In the previous tutorial, I showed you how to lock your iPad with a passcode to protect the sometimes sensitive data on it. However, what if you forget the passcode, can you somehow unlock it? or better yet, can someone who steals your iPad unlock it and get the information.

By default, Apple ships the iPad without a passcode installed. If the wrong passcode is entered repeatedly, the iPad will be disabled for longer intervals. After too many unsuccessful attempts at the passcode, you won’t be able to access it until you connect it to the computer where you last synced it. You can set the iPad to erase itself after ten consecutive incorrect password attempts. In essence it actually has its own self destruct button built-in.

If for some reason you are unable to remember the passcode, you will have to restore the iPad using the computer where you last synced it. This will allow you to reset the passcode and resync all your data to the device or you can restore from a backup. Here’s the important part. If you restore on a different computer that was never synced with the iPad, you will be able to unlock the device for use and remove the passcode, but your data will not be present. So, unless the culprit stole your computer AND your iPad together and is savvy enough to know how to do it, your personal data is safe.

How to Restore your iPad

By restoring your iPad you will be deleting all of your data (songs, photos, videos, apps, etc) on the iPad. Make sure you have a backup of the content before restoring just to be safe.

Follow the directions below to restore your iPad:

1. Connect the iPad to your computer.
2. Select iPad in the iTunes sidebar, then click the Summary tab.
3. Click “Check for Update.” iTunes tells you if there’s a newer version of the iPad software available.
4. Click Restore. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the restore process. When restoring, it is recommended that you back up the iPad when prompted. When the iPad software has been restored, you can choose to set up iPad as a new iPad, or restore your music, videos, app data, and other content from a backup.

So there you have it, just in case you forget your passcode, there is a way to access the iPad again, although you need to sync it with your computer to do it.

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