Is there a way to disable the checkbox near Encrypt iPhone backup without knowing the password. I don't need the data that is encrypted but I would like new backups to stop being encrypted as I forgot the password so I would like to disable old backups and keep new backups in place without password.

I know one of the options is to wipe iPhone clean and start over but that doesn't seem good to me. So i'm searching for a more pleasant way to drop old backups with password and be able to make new ones :-)

I use Windows 7.


2 Answers 2


Things you can try (that I haven't tried myself), other than hoping it's not an Apple bug:

  • If you have a 4 digit lockcode on the iPhone, the encryption on iTunes might share the same password. Try the same pin. Also try older pins, if you change it. It could be an old one.
  • Get iPhone Explorer, delete /var/Keychains/Keychains-2.db (may need to jailbreak the phone to be able to see it) on it and restart. Be aware this will clear all your passwords. Now delete your iTunes encrypted backups and re-sync.
  • Enter DFU mode, wipe your phone, and sync back - this is an easy way to remove the lock code, not sure about the encrypt iphone check tho. Probably.
  • Use some mysterious magic tool, enter in recovery mode to begin with a lot more of hacking. I won't get into much detail here because this isn't a simple procedure. You're on your own. Just wanted to cite it's possible and that maybe even today the "encryption" is quite fake.
  • Restore from an old unencrypted backup. Yes, this is the closest step to "wipe".
  • As you already suggested, wipe your phone (just for the sake of completeness).

Good luck!

  • I don't use lock code or anything like it. I enabled encryption in ITunes and i explicitly set some strong password, but i forgot it :-) Clearing iphone/wipeing doesn't make sense to me since i will have to redo everything, loose smses and stuff like that.. if that's bound to happen then I can as well wait until i really need the backup and then just wipe it clean.
    – MadBoy
    Commented Mar 29, 2011 at 20:16
  • 1
    @MadBoy, I've listed 6 separate and non-related trial attempts. Those are not steps to follow one by one. Wiping is just one "thing you can try".
    – cregox
    Commented Mar 29, 2011 at 22:49
  • I'm not saying your help was bad or something. I'm just saying the steps are very unlikely to work for me. For example: JailBreak is not something I want to do on 4.3.1 (as far as i know it's not yet released) so iPhone Explorer won't work for me. TO restore from unencrypted backup is something I've done milion years ago so not going to help.
    – MadBoy
    Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 8:05
  • @MadBoy and I'm not saying it's ultimate and perfect help too. But you seemed to be ignoring the other attempts. My two favorites are the 2nd and 4th. Ideally I would give the "magic tool" and with that in hand it would be the simplest way. But I couldn't go through all research needed and while nobody can help us with that, I'm afraid you're stuck with DIY or wiping. :|
    – cregox
    Commented Mar 30, 2011 at 12:58
  • 2
    This is worth 1M votes, didn't find any other piece of good info on Google about the matter. Option 2 did it for me
    – lajarre
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 18:31

Think I've fixed it!

My encryption backup password in iTunes WAS an old iPhone lock screen password I used a while ago (probably when I set up the encryption). But that code won't work if the phone number is different—very stupid if you ask me!

I tried and failed several times this evening to disable the iTunes backup encryption using that passcode and then I noticed that the "Phone Number" quoted in the iPhone summary tab was different, because I recently got a new pay-as-you-go SIM. I got the old one out of the drawer, put it in and now my old passcode lock code works.


  1. Ensure the SIM in the iPhone is the same as when you encrypted the file
  2. Enter an old passcode lock

Regards to point 2 above, I don't know if I chose that myself or if it's a default, but the point is that the code WOULDN'T unlock it with a different SIM and then DID with the right SIM.

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