No one likes seeing the dreaded “iPhone is disabled” message.
All you did was type in the wrong passcode a few too many times, and now your device suddenly transformed itself into an $800 hunk of metal with limited utility.
The one question that you’d really like to know at this point:
“If my iPhone is disabled, can I still receive calls?”
Unfortunately, if your iPhone is disabled, you will no longer be able to receive calls (although it may still allow you to make emergency calls).
Don’t worry, you’re not the first person this has happened to. Did you know a toddler in Shanghai managed to lock out his mom from her iPhone for 48 years?
That’s a lot of incorrect passcodes!
The good news is that iPhones are accidentally disabled so often that Apple has developed a neat solution to get them back up and running quickly.
Let’s dive straight into it!
Why Is My iPhone Disabled?
Your phone will alert you on each failed sign-in attempt that you may be using the wrong passcode.
Everything before Attempt Number 5 is all gravy apparently, but it’s when you incorrectly hit Enter that 6th time that the proverbial stuff starts to hit the fan.
When you enter the wrong passcode for the sixth time, the device will automatically disable for one minute. It goes downhill from here.
Failing to enter the right passcode on the seventh attempt will disable your device for five minutes.
Get to that ninth try and you still can’t remember your code? Ding-ding. Disabled for an hour!
The tenth attempt is your last chance to enter the correct passcode.
If you fail here, you will see an alert on the screen that states rather condescendingly, “iPhone is disabled; connect to iTunes.”
While you may think that it’s quite the stretch that someone would forget their password TEN WHOLE TIMES, beware that the wrong code can be repeatedly entered while the iPhone is bouncing around in a pocket or bag!
So, Can I Receive Calls On A Disabled iPhone?
While the device is disabled, you will not be able to access anything on the phone.
Neither will you be able to receive any calls or send messages. The only interactive feature available will be the Emergency SOS Slider.
How Do I Reactivate My iPhone?
If you forget your passcode and the device is disabled, the best course of action now is to place the phone into Recovery Mode.
This will give you the option to erase the iPhone’s data and create fresh access to set it up again.
Note that this recovery method works best if the phone was recently backed up on iTunes or iCloud.
Without a backup, your iPhone will need to be set up as a new device, and as a result it is likely you will lose any data that was stored directly on the device.
Follow these steps to get your iPhone out of its disabled state:
Step 1: Open iTunes on either a Mac or a PC running an OS of Windows 8 or later. If you cannot access a Mac or PC, visit the nearest Apple Authorized Service Provider or Apple Store.
Step 2: Before connecting the device to a computer, turn off the iPhone.
- For iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and later models: Press and hold the side and volume down button until the power off slider appears on the screen;
- iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6: Press and hold the button at the side until the power off slider appears on the screen;
- iPhone SE, iPhone 5s, and earlier: Press and hold the top button until the power off slider appears on the screen.
Drag the power off slider and wait for a minute to ensure the phone is off.
Step 3: To put the iPhone into Recovery Mode, press and hold the correct button (as per the model) and connect the device to the computer. Release the button when the recovery screen appears.
- iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, and later: Side button
- iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus: Volume down button
- iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, and earlier: Home button
Step 4: Use iTunes or the app Finder to locate the phone. You will be presented with an option to “Update” or “Restore.” Select “Restore.”
The computer will then download the required software and begin the recovery process.
Once this process is complete, disconnect the phone from the computer and set up the device for use.
How Can I Avoid My iPhone Being Disabled?
One way to avoid accidentally disabling your iPhone is the “Raise to Wake” feature.
This will “wake” the iPhone to the lock screen when you lift the device. Find this feature under Settings > Display & Brightness.
Alternatively, always ensure that your device is turned off when stored in your pocket or bag.
Additionally, it is recommended that you use Touch ID or Face ID as your primary unlocking method.
Set passcode for use only in emergencies. If required, write down the passcode on paper and keep it somewhere safe!
So, to answer the question
“If my iPhone is disabled can I still receive calls?”
The answer is that no, you won’t be able to take any calls if your phone is in this state. You will only be allowed to access the SOS slider to make emergency calls.
Should your iPhone become disabled, you can solve that problem by activating recovery mode, erasing the device, and setting it up again using your data backup on iTunes or iCloud.
While it may be troublesome, at least you won’t be locked out of your phone forever!
Apple has been the dominant pioneer of the mobile tech world for the past two decades. Learn more about what makes their iPhone an icon not just in the present day, but for the ages to come as well!