Lost iPhone passcode. Remove and reset, right?

An elderly family member has forgotten the passcode on their iPhone. Fortunately, the phone has hardly been used at all, so it wouldn’t be a big deal to wipe it and start over. According to Apple Support, you’re supposed to shut down the phone, then connect to a computer while holding the side button, and continue to hold it til one sees the recovery screen. https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204306

I could manage that, but I’m trying to help remotely. My relative’s dexterity (and perhaps mental agility) may not be up to the task of keeping a button pressed while connecting it to a computer.

So my question is: if we’re not worried about losing data, is there a way to reset the passcode without connecting the phone to a computer?

Thanks in advance.

I’ve never done this, but supposedly the erase you can do in Find My resets it so it can be set up as a new phone. If they don’t have iCloud set up, there’s no workaround for the computer requirement.

And also they MUST be able to log into the associated iCloud account, otherwise they won’t be allowed to reset the device.

Thanks for your replies. Gah. So that means they have to remember their iCloud password? Remembering passwords is a big part of the problem here. Sigh.

But if I can walk them through hooking the thing to a computer while holding down the button, then I don’t have to worry about iCloud?

No that has not been the case for 5+ years with Activation Lock.

OK, good. So I will get them to update their copy of iTunes, then try to walk them through the reset process, without worrying about iCloud. I’m not concerned about them losing data; there’s no data to lose.

No, there is no such thing as not worrying about iCloud.

If the user does not disable Find My Phone, either on the phone itself (which requires the iCloud password) or on the iCloud website, which also requires the password, then the phone will be locked forever.

Once you reset via iTunes the phone will still not let you activate without the iCloud login.

Not sure why you keep missing the forest for the trees. You NEED the iCloud login. If you don’t you have to take it into the Apple Store.

Why don’t you just reset the password to the iCloud again? Have you lost access to the email password completely as well? Then you throw out the phone.

Ah OK, I misunderstood your earlier post (“No that has not been the case…”). My apologies.

OK, so sounds like job one is to see if they can log into their iCloud password. The odds are high they have forgotten it. (Which raises a broader question about whether this person should be on the internet at all, but that’s a separate issue.) I will try to walk them through the password recovery process if that’s the case. If that succeeds, then I’ll try the solution @cornchip posted, which involves turning off Find MY. That solution says one can remotely “erase” the iPhone using iCloud. Does this erasure extend to the passcode?

Alternatively, would it be helpful for me to call Apple? Last time I did this, it was a several hour wait for a return call that wasn’t helpful.

Yes, if you can get into iCloud and follow those instructions, it should be like setting up a new device and they will get to set a new passcode. Good luck; I would be really frustrated by this.

Apple live chat support is pretty good. I have no experience rescuing a locked phone with their support, though, virtually or in-person.

I have no idea why Qt3 showed me this topic second in my list of Hardware topics given no new posts (mod-deleted spam, maybe?), but since it did, I’m curious….

@Spock, were you ever able to get your relative’s iPhone unlocked for them?

I think you meant to tag @Spock.

Fixed! Sorry, covid brain! Thanks for correcting me. :)

@Editer Thanks for asking! Alas, the family member in question quickly deteriorated after my last post in this thread. Dementia and other serious health issues eclipsed the iPhone issue, and I don’t think I had the energy or the will to deal with it. The person passed away a few months later, and I’m not sure what became of the iPhone.

I should’ve posted in this thread to close the loop, but I got pretty distracted. I do appreciate your interest, though. :)

Well, all of that was way more important than closing the loop here! Really sorry to hear about your family member. Dementia is horrible.

Thanks, @Editer ! I appreciate it.