How to Reset Locked iPad: Step-by-Step Guide to Regain Access

If you’ve found yourself locked out of your iPad, don’t worry. Resetting a locked iPad is easier than you might think. By following a few straightforward steps, you’ll have your iPad back to its factory settings, ready to be set up anew. Here’s how you can do it.

How to Reset Locked iPad

Resetting a locked iPad will erase all its content and settings, allowing you to regain access. This process requires a computer with iTunes installed. Below, you’ll find a detailed walkthrough to guide you through each step.

Step 1: Connect your iPad to a computer

Using a USB cable, connect your locked iPad to a computer with iTunes installed.

Ensure the cable is securely connected to both the iPad and the computer. If the iPad isn’t recognized, try using a different cable or USB port.

Step 2: Open iTunes or Finder

On your computer, open iTunes (on Windows or older macOS versions) or Finder (on macOS Catalina and later).

Once opened, wait a few moments for your device to appear in the program. If it doesn’t, ensure your iPad is on and properly connected.

Step 3: Force Restart the iPad

Depending on your iPad model, you’ll need to perform a specific sequence to force restart it:

  • For iPads with a Home button, press and hold both the Home button and the Top (or Side) button until you see the recovery-mode screen.
  • For iPads without a Home button, press and release the Volume Up button, then press and release the Volume Down button, and finally press and hold the Top button until the recovery-mode screen appears.

Make sure to follow the sequence carefully. Timing is crucial; remember to wait for the recovery-mode screen to appear before releasing the buttons.

Step 4: Select “Restore” in iTunes or Finder

A prompt will appear in iTunes or Finder asking if you want to Update or Restore your iPad. Choose “Restore.”

This action will download the latest iOS software and reinstall it on your iPad. This process takes a few minutes, so be patient.

Step 5: Set up your iPad

After the restoration process is complete, your iPad will restart. Follow the on-screen instructions to set it up as a new device or restore from a backup.

Make sure to have your Apple ID and password handy if you wish to restore from an iCloud or iTunes backup.

Once completed, your iPad will start as if it were brand new, giving you access once again.

Tips for Resetting a Locked iPad

  • Backup First: If possible, back up your iPad before resetting to avoid losing important data.
  • Keep Software Updated: Ensure both your iPad and iTunes are using the latest software versions.
  • Use Official Cables: Using official Apple cables can prevent connection issues.
  • Patience is Key: The restoration process may take a while; don’t disconnect your iPad prematurely.
  • Know Your Apple ID: Have your Apple ID and password ready, especially if you plan to restore from an iCloud backup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I need to use a computer to reset my locked iPad?

A computer with iTunes or Finder is required to access recovery mode and restore the device’s software.

What happens to my data after resetting the iPad?

Resetting will erase all data and settings from your iPad. If you have a backup, you can restore your data afterwards.

Can I reset my iPad without iTunes?

No, you need iTunes or Finder on a computer to perform the reset if your iPad is locked.

Will resetting my iPad remove the iCloud lock?

No, resetting will not remove the iCloud lock. You’ll still need your Apple ID and password to set up the device.

What if my iPad isn’t recognized by iTunes or Finder?

Ensure the USB cable and ports are functioning. Try restarting both the iPad and the computer.


  1. Connect your iPad to a computer.
  2. Open iTunes or Finder.
  3. Force Restart the iPad.
  4. Select “Restore” in iTunes or Finder.
  5. Set up your iPad.


Resetting a locked iPad might seem daunting at first, but with clear steps and a bit of patience, it’s a manageable task. By following the instructions provided, you can effectively reset your device and regain access without much hassle.

For further reading, consider exploring Apple’s official support pages for more detailed troubleshooting tips. If you encounter issues beyond what’s covered here, professional assistance from an Apple Store or authorized service provider may be necessary. Don’t let a locked iPad stress you out; take control of the situation with the steps outlined, and you’ll be back to enjoying your device in no time.

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