Forgot Your iPhone Retrictions Passcode? Here's How to Reset It

Restricting the use of certain apps and settings is one of the iPhone's best features, but forgetting your restrictions passcode makes it almost impossible to disable Restrictions. If you want to let your children play games on your device but would prefer to keep them out of Safari and Mail, setting up Restrictions with a passcode is a great idea. But what happens if you don’t remember that passcode? If you forget your restrictions passcode on iPhone or iPad, here’s how to reset it.

Retrictions on iPhone or iPad is Apple's answer to parental controls. It allows you to set limits on what your children can do and access on your iPhone or iPad. However, it's a terrible thing to forget your restirctions passcode, because Apple does not make it easy to recover. First we'll cover how you can enable restrictions on your iPhone. Then we'll let you know what you can do should you forget your restrictions passcode on iPhone or iPad. 

To enable Restrictions on your iPhone,

  • Open Settings

  • Tap General.

  • Select Restrictions.

  • Tap Enable Restrictions and set a password.

  • Write your passcode down, put in a note, send yourself an email with it. Don’t forget that passcode!

Why?

The only way to deal with a forgotten Restrictions passcode is to erase your device and set it up as new—but don't worry! It's not the end of the world: most of your data, such as music, photos, and apps reside in iCloud, or are otherwise associated with your Apple ID, and won't be lost.

How to Reset Restrictions if You Don’t Remember the Passcode

First,

  • Make sure that you back up all of your important data to iTunes. If something goes wrong, you'll be able to restore your iPhone.

Once that's taken care of, you'll need to erase your device and set it up as new. To do this,

  • Open the Settings app.

  • Tap General.

  • Select Reset.

  • Choose Erase All Content and Settings.

  • Then tap Erase iPhone (or iPad) to confirm that you want to do this.

You'll see a welcome screen from Apple once you boot back up your device.

  • Follow the steps; when prompted, select "Set Up as New iPhone." This is important. If you choose to restore from a backup, you will simply restore your restrictions password as well.

After setting up your device as new, your old Restrictions passcode will no longer be stored on the device.

If you've used iTunes to sync content such as photos, music, and contacts, you can go into iTunes and manually sync that content back onto your device.

 
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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.