Alphanumeric code: Set the iPhone PIN with letters and numbers

If you want to unlock your iPhone, i.e. get from the lock screen to the home screen, you have various options: Face ID, Touch ID and unlock code. The latter is probably made up of four or six digits for you. This is reasonably safe in everyday life, but can still be cracked relatively quickly in a brute force attack. With regard to the current Checkm8 malware, an iPhone boot ROM exploit, an alphanumeric code is recommended. The iPhone PIN with letters and numbers makes it harder to guess what input needed to access the stored data. Here you can find out how to set such a code.

Do you want to set an iPhone code with numbers and letters? Here are the instructions for setting an alphanumeric code to unlock the Apple smartphone.

Do you want to set an iPhone code with numbers and letters? Here are the instructions for setting an alphanumeric code to unlock the Apple smartphone.

Instructions: Set iPhone PIN with letters and numbers

To change the iPhone code, you need to know about the current combination. Remember: the whole thing has nothing to do with your SIM card PIN. It remains unaffected by the changes described below. So if you have your four or six-digit code ready, you can use the following steps to make your Apple smartphone more secure:

  1. The Settings of the iPhone
  2. On the menu item Face ID & Code or Touch ID & Code tippen
  3. Here you probably have to enter your current code first
  4. Now on Change code Tap to define a new combination of characters
  5. Enter the old code again to verify the process
  6. Then above the number field under "Enter new code" Code options tippen
  7. From the overview Own alphanumeric code choose
  8. Now set letters (large and small) and numbers as the new password
  9. Confirm and finish
  10. Ready

Instructions as video: See Apple help here

In pictures: Set the alphanumeric iPhone code

Here are a few screenshots (iPhone X with iOS 13) that show you how the process can look on your display. So if you get stuck with any of the above, you can find help here to keep going. So you can set an alphanumeric iPhone code without any problems and, in addition to numbers, also use letters in small and large for iPhone access.

Here are steps 2, 4, 6 and 7 of the above step-by-step instructions for changing the iPhone code as screenshots.

Here are steps 2, 4, 6 and 7 of the above step-by-step instructions for changing the iPhone code as screenshots.

Checkm8 malware: tethered jailbreak on iPhone 8, X and younger

At the beginning I already have the relatively new jailbreak malware Checkm8 addressed that too Apollo or Moonshine is called. This can affect Apple smartphones that have an A11 chip or a previous version. So among others the iPhone X, the iPhone 8 and the previous generations around the iPhone 7, 6S, SE and Co. devices with A12-Chip and A13-Chip (XS, XR, 11, 11 Pro) got a patch and are safe from the malware. 

Checkm8 is, a "Trail of Bits Blog" post after to an iPhone boot ROM exploit. The software can boot the iPhone, and that with its own software - theoretically also with Android or other operating systems. The good news: it is a “tethered jailbreak”, an attack that only works with a cable (iPhone connected to a Mac or PC via USB). More information in the linked post.

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12 comments

  1. Michael says:

    Hello, we entered an alphanumeric code on an iPhone. However, when you log back in, only digits can be entered and the iPhone will be deactivated. How to enter letters when registering. Greetings, Michael

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      There are letters on the numbers. If you press a number several times in quick succession, the letter comes directly after the number. So pressing twice quickly on the 2 results in an A and three times on the 2 results in a B etc.

      • Micah says:

        Hello all,
        I have the same problem, although the number button concerned is tapped in quick succession, it fills the white dots, i.e. for an M twice in quick succession, this is interpreted as 6 and 6 and not as M.
        Now it is already in deactivation mode.

        I had never used such a part before (always only correctly key-operated devices), and wonder how you can make this device operational in a hurry for the purpose of telephoning ...?
        It's just borrowed and I don't have any operating instructions.

        So I lack understanding and patience for it, although you can see 75% of the population playing around with such devices, so it somehow seems to work ... a tip would help.

        Thank you for the information, Micha.

        • Jens Kleinholz says:

          Hello Micha! Unfortunately I haven't found anything in forums about your problem. So I don't have a tip at the moment. Have you ever restarted your iPhone?

      • Silke says:

        Hi. Does it matter whether it is case-sensitive? And how do you confirm when you only have 5 alphanumeric parts?
        Many thanks and best regards

        • Jens Kleinholz says:

          Hello Silke! I haven't tried this on my iPhone, but I think alphanumeric codes have to be 6 digits. It may be that you can use more, but I don't know.

