Passcode before you can continue using your iDevice normally.
How to Remove the Screen Time Passcode (Erase Data)
If you don’t want to try the above method when you forget the password of the Apple ID or have no access to it, even after 10 failed Screen Time Passcode attempts, you can use iTunes or iCloud to bring your iPhone back to normal, but at the cost of losing all your data. Nevertheless, both methods are explained below.
Method 1: Using iTunes to Restore iPhone
When you use iTunes to restore your iPhone, the program downloads a fresh copy of iOS and installs it on your device. However, during the process, all the data from your smartphone is erased, and after installation, you must enter your correct Apple ID and password to set it up afresh. The process of using iTunes to restore the iPhone is given below:
- Use the genuine Lightning Cable to connect your iPhone to the computer with iTunes installed on it.
- Launch iTunes if it doesn’t start automatically.
- Click the iPhone icon from the top of the initial interface.
- On the next window, make sure that the Summary category is selected in the left pane.
- Click Restore iPhone from the upper-right area of the window on the right.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to restore your iPhone with iTunes.
- After the restoration is done, set up your phone as a new device.
Method 2: Using iCloud to Erase iPhone
This method requires you to use your favorite web browser on a PC (used here for illustrations) or another phone, go to iCloud.com, and erase all data from your iPhone from there. However, for this solution to work, ‘Find My iPhone’ must be enabled on your phone. Also, after erasing the data, you must enter your correct Apple ID while setting up the iDevice afresh.
You can use the steps given below to erase your iPhone using iCloud:
- On your PC, use your favorite web browser to go to https://www.icloud.com/.
- Enter your Apple ID and password, along with the verification code, if you’ve enabled two-factor authentication.
- From the iCloud page, click Find iPhone.
- Provide your Apple ID credentials again to ensure data and device protection.
- Click Sign In.
- From the top of the iCloud Find My iPhone page, click All Devices.
- Click your iPhone from the list that drops down.
- From the control box that is present on the left of the next page, click Erase iPhone.
- Click Erase on the confirmation box that appears.
- Follow the on-screen instructions from this point onwards to erase all your data from the phone.
- Once done, set up your iPhone as a new device.
Now you’ve known what happens after 10 failed Screen Time Passcode attempts. Rest assured that your iPhone is not completely unusable. You can still make phone calls and use the apps that you have not protected with Screen Time. However, to get everything back to normal on your phone, you can try to unlock the Screen Time Passcode with the ‘Forgot Password’ feature, use an efficient third-party tool, or erase all your data from the device with the ‘Restore’ or ‘Erase iPhone’ options using iTunes or iCloud respectively.