Run iPhone in James Bond Mode: Set your iPhone to Self Destruct and Erase All Data After Failed Password Attempts

Aug 12, 2010 - 5 Comments

iphone erase all data incorrect password There’s a pretty cool feature included in iOS that lets you run your iPhone in James Bond mode, causing the device to self destruct if an incorrect password is entered 10 times concurrently.

Ok, well it’s not really called James Bond mode and it doesn’t actually self destruct, but it does erase all the data on the iPhone, which is basically the digital equivalent.

Make iPhone erase all data contents after failed password attempts

Enabling this feature will cause the iPhone to erase all data on the device after 10 failed passcode attempts have been entered.

  • Tap on “Settings”
  • Tap on General
  • Navigate to and tap on “Passcode Lock”
  • At the bottom, switch “Erase Data” to “ON”

This is a great feature to enable if you are worried about theft or losing your iPhone and your iPhone has a lot of private data on the device that you don’t want in front of some prying eyes. Just be sure to backup your iPhone before enabling something like this, just in case!

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Posted by: William Pearson in iPhone, Security, Tips & Tricks

5 Comments

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  1. Kevin says:

    Does it still ask for the passcode after data gets wiped? If so a thief will then have a nice clean passcode free iphone/ipod touch to sell!

  2. Valashtar says:

    At least he doesn’t have your data… Besides, he could do the same thing by just restoring it in iTunes.

    Please note that this is available on all iPhone models, but it may take several hours for the data to be wiped on the 2G and 3G because it actually overwrites the data with zeroes, whereas on the iPhone 3GS and 4 the entire filesystem is hardware encrypted, and they can just “throw away the keys” in order to wipe the internal NAND.

  3. Mark says:

    now wouldn’t it be awesome if there was an option to automatically brick your iphone if 10 failed passcode attempts? or maybe have it short out the battery so it would actually self destruct. anyway a wiped iphone is a sellable iphone. at least they won’t get your info but still/

  4. Lucas says:

    Actually it would be called an “Ethan Hunt” mode. Ethan Hunt is from mission impossible where the term “This message will self destruct…” came from. Not James Bond.

  5. [...] good security idea; Set your iPhone to erase all data on 10 failed password attempts. What are the odds you’re going to enter your incorrect password 10 times in a row? Slim, [...]

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