Cannot Turn Off Passcode Lock on iPhone or iPad


Q: I have an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4S. They are both logged into the same iCloud account. I currently have a passcode lock on both. I want to take the passcode lock off, but it won’t let me. The option for disabling it isn’t highlighted. It’s this way on both the iPad and the iPhone.

Cannot Turn Off Passcode Lock on iPhone or iPad

– Daniel

A: This issue most commonly appears when using a corporate Microsoft Exchange account on an iOS device. Microsoft Exchange allows corporate IT departments to set policies via ActiveSync such as requiring passwords, enforcing specific password policies such as length and password history, and even disabling certain features such as the Camera application. Note that the Google Sync service for Google Apps Business and Education accounts can also apply similar policies as these also use the same Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocols.

Such policies act as a minimum security standard, allowing you to set more restrictive options; as a result you may notice that fewer options are available for some of your other passcode settings as well. For example, the Require Passcode section normally allows you to choose a time interval ranging from Immediately to up to four hours, however if your IT policy limits this to 15 minutes, you will find that you can only select shorter time frames.


Cannot Turn Off Passcode Lock on iPhone or iPad

Unfortunately, if you have policies that are set as part of a Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync account, the only way for you to remove these policies is to delete the actual account from your device, by going into Mail, Contacts, Calendars in your Settings app, selecting it, and choosing the option to delete it.


Cannot Turn Off Passcode Lock on iPhone or iPad

Note that this will also remove all e-mail, contact, calendar and reminder information associated with this account. If this is a Gmail account, you might be able to configure it using IMAP instead of Google Sync (Exchange ActiveSync) to avoid applying the security policies, although you will lose some features by doing this such as push e-mail and contact synchronization.

Alternatively, you could contact your organization’s IT group to see if there’s any possibility of them changing the policy or making an exception. While this is extremely unlikely to happen with a large company, many small businesses and community organizations are often simply using default policies that they’re not even aware of.

Lastly, if you’re not using an Exchange ActiveSync or Google Sync account, then these policies may have been set as part of a Mac OS X Server Profile or transferred to your device using Apple’s iPhone Configuration Utility or Apple Configurator. Any such policies will be listed in the Settings, General, Profiles section on your iPhone or iPad, however, unless your devices were pre-configured by your company before being given to you, chances are that you would know about these policies as you would have needed to install these yourself or enrol your device to a profile server.


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Jesse Hollington

Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.