iOS Permanent Lockout?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by ericinboston, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. ericinboston macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    My sister has a new iPhone 4 that she got from Verizon this summer. She has never (and never will in the future) connected it to a home computer...Verizon set it all up.

    She put a passcode on it and somehow last night typed it in incorrectly 6+ times and now she cannot get into her phone.

    She has made calls to Verizon (from her home phone) and they state that since she has NEVER connected it to an iTunes computer, she has no choice but to erase the entire phone and start over.

    The Apple website states this also.

    I would think that the iPhone would simply force the user to wait 1-5 hours and re-try again. After all, the point of a passcode is to keep a thief or prying eyes away. They are not going to keep trying different passcodes in 5 hour intervals...they will simply nuke the phone.

    Imagine're at work or somewhere and you go to the bathroom...someone grabs your phone and to be a real jerk purposely types in the password wrong 6+ times...locking you out forever unless you have an iTunes backup.

    Can anyone confirm if the iPhone will actually give her another shot at entering the passcode X hours from now? If not, how does Apple deal with customers like my sister who either do not have a computer or have no need for iTunes on the computer? I would imagine there would be a relatively high user base of iPhoners that have no need for iTunes....they can buy whatever they want directly to the phone.

    I believe her iPhone is on iOS 6.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    on iOS 6 it should do increased delays after the 6th attempt up until the 11th attempt at which point the device self-wipes and she's SOL.

    The following is a little old but may apply:

    Sorry for your sister's trouble, but what was her plan to recover pictures, messages, contacts etc. if the phone were lost or stolen?

    On further thought - if she'd enabled iCloud backups she may be able to restore from that.
  3. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    Thanks for the info...well, she waited a few hours with the phone powered off, turned it on, and she was allowed to try the password again which she got correct this time.

    As far as a backup plan...again, she's a complete novice with smartphones, cell phones, computers, and a lot of technology that most people over 30 understand. :) I will likely have her install iTunes on the ancient desktop but really this kind of issue should be expected by Apple. Apple can't rely on the users to install thick client apps on computers, keep iTunes up to date, and regularly sync to use their $400 iPhone.

    I'm a techie...I see both sides...but Apple seriously has to cut the connection/reliance on iTunes 100%. Apple may have a cloud product (which I do not use or even care for) but Apple really needs to be more proactive about "security" as a whole for the novice user.

    Remember, there are a lot of people using the iPhone as their ONLY device. Having to rely on iTunes is a joke after 5+ generations of the iPhone. What I think would be a great idea (and money maker) would be for Apple/the carriers to charge a $25 fee to restore the iPhone if you can prove you are the owner. Take my sister's case for example, even if she was backing up to the cloud, there is no button on the iPhone that will magically take her to the cloud and restore. Instead, she could walk into Apple/Verizon, prove it's her phone, pay $25, and they hook it up to a computer/whatever and restore the backup from the cloud...or if it's just a lost password they can reset the password.

    Anyway, she is all set but this issue must happen hundreds of times a day...and both Apple and Verizon vehemently told her "you're're going to have to erase the phone and start over"...NEITHER of them said "hey, turn it off, wait 2 hours, turn it on, and it will ask you again for the password." They caused so much stress with misinformation.
  4. maliu macrumors 6502a

    Jun 24, 2010
    What about when your phone simply gets dropped in a toilet or run over, not backing up your data is not Apple's problem.
  5. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    I can't comment on the Apple reps helpfulness as I wasn't there to witness the interaction. Maybe they gave wrong info and were unhelpful idiots, maybe she didn't communicate well and either led them to believe she'd already used all her passcode tries or just pissed them off. Phone store reps are a whole other thing, I would never expect much help from them as the shining stars are few and they have a lot of different phone types to support.

    Much of the rest of your post is founded on misunderstanding, so I'll respond with three points.
    • With some exceptions, iphone owners can survive perfectly well without itunes, and that includes performing backups to iCloud.
    • No magic button required, a new/wiped/restored phone asks if you wish to restore your iCloud backup (over wifi).
    • As user-friendly as Apple's products are, the buyer retains responsibility for learning how to use the various features and ensuring the security of their data.

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