iOS 15.2 has a major upgrade for when you’re locked out of your iPhone

iPhone 13 image zoomed in at the notch.
(Image credit: Future)

Resetting a locked iPhone or iPad has always been a hassle, but the new iOS 15.2 update makes things easier.

As spotted by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab), Apple is now allowing users to erase or reset a locked iPhone or iPad without having to connect it first to a Mac or PC. 

So if your iPhone 13 or iPad mini 6 is locked out due to too many password attempts, users can now erase and reset the device from the lock screen. All it requires is an active network connection. Obviously, this method is not limited to the devices mentioned above and will also work on our picks for the best iPhones and best iPads

After a few failed password attempts, an "Erase iPhone" option appears in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. The device completely resets, deleting all data along with it. This means that users will have to start fresh. 

If there isn't an active network connection, then users will have to go through the traditional route of connecting it to a Mac or PC with iTunes. 

In versions prior to iOS 15, the recovery method has been more cumbersome. Users would plug in their iPhone or iPad into a PC or Mac with iTunes, which puts the device in DFU recovery mode. DFU stands for device firmware update. The process also required users to press the up, down and then power button in that specific order. Users would have to hold that power button for around 30 seconds. This throws it into the DFU mode. A "restore" prompt then appears on the computer screen. 

After the restore process is complete, users will still need to log in with their Apple ID and password. This means that if someone is trying to reset a lost or stolen iPhone, they'll be out of luck. 

The iOS 15.2 update brings a bunch of other upgrades as well, including Apple's new Apple Music Voice plan, a better notifications summary, a new Digital Legacy feature, new macro camera controls for the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max and more. So be sure to download the update and check out our guide to all of the new iOS 15.2 features. 

Imad is currently Senior Google and Internet Culture reporter for CNET, but until recently was News Editor at Tom's Guide. Hailing from Texas, Imad started his journalism career in 2013 and has amassed bylines with the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN, Wired and Men's Health Magazine, among others. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.