  2. Micah says:

    Hi Jens,
    Thanks for the answer! After it was switched off before, it says (after the announced 5 min waiting time has passed):
    "Enter the code;
    Touch ID needs your code when restarting the iPhone "

    including 10 number keys, with letters. However, it is unclear how to get the letters for the alphanumeric input.
    I think it was a new start, although you don't even know when it's "over".
    Many greetings, Micha

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Micha! Which iPhone do you have? For models with a home button, you usually have to keep the home button and standby button (somewhere in the top right) pressed for a few seconds until the switch-off slider appears. With newer models you have to hold down the standby button (far right) for a longer period of time. Maybe after a real restart it will work ...

  3. Micah says:

    Hello Jens, it is the A1778, so my research for the iPhone 7. Right button plus Home lets the display go black after a while, but comes back immediately after letting go. Pressing the right button plus the lower left button for a long time makes the display permanently dark (off?).
    Then press and hold the right key, after a while the apple appears on a white background (does it start?), Then the screen for entering the code with the 10 number keys.

    At first the part worked for a few days, with WLAN and without SIM; I set it up with code (and let myself be tempted to use alphanumeric because it was "safe"), then switched to Touch-ID because it was easier to use. I didn't know that you have to enter the code after 48 hours of non-use, otherwise I would have deselected all code entries - the part with a new SIM should only be used for WhatsApp contact; I have a working cell phone to make calls and I would never do any other actions via my smartphone.
    In the meantime I've spent 6 to 7 hours doing research and trying:
    Resetting is only possible with an Apple PC, or with a Win-10 PC, onto which you then have to load i-Tunes. It doesn't work with Win7 - I tested that.
    A connection to the PC is established, Apple's support address is even shown, and a US time is shown on the mobile phone display, so something is happening in the background (?). A request to support is rejected as unsupported, also interesting to learn.
    A further search resulted in YouTube films from people in the Far East who entered random numbers in emergency call mode, sometimes limited by a star or rhombus, and a WLAN should be nearby, and after about 15 minutes continuous quick tapping on the green button began it mostly to boot. I tried that for a long time yesterday, with the same numbers: unsuccessful; Apple WLAN may be necessary, or it only works in India, or other code numbers are needed.

    I'm still trying to find someone with iTunes, or there is still another possibility - otherwise throwing it into the recycling container ultimately remains, I don't really need it.

    Thank you in advance if there are any ideas; and best regards, Micha

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Micha! So when the white apple comes on a black background, it's booting. In other words, you've already managed to restart. There is no Apple WLAN. You can also reset the iPhone via the iPhone itself - without a computer. To do this, go to Settings → General and at the bottom you can reset. And before you throw it in the materials container, put it in an envelope and send it to me. : D But I think you can still sell it on eBay classifieds or something. An iPhone 7 is still a good device - if it works.
      Oh, unfortunately I can't do anything with the tips from Far East videos. That doesn't mean anything to me. : D

      • Micah says:

        Hi Jens,
        For me, however, the black apple is on a white background, and then the screen for entering the code comes with the 10 round number keys, which do not want to work alphanumerically (= reason for resetting).
        And without entering the code, I can't get into the settings, otherwise resetting would be easy. I find myself in a one-way dead end street, so to speak. Such devices are dependent on sophisticated software; an alphanumeric entry that does not work on the numeric keypad is not noticed as long as you use the part daily and therefore do not (ignorantly) fall into the 10-hour trap. And an iPhone user certainly also has iTunes and an Apple ID etc. and can then help himself with it. As a new Apple user, I am the exception, who then notices such a weakness and gets very frustrated if he has never known such problems.

        All that remains is an externally supported computer reset, with a Mac or iTunes on a Win PC.
        Just take a look: there are still 2 ... 3-digit prices ...
        Many greetings, Micha

        • Jens Kleinholz says:

          Hi Micha! OK sorry. Was a stupid idea of ​​mine. : D So what you need is that DFU mode, which in fact requires a computer with iTunes. And then there is still the problem that the iPhone may be assigned to an iCloud account and it must first be removed there before a new owner can take it over (if that is planned).

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