iPad Unavailable No Erase Option? How to Fix It!

Does your iPad say “iPad Unavailable” and there’s no Erase option? Here are a few ways to fix it

By Dave Johnson - Senior Staff Writer
3 Min Read
  • If you’re iPad says iPad Unavailable but there’s no Erase iPad option, there are a few ways to fix it.
  • Using iTunes or Finder, you can remove the iPad Unavailable screen even when the Erase iPad option is not available.
  • If you don’t have a computer nearby, you can use Find My or iCloud to fix iPad Unavailable without Erase option.

When you enter the wrong passcode too many times, the iPad gets locked and displays a message that says “iPad Unavailable,” and iPadOS prompts you to erase your device. But what if your iPad says "iPad unavailable" and there is no ”Erase iPad” option? Well, fear not — you can erase everything and set it up as a new iPad even if the Erase option is not available. Whether you have an iPad Pro, iPad Air, or iPad mini, all you have to do is follow the steps we’ve detailed below.

How to fix iPad Unavailable but no Erase option

Try entering your passcode until the Erase iPad option appears

Step 1: From your iPad’s Lock Screen, try entering your passcode until the iPad Unavailable" screen appears and your iPad asks you to try again later. When you’re able to, continue trying to enter your passcode until the "Security Lockout" screen appears and you get the Erase iPad option in the bottom corner of the screen.

A screenshot of an iPad showing iPad unavailable message

Step 2: Tap Erase iPad, then tap Erase iPad again to confirm.

Step 3: Enter your Apple ID password to sign out of your Apple ID on your iPad.

Step 4: Tap Erase iPad option.

Step 5: When your iPad restarts, follow the onscreen instructions to set up your device again, restore your data and settings from a backup, and set a new passcode.

Fix iPad Unavailable no erase option with iTunes or Finder

For this method, you will need the following:

  • The built-in Finder app on Mac or iTunes on a PC running Windows 10 or later
  • The iPad itself
  • A compatible USB cable to connect your iPad to the computer

Here’s how to fix iPad Unavailable with no Erase option using iTunes or Finder:

Step 1: Turn off the iPad

It sounds simple, but different iPads have different ways to power down.

  1. If your iPad doesn’t have a Home button, hold both the Top and Volume Down buttons. If your iPad has a Home button, just hold the Top button.
  2. When the Power Off slider appears, release the button(s) you’re holding.
  3. Slide to power the iPad off. Wait a minute before continuing.

Step 2: Put it in Recovery mode

After your iPad shuts down, you have to put it in Recovery mode.

  1. Launch Finder or iTunes on your computer.

  2. Connect your iPad to the computer using the USB cable.

  3. For iPad models without a Home button: Press and quickly release the volume button closest to the top button. Press and quickly release the volume button farthest from the top button. Press and hold the top button. For iPad models with Home button: Press and hold both the Home and the top (or side) buttons at the same time.

  4. Keep holding on to the respective button until you see the recovery screen on your iPad, which shows a laptop and a cable on a black background, then let go.

  5. If the passcode screen appears, then you’ve turned on your device. In this case, you’ll have to shut it down again and repeat all the aforementioned steps to get to the recovery screen.

Step 3: Restore the iPad

Now we’ve gotten to actually resetting your iPad. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Click on your iPad’s name in Finder or iTunes.
  2. Tap the Restore iPad button. This will erase your device and re-install the operating system.
  3. Once the process concludes, your iPad will light up and show the setup screen. Now you can safely disconnect it from your computer.
  4. If you had a previous backup, you will be able to restore it. Otherwise, you can set it up from scratch.

Fix iPad Unavailable no Erase option with iCloud

If you know your Apple ID and password, you can sign into iCloud on another device to fix the problem.

Step 1: Go to iCloud.com on another device and sign in with your Apple ID and password.

Step 2: Select Find My, and sign in if you’re prompted.

Step 3: When you see a map and list of your devices, choose the iPad you need to unlock and select Erase This Device.

Step 4: Enter your Apple ID and password–your iPad will be erased, and the iPad Unavailable message will also be removed. You can then set up your iPad as a new device or restore it from your last backup.

Fix iPad Unavailable but no Erase option with the Find My app

The Find My app can also help you bypass iPad Unavailable screen when the Erase iPad option is not available.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Open the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad, or other Apple device–sign in if prompted.

Step 2: Choose your iPad from the list of devices, then select Erase This Device.

Step 3: Once your iPad is erased, the iPad Unavailable message will also be removed and you’ll be able to set it up as a new device or restore it from backup.

As you can see, iPad Unavailable without the erase option isn’t a death sentence. You will still be able to recover it, but you will lose locally stored data. This is why it’s important to occasionally back up your iPad just in case you are pushed to reset it or end up losing or damaging it.

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By Dave Johnson Senior Staff Writer
Dave Johnson is a staff writer for GeeksChalk based in New Jersey. He covers news, how-tos, and user guides for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch.
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