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John T. F.
John T. F., Mac Druid
Category: Mac
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Experience:  20+ years in the computer/Mac industry
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My IPHone 4S is asking for me to enter the password XXXXX the

This answer was rated:

My IPHone 4S is asking for me to 'enter the password XXXXX the Exchange account "Exchange". I have never set up an exchange account, so I cancel the request. Now the password XXXXX has locked up my phone.

I tried my Apple ID password, but that does not work.

My phone is not useable.
Hello! My name is XXXXX XXXXX self-employed tech, and I'm offering my time in good faith today to provide advice and information.

First, let’s attempt resolving this issue with your iOS device by trying a hard reset, then proceed from there if that does not resolve the problem:

Disconnect the iOS device from it's cord, if plugged in.

Press and hold your Sleep/Wake button (on the top) and Home button (on the front) together for around 10 seconds.

When your screen goes black, release both keys.

The next thing you should see are the Apple logo followed by the home screen a few minutes later.

If the above does not work, plug it straight into a power outlet and try again.

Now, check the functionality of your phone.

If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Please remember to only rate my answer when you are 100% satisfied that your question has been answered. IF you feel the need to click either of the first two stars ratings ("Helped a little" or "I expected more"), please stop and reply to me via the CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue you have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.

Thank you and good luck,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
My phone didn't restart on its own. I plugged it in and the "password XXXXX" message still is blocking the use of my phone. I don't know what "exchange" means--help!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Your solution did not work. My phone still is blocked. It still thinks that my exchange password XXXXX XXXXX What does "exchange" mean?
Thanks for the update, Kathy. Please avoid rating any answers until we are finished and have determined where you are having trouble.

If your phone is currently locked up then it must be reset in order to gain functionality again. You may not be holding the buttons down as long as needed. It must be a solid 10 seconds at the very minimum, sometimes hold as long as 30 seconds will do the trick. If you press and hold both buttons for 30 seconds and it still does not restart, this may indicate another type of issue.

So let's try this again. Press and hold your Sleep/Wake button (on the top) and Home button (on the front) together for 10-30 seconds.

The screen should eventually go black as the iPhone restarts.

"Exchange" is a type of messaging server. Certain mail account may be set up to use this.

IF you feel the need to click either of the first two stars ratings ("Helped a little" or "I expected more"), please stop and reply to me via the CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with the issue you have. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.

Thank you and good luck,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi John,
Sorry, I'm more happy to keep working on this than to give you a poor rating.

I unplugged the phone again and held the 2 buttons down. The screen went black within 10 seconds, then within seconds restored the apple logo. However, the problem still exists.

So I tried holding the 2 buttons again, and again the screen went black within 10 seconds. I immediately let go of the buttons and waited for the logo to come on my itself. It did not, so I plugged in the phone. The problem again is still there.

Should I shut it down, and wait several minutes when the screen goes black? Plugged in or not plugged in?

So, if I understand correctly; the screen did go black and you saw the Apple logo and then the home screen of app icons? ...but then the error returned. Is the phone usable at this point, can you dismiss the error to access the Settings app?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No. The request for the password XXXXX be canceled. It just stays on my screen covering all the apps. Kathy
It's possible a configuration has become corrupted within the phone rather than this being a normal error message, easily dismissed. This may be more likely if you do not have any accounts using an Exchange server.

Do you regularly sync or backup this iPhone via iTunes or iCloud?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No. I think I synced only once when I first got my phone, and that was to ITunes. I'm not set up on I Cloud yet. I had to upgrade my computer to Lion, which I did this winter, but then I needed to add one more feature to access ICloud. I have not done it yet. So I haven't synced except once that I can remember.
Okay, that's unfortunate because if the message can not be dismissed via a hard reset then the likely a restore of the iPhone's software will be required. This would, however, wipe the iPhone of contents.

First, try this: Plug the iPhone into a power outlet andress and hold your Sleep/Wake button (on the top) ONLY for around 10 seconds. Hopefully the iPhone will shut off. Leave it off for a minute or so and then try to turn it back on.

If the issue is no better, the proces for restoring the iPhone is below:

The following procedure is a special firmware recovery mode (DFU). It will re-install the operating system on the iOS device (iPad, iPhone, iPod touch) and then re-sync user data once it is done.

Make sure you have downloaded and installed the latest version of iTunes before attempting this:
(Mac users can run System Preferences > Software Update > Check now to get the latest version for their system in most cases.)

* Open iTunes on your computer

* Connect the iOS device directly to a USB port on the computer

* Turn off the iOS device (hold down the sleep/wake button on the top) until you see the red slider and slide the red slider across to the right OR until the device simply shuts off, if locked up.

* Hold down the sleep/wake button (on the top) AND the home button (on the front) for 10 seconds

* Release the sleep/wake button but CONTINUE to hold the home button, until...

* iTunes should pop up and tell you it’s found a device in recovery mode, click ok and continue along for the restore

If it doesn’t work the 1st time, start from the beginning and try again. If iTunes *still* doesn't recognize the device, plug it into a DIFFERENT USB port and try once more.

Thank you and good luck,
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The phone shut down, and when I restarted the request for password XXXXX XXXXX there. I do not feel at all comfortable going forward with your next step on my own. I am not that technologically savvy, and I also don't understand the consequences of this action.
When the phone shut down and you turned it back on did you see the Apple logo before it continued to the home screen?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I couldn't remember so I tried it again. No, the apple logo did not come on when I restarted.
Alright, it sounds like it is not completely restarting either, only going to sleep. Try it again but hold the button down for 30 seconds, even after the screen goes black.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I repeated for 30 seconds. The screen was black for at least the last 10 seconds. When I restarted, the apple logo was not there.
But you did see it at least once during the previous attempts at a hard reset?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Unfortunately, I believe a restore to factory settings may be the only way around this for you, if attempting the troubleshooting yourself.

The procedure is simple (not really any harder than what you've been attempting so far actually). However, the end result is that the iPhone would be restored to "out of the box" condition. The only user data that would be restored to the iPhone is whatever remains on your computer.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks, John. I live 50 miles from the closest Apple Store. I feel the need for a live person to give me a second opinion and work me thru the procedures. Sorry we didn't find a solution.
That's perfectly understandable, Kathy. Good luck with your issue! Smile

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi John,
It's hard to believe, but hours after all those attempts to reset my iPhone, I turned it on and the request for a password XXXXX Microsoft Exchange had vanished. I was able to go to preferences and shut down Microsoft Exchange (I don't use Outlook -- only Safari), so my phone is now useable.

I would like to re-issue my rating on your help, John. I understand my phone better now, and somehow with your help, the block came off, saving me a 50-mile trip to the Apple Store.

How do I re-issue the rating?
Glad to hear it Kathy. You should be able to rate this post.

Thanks again,
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