[2020 New] How to Erase iPhone When Locked without Password

My dad gave me the iPhone that he hasn't used for a while. When I try to enter it I was blocked by the screen lock. I didn't know the password and my dad forgot it since it's been a long time. I want to use this iPhone and set my own Apple ID. How should I erase the locked iPhone? Please help me.

Locked iPhone and erased iPhone

Apple makes it very hard for anyone who doesn't have the passcode to an iPhone to access its data and files. However, this security measure doesn't stop only those without the iPhone passcode, but even the owners who have forgotten their passcode. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to erase an iPhone when it's locked to gain full access again and restore your data.

Solutions Prerequisite Suitable for Internet Required Ease of Use Time Needed Success Rate
iMyFone LockWiper No prerequisite Forgot password & second hand iPhone No Simple Short High
iTunes iPhone should be synced before Forgot password Yes Complex Long Low
iCloud Find My iPhone should be enabled Forgot password Yes Medium Long Low
Recovery Mode iTunes is involved Second hand iPhone No Complex Long Medium

1. How to Permanently Erase Locked iPhone

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You may need to erase a locked iPhone for a number of reasons. For example, you forgot your passcode and want to upgrade to a new iPhone; your iPhone is disabled and you want to factory reset it; you want to sell your old iPhone but want to first erase all files but don't remember the passcode, etc.

There are a number of ways to erase locked iPhone. But we suggest you to try the iMyFone LockWiper, a professional and reliable iPhone unlocking and erasing software, to completely and permanently erase your locked iPhone for the outstanding features below.

lockwiper unlock iphone passcode

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LockWiper Erases Locked iPhone without Passcode

  • Easy and quick process to erase a locked iPhone and remove its screen password.
  • Avoid a hassle process and reset or erase a locked iPhone.
  • Support to erase the iPhone that is locked, or have a broken screen.
  • Unlock and erase locked iPhone with Touch ID, Face ID, 4-digit passcode or a 6-digit passcode.
  • Remove the iCloud account if you forgot the password or purchased a second-hand iPhone with screen lock.

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Steps to Erase Locked iPhone via iMyFone LockWiper

Step 1: Install iMyFone LockWiper on your computer and launch it. Select "Start" on the home interface.

Erase locked iPhone with iMyFone LockWiper

Step 2: Connect your locked iPhone to your computer using the Apple lightning cable.

connect idevice to pc

Step 3: The software will ask you to activate the DFU mode on your locked iPhone. Follow the on-screen instructions.

dfu mode

Step 4: Select the model and iOS information of your locked iPhone and then click on "Download" to install the firmware.

download firmware package

Step 5: After successful download click on "Start to Verify".

verify firmware package

Step 6: When verifying succeeds, click "Start Unlock".

verification success

Step 7: As this process will erase all data from your device, you'll be asked to confirm the operation. Just confirm it by entering "000000". It won't take you long to finish erasing your locked iPhone.

confirm unlock

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2. How to Erase Locked iPhone with iTunes

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You can easily erase a locked iPhone by restoring it with iTunes. The assistance of iTunes in erasing locked iPhone is usually not very much appreciated because of file loss and various iTunes limitations and restrictions. Many iTunes users report that errors happen frequently when using iTunes to backup or erase iOS devices. Besides, this way is available only when your iPhone was synced to iTunes before.

Here are the steps to erase a locked iPhone with iTunes:

Step 1: Connect your locked iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes. Make sure the computer you are using is the one you've used in syncing your iPhone.

Step 2: From the upper left corner in iTunes, select the name of your locked iPhone.

Step 3: Click "Restore iPhone" from the right panel.

erase locked iPhone with iTunes

When the steps above are done, you'll find that the screen password of your locked iPhone has been removed. Since you erased iPhone, it's brought back to factory default settings. The iOS system has been updated to the latest version as well.


  • Your iPhone must have been synced to the iTunes previously.

3. How to Erase iPhone When Locked via iCloud

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To unlock a locked iPhone via iCloud, Find My iPhone must be enabled on this device. Supposing Find My Phone is enabled on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch before it became disabled or locked, then you can follow these steps to erase your iPhone without a password.

Step 1: Go to www.iCloud.com from a friend's device or computer.

Step 2: Sign in with your Apple ID and password. Select the locked iPhone you want to erase from the device list.

Find iPhone

Step 3: Click "Erase iPhone" to wipe your iPhone remotely.

Erase locked iPhone with iCloud

Once you've completed these steps, you will find your iPhone well erased, and the lock screen opened.


  • No free access. Apple ID passcode required.
  • To use this iCloud function, the Find My iPhone feature must be disabled on your device.
  • Your locked iPhone should be connected to the internet.

4. How to Erase Locked iPhone in Recovery Mode

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The recovery mode is the most common way to erase a locked iPhone when you've never synced iPhone to iTunes or Find My iPhone is disabled. If this is the case with you, then follow the steps below to erase your locked iPhone.

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to your PC and open iTunes.

Step 2: Force-restart your iPhone while it's connected to your PC.

  • On iPhone X, 8, or 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button, press and quickly release the Volume Down button, press and hold the Side button until the recovery screen appears.
  • On iPhone 7, or 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down button at the same time. Keep holding them until the recovery mode screen appears.
  • On iPhone 6 and earlier versions: Press and hold both the Home and Top button at the same time, keep holding them until the recovery mode screen appears.

Erase locked iPhone through recovery mode

Step 3: The options to Restore or Update iPhone will appear, click the "Restore" tab. At this point, iTunes will download and install software on your device. This would take about 15 minutes, but if the time exceeds, you should repeat step 2 and step 3.

Step 4: Wait for the process to complete, then set up your iPhone.

The screen lock will be open and the iOS system will be updated to the latest version. Of course, you will find all the data erased from your locked iPhone.


  • Your old iPhone could slow down dramatically.

You Might Ask: Can I Unlock a Locked iPhone without Losing Data

Yes, you can unlock a locked iPhone without losing data.

But you can't unlock a locked iPhone without erasing. To keep the data on your locked iPhone, you need to backup your iPhone before you unlock it. You can do the backup by connecting your locked iPhone into your computer which you've used to sync your iPhone.

Steps to Manually Backup Data of a Locked iPhone

Step 1: Launch iTunes and connect your iPhone to iTunes using a USB cable.

Step 2: Click on your iPhone icon under the sidebar, and select "Summary > Back Up Now".

Step 3: Click "Done" when the backup is completed.

Backup Now


This article has discussed 4 practical solutions to erase an iPhone when it is locked. Comparing with erasing through iTunes, iCloud and recovery mode, using the professional software iMyFone LockWiper would ensure you higher success rate and is more time-saving. Do not hesitate to give it a try if you need to erase a locked iPhone.

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