KEY POINTS

  • Apple has designed the iPhone to disable itself to protect user data from unauthorized access
  • Disabled iPhones might need to be connected to computers to work again
  • There are ways to prevent iPhones from getting disabled

iPhones are designed to keep a user's private and confidential matters, such as text messages, calls and photos, safe from prying eyes. Apple designed the iPhone to keep such data safe from prying eyes by restricting access after failing to give the right passcode several times in a row.

Sometimes, however, users can unwittingly disable their iPhones unintentionally in a number of ways. This includes activating the Tap to Wake and Raise to Wake functions then putting their iPhones inside busy jeans pockets; leaving the iPhone where unsupervised kids can reach them; or by simply leaving them where people with an intention to snoop around can get them.

Once the “iPhone is disabled” message appears on the lock screen, users will need to wait for the designated period of time before getting the chance to enter the correct passcode again. Otherwise, users will have to connect their disabled iPhones to a computer to restore it and start anew.

That said, there are ways to keep iPhones from getting disabled. Here are a few simple ways to do that, courtesy of iPhoneHacks.

Disabling Tap to Wake and Raise to Wake

Tap to Wake and Raise to Wake are designed to wake up the device whenever the user taps on the screen or raises the device to a certain height. Users who use passcodes as authentication method are then required to enter the correct passcode. Disabling these functions prevents keying in the wrong passcode.

Turn Tap to Wake off by going to Settings > Accessibility > Touch then toggling the Tap to Wake switch off. Turn Raise to Wake off by going to Settings > Display and Brightness and toggling the Raise to Wake switch off.

Reducing Auto-Lock Time

By reducing the amount of time the iPhone stays awake, users will have less chances to enter the wrong passcode. Reduce auto-lock time by going to Settings > Display and Brightness > Auto-Lock then set the time to 30 seconds.

Other things

There are other ways to prevent the iPhone from getting disabled. Users can use passcodes longer than four-digit passcodes because longer passcodes means having to press more buttons before messing up the device. Users can also keep a copy of their passcodes in case they forget it. Users are also advised to keep their iPhones away from children's reach.

The iPhone 11 helped Apple regain the crown as leader of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter, according to analysts The iPhone 11 helped Apple regain the crown as leader of the global smartphone market in the fourth quarter, according to analysts Photo: AFP / NICOLAS ASFOURI