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Apple iPad IC Locked – How to Unlock It and Get Your iPad Working Again

Apple iPad IC Locked - How to Unlock It and Get Your iPad Working Again

The IC (integrated circuit) chip inside an iPad controls several key functions, including activation, security and cellular network connectivity. If this chip becomes “locked” or disabled due to failed password attempts or other issues, your iPad will be unusable until the lock is removed. Thankfully, there are ways to unlock and restore functionality to an IC locked iPad.

How Does an iPad Get IC Locked?

There are a few main causes of an IC lock on an iPad:

Failed Passcode Attempts

Entering the wrong passcode too many times in a row will trigger the IC lock as a security measure. The limit is typically 10 failed attempts, after which the iPad is disabled completely.

Forgotten Restrictions Passcode

Setting a restrictions passcode and then forgetting what it is can also lead to the IC lock if you exceed the attempt limit. This is common with company-owned iPads.

Malfunctioning Hardware

Rarely, a hardware issue with the IC chip itself can cause it to lock up unexpectedly. This is not typical but can happen if the iPad suffers physical damage.


Attempting to jailbreak an iPad and modifying system files incorrectly can sometimes cause the IC to lock. This is an uncommon trigger.

No matter the cause, an IC locked iPad will display either an “iPad is disabled” or “Connect to iTunes” screen when powered on. It refuses to respond to touch or button input until unlocked.

Bypassing the IC Lock

There are a few methods that can potentially bypass the IC lock and regain access to the iPad, but not all iPads can be unlocked:

  • Connecting to iTunes – For locked iPads related to failed passcode attempts, you may be able to connect the device to a computer and iTunes to restore it. This resets the passcode and unlocks the iPad.
  • iCloud Unlock – If Find My iPad was enabled, you can use the iCloud website to remotely remove the activation lock. This can unlock the IC in some cases.
  • Recovery Mode – Entering recovery mode and restoring the iPad via iTunes may allow you to get around the lock and reset the iPad.
  • IC Unlocking Service – Professional third-party IC unlocking services exist that can directly interface with the chip and disable the lock using special tools and software. This is the most reliable method.

Unfortunately none of these methods work 100% of the time. If you’ve exhausted all options, your best bet may be to contact a professional unlocking service.

Using a Professional IC Unlocking Service

Getting help from an expert service for IC unlocks is the most effective solution if you cannot bypass the lock yourself. Here’s an overview of the process:

  • Find a reputable service – Do your research to find a company with positive reviews and experience handling iPad unlocks. They should offer affordable pricing and guarantees.
  • Provide details – You will need to share the iPad’s model, serial number, and details about how it got locked. This helps them determine the best unlock method.
  • Mail in your iPad – Nearly all services will have you mail in your device so they can access the IC chip directly to disable the lock.
  • Unlock process – The time it takes depends on the service, but is usually 24 hours to a few days. The technicians directly interface with the IC to reset all lockout parameters.
  • Return shipment – Once unlocked, the company will ship your working, unlocked iPad back to you quickly. Most reputable services provide delivery tracking.
  • Enjoy your working iPad! – With the IC unlocked, you can set up and use your iPad like normal again! Be sure to create a new passcode and enable Find My iPad security.

Going through a professional service gets your iPad up and running again quickly when all else fails. Costs range from $50 to $120+ depending on the particular service.


Getting an IC locked iPad working again may seem daunting at first. But thanks to professional unlocking services accessing and resetting the IC chip directly, you can remove the lock and restore full functionality to your iPad. Be sure to troubleshoot on your own first before calling in the experts. With some time and patience, your “disabled” iPad can be back to normal.

Frequently Asked Questions About IC Locked iPads

Getting an iPad’s integrated circuit (IC) chip unlocked can seem complicated for those unfamiliar with the process. Here are answers to some common questions about handling an IC locked iPad.

How do I know if my iPad is IC locked?

When you attempt to turn on an IC locked iPad, you will see either an “iPhone is disabled connect to iTunes” or “iPad is disabled” message. The device will not respond to inputs or allow access beyond this screen until unlocked.

What causes an iPad to get IC locked?

The main triggers are too many failed passcode attempts, a forgotten restrictions passcode, jailbreaking gone wrong, or very rarely a hardware defect. Most commonly it is due to passcode errors or forgotten passwords.

Can I unlock my iPad on my own?

You can attempt bypass methods like connecting to iTunes, entering recovery mode, or using iCloud website tools. However, these options only work some of the time. For the highest success rate, use a professional unlocking service.

How much does it cost to get an expert to unlock the IC chip?

Costs range from $50 to $120+ on average, depending on the particular service used and the iPad model. Do your research to find a reputable company offering reasonable pricing and guarantees.

What will a pro service do to unlock my iPad?

These experts use special software and hardware to interface directly with the iPad’s IC chip and reset the lockout parameters to regain functionality. This is done quickly and reliably.

Can any model of iPad be unlocked?

Nearly all models can be unlocked, including all generations of iPad, iPad Air, iPad Pro, and iPad mini. The only exception is the very newest generation right after launch, until the unlocking tools are updated.

Will I lose data on my iPad when it gets unlocked?

Typically, no data will be lost in the unlocking process. However, for severely locked devices a full restore may be required, which wipes the data. Be sure to backup beforehand just in case.

Can I still use Find My iPad after an unlock?

Yes, you can re-enable Find My iPad security and tracking after the unlock process is complete. This is recommended to protect your device from future theft or loss going forward.

Will Apple refuse to service an unlocked iPad in the future?

No, the only limitation is that unlocking services cannot provide a warranty. But Apple and Apple authorized service centers will still work on previously unlocked iPads.

Hopefully this FAQ helps explain some key facts about handling that frustrating IC locked iPad situation! With the right information and professional service, you can get your iPad working again quickly.

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