If my iPhone is stolen, can the thief unlock it without knowing my passcode? The answer is Yes. Now let?s see how a thief can unlock a stolen iPhone, so that we can take corresponding precautions in daily use.
Method 1: Unlock a stolen iPhone by guessing the passcode
Guessing someone else?s passcode seems absurd and impossible, but sometimes it works, especially if the stolen iPhone uses a 4-digital passcode. Statistics show that quite a few people use simple codes like 1234, 0000, 1111, 2222, 2018, 2019 as the passcode to unlock their iPhones. Thieves may try these most common passcodes one by one until they successfully unlock the stolen iPhone. Of course, if the thief enters the wrong passcode six times in a row, the stolen iPhone will be disabled, but he can try again after certain minutes.
Thus, it can be seen that in order to prevent your iPhone from being easily unlocked by thieves, make sure you use a passcode that is strong enough but easy to remember for yourself.
Method 2: Unlock stolen iPhone passcode via restoring
If the thief fails to unlock the stolen iPhone through a simple guess, he is likely to restore it to the factory settings to wipe the passcode and gain the usage of the iPhone. The steps are as follows.
Step 1: Connect the iPhone to a computer, open iTunes, and then put the iPhone in recovery mode by pressing the following keys.
iPhone 8, X or later: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side (Power) button until the recovery mode screen appears.
iPhone 7: Press and hold the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until the recovery mode screen appears.
iPhone 6, 6s: Press and hold both the Home and the Side buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until the recovery mode screen appears.
Step 2: Once the iPhone goes into recovery mode, iTunes on the computer will pop up a dialog that allows you to choose to Restore or Update. Choose Restore.
Step 3: iTunes will download software for the iPhone. When the download finishes, iTunes will restore the iPhone to factory settings and wipe everything including the passcode. Then the thief can set up and use the stolen iPhone.
However, some thieves may not know the fact that restoring won?t work if the iPhone was linked to an Apple ID and had ?Find My iPhone? enabled. That?s because after restoring, the iPhone will ask for the previous Apple ID and password for activation. Without the previous Apple ID, the thief still won?t be able to unlock and use the stolen iPhone.
Method 3: Unlock a stolen iPhone with an iPhone unlocking tool
A crafty thief will use a professional iPhone unlocking tool to unlock a stolen iPhone. There are some useful iPhone unlocking tools on the internet, such as the iSumsoft iPhone Passcode Refixer I found recently. The main purpose of these tools is to help people who forget iPhone passcode out of trouble. Since they are usually cheap, at cost about $20, they are likely to be used by thieves to unlock stolen iPhones. Now let?s see how such a tool works.
Step 1: Download and Install iPhone Passcode Refixer on a PC. After installation, launch this tool.
Tips: iPhone Passcode Refixer is a Windows based program, so it needs to be installed on a Windows computer. Sure, there are some software tools for macOS.
Step 2: Choose the Unlock Lock Screen option and on the next page, click Start to proceed.
Step 3: Make sure the iPhone is connected to the PC and click Next.
Step 4: The software will ask you to download the firmware package for the iPhone to be unlocked. Just click Download and the download will begin automatically and complete in a few minutes.
Step 5: After downloading the firmware package, you can now click the Unlock button to start unlocking the iPhone.
Step 6: Just wait for a few minutes and the iPhone will be unlocked successfully. Then you can set up and use the iPhone.
However, in case the ?Find My iPhone? feature is enabled on the iPhone, such a tool will not actually work, because the activation lock problem still exists. Without the previous Apple ID, the thief still can?t use the stolen iPhone.
The Bottom Line
All in all, if you use a simple screen lock passcode or you disable Find My iPhone feature, your iPhone will be easily unlocked once it?s lost or stolen. So for security reasons, be sure to use a strong passcode and turn on Find My iPhone at any time to prevent accidents.