How to Fix iPad Unavailable if Forgot Passcode 2023

ipad unavailable message

Did you see the iPad Unavailable message on your iPad screen when you forgot your iPad passcode and typed it incorrectly too many times? Be it “iPad Unavailable Try Again in XX Minutes”,  “Security Lockout Try Again in XX Minutes” or “iPad Unavailable with no time”, I promise this article will a hundred percent help you restore your unavailable iPad.

What Does iPad Unavailable Mean

iPad Unavailable is previously displayed as iPad is Disabled. If you see this message on your iPad, it means you temporarily cannot use your iPad for any purpose except make emergency calls.

The feature is meant to protect user privacy but now it can be a big trouble for people who have unfortunately forgotten their screen lock passcode.

Why Does My iPad Say iPad Unavailable

The only reason why your iPad says iPad unavailable is that you’ve entered wrong passcodes too many times in a row. After the first 5 times, it would display “iPad Unavailable Try Again in 1 Minute” and now you cannot press home button to unlock unavailable iPad until the minute is up. But if you continue to enter wrong passcodes, the timer would extend to 5 minutes/15 minutes/1 hour, and the message would change to Security Lockout. After 9 times, your iPad will be permanently unavailable and at that time you would have to reset your iPad to unlock the iPad Unavailable screen.

But no worries, it takes no expertise or skills to reset your unavailable iPad. Now let’s get started!

Fix 1: Erase iPad from iPad Unavailable Screen [iPadOS 15.2 or Later]

Apple finally realized the pain of forgetting screen lock passcode and designed a new way to directly unlock iPad unavailable screen without iTunes or iCloud.


  • Running iPadOS 15.2 or later.
  • Connected to Cellular or Wi-Fi network.
  • Apple ID signed in & Find My enabled.


  • Easy to operate.
  • Reset unavailable iPad without computer or iTunes.


  • Your iPad will be reset to factory settings, which means you’ll lose all your iPad content and settings if you don’t have an iTunes/iCloud backup.

How to Erase iPad from iPad Unavailable Screen:

  • Step 1: Keep entering wrong passcodes until you see the Erase iPad button on the bottom of your iPad screen.
erase ipad
  • Step 2: Tap on the Erase iPad button and you’ll see the following message. Make sure you want to erase your iPad now instead of waiting for the timer to run out, then tap on the Erase iPad button again.
erase all content and settings on ipad
  • Step 3: Enter your Apple ID password and the erasing process will begin.
sign out of apple id
  • Step 4: Once completed, you can set up your iPad from scratch and choose to restore from a previous iTunes or iCloud backup.

Fix 2: Unlock Unavailable iPad with Dr.Fone [Without Apple ID]

If you unfortunately forgot both your passcode and Apple ID, or you bought a secondhand iPad signed in with the previous owner’s Apple ID, you have no choice but to pay for a third-party software called Dr.Fone Screen Unlock to help you fix the iPad Unavailable message.


  • A Windows/Mac computer.


  • Remove all types of lock screen, including 4-digit/6-digit passcode, Touch ID, and Face ID.
  • Unlock unavailable iPad without iTunes/Apple ID.
  • Simple, safe, and easy to use.
  • Recognized by industry authorities.


  • Not free.
  • It will also erase all your iPad content and settings.

How to Unlock Unavailable iPad without iTunes/Apple ID:

  • Step 1: Go to this page to download and install Dr.Fone Screen Unlock.
  • Step 2: Launch the software and click Screen Unlock on the home page to open a new window.
dr.fone screen unlock
  • Step 3: Select Unlock iOS Lock Screen on the new window.
unlock ipad unavailable screen
  • Step 4: Click the Start button to proceed.
start to unlock ipad unavailable screen
  • Step 5: Follow the on-screen instructions to put your iPad in recovery mode.
put ipad in recovery mode
  • Step 6: Select an available iPadOS version and click the Start button to download the according firmware file.
update and restore ipad
  • Step 7: Click the Unlock Now button to proceed. But before that, you have to login to your Wondershare ID first.
start unlocking unavailable ipad
  • Step 8: Follow the instructions to confirm to unlock your iPad and wait for the process to finish.

Your iPad will automatically reboot if the unlocking process succeeds, and then you can set it up as a brand new device.

Fix 3: Unlock Unavailable iPad with PhoneRescue [No Data Loss]

If you haven’t backed up your iPad before, or if your iPad backup is made a long time ago and contains only some outdated information, there’s still a chance for you to unlock your unavailable iPad without losing your current data, but it will come with a small fee. You need to pay for PhoneRescue, a third-party software, to back up, unlock, and restore your iPad.


  • A Windows/Mac computer.


  • Unlock unavailable iPad without Apple ID or passcode.
  • Support selective/complete data recovery after restoring your iPad.


  • You may fail to back up your iPad if you have never connected your iPad to the computer.

First thing first, you have to back up your iPad with AnyTrans or iTunes. Both tools are free to use but compared with iTunes, AnyTrans has more features and is much more easier to use. So below I’ll take AnyTrans as an example.

