Why Does My iPad Say Unavailable?

Seeing the “iPad Unavailable” message on your iPad's lock screen can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you've forgotten your passcode.

This means your iPad is temporarily disabled due to entering the wrong passcode too many times.

Fortunately, there are a few ways to factory reset your iPad even if you don't have access to iTunes or know the passcode.

Doing this will wipe your iPad completely and allow you to set it up like new. However, any unsaved data will be erased. So be sure to back up your iPad regularly.

Check If You Can Reset Using the “Erase iPad” Option

Since iPadOS 15.2, iPads now have an option directly on the lock screen to erase the device. See if you have “Erase iPad” at the bottom of your screen. If so:

1. Tap “Erase iPad” and confirm.
2. Enter your Apple ID password to sign out of your account.
3. The iPad will reset itself. This takes several minutes.
4. Follow the onscreen setup to add your Apple ID again and restore a backup.

Use iPhone Unlocker to Reset an Offline iPad

If you don't have the “Erase iPad” option or your iPad has no internet access, you can use iPhone Unlocker. This utility program lets you factory reset your iPad from a computer, no iTunes required.

To use it:

1. Download and install iPhone Unlocker on a Windows or Mac computer.
2. Connect your iPad while it's turned off.
3. Put your iPad into recovery mode based on its model:
– Models without Home button: Press and release Volume Up, then Volume Down, then hold Power until Recovery Mode appears
– Models with Home button: Hold Home and Power buttons until Recovery Mode shows
4. In iPhone Unlocker, select your iPad's info and download its firmware.
5. Tap “Unlock” to reset. This wipes all data and brings you to setup.

Erase Your iPad Remotely Through iCloud

If Find My iPad was enabled before your iPad became unavailable, you can remotely wipe it via iCloud.com:

1. On another device, go to iCloud.com and sign in to your Apple ID.
2. Select “Find My iPhone” > All Devices.
3. Choose your iPad from the list.
4. Tap “Erase This Device” and confirm again.
5. Enter your Apple ID password. This will reset your iPad.

Reset Using iTunes As a Last Resort

iTunes can also reset an iPad in Recovery Mode and bring you to setup. However, this does require a computer with the latest iTunes version installed.

1. Connect your unavailable iPad to the computer.
2. Put your iPad into Recovery Mode based on the model.
3. Open iTunes. You'll get a prompt to Restore or Update.
4. Click “Restore” to download software and reset your iPad completely.
5. Set up the iPad like new after resetting.

Tips to Avoid “iPad Unavailable” Issues in the Future

Making regular backups and using strong passcodes can help prevent even reaching the iPad unavailable screen:

– Set up automatic iCloud backups to copy your data securely online every day when charging. Or manually back up to iTunes via a computer connection.

– Use a longer, complex alphanumeric passcode rather than a short numerical one. This makes it nearly impossible for anyone else to unlock your device.

– Write down or securely save record of your Apple ID password somewhere in case you ever forget it when prompted during setup.

– Consider purchasing a waterproof case for rugged protection to avoid accidental damage that makes your iPad unusable.

– Install any iOS updates and keep your iPad's software up to date for the latest security fixes. Outdated software is more vulnerable to issues.