Passcodes or PIN Codes are not required to be set on PCS-issued iPads, and adding one is good for security. But all too often, someone will put on a PIN code and immediately forget the code, thus locking themselves out of their own iPad. And if they keep inputting the incorrect code, they will eventually be locked out of the iPad entirely. If caught early enough and kept under the right conditions, this issue is easily rectified; if not, the device will be rendered unusable until it is replaced.


Identify: Forgot Passcode VS Disabled iPad

There is an important distinction between iPads that are locked out because of a forgotten passcode, and one that is totally disabled: forgotten passcodes can be wiped remotely, but disabled iPads cannot be restored remotely. As such, it is important to accurately recognize and report the status of the iPad in order to resolve the issue.


Forgotten Passcode Lock

If the iPad has a Passcode set on it that you can no longer access, but the iPad is still accessible, it will have a screen that looks like this:

If your iPad screen looks like this, go to the section, "Forgot Passcode" below.


iPad Disabled

If the iPad has a Passcode set and it had too many incorrect passcodes entered into it, the iPad will become disabled and unusable. It will have a screen that looks like this:

If your iPad's screen looks like this, go to the section, "Disabled iPad" below.



Forgot Passcode

This section will help you resolve the issue if your iPad has been locked by a passcode you do not know, but is not disabled. This issue can be easily resolved if the device is still on wifi, but will require a full device replacement if the device is not on wifi.


Steps to Resolve the Issue:

  1. Do not turn off the device and keep it within range of your wireless network.
  2. Check to see if the device is connected to your wifi network. If the wifi icon appears at the top of your iPad's screen, then it is connected to wifi; if no wifi icon appears, the device is not connected to wifi.
    • The wifi icon looks like this, and will be in either the upper-right or upper-left corners of the screen:
  3. If the Device is Connected to Wifi: 
    1. Keep the iPad turned on and connected to your wireless network. 
    2. Contact the PCS helpdesk using this helpdesk article, and request that the passcode be wiped from the iPad.
    3. After the Clear Passcode command has been sent to the device by the helpdesk staff, check the iPad again and confirm the passcode was removed.
  4. If the Device is Not Connected to Wifi:
    1. Contact the PCS helpdesk using this helpdesk article, and state that your iPad is passcode locked but the device is not connected to wifi. They will make arrangements with you to issue a replacement device.



Disabled iPad

This section will help you resolve the issue if your iPad been totally disabled after failing to input the correct passcode multiple ties. This issue can only be resolved by replacing the device entirely, since there is no way to resolve this situation remotely.


Contact the PCS helpdesk using this helpdesk article, and state that your iPad is entirely disabled due to a passcode lock. They will make arrangements with you to issue a replacement device.



Have More Questions? Need Further Assistance?

If you need to get in contact with the PCS Helpdesk team for further assistance with these matters, you may do so at any time by following the instructions here: Contacting the PCS Helpdesk.