If your iPad displays an “iPad Unavailable” screen, it renders the device temporarily or permanently unusable until a factory reset is performed. This issue can occur when an incorrect passcode is repeatedly entered upon powering on the iPad or waking it from sleep mode, triggering the device’s security protocols.
The ‘iPad Unavailable’ message is a security measure activated when an incorrect passcode is entered multiple times. This feature is designed to prevent potential unauthorized access to your device. Common triggers include unintentional inputs while the device is in a bag or pocket, or when children have access to the device without supervision.
Remember that except for the first method of waiting for an hour, the data will be wiped from the iPad whichever method you use to reset the iPad. If you have essential data on the tablet, contact a data recovery service and get your data back before resetting the iPad.
1. Wait for an Hour
If you’ve entered the wrong passcode multiple times, the tablet will enter a temporary lockout phase with the “iPad Unavailable” screen for an hour. If another incorrect passcode is entered during this phase, the iPad will become permanently locked, requiring a factory reset for recovery.
During this initial phase, simply wait for an hour before attempting to enter the passcode again. Ensure that you enter the correct passcode, as entering it incorrectly again will result in permanent lockout, necessitating a factory reset.
2. Using the “Erase iPad” Option:
For devices with iPadOS 15.2 or later, an “Erase iPad” option may appear after several failed attempts. This feature allows you to reset your iPad to factory settings, which removes the passcode and all data:
- Keep entering the wrong passcode until you see “Erase iPad.”
- Tap the option and follow the prompts.
- You’ll need your Apple ID and password to proceed.
3. Reset using Find My iPad
If the tablet is linked to your Apple ID and connected to Wi-Fi, you can use Find My iPad to reset the tablet.
- Open the Find My, either on an Apple device or in a browser.
- Tap on the problematic iPad and select Erase iPad.
- Confirm to reset the iPad and once done, set it up.
4. Use a PC or Mac to Reset the iPad
If none of the above methods work, the final option is to reset the iPad using a PC or Mac. If you don’t have access to a PC or Mac, you can ask a friend, family member, or visit a computer shop for assistance.
Use the PC
- Download and install iTunes.
- Launch it and open Help.
- Click on Check for Update and install the available update.
- Close the iTunes and switch off the iPad.
- Connect the USB cable to the PC and press/hold the Home button.
- While holding the Home button, plug the iPad into the PC using a USB cable.
- Release the button when the Apple logo is shown and launch iTunes (if it does not launch automatically).
- For the iPad, select Restore (not the option of Restore and Update) and wait till the process completes.
- Once done, set it up as per your requirements.
If you fail to reset the iPad, restart the PC and disable the antivirus/firewall. After that retry the above steps.
Use the Mac
- Launch the Mac’s Settings and go to Software Update.
- Install any available updates and restart the Mac.
- Open Finder and power off the iPad.
- Connect a USB cable to the Mac and press/hold the Home button.
- While holding down the Home button, connect the USB cable to the iPad.
- Release the button when the Apple logo is shown and on the prompt shown, click on Restore.
- Confirm to restore the iPad and once done, disconnect it from the Mac.
- Set it up as per your requirements and that will make the iPad usable.
If the issue persists, we recommend reaching out to Apple Support for further troubleshooting or visiting an official Apple customer service center. While there are numerous apps available that claim to reset iPads, we do not recommend using them.
Forgot Apple ID and Password
To remove the activation lock from the iPad, you will need to use your Apple ID and password. In case you have forgotten your Apple ID and password, we recommend reaching out to Apple Support or visiting the service center with the original receipt of the iPad’s purchase.
How to avoid this Issue from occurring in future?
- Power off the iPad when cleaning it.
- Use a magnetic iPad cover to avoid any accidental touches leading to the issue.
- Enable Guided Access when handing over the iPad to a child.
- When handing over the iPad to a colleague, ensure that the person is not curious and won’t attempt to enter incorrect passcodes.
If you have a query or suggestion, contact us in the comments section.