iPhone Backup Extractor can recover or reset your iTunes backup restrictions passcode in just two clicks
We've been covering changes in iOS restriction passcodes since iOS 2. Experience has taught us that Apple changes the mechanism at least a little with every major release of iOS. We've kept up with this, however, and iPhone Backup Extractor is able to recover the restrictions passcode from any Apple device on any version of iOS, through iCloud or iTunes backups.
If you forgot your iPad or iPhone's restrictions pin and need it to prevent accidental in-app purchases, or if you need to remove unwanted apps but can't, we've got you covered!
Our short video tutorial below will guide you how to recover your restrictions passcode for an iPhone or iPad:
How to reset the restrictions passcode in 2 clicks
Forgotten your iPhone "restrictions passcode"?
Forgetting a passcode can happen to anyone, especially if these are settings that you don't change regularly. What to do if you find yourself locked out of the "restrictions" settings?
Fortunately, there ways to retrieve your restrictions settings without the need to restore your iPhone as a new device or jail-breaking it. Anyone that has been told this is difficult or that "you need to restore your iPhone as a new device through iTunes" should read on!
You'll need an iTunes or iCloud backup to retrieve your iPhone’s restrictions passcode. Make sure your backup was created after the phone had the restrictions PIN applied. You can do this by syncing with iTunes, and if you've already synced your iOS device since the "restrictions passcode" was set, you won't need to sync again.
Recover your iPhone restrictions passcode
All you need to do is to load your iTunes or iCloud backup into iPhone Backup Extractor (you can get the free edition here) and click on top left side "Utilities" button and choose "Recover Restrictions PIN".
Then press the "Start" button and it'll start recovering your restrictions code.
It will take a couple of seconds while we try to find your restrictions code.
On macOS, the process looks similar:
Manual recovery of the restrictions passcode: how to do it manually for free!
If you're tech-savvy and think you could manage to manually hack your way to modifying the restrictions
Plist yourself, here's our guide on how to reset the restrictions code using the free edition of iPhone Backup Extractor.
Depending on the version of iOS on your device, restriction passcodes are handled differently and stored in different places. iPhone Backup Extractor bundles all of this in automatically, but it's important to know if you're doing it manually. Let's take a look at the history.
|iOS||Plist & notes|
Bundled into "Screen Time"
|7 - 12||
|5 - 6||
|1 - 4||
|iOS||SHA-1 file hash|
|7 - 12||
|5 - 6||
|1 - 4||
Instructions for iOS 1 - 4
Step 1. Extracting the
Once iPhone Backup Extractor is open, click on the "Expert mode" tab . This will open an explorer window where you can see all the files in your iTunes or iCloud backup. To find the
com.apple.springboard.plist file navigate to
Home Domain >
The list of files in this folder is alphabetical so it should be easy to find; once you found it, tick the box next to the mentioned file and click the "Extract" button. You'll then be asked to save the file, extract it somewhere easy to find like your desktop.
Step 2. Opening the
Let's open the
Plist using iPhone Backup Extractor's built-in Plist editor. This is available in the menu under
View / Edit Plist. Click that, and choose the Plist you extracted earlier.
Step 3. Viewing the "SBParentalControlsPin" aka the "Restrictions Passcode"
Scan down the file until you get to the line saying
<key>SBParentalControlsPin</key>: the line under it should read something like
Make a note of this number and enter it back into your iPhone when the "restrictions passcode" is requested. Voilà, you should now have full access to your lost "restrictions" settings!
Instructions for iOS 7 and up
iOS 7 and up hashes the passcode using
PBKDF2, which requires some unscrambling.
You can use the same steps as for earlier versions of iOS, but you'll need to grab
Once you've got it, look for these values:
<key>RestrictionsPasswordKey</key> <data>...</data> <key>RestrictionsPasswordSalt</key> <data>...</data>
The key and salt are derived from your PIN with
PBKDF2, and are relatively easy to unscramble with brute force. There's only 10,000 combinations!
We're looking forward to hearing your restrictions passcode story, and to see if we can help you. If you have any other helpful iPhone hints you would like to share, please let us know or leave a comment below. If you get stuck, please reach out and we'll make it easy. 👋