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How to recover the forgotten password of iTunes backup?

P: 1
My wife just forgot the password for the iTunes backup file. She already tried her best to remember all the password combinations but still no luck. Is there any other way to unlock the password or any library I can use to brute force the password?
May 17 '16 #1
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Expert Mod 5K+
P: 5,397
You will have much better luck in the Apple Forums...
Here's one such thread:

IF you are talking about the encrypted back-up then most likely there is no hope of ever recovering your data without the password.

I wish you good luck with this... for my friend we ended up having to do a completely new setup... sigh... and I have access to a top notch Apple Tech Support guy and when we told him the file was encrypted backup, he just smiled and shook his head.... not a good sign.
May 17 '16 #2

P: 1
If you forgot you iTunes backup password, you can't access to your backup files, this is the local account not iCloud account, Apple support team can'e help you recover your password.

as far as I know some third party recovery reset tool like may be helpful: what to do if I forgot iTunes backup password

they're not free but may works to you, if you found freeware that also works, please don't forgot to share with us.
May 18 '16 #3

Expert Mod 5K+
P: 5,397
I still stick by my original reply, you will get more help in an Apple forum. That is where the Apple Experts will be....

Tech support from apple:
About encrypted backups in iTunes
Other than brute-force or other cracking techniques there is no easy way to recover the backup once encrypted.

This is what the FBI was trying to do in a most recent high-visibility court case here in the USA. The FBI's solution was to use a paid third party... these services are not cheap. The third party software that Franklin11 is alluding to also isn't cheap and depending on what you used as a password may not work. Fortunately, most people use relatively weak and common passwords and that is what these third party options usually start with.

Franklin11 is both right and wrong, you can have a backup in the iCloud; however, the encrypted backup is a local file on the computer - often still attached to the iTunes account password. These two methods are different in what they backup. In fact, on our iPad I use both the iTunes and iCloud backup methods. Each has their downfalls; however, using both together seems to cover a majority of the data.

+ Restore your device from an iCloud or iTunes backup
>> Caution here... there is only one way to get the iCloud restore and that is to completely wipe the phone. This is a very drastic step.

>> it is generally prohibited on this site to discuss methods to break in to a secured account <<

The following suggestions are common knowledge within the "Apple Community" and ones that tech support will have you try if you take the device in to an Apple store, especially if you didn't set the password option yourself.

1) Try your Apple/iTunes store password. This works more often than not... try the iCloud password.

Along the same lines, try any old Apple/iTunes store passwords that you remember. Very frequently the old password is still associated with your backup. I usually write down my old passwords in a logbook, very little security risk here unless you use a variation on a repeating pattern and I've since moved to an encrypted password management software that keeps the log for me - only one password to remember :)

On a Windows machine, try changing the iTunes password. Sometimes this will also change the password on the backup. Then use this new password when prompted by the backup, it's a 1/4 shot that this will work.

2) As stupid as it sounds, 0000 , that's right, four zeros - it's often the default and you would be amazed at how often this works - especially if you didn't know that that the encrypted backup was being used.

Once again along those lines, on a phone or any device using the 4-Digit unlock code, try that 4-digit code.

3) If you have the keychain enabled on Apple-Mac, see if the password was added to it

If none of this works, especially with the encrypted backup, you are really done here unless you want to purchase one of the third party software options. Do not bother with the shareware or freeware software, more often than not they really do not work and often have malware attached (especially for windows) - I know, a close friend tried this and not only lost their iPad information but also most of the information on their PC (BACKUPS - Must Make Backups :) - Drive images are a good thing!).

>2017-04-22: This thread has been closed as it is attracting commercial/for-pay type solutions. While these solutions are available, the member should be aware that not all such solutions will work.
May 20 '16 #4

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