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I've got a rather peculiar problem. My wife's iPhone got stolen and we bought a new one from the insurance money. When trying to restore the backup file to her new phone, iTunes asks for the password:

Enter the password to unlock your iPhone backup file.

The problem is, that she removed the password a long time ago. Hence she can not remember it. All we know is that it must be a number between 1111 and 9999.

Is there any way to brute force this? Other than by hand?

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Just to clarify, you're talking about the password for the backup, which is different than the phone's lock code. –  xorbyte Feb 9 '11 at 21:49
Yes. My wife used to have a 4 digit code on her Phone. She then removed it and Synced her phone. It seems that somehow the backup file continues to require a Password. –  Pierre Spring Feb 10 '11 at 8:57
What I'm saying is, the 4 digit code is not, by default, the passcode used for the backup. Maybe she can try some of her common passwords when iTunes prompts. Also, @Asmus' answer is another way to try and find it, if the password was saved in the keychain. –  xorbyte Feb 10 '11 at 19:48
Yea the password isn't the same as the lock code and on another note, she needs a better pass code! If you have contacts and pictures synced she could just setup as a fresh phone? –  ing0 Mar 4 '11 at 9:36

5 Answers 5

The password used to encrypt the backup file might have been saved to the user's keychain.

  1. from /Application/Utilities open the Keychain Access utility
  2. make sure that on the left side "All items" is selected under categories
  3. in the upper right search field enter "iphone" and then look for a keychain item named "iPhone Backup" of kind "application password". If there is no such item, you´re mostly out of luck
  4. double click on the "iPhone Backup" entry and in the new window that will open, click on the "show password" checkbox
  5. you will now be prompted to enter your password (the one your user has on your Mac) to show the iPhone backup password; click Allow (once). You should now see the iPhone Backup password in clear text.

I don't think windows has an equivalent store for saving the password. If not, you will have to try brute forcing it in iTunes - just me methodical - write down all sorts of passwords that may have been used - brainstorm a bit. Then try them one by one. Hopefully with the pressure off a bit you will stumble upon the pass phrase that was used.

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Voted up, as this might work in most cases. Unfortunately there is no such entry in our keychain ;( –  Pierre Spring Feb 14 '11 at 20:48

On my Mac when this happened to me unexpectedly, I simply entered the password for the machine I synced the phone with and it worked. So the password is likely to be the password for the user account you sync your phone to.

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I think you will find it is the password that you use for your Apple ID.

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Just use your Apple ID password.. (In Windows, I had the same issue and used Apple ID password it worked ) –  user11974 Oct 14 '11 at 1:18

You can simply use this tool to unlock or decrypt iPhone backup files.

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Welcome to the community! Whilst your answer may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the article in an answer below, and provide the link for reference. –  Philip Regan Oct 13 '11 at 14:50

It's 1234 - I never set this password I am quite sure, and someone on the Apple discussion board suggested it and it works. Crazy, but it works.

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It's not 1234 unless you set it to be 1234. –  TJ Luoma Oct 15 '11 at 16:59
Can you link to the relevant Apple discussion board? –  Daniel Nov 9 '11 at 3:19
Ditto what Daniel said. –  daviesgeek Nov 12 '11 at 21:07
"1,2,3,4? That's amazing! I've got the same combination on my luggage!" –  gentmatt Oct 7 '12 at 11:53

protected by Community Oct 15 '11 at 13:05

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