37 responses

  1. Anne Bennett
    December 28, 2016

    More Apple madness! I have moved to iOS 10 on the iPhone but not the iPad. Searching from the iOS 9 iPad finds nothing about this brand new password that I’ve never heard of before.

    But searching iOS 10 on the phone finds it. Another useless thing I don’t need. Nor was I asked to enter one when I moved to iOS 10.

    Why not? I was forced to enter a new and useless (to me) code for low power mode. Now there’s yet ANOTHER password? Why wasn’t I asked to create it?

    I have zero need. I live alone, not interested in Apple Pay, or restricting content for children. How much longer till I just say, Apple is overly complex for my needs. Too many features I have no interest in (no, I’m don’t want to talk to it, etc).

    • Daryl Amon
      December 29, 2016

      Anne, you don’t have to use a feature just because it exists. I know many people with iPhones who do not use various features on it, and I know people with SUV who don’t use 4wd. But if you did have kids you’d probably like having restrictions on the phone to prevent them from looking at weird stuff or buying stuff!

      If you don’t need to reset a restrictions passcode, don’t worry about it!

  2. Anne Bennett
    December 28, 2016

    So sorry. It’s not new. I have never heard of it. Now I’m in a panic thinking I’ll suddenly need it!

    I was thinking of buying a new iPad and giving mine to a computer illiterate friend (same age as me, 65, but I worked as a programmer for my entire career). She can use a cell phone but email is very difficult for her. I thought I could teach her.

    Now I’m thinking this might not be a suitable item for her. Way too many things she doesn’t need. Does ANYONE make “simple” tablets?

    • Robert Williamson
      October 23, 2017

      Anne go with a Samsung tablet, uou are not locked in to the apple way of doing things. You will be much happier.

  3. zuizui
    December 29, 2016

    to do amanufacture reset on an iPhone or iPad you need to sign in into your account,

    you must enter your passcode


    No way to erase all of the data without the 4 digit restriction code.

    Apple devices are different from Microsoft, Android or Blackberry’s

    • Steve
      May 14, 2017

      Incase this helps anyone else:

      1) You can login to icloud (icloud.com – use a link from the apple website if you’re unsure if it’s legit)

      2) Click on ‘Find iPhone’ app

      3) Click on ‘All Devices’ and choose the device with the forgotten Restrictions Code

      4) Click ‘Erase iPad’

      Be aware, the you will need your itunes login to activate the iPad. Otherwise you will brick your device. These instructions helped me remove the ‘Restrictions Code’ that we’d setup to prevent inApp purchases.

      Seriously, make sure you know your itunes login before attempting this.

  4. Wm Magill
    December 29, 2016

    Hi Anne. I’ve got you beat by 5 years (now 70) and living in a CCRC, retired after 30 years supporting computing at a major research university. Consequently, I am one of the “resident” computer Gurus — and I’m THE Apple expert here.

    Your problem is NOT unusual, nor is there an easy solution. I am constantly confronted by 70 and 80 year olds who have received iPads as Christmas gifts from their GRANDCHILDREN!!! (3 more so far this year) – primarily so they can exchange pictures and email.

    The iPad (or iPhone, or any vendor’s smart device) is NOT a simple or intuitive device, no matter how much the different vendors claims them to be. The basic knowledge necessary to use them effectively is very high. And with Apple, the “swiping” actions are completely foreign to folks, plus they tend to have a very light touch for fear of breaking “the expensive computer.”

    The first thing I try to do is to “clean-up” the “desktop” — put the Photos, camera, mail and settings apps in the dock and across the main screen. Then consolidate everything else into a single “bucket” – the app Store, iTunes, TV, Music Player, all those Apple issued apps that you can’t delete. Then delete any others. That helps, but does not alleviate the problem as it is too simple to get into something accidentally.

    Teaching folks to use the “home” button to get out of thing they don’t understand is probably the most important concept. On the iPad “swiping” (left and right, up and down) is an important concept, probably more important than the mechanical gesture! It is a completely foreign concept outside of the touch-screen computer world. The folks need to practice doing a swipe till they understand that finger or hand movements on the screen can accidentally “swipe” in some direction. It’s a manual dexterity thing. Kind of like Physical Therapy.

    If the person has only one device, you are ahead of the game. But if they have an iPhone AND an iPad there is trouble. . . those two devices, while similar, are NOT identical in their behavior. And if they also have an Apple laptop, let alone an iMac, things behave very differently across all 3 platforms and keeping their actions sorted out is challenging.

    As far as simple devices are concerned. The simple answer is no, there are no “simple devices.” They all require a basic conceptual framework, that anyone over about 15 simply does not have! Remember, the first iPhone was introduced in 2007. Before that there simply were no “smart devices” — less than 10 years ago!

  5. Anne Bennett
    December 29, 2016

    Wm Magill

    It may not be such a good idea. I could let her try it first.

    You also likely have vastly more experience with Apple devices.

    Most of my career was programming mainframes. So much taken care of for you. And say what you will about an IBM mainframe, there aren’t many bugs in the operating system.

    Can’t say that about PCs and mobiles.

  6. John F
    December 30, 2016

    Hi Anne,
    FWIW, I’ve been working with a couple of ‘older persons’ (‘seniors’ on your side of the pond I think…) and I’ve found that hand-eye coordination is by far the greatest problem. It can be very hard to get them to avoid the screen in a ‘random’ fashion – and of course as soon they do so they’ve almost invariably touched a link and the screen changes. This provokes the ‘…what did I just do ?’ reaction. I try to get them to treat the iPad screen margin as a ‘safe area’ but that doesn’t always work as the warning is soon forgotten… At least with a computer there is the presence of a cursor on screen plus its shape changes which give an indication of change of function, but with any kind of tablet this doesn’t exist. My inclination is to suggest to a prospective user a laptop with the largest screen they can afford plus an external mouse (to avoid the frustration of the track pad…)

    Good luck !!

