Troubleshooting: 'iPad is disabled. Please connect to iTunes.' error message

If an iPad is set up with a passcode (either when first set up or in iOS Settings under 'Passcode'), it will request that passcode before allowing the device to be unlocked after being turned off, a sleep period, or a reset. 

After 10 failed attempts at the passcode, the device will lock you out with the error message 'iPad is disabled. Please connect to iTunes.' This is a security feature and cannot be disabled if using a passcode. 

If you are using Guided Access to lock the device to Kiosk Pro, the most common scenario in which this occurs is if the iPad is unplugged or otherwise loses power, the battery runs out, and the iPad powers down. When the iPad is reconnected to power in this scenario, it will bring up the lock screen, allowing visitors to attempt to guess the password and eventually brick the device with this error.

If you are currently seeing this message, you have two options: 

  1. If you have Find My iPhone enabled, you can use Remote Wipe to clear the current data on your device and restart it without iTunes. If you have been using iCloud to back up, you may be able to restore the most recent backup to reinstall the app and device settings.
  2. Follow Apple's steps for recovery mode with iTunes here

If you configure the device to skip a lock screen (by not setting any passcode on the device), the device will power on to the Home screen directly.  While the device will no longer be in Guided Access mode (and that will need to be manually reconfigured on site), it will also not require reconnection with iTunes to function. 

The only other alternative we are currently aware of is Apple's Single App Mode, which does launch directly back into an app after a battery drain > power down > relaunch sequence - more on this here.

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