Update regarding devices eligible for 7.0 software: If the phone that you are restoring is connected to an iCloud account you must have the login credentials or you will not be able to get past the phones activation screen!
If you forgot your iPhone password but you aren’t worried about saving the information that is stored on the device then you can perform a complete restore. This will roll your device back to factory settings as if you just purchased it. There is one exception here and that is you may be upgraded to a new firmware version depending on how old your iPhone or iPod is. You should also be aware that if your device has been jailbroken before then it may not be simple to perform this process. Jailbreaks can modify some of the files which identify your phone to Apple. Because of this you may run into some problems while performing a restore. We will discuss this in further detail later on.
Note: If you are using a Sprint iPhone 4S or 5 you will need the SIM card which came with the phone when you bought it. If you do not have a SIM which is branded for Sprint you will not be able to get past the activation screen after you perform the restore!
If your device has never been jailbroken then you can proceed with the restore process and should not encounter any difficulties. In order to perform a restore your device should be fully charged and you must be able to operate your lock button and your home button. You will also need the following items.
- PC or Mac with iTunes installed
- USB or lightning data cable depending on the model of your device
- Reliable internet connection
Once you have connected your iPhone, iPod or iPad to a computer open iTunes. This may happen automatically depending on the options you have selected previously. Next power your device off and wait until the spinning wheel in the middle of your screen disappears. This shouldn’t take more than a minute. You will now need to put the phone into “DFU” mode. In case you are wondering, DFU stands for Device Firmware Upgrade. In order to enter DFU mode do the following.
Turn off your iPhone, hold the home button down and connect your data cable to the computer. Keep holding the home button until you see the iTunes logo with a USB cable on the phones display. Or use the following steps.
- Press and hold the power button for about three seconds until the Apple logo shows up.
- While you continue holding the power button press the home button also.
- Continue holding both buttons for ten seconds. When the screen flashes and the Apple logo disappears hold both buttons for one more second.
- Now release the power button and continue holding the home button for another thirty seconds.
*If you can’t operate the power button on your device you should be able to enter DFU mode by using the home button. This will require dis-assembly of the phone as you will have to disconnect the battery from it physically in order to power it off. After reconnecting the battery, hold the home button while you connect your iPhone to the computer. Keep holding it until you see a notification indicating that iTunes or your computer has detected a phone in DFU mode.
After you have completed this procedure you should see that your device shows up in iTunes prompting you to restore it. Follow the directions on your computer screen in order to restore your device. Now you will have to wait for a while. How long depends on your internet connection speed and availability on Apples servers. When a new firmware is released this process can take a while since a lot of people are trying to download files at the same time.