iPhone is disabled

When you see this message on your iPhone you should be prepared for worst. In fact, if you see time below that message then you still have hope but when you enter pin code you should do it extremely careful. And now in details about this problem.

iPhone allow you to enter password 10 times. When you enter it incorrectly you got following:
    6 incorrect guesses: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 1 minute
    7 incorrect guesses: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 5 minutes
    8 incorrect guesses: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 15 minutes
    9 incorrect guesses: iPhone is disabled. Try again in 60 minutes
    10 incorrect guesses: iPhone is disabled. Connect to iTunes

When you enter incorrect pin code 10 times you iPhone is blocked and if you use one of the new IOS (after 11.4) then you have only two options: Do factory reset or restore it from backup. In any case anything that you didn’t backup is lost forever. And there is nothing you or someone else can do about it. It is security mechanism to prevent unauthorized person to access your data. Even government cannot force Apple to get access to data because Apple cannot access your data either. Perhaps there are ways to unlock access on hardware level (extract memory chips or perhaps there is backdoor, and you can connect wires somewhere) but without that as far I did research it is not possible to recover data. I spent 6 hours working on this problem without success. I didn’t event find any light of hope. There are few apps that claim that they are able to do so but in reality, they cannot do it, or they just do reset to factory settings. Every company that is fixing phones just stated that it is not possible to do.

If you are using older versions there is hope. You can connect iPhone to iTunes and you can unlock it. At least it is what I read but I didn’t try.

And in my case that thing happens without actually entering pin code. I was trying to update iPhone to latest version and it freeze. After restarting it did lock itself to this mode and nothing I can do about it.

And the worst thing that you cannot disable that feature if you have pin code. For example, imagine you left your phone and some baby trying to play with your phone. And in one hour and 21 minute your phone is locked, and you cannot recover anything from it. Imaging another situation where you don’t really care about security and you use pin codes for example to prevent people in your school from checking you stuff. Nobody ever will try to enter 10^6 combinations to break it but they definitely can try entering 10.

I think it is a bit extreme. In some cases, it has sense, but I think in most cases there is nothing that important to justify loss of your data. So, I think it definitely should be configurable and customer should decide what is more important: security or convenience.

Anyway, I should remind all of you that backup is very important. Your phone can stop working without any reason, it can be stolen or broken etc. If you have something important - please do backup. Just put away your phone and think what is on that phone that have importance to you? Is there anything there that cannot be recovered? Is there anything there that will make you cry if you lost it? Is there anything there that make you spend a lot of time to recover it? Try for one week to ask this question every time you switch to new app. Does this app save data somewhere except this phone? Do I remember password to that service?

I personally know person who lost her kids photos for the first 8 years of their life. She never does phone backup and just upgrade to new phone and copy all data and then delete backup. And in recent versions you can copy phone to phone.

And lastly some apps do like they store your data somewhere, but they actually don’t do it. Some popular photo apps are one of the examples. Storage is expensive and as result even you have account in that app and edit photos they actually stored on your device and not in cloud or something similar.

As the bottom line prepare when you can, don’t be lazy. It can be too late, and you will be extremely upset and ask yourself “why I didn’t do it when I can”. Phones have more and more personal data and loss of that can be quite costly