I just received my new iPhone from Apple after I had my old one changed due to it being a rather bad specimen. Now I'm occurring a rather irritating problem, as I connected my iPhone with my iTunes to back up my last iPhone settings etc. it asks me to enter a password I never remember entering myself.

All my important contacts, notes etc. are on my last backup and I am not happy just starting "from the start". So I badly need to enter the password to do the backup.

I have already searched for some knowledge, but it's useless due to the fact, I have a PC. I know there are ways to see the password with a Mac, but have not yet a solution to figure out the password with a PC. I have tried randomly some numbers, my previous passcode, my password for the SIM-card, nothing. As I also understood, the password has to be a number code from 0000 or 1111 to 9999.
I would be really glad if someone figured this out and let us know, who are occurring this same, rather an irritating problem.

  • 1
    I assume it's iTunes asking for a password?
    – nohillside
    Commented Oct 30, 2011 at 8:21

5 Answers 5


Try using your iTunes password that you use to log into the iTunes store worked for me, after iTunes decided that my backup was encrypted even though I didn't select it.



I ran into same problem. After trying (pretty much) all the options from the posts/blogs on the internet, I realized that phone was basically into factory settings after upgrading from 4.3.3 to 5.1.1 straight. What I actually did eventually that I pressed 'cancel' button after it asked me for password again. Then I went to my iPhone 4 and started going thru setup. After 'enabling location services' and setting up 'wifi', it asked me whether I wanted to:

  • Restore from 'iCloud'
  • 'Set up as new phone'
  • Restore from backup on iTunes

I chose "restore from iTunes backup". My phone was already connected to my windows PC and iTunes was turned on. It automatically started restoring. At this time, it just restored the Apps. which took I hope this works for people having same problem.

It stills asks for password which I do not know, when I try to restore from iTunes.


After several unsuccessful attempts, I typed in my date of birth in the form of ddmmyy and it worked! I took my time as I gathered from several posts on the internet that I needed a lot of patience to recall from memory all the possible passwords I might have used a long time ago.

I wrote down a long list of all the possible passwords I tend to use, some of them begin with capital letters. I then crossed them out as I tried them out without any luck until I hit gold with my d.o.b. Good luck and remember that this is a password that you set up yourself, somewhere inside your head, the correct password lay asleep!

  • Set aside time
  • Get a pen/pencil
  • Get a piece of paper
  • List down all the possible passwords you use / have used in the past (don't forget if you have used capital letters or numbers or have mixed them up, write down all the possible combinations)
  • Enter the passwords - one at a time, crossing out any incorrect one
  • Have patience
  • Have a lot more patience
  • You're the only one who knows the answer!
  • Good luck!

It appears that you have secured your iPhone backup using a password. Therefore, iTunes prompts you for a password to unlock your encrypted backup file in order to read the contents and restore them onto the new device.

You can verify if you have an encrypted iPhone backup by checking if there is padlock icon next to it in iTunes.

This password is only entered the first time you create the backup or once you recover data from it. It is not needed for the regular backups. It seems that you have simply forgotten the password. Unfortunately, you are not able to recover the data then:

iTunes: About iOS backups

iTunes and encrypted backups

If you encrypt an iPhone backup in iTunes and then forget your password, you will not be able to restore from backup and your data will be unrecoverable.

If you forget the password, you can continue to back up and use the device, however you will not be able to restore the encrypted backup to any device without the password. You do not need to enter the password for your backup each time you back up or sync.


For the PC, I succeeded by using the 2nd method.

  1. Take all password that you know such as Facebook, and enter those in.
  2. Leave the iDevice plugged into iTunes long enough for the restore to start on its own, without bothering to enter a password.

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