Alexandra Malureanu
Posted by Alexandra Malureanu,

Forgot Restrictions Passcode! Help!

UPDATE: Easy way to reset Restrictions PIN with 2 clicks!

You set up a passcode and you are being asked to enter a Restriction passcode that you can't remember? Want to access the App Store and you forgot your Restrictions Passcode and don't want to factory reset your iPhone or iPad? We have found a way of resetting your forgotten Restrictions Passcode that will work nicely on your iOS 5, iOS 6, iOS 7 or iOS 8 iTunes backup. The iPhone Backup Extractor can also recover your restriction passcode from an iCloud backup for your iPhone or iPad running iOS 7 or iOS 8.

Recovering your Restrictions password for older iOS backups

For iTunes backups lower than iOS 5 you can extract the Restrictions Passcode with iPhone Backup Extractor by looking for the "com.apple.springboard.plist file" following \Library\Preferences\com.apple.springboard.plist and searching for the SBParentalControlsPIN value in the file.

How to reset forgotten Restrictions password from an iOS 5 or iOS 6 iTunes backup in 17 steps

UPDATE! The resetting of forgotten Restrictions password in 17 steps guide works for iOS 7 iTunes backups too

The process of resetting the SBParentalControlsPIN only applies to a non-encrypted iTunes backup. Use the instructions below to reset the Restrictions PIN to '1234' on either an iPad or an iPhone running iOS 5 or higher.

Warning! These instructions are complicated and we can't be held responsible for any loss or damage that may result if you make a mistake during the process.

iPad forgot Restrictions Passcode

  1. Take a backup - ensure it's not encrypted
  2. Browse to the backup folder (usually C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\). Check the default iTunes backup location for Windows and Mac computers. You could also run iPhone Backup Extractor, load backup and click on the blue number next to "Folder" section, as it will direct you automatically to the backup location.
  3. Take a safety copy of the file 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b as this is the one we'll be editing and you want a backup copy in case anything goes wrong.
  4. Use an online SHA-1 hash generator to take a hash of the file 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b - make a note of this hash (it will be something like a6533d4dc9ac9f8af7ba65cb955187f025cfde8b and it will be different for each backup).
  5. Hash Converter
  6. Open the file 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b in a plist editor. Run iPhone Backup Extractor, click on 'View/edit PList' from the File menu and browse for your .plist file to open.
  7. Search in the file to make sure there isn't already a line with the text <key>SBParentalControlsPIN</key>. If there is, then the line beneath it (which will read something like <string>1234</string>) contains the PIN.
  8. If the line doesn't exist (which it shouldn't on iOS5 or 6 backups) then search for the line <key>SBParentalControlsEnabled</key>. Below that will be a line saying <true/> which indicates that parental controls are turned on. If the line is missing or says <false/> then parental controls are not enabled and changing the PIN won't help.

  9. Plist Editor Parental Controls PIN

  10. Assuming the SBParentalControlsEnabled key is true,click on Edit and add the following two lines just below the <true/> line:
  11. <key>SBParentalControlsPIN</key>

    <string>1234</string>

    So that the text in the file will read something like this:

    <key>SBParentalControlsEnabled</key>

    <true/>

    <key>SBParentalControlsPIN</key>

    <string>1234</string>

    ...other lines...

    Plist Editor Reset Restrictions Passcode

  12. Save the amended 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b file, overwriting the old one.
  13. Use the SHA-1 hash generator to make another hash of the 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b file and make a note of this.
  14. Take a safety copy of the manifest.mbdb file as we will now be editing this file.
  15. Open manifest.mbdb in a hex editor (or Textpad running in hex mode).

  16. Hex Editor Manifest mbdb

  17. Search for the original SHA1 hash you took in step 4 (make sure you're searching in hex mode and not text mode). You'll see that it will be very close to text saying "com.apple.springboard.plist" or similar - that proves you've found the right bit of text.
  18. Now the tricky bit - you need to overwrite the old hex value with the new one (that you discovered in step 10). In most hex editors you do this by typing over the old value.
  19. For example, you may see something like this:

    72 64 2E 70 6C 69 73 74 FF FF 00 14 38 F1 2D 84 14 0D 32 E3 6E DF D7 62 3F D1 7A 10 11 66 14 70

    Let's assume the hex you are wanting to change is 38F12D84140D32E36EDF and you're needing to change it to 1234567890abcdef1234. The first thing you'd do is find the beginning of the old hex string and then you'd type over the old hex code to end up with something like this:

    72 64 2E 70 6C 69 73 74 FF FF 00 14 12 34 56 78 90 AB CD EF 12 34 D7 62 3F D1 7A 10 11 66 14 70

  20. Save the edited manifest.mbdb file.
  21. Restore the backup to the iPhone using iTunes - make sure you replace the manifest.mbdb and 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b files with the modified ones in the default iTunes backup location before restoring if you didn't save them directly into the backup folder after editing them.
  22. Once the phone has restarted at the end of the restore you can now use the PIN '1234' to access the parental controls.

As an aside, you'll notice from now on that if you back up the phone the SBParentalControlsPIN is actually present in the backup (unless you disable and re-enable Restrictions, at which point it disappears from the backup again).

You could drop by below if you found this post useful and say hello. Or, if you found other easier ways of resetting your Restrictions Passcode or want to share your Restrictions Passcode story why not share them below?:) Registered users can contact us for further help if they have a hard time in getting along with the above steps.

Easy way to reset Restrictions PIN with 2 clicks!

If you are looking for an easy way to complete all of the above steps in just a few clicks, try the latest iPhone Backup Extractor with a brand new Restriction Passcode reset feature. Simply run iPhone Backup Extractor, open it, load your backup and on the top menu click on 'Extract>Restrictions PIN' and reset your parental controls PIN to 1234 with only one easy click!

Note: After you reset the Restrictions PIN code to 1234 on your iPhone or iPad, you will need to complete the process by restoring backup to your iOS Device. WARNING! You may lose any data added or changed on your iOS device since the backup was last taken!

Important: the automatic Restriction PIN reset feature is only available using the Home or Pro version of the software and works on all iOS unencrypted iTunes backups. See our pricing plans.

Happy Restrictions PIN resetting!:)