How to Disable an iPhone: Step-by-Step Guide for Users

Disabling an iPhone is a simple process that can be accomplished in a few steps. By turning off the device, you can ensure that it cannot be used or accessed without your permission. This is useful in situations where you want to secure your device, or if it’s lost or stolen.

After you disable your iPhone, it will not be able to make or receive calls, send texts, access the internet, or use any apps. Essentially, the phone will be completely inoperable until it is enabled again. This is a strong security measure to take if you need to protect your personal information.


The iPhone is an incredible piece of technology that has become an integral part of our daily lives. But sometimes, you may need to disable it – whether you’re trying to focus on a task without distractions, you’re handing it over to a child and want to ensure they can’t access anything important, or maybe your phone has been lost or stolen. Whatever the reason, disabling an iPhone is a straightforward process.

Disabling your iPhone is not just about pressing the power button. It involves a few more steps to ensure that your device is completely locked down. This process is essential if you’re concerned about data security or privacy. It’s also relevant for parents who want to control their child’s screen time or for someone who’s selling their iPhone and wants to wipe it clean. Let’s dive into the step-by-step tutorial on how to accomplish this.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Disable an iPhone

Before starting the process of disabling your iPhone, it’s important to understand what these steps will do. Disabling your iPhone will lock it down and make it unusable until you decide to enable it again. Now, let’s get into the steps.

Step 1: Back Up Your iPhone

Before disabling your iPhone, make sure to back up all your data to iCloud or iTunes.

Backing up your iPhone is a crucial step before disabling it. This ensures that all your photos, contacts, messages, and other data are safely stored and can be restored when you enable your iPhone again.

Step 2: Go to Settings

Navigate to the settings app on your iPhone.

The settings app is where you can access all the controls to disable your iPhone. It’s typically represented by a gear icon on your home screen.

Step 3: Open the ‘Touch ID & Passcode’ or ‘Face ID & Passcode’ Section

Once in settings, scroll down and tap on ‘Touch ID & Passcode’ or ‘Face ID & Passcode’, depending on your iPhone model.

This section of the settings controls the security features of your iPhone, which is where you can start the process of disabling your device.

Step 4: Enter Your Passcode

You will be prompted to enter your passcode. Type it in to access the next options.

Entering your passcode is a security measure to ensure that only the owner of the iPhone can make changes to these settings.

Step 5: Scroll Down and Tap ‘Erase Data’

After entering your passcode, scroll down to find the ‘Erase Data’ option. Tap it to turn it on.

The ‘Erase Data’ feature will completely wipe your iPhone after ten consecutive incorrect attempts to enter your passcode. This is a good option if your iPhone is lost or stolen.


SecurityDisabling your iPhone ensures that your personal information and data are secure in the event that your phone is lost or stolen.
FocusBy disabling your iPhone, you can eliminate distractions and focus better on work, study, or other activities.
ControlFor parents, disabling an iPhone can help manage a child’s screen time and access to apps.


InaccessibilityOnce your iPhone is disabled, you cannot use it for anything, which could be inconvenient in emergencies.
Data LossIf not properly backed up, disabling your iPhone could lead to permanent loss of data.
Time-ConsumingThe process of enabling your iPhone again can be time-consuming, as it may involve restoring from a backup.

Additional Information

Disabling your iPhone is a pretty nifty trick to know, especially for security reasons. But remember, this action is quite definitive—your device becomes as good as a paperweight until it’s enabled again. So, it’s not something you want to do on a whim. It could be a real lifesaver, though, if your phone gets into the wrong hands. Picture this: your iPhone, with all its personal data, goes missing. By disabling it, you’ve just put up a digital fortress that keeps your private information safe.

Another cool thing to remember is that once you’ve gone through these steps to disable your iPhone, it’s not the end of the world. You can always get it back up and running, as long as you remember your Apple ID and passcode. And if you’ve backed up your data, you’ll be golden.


  1. Back up your iPhone
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Open the ‘Touch ID & Passcode’ or ‘Face ID & Passcode’ section
  4. Enter your passcode
  5. Scroll down and tap ‘Erase Data’

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to my data when I disable my iPhone?

Your data remains safe if you’ve backed up your iPhone before disabling it. Otherwise, you risk losing it.

Can I still receive calls or texts after disabling my iPhone?

No, once your iPhone is disabled, it cannot receive calls or texts.

Is it easy to enable my iPhone again after disabling it?

Yes, but you will need your Apple ID and passcode, and you might need to restore it from a backup.

Can I track my iPhone if it’s disabled?

If you’ve enabled ‘Find My iPhone’ before disabling it, yes, you can still track it.

Will disabling my iPhone also clear my Apple Pay information?

Yes, disabling your iPhone will remove all cards from Apple Pay as a security measure.


So there you have it—how to disable an iPhone, laid out in simple, bite-sized steps. It’s a powerful tool to have in your arsenal, whether you’re a parent, someone selling their iPhone, or just someone who values their privacy and security. Remember, disabling your iPhone is a serious move, so make sure to back up your data and understand the consequences before diving in.

If you’re looking for more information on securing your device, plenty of resources are available. But for now, rest easy knowing you have the knowledge to disable your iPhone like a pro.