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How To Wipe An iPad To Factory Settings Without Having The 4 Digit Passcode

In some rare cases, you may find yourself in a scenario where you're looking to wipe an iPad or other iOS device to factory settings, but the device you have is currently password protected and you don't know the password.

I have found myself in this situation as I am helping to sell a friend's old iPad that he understandably wants to be wiped prior to its sale.

Since he had previously set a 4 digit password to access the iPad's contents and I cannot contact him to ask what the password is (he is out of the country at the moment), I will have to resort to manually overriding the password and restoring the device.

There are two different ways to go about doing this and I will run you through each of them.

Method #1: Reset an iPad Previously Synced With Your Computer's iTunes

  1. Connect your iPad to the computer via USB cable
  2. Launch iTunes
  3. Remove iPad from your computer if iTunes prompts for a passcode. If this happens, move on to method #2.
  4. Right click on the iPad icon found within the iTunes left column & click “Back Up” (only perform this step if you want to restore your data after restore)
  5. Click “Restore” when your back up has finished. This will cause your iPad to enter “Recovery Mode” which will reset all its settings.
  6. After the device reboots, right-click the iPad icon and choose “Restore from Backup” This will replace all the content you previously backed up before the reset. This step is only necessary if you are looking to restore your data which was deleted during the reset.

Method #2: Reset An iPad That Was Never Synced With Your Computer's iTunes

  1. Disconnect iPad from computer
  2. Hold down the top “Sleep/Wake” button until the red slider appears & proceed to turn the iPad off
  3. While holding the bottom “Home” button down, reinsert the USB connector and the iPad will turn back on
  4. When the screen shows a message saying “Connect to iTunes”, let go of the “Home” button
  5. Launch iTunes again and it will initiate the Recovery Mode process.
  6. You will likely have to wait several minutes for the reset to take place, but when finished you will receive a message that the reset was successful and the iPad will reboot itself
  7. You will now have a blank iPad with factory settings

Photo Credit: Flickr