Tag Archives: backup

iPhone Encrypted Backup Passcode Bypass

Do you need a iPhone Encrypted Backup Passcode Bypass?  Ever forgotten your iPhone / iPad encrypted backup passcode? My iPad passcode was nothing I could remember, so although I could still backup, I couldn’t ever restore without that forgotten passcode.

Apple have a disparate policy for storing the variety of passwords required by iPhones & iPads. I’ve already dealt with the Restrictions password on this site – that’s the only passcode that doesn’t get stored in iCloud, is retained locally & accessible easily. The majority of your stored passcodes go into the Keychain & can be recovered via iCloud or an encrypted local backup restore. (Unencrypted backups, because they’re readable to anyone with physical access, do not store passcodes.)

There is one last passcode though, that Apple require you to keep in memory – not RAM, your own personal brain space. That’s the encrypted backup passcode – the one that protects your backed-up data including Keychain information. Unless you encrypt your backups, iTunes won’t save your Keychain data. Unless you remember your passcode, you can’t access that vital Keychain data. *sigh*

The passcode used for encrypting the backup is itself encrypted into the backup. There’s no other accessible store of it. Forgetting your encrypted backup passcode doesn’t stop you from backing up an iDevice, but it does stop you from restoring it. Unrestorable backups ain’t much use to anyone, ever. Never have been, never will be. (Not until quantum computing arrives anyway)

Encrypt your iDevice local backup like this:

There are various commercial brute-force password crackers available – I’m not certain how effective they’d be. That all depends on just how secure your forgotten passcode was & how powerful your computer is. For those determined enough, John The Ripper is available, not only is John the industry standard cracker, it’s also free of charge. That’s for those who desperately need to recover those encrypted backups. Set up your cracker of choice (John), feed it some passcode parameters & dictionary files / rainbow tables then step away from the keyboard – this could take a while. Timely recovery is going to require some serious graphic card processing. Anything short of a GTX 970 will have you growing markedly older before the passcode is cracked.

If you don’t need to recover lost data though, your iPhone or iPad is running fine but you can’t remember that damn backup encryption passcode, then there is a far simpler solution available. Really, it’s too simple.

The published Apple solution is to wipe your device & start again. What? You’ll lose all your data & be forcibly updated to the latest iOS. You won’t be able to use any existing  encrypted backups but you will be able to start backing up with a new encryption passcode. One that you promise to remember this time.  That’s a fairly lengthy process & involves giving up & starting again from scratch. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

There is a cleaner, simpler bypass available to any iDevice on iOS 11 or higher. Bypass the iPhone / iPad encrypted backup passcode like this –

Go Settings / General:

In the right-side column, select Reset:

Now hit Reset All Settings. Trust me, you’ve got this, just do it:

The Settings that are reset of minimal importance – wallpaper, WiFi password & various irrelevancies, nothing you’ll get upset about. You don’t need to sign out of iCloud, nor sign back in to any Apple services like iMessage. Bluetooth pairings are gone, and the Screen Lock code needs to be reset. There’s some tiny adjustments like keyboard clicks also – but you do not lose anything vital from your iDevice. It’s all good.

Really, this iPhone Encrypted Backup Passcode Bypass is a pain-free method of restoring backup functionality to iDevices on iOS 11 or higher.

You’re welcome.