Further types of iPhone unlocking
For full details, see our complete guide for how to unlock iPhone without passcode.
Unlocking your iPhone 12 from its network should be a priority for any iPhone owner because it reduces ongoing costs and comes with so many long-term benefits. But it’s not the only locking challenge you might face. From a lock screen to a disabled device, here are the most common phone locking problems with tips on how to solve them.
How to screen unlock a disabled iPhone 12
If you’ve entered the wrong passcode too many times at the screen lock stage, your device will disabled.
For a solution that doesn’t require a factory unlock or factory reset or any loss of personal data, there’s Mobile Unlocked. It can help you bypass your locked screen and get you back into your disabled iPhone 12, no factory reset required. It’ll also work for other passcode scenarios too, including Apple ID login issues, MDM lock problems and Screen Time password lockouts.
Here’s the process:
Go to Mobile Unlocked’s unlocking tool.
Select unlocking mode: Screen lock. Other options include: Apple ID, MDM, Screen Time passcode.
Connect device. Use a USB cable to connect your phone to a PC or laptop.
Click ‘Remove lock’. Your unlock will take place immediately and be complete in seconds.
How to screen unlock iPhone 12: With passcode or Face ID
The screen lock function on your iPhone 12 is a good thing. An added level of security, it prevents unauthorized users from accessing your device and your data. It’s quick and easy to set up too. Plus, there are two options to choose from. You can set up a passcode that you’ll need to type in. Or, for a hands-free alternative, set up Face ID. No typing required with this one, all you’ll need to do is look at your phone. Once you’ve set up your preferred option, you can forget about it. Your smartphone will automatically lock when not in use. Here’s how it works:
How to set up Face ID
- Navigate to: ‘Settings’ > ’Face ID & Passcode’ > ‘Set up Face ID’
- Hold your iPhone up so it’s directly in front of your face
- Press ‘Get started’
- Make sure your face is in the frame on the screen and rotate your head slowly in a full circle.
- Save and exit
How to set up a passcode
- Navigate to: ‘Settings’ > ’Face ID & Passcode’ > ‘Set up Face ID’ > ‘Set up Passcode’
- Input a 6-digit passcode (use one you’ll remember but nothing obvious)
- Save and exit
How to set a time limit before Auto-Lock kicks in
If you’ve applied a screen lock to your phone, you're protected. Whenever you stop using your device it will automatically lock its screen after a period of unuse. How long it takes to activate Auto-Lock is up to you. The default setting is usually either 30 seconds or 1 minute. But, depending on what you’re using your phone for, that may not work for you. (If you’re cooking and looking at a recipe on your device, for example). The good news is you can alter the duration to suit what you’re doing and when. Here’s how:
- Go to Settings > Displays & Brightness > Auto-Lock
- Select your preferred option: 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 5 minutes, Never.
- You’re done. (Remember to change it back to your preferred standard setting if you’ve changed it as a one-off).
How to unlock your screen with Face ID or passcode
Auto-Lock set up, here’s how to unlock the screen:
- Press the button at the side of your iPhone 12
- Swipe up from the bottom of the screen
- If Face ID is set up, hold the phone in front of your face and it will automatically unlock
- If a passcode is enabled, type it in and the phone will unlock.
How to screen unlock iPhone 12: Without passcode or Face ID
It’s a common problem. You haven’t enabled Face ID, preferring instead to use passcode. But since setting it up, you’ve forgotten it. With so many different device logins to remember, it’s easily done. You may not even have known the passcode in the first place. If you acquired the phone from someone else, chances are you won’t have any of the login details. (Face ID certainly won’t work if this is the case). So, your screen’s locked and you can’t unlock it.
Fortunately, there are two good workarounds. You can screen unlock iPhone 12 using iTunes or Apple’s ‘Find My’ app. Both of these options trigger a factory reset. A factory reset will erase the data from your iPhone's data and all of its settings. So it pays to back up your data first.
How to restore factory settings on your iPhone 12 using iTunes
Step 1. Make sure the most up-to-date version of iTunes is installed on your PC.
Step 2. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
Step 3. Find the iPhone icon in the top left corner of the iTunes window and click on it.
Step 4. Enter the ‘Summary' screen.
Step 5. Click the 'Restore iPhone' button twice.
TIP: If the computer you’re using has never been used to sync your iPhone to iTunes you’ll need to put it into ‘Recovery Mode’, as follows:
- Switch it off by holding the 'Volume Up', 'Volume Down' and 'Side' buttons down at the same time. When you see the ‘Power Off’ slider, release them.
- Connect to a computer using a USB cable holding the 'Side' button down as you do so.
How to restore factory settings using ‘Find My’ app
Step 1. Log onto an alternative iOS device with the ‘Find My’ app downloaded on it.
Step 2. Open the browser.
Step 3. Log in using your Apple ID and password.
Step 4. Click ‘All Devices’.
Step 5. Find your locked iPhone 12, locked iPhone 12 Pro or locked iPhone 12 Pro Max on the map.
Step 6. Click ‘Erase iPhone’.
Touch ID: Why it won't unlock an iPhone 12
Powered by a similar concept to Face ID, Touch ID uses the phone owner's biometric data as an authentication feature. But instead of recognizing a face it uses a fingerprint to verify your identity. A precursor to Face ID, it's not available on the iPhone 12 or other more recent models. It can, however, be used to unlock older Apple phones.