  7. John F
    December 30, 2016

    …a further thought. To help with the hand-eye coordination a stand/support for the tablet can be helpful. It minimises the ‘moving target’ problem which occurs when the user is holding the device in one hand while trying to touch the screen in an accurate and controlled way using their other hand.
    A stylus can also be useful for persons with larger fingers.

  8. Destiny Taylor
    January 4, 2017

    This actually does not work. This restrictions password is set up for the erase all content and data as well. After putting in your passcode, it will then ask for your restrictions password. As far as the first way to do it.

    • Todoler
      January 4, 2017

      You reset the iPhone to remove restrictions password, you can also do it from iTunes and it works fine to remove the restrictions passcode. The passcode to reset iPhone is the normal passcode.

  9. anyomous
    January 5, 2017

    you cant reset without the cocde you idiots

    • Kate
      February 23, 2017

      Right, I’m trying to reset my kids devices, in order to erase all content, I need the damn passcode!

  10. Gareth Watts
    January 5, 2017

    I wrote the “pinfinder” utility that’s mentioned in one of the “How to Reset a Restrictions Passcode without iPhone / iPad Restore?” blog posts.

    I wrote it as, like everyone else, i was frustrated that the only other option was wiping the device, jailbreaking it, paying for a program i couldn’t vet, or performing a whole bunch of manual steps. I thought it would be useful to solve it once with a simple one-click program so that anyone else (friends, family, the rest of the Internet!) could recover their own passcode without having to pay or jump through hoops.

    Thus if you’re stuck with an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad with a restrictions code you don’t remember, i’d definitely suggest you give it a try – It should work even for devices running the latest iOS 10, and if it doesn’t I’d like to know so I can fix it. It’s been downloaded over 25,000 times so far and I’ve had a lot of nice feedback about it.

    You can find it at https://github.com/gwatts/pinfinder

    • Aaron
      January 6, 2017

      Pinfinder is a good tool to retrieve a lost Restrictions password, but it requires the iTunes backup to be unencrypted. And we all know how easy it is to lose the iTunes encryption password too…. Apple has so many passwords it’s kind of silly, it’s no wonder people forget them.

      • Gareth Watts
        January 6, 2017

        True, though assuming you have the device it’s easy enough to backup another backup with iTunes with the encryption checkbox turned off and then you should be set.

      • Jeff N.
        March 4, 2018

        Even if I just opened my computer to the Russians, it was totally worth it because your hack worked like a charm. We couldn’t turn off restrictions for over two years because the code was mis-entered and we couldn’t figure it out. When we got a new phone yesterday and the restriction migrated to the new phone, I had had enough. Made a donation to your site as well. Thanks again.

    • Perry
      February 2, 2017

      Gareth, you’re a marvel! One of our grandchildren enabled restrictions on my wife’s iPhone including a setting which prevented deletion of apps.
      It’s been a problem for months but not anymore :)

      • Gareth Watts
        February 2, 2017

        Excellent – Glad it helped you out!

    • Michael
      February 24, 2017

      You are the man! That worked so well and ez!

    • Jeff
      February 26, 2017

      Worked perfectly, thank you!!! Everyone, try this first. Super easy.

    • Elaine
      March 21, 2017

      Thanks so much man! Simple, easy-to-follow instructions, and it took just a few seconds. :)

    • Karen
      April 11, 2017

      You, sir, are a gentleman and a scholar! I’d tried everything else under the sun to reset my son’s old iPad, and nothing worked, not even erase from Find my Phone. Your little script is a gem!

    • Alison
      April 15, 2017

      Awesome Gareth, an easy fix that worked perfectly on my mac to get back my ipad passcode. That passcode drives me nuts. I have a 3 yr old, and every time he uses the ipad it’s ‘restrictions ON’ and every time I use it it’s ‘restrictions OFF’. I actually punched in my code so many times that one day I rushed it while talking, not realising I hit one wrong number twice in a row to set a passcode I couldn’t do again. I was so frustrated knowing I knew the my code but it wasn’t working. I did not want to wipe my iPad (what a job), so your Pinfinder told me I was just one number off! Thank you :):)

    • Giacomo
      April 20, 2017

      Tank you Gareth!

      You solved a BIG problem!

  11. Chris
    January 29, 2017

    Pin finder worked for me. Thanks for the concise how-to.

  12. KCG
    February 18, 2017

    This is very helpful and easy to follow. This worked on me.

  13. David
    February 27, 2017

    Gareth, you are such a boss! Saved me hours of job resetting my phone. Big thanks!

  14. Alan Hamby
    March 6, 2017

    Thanks Gareth!! Found my code

  15. Elaine
    March 21, 2017

    Using Gareth’s Pinfinder took all of 2 seconds and I finally have my code! Yay! And so simple, and well-written that any person would be able to do it. Thanks :)

  16. Betsy
    March 29, 2017

    Pinfinder totally worked – you are the BEST!!! Thank you!!

  17. Alan
    April 5, 2017

    You Sir are a legend!!!! Thanks

  18. Adam Gurule
    August 27, 2017


  19. hilary
    January 4, 2018

    Thank you Garett!!

  20. hilary
    January 4, 2018

    Sorry Gareth! Thank u Gareth!

  21. Amanda
    March 13, 2018

    GARETH, YOU GENIUS. We have been trying to crack a work iPad for 18 months (off and on, not non-stop). This worked in seconds. You are a saint. I will definitely be donating.

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