Locked your iPad and can’t remember the password?

Locked your iPad and can’t remember the password?

Well the good news is that you can unlock the iPad without losing all your work.  The bad news is that it’s going to take you some time; and more bad news is you need to use the computer that you sync your iPad to.

So make sure you have between 30 minutes and an hour to spare and let’s get started.

1. First thing you need to do is to connect your iPad to the computer where you sync it.  Let it do it’s sync if it wants to.  Don’t try to interrupt the sync as there may be a few Apps that need to be transferred.

2. Once the sync has finished, click on the link to your iPad on the left hand side of iTunes, then click the Restore button.

Restoring the iPad

Restoring the iPad

3. iTunes will ask you to confirm that you want to restore, so read the warnings then click “restore”


4. If there is a later version of iOS available, iTunes will ask you to download and install that version, it’s always best to restore to the latest version, so click “Next” then click “Restore”3_info

NOTE: you might not see this and iTunes might jump straight into restoring.

Once iTunes is ready, it will go ahead and start restoring the iPad. You will see iTunes show a few messages, the computer will clunk and beep a few times, the iPad will start and stop and show all manner of strange pictures on the front screen.

Most of the time, however, iTunes will show something like this at the top.

restoring messageAt one point, you’ll even see the iPad display the original picture of a USB cable and an iTunes icon telling you to plug it into iTunes.

Whatever you do, don’t interrupt it and don’t unplug the iPad.

Once your iPad and computer has finished beeping and carrying on, the iTunes will tell you that there’s a new iPad connected, and ask if you want to restore it as a new iPad or restore from a backup.

This is the important step.

restore from backup

From the above screen, make sure that you tick the option to restore from the backup, and press continue.

iTunes will then take another 10 to 15 minutes to restore all the data, then it will restart the iPad once more.  You should see a message like the one below.

settings restored

Your iPad should now be almost exactly like it was before we started – except of course the unlock passcode has gone.

Wait a minute, all my Apps have gone!!!!

Every now and then iTunes will restore your iPad but not the Apps.  This is very easy to fix.

1. Click on your iPad on the left hand side, then click on Apps near the top of the screen.

2. You will probably see that the Apps aren’t ticked, so you will need to go through and tick all those Apps you want to put back on your iPad.  Once you’ve ticked all the Apps press “Sync” or “Apply” at the bottom right.

resync apps small

The last thing to realise is that restoring your iPad this way removes *ALL* the passwords.  Not just the home screen lock, but almost all the passwords in all your Apps, so you will be typing in new passwords for a while.

This entry was posted in Help, Usage tips and tagged , by Chris. Bookmark the permalink.

About Chris

I teach Mathematics and ICT at Lilydale High School where I also look after the notebook / iPad program. I have worked at a number of jobs, starting as a high school teacher; a network administrator; a computer programmer; an irrigation specialist; a full time punter; and have returned to teaching part time. I have a passion for technology and it's use in the classroom.

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