  • Step 1: Go to this page to download and install AnyTrans.
  • Step 2: After launching the software, locate the Backup Manager and click the Back Up Now button.
back up ipad before unlocking
  • Step 3: Take a note of the Backup Path and click the Back Up Now button again.
start to back up ipad

Now AnyTrans will automatically start to back up your iPad. When it finishes, you can move on to unlock your unavailable iPad with PhoneRescue.

How to Unlock Unavailable iPad with PhoneRescue:

  • Step 1: Go to this page to download and install PhoneRescue for iOS.
  • Step 2: Launch the software and click the I’m Ready to Start button to proceed.
  • Step 3: Select Remove Lock Screen Passcode feature and click the right arrow icon to proceed.
remove ipad unavailable screen
  • Step 4: Tick OK, I Already Know, click the right arrow icon, and then click the OK button.
consequenses of unlocking unavailable ipad
  • Step 5: Follow the on-screen instructions to put your iPad into recovery mode.
  • Step 6: Click the Download button for your iPad to automatically update and restore.
update and restore unavailable ipad

How to Restore iPad from Backup:

Having successfully unlocked your unavailable iPad, now it’s time to restore the iPad from the backup you just made.

  • Step 1: Go back to the main interface of PhoneRescue and select the Recover from Backup feature.
restore ipad from computer
  • Step 2: Browse and select the backup you just made.
restore ipad from backup
  • Step 3: Choose Only Scan Backup on the pop-up window.
  • Step 4: Select the data that you want to restore from the backup and click the OK button to start the analyzing process.
analyze ipad backup content
  • Step 5: When the analyzing process ends, you can preview your backup data first and then activate PhoneRescue to directly restore the data to your iPad.
extract files from ipad backup

Fix 4: Erase Unavailable iPad with iCloud [Without Computer]

If you still remember the Apple ID and password logged in the unavailable iPad, things can get much easier for you. Both and Find My app can help erase iPad even without a computer.


  • Apple ID and password logged in the unavailable iPad.
  • A computer or another mobile phone/tablet (An iPhone or iPad would be better).


  • Free to use.
  • Unlock unavailable iPad even without a computer.
  • Restore unavailable iPad without iTunes or passcode.


  • All the iPad content settings will be wiped off.
  • The process is quite lengthy.

How to Erase Unavailable iPad with iCloud:

Below I’ll take as an example. You can follow the step-by-step guide on any computer or mobile phone/tablet as you like.

  • Step 1: Visit on your computer, and sign in to iCloud with the Apple ID and password logged in with the unavailable iPad.
sign in to icloud
  • Step 2: Click on the Find iPhone icon.
locate find iphone icon
  • Step 3: Under All Devices, select the unavailable iPad.
select the unavailable ipad
  • Step 4: Click the Erase iPad option.
erase ipad from icloud
  • Step 5: Click the Erase option to confirm your decision.
confirm to erase the unavailable ipad
  • Step 6: Enter your password again to continue.
enter icloud password again
  • Step 7: Enter a phone number and click the Next button.
enter a phone number
  • Step 8: Then enter a message and click the Done button.
enter a message
  • Step 9: Now click the Erase iPad option again and your iPad will be reset in the next few minutes.
erase unavailable ipad

When the whole process ends, your iPad will automatically restart. Then you can set it up and choose to restore it from iCloud or Mac/PC.

Fix 5: Restore Unavailable iPad with iTunes/Finder


  • A computer with iTunes/Finder installed.


  • Easy and free to use.
  • The official way to reset unavailable iPhone/iPad.


  • Reset your iPad to factory settings.
  • Prone to various iTunes errors.

How to Restore Unavailable iPad with iTunes:

  • Step 1: Connect your iPad to the computer. If iTunes/Finder failed to recognize your iPad, put your iPad in recovery mode to get it recognized.
  • Step 2: Once connected, click the Restore option on the pop-up window.
  • Step 3: Continue with the Restore and Update option.
restore and update unavailable ipad
  • Step 4: Now iTunes will start downloading the latest firmware file and then restoring the iPad firmware.
restoring unavailable ipad

Once your iPad successfully restarts, you can directly swipe up to unlock it and decide whether or not restore it from a backup.

Final Verdict

There are so many solutions when it comes to how to fix iPad unavailable and each comes with its pros and cons. It would be better if you can meet the requirements of using iTunes or iCloud. But if not, Dr.Fone Screen Unlock and iMobie PhoneRescue are also very good choices to go with especially when you forgot your screen lock passcode.

Which solution do you think is the best? Have you unlocked your iPad yet? Please kindly let us know in the comment section and we’d love to discuss it with you!

About the author

My name is David Zhao. I've been working in the SaaS industry for almost a decade, and my experience with software goes back even further. Because of this, I have a deep understanding of how software can enhance both our work and personal lives. I'm excited to share my professional perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of various software.

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