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

Aug 12, 2010 - 11 Comments

Lock down an iPhone and cause it to erase all data with incorrect password entry

There’s a pretty interesting 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 of self destruction. This feature is very effective, but it’s also unforgiving, so if you enter a password wrong often this is not for you.

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.

  1. Open the “Settings” app
  2. Choose “Touch ID & Passcode”
  3. Scroll down to enable “Erase Data” to the ON position

That’s it, the feature is enabled and after 10 failures, the data on the device is whiped clear.

On older devices, this feature exists but it’s under Settings > General:

  • Open Settings and go to General
  • Navigate to and tap on “Passcode Lock”
  • At the bottom, switch “Erase Data” to “ON”
  • iphone erase all data incorrect password

    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


    » Comments RSS Feed

    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, […]

    6. prabhu says:

      After that what happens to iPhone

    7. JaywonE says:

      It gets sold and used ///;)

    8. Michelle says:

      My phone is disabled I don’t have access to iTunes nor a computer what can I do to get in my iPhone

    9. Michelle says:

      My best friend past away and she gave me it but didn’t give me no information

    10. FARDUS Ahamed says:

      Mare I phone 6 mobail pe I phone disbled dikha raha he kia koro pls bolo

    11. sophie says:

      My daughter disabled my iphone be trying to unlock it too many times, it now says to connect to itunes but i dont have access to a computer. The phone is still receiving phone calls but wont do anything else. whats the best course of action?

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