How to Fix the iPhone Unavailable Screen: A Step-by-Step Guide

Fixing the iPhone unavailable screen is simpler than most people think. It usually involves either waiting out a timer or restoring your device using iTunes or Finder. The process can be completed in a few steps and usually does not require a trip to the Apple store.

After you complete the action, your iPhone should be back to normal, allowing you to enter your passcode and gain access to your device. However, keep in mind that if you have to restore your iPhone, you might lose some data if you haven’t backed up recently.


Ever been locked out of your iPhone with an “iPhone Unavailable” message plastered on the screen? Frustrating, isn’t it? This is a security feature on iPhones that activates when someone enters the wrong passcode too many times. It’s there to protect your personal information, but it can be a real headache when you’re the one stuck on the outside looking in.

This issue is more common than you’d think and can happen to anyone—parents with curious kids, people with a tendency to forget passcodes, or just about anyone with slippery fingers. But don’t worry, there’s no need to panic. Whether you’ve forgotten your passcode or entered it incorrectly too many times, we’re here to guide you through getting back into your iPhone with relative ease. Say goodbye to frustration and hello to a step-by-step rescue plan.

How to Fix the iPhone Unavailable Screen

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s understand what we’re aiming to achieve. These steps will reset your iPhone, bypassing the unavailable screen so you can set a new passcode and start afresh. Remember, this might mean you’ll lose some data, so it’s a good idea to regularly back up your iPhone.

Step 1: Determine the Wait Time

If your iPhone says to try again in 15 minutes or another specific time frame, simply wait it out.

When you see a message telling you to try again later, it means you’ve entered the wrong passcode but not enough times to require a full restore. This is the best-case scenario because you won’t lose any data. Just take a breather, wait for the timer to run down, then carefully enter your passcode again.

Step 2: Use iTunes or Finder (if wait time is over an hour)

Connect your iPhone to a computer and open iTunes (or Finder on macOS Catalina and later). You’ll need to put your iPhone into recovery mode to proceed.

When your iPhone displays a wait time of over an hour, or if you see “iPhone Unavailable” without a timer, you’ll need the help of a computer. Put your iPhone in recovery mode by turning it off and then following a specific button sequence depending on your iPhone model. Once in recovery mode, you’ll see an option to restore your iPhone on iTunes or Finder. This will erase your iPhone, including the passcode, allowing you to set it up as new or from a backup.

Step 3: Restore Your iPhone

Click on “Restore” and wait for the process to complete. After this, you can set up your iPhone as new or restore it from a backup.

Clicking “Restore” will erase all data on your iPhone, including the passcode, effectively removing the “iPhone Unavailable” screen. After the restore is complete, your iPhone will restart, and you can set it up. If you have an iCloud or computer backup, you can use it to restore your data. If not, you’ll have to set up your iPhone as a new device.


Regain AccessRestoring your iPhone allows you to regain access, bypassing the unavailable screen.
Prevent Unauthorized AccessThe feature that triggers the unavailable screen helps protect your data from unauthorized access.
Opportunity to Start FreshRestoring your iPhone gives you a chance to start with a clean slate, which can be beneficial for performance.


Potential Data LossIf you haven’t backed up your iPhone recently, restoring it might result in loss of data.
Time-ConsumingThe process can be time-consuming, especially if you need to wait out a timer or restore from a backup.
Requires ComputerYou’ll need access to a computer with iTunes or Finder to restore your iPhone.

Additional Information

When facing the “iPhone Unavailable” screen, the best offense is a good defense—regularly backing up your iPhone. Whether you prefer iCloud or connecting to a computer, backing up will save you from a lot of potential headaches.

Also, if you’re prone to forgetting your passcode, consider using Touch ID or Face ID as a more straightforward alternative. And remember, if you’re ever in doubt, reaching out to Apple Support is always a wise move. They can provide guided assistance tailored to your specific situation.


  1. Determine if you can wait out the timer.
  2. If the timer is over an hour or doesn’t exist, use iTunes or Finder to restore your iPhone.
  3. Put your iPhone into recovery mode and click “Restore” to erase the device.
  4. Set up your iPhone from scratch or restore from a backup.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t have a computer?

If you don’t have access to a computer, you’ll need to find one that you can use as restoring an iPhone requires iTunes or Finder.

Can I avoid data loss?

Yes, if you regularly back up your iPhone, you can restore your data after fixing the unavailable screen.

What happens if I can’t remember my passcode after the wait time?

If you can’t remember your passcode, you’ll eventually need to restore your iPhone, which will erase all data, including the passcode.

Is there a way to bypass the unavailable screen without a restore?

No, once the screen is triggered, the only way to regain access to your iPhone is to wait it out or perform a restore.

Can I use someone else’s computer to restore my iPhone?

Yes, you can use any computer with iTunes or Finder, but keep in mind that you’ll need to trust the computer from your iPhone.


In conclusion, while the “iPhone Unavailable” screen can be a nuisance, it’s not the end of the world. With this handy guide, you’re equipped to tackle the issue head-on and get back to using your iPhone in no time.

Remember, regular backups are your best friend, and when in doubt, Apple Support is there to help. So, breathe easy, follow these steps, and you’ll be back to scrolling, tapping, and swiping before you know it.