Tools such as iExplorer allow you to easily browse through an iTunes backup and it's contents, and then things like the plist command for converting preferences down to readable XML. Where would the location of the plist or sqlite DB that contains blocked numbers on an iPhone such as described in the apple docs?

  • 1
    I do not have iExplorer installed. Can't you make a new contact, block it, and then search for it? Sep 27, 2018 at 12:35
  • I've attempted that already through all the decoded plists and sqlite databases I was able to find within my backup, and none of the blocked numbers or their referenced IDs in my contacts book were found. It's why I'm rather lost.
    – Dustin
    Sep 29, 2018 at 1:58
  • Just an idea: check that you are making an encrypted backup with iTunes, since unencrypted backups lack certain information, perhaps including blocked numbers. support.apple.com/en-us/HT205220
    – Ashley
    Oct 2, 2018 at 8:47

2 Answers 2


I looked into your question, and I think it might not be possible to find blocked numbers within a backup (or at least not in a recognizable form). I know that it is possible to find these numbers if you have messages synced with iCloud. Through the messages app on a Mac, you can go to preferences ( + ,), and from there view any blocked numbers that are synced.


I am still looking through finding the blocked numbers in the backups myself, but I am unsure that I will find them there. If I come across more I will edit the answer further.

I hope this helps and best of luck of finding the blocked numbers through that backup.

(I am new to StackExchange, so I appreciate any feedback that would help me improve my answers or how/when I answer)


An encrypted backup is required to see the blocked number in a local iTunes backup. Blocked numbers can be found in Home/Library/Preferences/com.apple.cmfsyncagent.plist. Thanks for Ashley for pointing out using encrypted backups.

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