iPad is Disabled Connect to iTunes: Fix This Problem in Seconds

Is your iPad screen showing the following message – “iPad is disabled, connect to iTunes”? Don’t worry – several iPad users have faced this issue. Usually, this message pops up because of three reasons: 

  • You may have entered incorrect passwords too many times (more than ten times)
  • An operating system update has failed
  • There’s some other serious software issue with your iPad

Regardless of the reasons, it’s never nice to receive the “iPad disabled connect to iTunes” notification on your screen. That’s because when that happens, the device stops responding. To function again, it needs to be put into “Recovery Mode.”

What does Apple have to say about this issue? Nothing truly helpful. According to the company, you should unlock your iPad by restoring its operating system (OS) with iTunes every time you face this problem. However, we’re here to tell you something different.

There are multiple ways to unlock your iPad. Unfortunately, whenever my iPad is disabled, I get the urge to place my device into Recovery Mode. Avoid this urge. Instead, learn how to fix disabled iPad using less complex ways. Here’s your full guide.

Do you have a particular question about iPad is disabled connect to iTunes issue? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page. 

Why is My iPad Saying Disabled Connect to iTunes?

The “iPad is disabled, connect to iTunes” notification usually pops up when you enter the wrong password too many times. When you or someone else does that by mistake, your iPad disables itself for security reasons.

Thankfully, there are different ways to break this auto-lock without compromising your iPad’s safety & security. Let’s explore these techniques.

How to Connect iPad to iTunes when Disabled

Described below is the most straightforward iPad disabled fix. To use this fix, you’ll need two things:

  • A PC or a Mac device with either the iTunes® app or the Finder app
  • Your iPad’s charging cable

Once you’ve gathered these items, it’s time to put your iPad in “Recovery Mode.” Operating the iPad in this mode will bypass the “Enter Passcode” setting on your screen. To do that:

  • Connect your iPad to your PC/Laptop (preferably a Mac device)
  • Press and hold the top button and the volume up/down button for 10-20 seconds
  • You’ll notice the power-off slider appear
  • Drag the slider & turn off the iPad
  • Hold down the top button again until “Recovery Mode” appears on the screen

Once this mode is launched, you’ll see a black screen with an icon of a cable connected to a computer. If your iPad has a home button, you don’t need to connect it to a computer first. Connect your iPad to your PC only after turning off the device.

While establishing this connection, hold the home button down. Again, a black screen with an icon of a cable connected to a computer will appear. This is the recovery mode screen. Now it’s time to restore your iPad.

How to Unlock Disabled iPad Without iTunes?

Bear in mind – restoring a disabled iPad will delete all saved data on the device. Unless you’ve synced your iPad to iTunes before, you’ll lose this data forever. With that being said – here’s how to reset disabled iPad without iTunes:

  • On a Mac device, open Finder (the device must be running macOS Catalina or a later version)
  • Under the section titled “Locations,” select your device.
  • A pop-up explaining how your iPad has encountered an issue will show up. The pop-up will also say that your device needs to either be updated/restored. Select Restore.
  • Keep your iPad connected to the Mac. The restoration process could take a few minutes.

Once the restoration process is complete, your iPad will restart automatically. Once your iPad restarts, it will be completely blank. Set it up as you had set it up for the first time in the past. Use the backup saved to iCloud to recover any data lost in the process.

You can use iTunes again on your newly set up iPad. This is the best iPad disabled fix without iTunes. Now let’s learn how to unlock iPad with iTunes:

  • For this step, you’ll need a PC with the iTunes app already installed
  • Connect the PC to your iPad using the iPad’s charger
  • Open iTunes on the PC
  • Click on the tiny iPad image in the top-left corner of your screen
  • A pop-up detailing that your iPad has encountered an issue will appear. It will ask you to either update/restore your iPad. Select Restore.
  • Keep your iPad connected to the PC while the restoration process happens.

Once the restoration is complete, your iPad will restart automatically. Again, set it up like it’s a brand-new device & recover any lost data from your iCloud.

iPad Disabled Connect to iTunes Not Working

If the “iPad is disabled, connect to iTunes” message still shows up after these Finder & iTunes fixes, you may have to try a more technical fix. Here’s the full step-by-step guide:

  • Go to iCloud.com on a separate device
  • Sign in to the website using your Apple ID and passcode
  • Click on the “Find Device” icon on the screen
  • A list showing “All Devices” will show up
  • Select your iPad from this list
  • Click Erase iPad
  • Click Erase again to confirm your decision

Your iPad will restart automatically once you select “OK” on the screen. Once it does, it will feature no saved data. Log into the device by entering your Apple ID and passcode. Then, use your iCloud backup to retrieve all lost data.

If you need an iCloud backup, set up your iPad as if it’s a brand-new device. Hopefully, the “iPad is disabled, connect to iTunes” message won’t appear again. Restoring your iPad never feels nice, especially if you risk losing all of your data.

But, when these errors occur, it’s the only way out. Before taking these steps, watch different video guides on this process. Also, manually backup your iPad data to your iTunes or iCloud account once a month. Finally, practice safe data handling practices to ensure you don’t risk losing your data – every time you face these issues!

Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.

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