Help for unusual locked iPhone issue

I’m hoping someone here might have a creative idea on how to solve this issue. So far, no one has been able to help at all.

Last summer, my wife had an extensive stroke during emergency cardiac surgery and lost her vision and a lot of her memory. Unfortunately, that included her memory of her passcodes and passwords. Included is the passcode for her iPhone and iPads. And also her Apple ID and passcode. And also her iCloud password. And all her email passwords, too. So, in short, everything.

After searching fruitlessly for something with her passwords/passcodes written down, I knew her iPhone would need to be wiped to factory defaults in order for us to use it again. Okay, fine.

I took the iPhone to Verizon and they said it couldn’t be done because in order to wipe it, Apple iPhones require the Apple ID password as one of the steps to wipe it.

So, I’m stuck in this Catch 22 situation and I’m not sure how to fix it. If it was an old phone I’d just write it off but it’s new and she still has 17 payments left on it.

Any ideas on how to get around this?

If your wife had Find My turned on on her iPhone, I think it’s a brick, unfortunately. I mean the feature has good intentions - it means a stolen iPhone is basically worthless, but folks who forget their passcodes are screwed.

You might be able to contact Apple and see if there’s a way to reset her Apple account password, though. Not sure if it’s possible to turn off Find My that way.

Edit: is this the way in conjunction with resetting your Apple ID password below?

Found this article. Scroll down to find options if you don’t have a trusted device to confirm prompts.

Sorry to hear about your wife. Yeah you need that password or the phone is bricked. Try to reset it, call Apple too. If it can’t be reset you’re completely out of luck.

Thanks. As far as I know she didn’t have Find My turned on.

I had called Apple and we tried going through the steps above regarding not having a trusted device. Unfortunately, that involves sending a temp password to her email which she also doesn’t have access to anymore for the same reasons. Catch 22.

At this point I think I’m willing to hack or jailbreak the phone in some way if that might even be a solution because I don’t feel like paying another $700 for a brick. That’s not even considering her 2 iPads, one of which is also new.

If Find My isn’t turned on, I think you can just plug it into a PC and reset it with iTunes.

Right, with find my disabled just put it in DFU mode and restore it. You will of course lose all data on the phone, but it’ll be like new.

I don’t have iTunes on my PC. If I install it, will I still be able to reset it?

Yeah - install iTunes, then connect the iPhone to the PC with a USB cable. It’ll show up in iTunes and you should have an option to reset it.

Okay, thanks. It’s worth a try.


Find My is on by default usually if you sign into iCloud, most folks don’t actively enable it.

If you can’t find a way to gain access to her apple connected email account, you’re out of luck.

Doesn’t hurt to try the iTunes reset just in case.