iPad: How I Got Locked Out

I recently upgraded my iPad to iOS 10 and just out of curiosity, I set up a thumbprint unlock setting. Big mistake.

Last night I picked up my iPad and it wouldn’t accept my thumbprint. It would only accept a passcode, which I never set up. I didn’t want both. Now I was hopelessly locked out of my own device.

Apple will tell you that when you set up a biometric – using your fingerprint or thumbprint to unlock your iPhone or iPad – a passcode will be required also. This would have prevented my problem. If had set up a passcode, I could have entered it, instead of my thumbprint, and opened the iPad instantly. By it isn’t true; it wasn’t required and there was no warning of the risk. So I’ve gently made Apple Support aware of this.

The only way to get my iPad back was to connect it to my PC and use iTunes to restore it to factory condition. Then all of my apps and stuff were restored from iCloud. The process took 2 or 3 hours, with Apple’s assistance. I first followed the instructions online, but failed.

Everything is OK now, including the photo of Brookie on my lock screen.


But events like this are stressful: they flood our poor soft-celled brains with damaging cortisol, which makes us stupid. Which may explain why I had to call Apple.

Ordinarily I’m a big believer in system encryption and personal security in general. I lock doors; ask anyone who knows me well. But in the case of devices this complicated, it might be that the better policy is KISS: keep it simple, stupid.

The better approach may be to be careful with our belongings, not let them fall into the hands of miscreants.

What do you think?