Fix iPad is Disabled – Connect to iTunes Error

ios15 ipad pro forgot passcode

iPad has set a standard for handheld devices that almost match the power and efficiency of laptops.

Whether in office meetings, striking presentations, field visits, or collecting data from clients at trade shows, users love carrying their iPads to get work done.

Apple products are known for their security, so if you find your iPad disabled, then someone – or you – might have entered the wrong passwords multiple times.

This has been known to interrupt people’s workday as many have been locked out.

In short, the iPad is disabled, and you can either wait or reset it using your computer.

However, these aren’t the only two options to get your iPad working again. I have listed a few tips to help you unlock your iPad without losing your essential data.

The criteria that get your iPad disabled

As I have mentioned, entering the wrong password ten times gets your iPad disabled. But, I got my hands on critical information that specifies the seriousness of the issues per attempt.

  • 1-5 attempts: You do not need to worry, but you should remember the password now.
  • 6 attempts: Your iPad is disabled for a minute.
  • 7 attempts: Your iPad is disabled for 5 minutes.
  • 8 attempts: Your iPad is disabled for 15 minutes.
  • 9 attempts: Your iPad is disabled for an hour.
  • 10 attempts: You will see a pop-up, “iPad is disabled. Connect to iTunes”.

How did your iPad get Disabled?

iPad is disabled when you enter your passcode incorrectly ten times. But, that isn’t the only criteria that get you locked out of your device.

Many instances have shown that iPad also gets disabled when kids keep tapping buttons. Whatever the reason your iPad was disabled, the following methods will get it unlocked.

Method 1: Recovery Mode

Fix iPad is Disabled - Connect to iTunes Error

To enter Recovery Mode on your iPad, you will have to follow steps based on the iPad model you own.

  • With the home button: Hold the Power button at the top of the iPad, then swipe on the Power Off slider.
  • Without the home button: Hold the Power button and either Volume button on an iPad. Then swipe the Power Off slider.

Now, you will have to plug your iPad into a computer to put it into Recovery Mode.

  • With the home button: Press and hold both the Home and the Power buttons at the same time until you see the Recovery Mode on your screen.

Without the home button: Press and release the Volume Up button, press and release the Volume Down button, and hold the Power button until you see the Recovery Mode on the screen.

Unless you have an iCloud backup, you will lose all of your data using this method. If in case you use iCloud for backup, you can select a backup during the setup process after the Restore.

Step 1: Disconnect the USB cable from the device, but ensure that you leave the other end of the cable connected to your computer’s USB port.

Step 2: Turn off the device: You will have to press and hold the Power button for a few seconds until the red slider appears, then slide the slider. Stay still the device shuts down.

Step 3: Reconnect the USB cable to the device while pressing and holding the Home button. iPad should be turned on by now.

Step 4: Keep holding the home button until you see the ‘Connect to iTunes’ screen.

Step 5: You will get an alert from iTunes that it has detected a device in recovery mode.

Step 6: Tap on OK, and then restore the machine.

Step 7: Follow the pop-ups in Setup Assistant. Now proceed to ‘Set up your device.’

Step 8: Here you can ‘Restore from a Backup’ if you have used iCloud for backup.

Step 9: Now sign in to iCloud.

Step 10: Click on ‘Choose backup’ and select one of the lists of available backups in iCloud.

Method 2: Find My service

Fix iPad is Disabled - Connect to iTunes Error

You can also use the Find My service to enable your iPad.

Step 1: Go to the ‘Find My’ section on the iCloud website.

Step 2: Select your iPad, and click on ‘Erase.’

Keep in mind that your iPad should be connected to the internet. And if it is, then this should delete the passcode and everything on it.

Method 3: Third-Party Software

There are various third-party software solutions that assist in unlocking Apple devices. They do so by bypassing password protections.

Don’t just do a quick Google trawl and download random software. Research well before installing such critical applications. Doing so will prevent unwanted virus infections or even malware.

iMyFone’s LockWiper removes various locked iPads immediately.

Step 1: Install the software from here.

Step 2: Connect the device with the USB port to reset the iPad.

Step 3: Pursue the prompts that put the device into a mode it can identify. The device details will be confirmed, and your firmware will be updated.

Step 4: After all the details are verified, the unlock process begins when you click on ‘Start Unlock.’

Step 5: Use the “000000” password to unlock.

Step 6: When the process is concluded, back up to iTunes and return to using the device.

Method 4: Try to back up the iPad device in iTunes

A simple iTunes backup should be the first step to unlocking your disabled iPad.

Step 1: Connect your iOS device to your computer via USB.

Step 2: Launch iTunes.

Step 3: Choose your iPad in the upper right-hand corner to see its properties on the main screen.

Step 4: Select the Back-Up Now’ button to begin the sync.

Step 5: You” see a prompt to type in your password on your iPad to start the sync because the device is locked.

Step 6: Once you have entered your password, you can cancel the backup and use your device.


How do you unlock an iPad that is disabled and says connect to iTunes?

To unlock your iPad that is disabled and says connect to iTunes, you need to connect it to a computer that has iTunes. When the device is connected via a USB port, you will have to conduct a force restart by holding the home button and the power button until you see a logo Apple logo. After a few minutes, you will be prompted to update or restore your iPad.

How do you unlock a disabled iPad without a computer?

Even though iTunes is a traditional method to get your iPad working again, another method requiring a computer is Apple’s Find My iPhone service. This method allows you to perform actions on an iOS device remotely. What you need to do is access it. Either the app on another machine or the website, and you will unlock the device.

How do I reset my iPad without the passcode or iTunes?

To reset your iPad without the passcode or iTunes, you have to go to on your computer or any other device > log into your  icloud account, which is your Apple ID > Click on “Find iPhone” > Tap on “All Devices” > Choose the iPad that has been disabled > Now click on “Erase iPhone.” Afterward, your device will reset back to factory settings, and all data will be removed.

How do I reactivate an old iPad?

To reactivate an old iPad of yours, you have three options to do so:

  • Reboot it
  • Plug it into a computer with iTunes for activation
  • Perform a recovery mode restore if you unable to update or restore your iPad


Even if you have gotten your iPad disabled, connecting to iTunes is the only way to get it working.

Always use a password manager as the digital age constantly requires us to remember passwords for various log-ins, which is impossible.

I hope the methods above solved your issues.


I am an ambivert, an avid reader, a movie buff, a tea connoisseur, and a staunch fan of Priyanka Chopra Jonas. I like to give my insights through words, which come naturally to me. They also help me to express the myriads of emotions I go through. When not working, I'm either watching the latest tech videos or flipping through pages.