If you have forgotten your passcode, entered it wrong too many times on accident, or someone else tries to get into your iPad, it will become disabled as a way to keep it from getting broken into by the wrong person. When this happens, you will no longer be able to type in your passcode until a certain amount of time has passed, or in the case that it has become permanently disabled, you  will need to connect it to iTunes. Here are a few ways you can use to get your iPad unlocked and save yourself from losing valuable data.

The first and easiest thing you can do to try to unlock your iPad after it’s been disabled is to back it up from iTunes by connecting your iPad to your computer. After you have opened iTunes, select your iPad as it shows up in the upper right hand corner of the iTunes’ screen. When you do this, you will notice that iTunes will display the iPad’s properties. When you see the iPad properties, click on “Back Up Now”.  At this point you might be prompted for a password, but you should be able to type that in by this point, then you can just cancel the back up and use your iPad as your normally do.

Another thing you can do in order to unlock your iPad after it’s been disabled is to restore it using iTunes and a previous backup if you have a back up stored on your computer in iTunes or in iCloud. To do this, open iTunes and connect your iPad to your computer and click on “Back Up Now”. When the backup and sync are finished, choose to Restore your iPad. You will be able to choose  “Restore from iTunes backup” or from iCloud. While you will lose information that you had saved since your last backup, you will at least have your other data and your iPad will no longer be disabled.

If you have never connected you iPad to your computer, then you will need to use another method to unlock your iPad after it’s been disabled. To do this, disconnect the USB cable from your device and still leave the other end of the cable connected to your computer. After you do this, turn off your iPad by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears. When your iPad has shut down, press and hold the Home button and reconnect the USB cable to your iPad. From that point your iPad should turn on, but still continue to hold the Home button down until you see a “Connect to iTunes screen”.

After you have connected your iPad to iTunes, iTunes will recognize that there is a new device in recovery mode and ask if you want to restore it. Click OK and then follow the prompts in the Setup Assistant and proceed to “Set up your iPad”.

After you have set up your iPad you can tap on Restore from a backup on iClouds if you have one. If you don’t, then you will have lost your data, but you will have an unlocked iPad and will be able to add new data.