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How to reset an iPhone restrictions passcode

Alexandra Malureanu

by Alexandra Malureanu

Remove parental controls from your iPhone or iPad with 2 clicks

Can’t remember your restriction passcode for some of the apps installed? Want to access the App Store and forgot your restrictions PIN? Do you want to avoid a factory reset of your iPhone or iPad?

We've found a way of resetting your forgotten restrictions passcode that'll work nicely on your iTunes backup. With iPhone Backup Extractor, you can also recover your restrictions passcode from older iTunes or iCloud backups. If you've lost or forgotten the restrictions passcode to your iPhone or iPad, there's an easy way to reset.

Forgot your restrictions passcode?
Forgot your restrictions passcode?

The Restrictions PIN can be found with iPhone Backup Extractor in any encrypted or unencrypted iTunes or iCloud backup of your iPhone or iPad, if parental controls are enabled. The restrictions passcode can be reset to 1234 with a click in our app, and a restore.

Reset forgotten restrictions passcode for any Apple device

Until recently, it was necessary to manually extract and edit the com.apple.springboard.plist file to reset your restrictions passcode. We've made this process much easier: iPhone Backup Extractor completely automates the process for you. All you need do is:

  • Make an iTunes or iCloud backup of your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch

  • Download and run iPhone Backup Extractor (works on Windows and Macs)

  • Open your backup with iPhone Backup Extractor

  • Click the “Utilities” menu and select "Reset restrictions PIN". The restriction passcode in the backup will be changed to 1234.

    Reset the restrictions passcode with a single click!
    Reset the restrictions passcode with a single click!

  • A popup will ask you whether you want to continue the process or not. Click on “Yes” and wait a few seconds. Your new passcode will be 1234.

    Reset passcode popup
    Reset passcode popup

  • Now you have to restore the modified iTunes backup on your iPhone. Just connect it to your computer and restore it with iTunes using these instructions. Once restarted, your iPhone’s parental controls passcode will become 1234 and you will be able to unlock it.

    Succesfully reset restrictions passcode
    Succesfully reset restrictions passcode

Check out our video tutorial:

How to reset restrictions PIN from an iTunes backup manually -- for free

Use the instructions below to reset the restrictions PIN to 1234 on an iPad or an iPhone. If you decided to reset your passcode using this method, these are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Create a backup in iTunes while your restrictions passcode is enabled. Because we're doing this by hand, it's a lot easier if the backup isn't unencrypted. (It's better to keep your backup encrypted and use the automated method earlier in this guide.)

  2. Browse to the default backup folder (usually C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\ on Windows or ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync on macOS). You could also run iPhone Backup Extractor and right-click on your backup before choosing "Show in Finder" or "Open in Explorer" to open your backup's folder.

  3. Take a backup 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, though it will be different for each backup).

    Hashing the restrictions passcode file -- spooky!
    Hashing the restrictions passcode file -- spooky!

  5. Open the 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b file with iPhone Backup Extractor's Plist editor. Click on View / Edit Plist from the File menu and browse for your .plist file.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

    Editing the restrictions PIN plist
    Editing the restrictions PIN plist

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

    <key>SBParentalControlsPIN</key>
    <string>1234</string>

    So the text in the file reads something like this:

    <key>SBParentalControlsEnabled</key>
    <true/>
    <key>SBParentalControlsPIN</key>
    <string>1234</string>
    ...other lines...

    How the Plist editor should look with the lines inserted
    How the Plist editor should look with the lines inserted

  9. Save the amended 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b file, overwriting the old one.

  10. Use the SHA-1 hash generator to make another hash of the 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b file, and make a note of this.

  11. Take a safe backup copy of the Manifest.mbdb file, as we'll now be editing this file.

  12. Open Manifest.mbdb in a hex editor like HxD (free) (or TextPad running in hex mode).

    Editing the manifest with HxD (thanks for the tip, Taylor!)
    Editing the manifest with HxD (thanks for the tip, Taylor!)

  13. Search for the original SHA1 hash you took in step #4 (make sure you're searching in hex mode and not text mode). It’s saying com.apple.springboard.plist or similar - that’s the right bit of text you’re looking for.

  14. 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.

    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.

  15. Save the edited Manifest.mbdb file.

  16. Restore the backup to the iPhone using iTunes - make sure you replace the Manifest.mbdb and 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b files with the modified ones before restoring, if you didn't save them directly into the backup folder after editing them.

  17. Once the phone has restarted at the end of the restore you can now use the PIN 1234 to access the parental controls. Hurrah! 🎉

Drop us a note if you found this guide helpful, or leave a comment if we can help further. Happy passcode resetting! 😀

Alexandra Malureanu

by Alexandra Malureanu on , last updated

We've helped over 3,000,000 people recover their lost iPhone data. Let us help you too.


Comments (62)

Thank you so much for this help... was able to successfully reset my restrictions password on my ipod touch with ios 6.16! This site is crucial for resetting IOS 6 restriction passcode. :mrgreen: :D

p.s. I advise others to leave Itunes open while changing the two files, because my Itunes re-backed up all the files when I opened it again to restore the edited backup. Trying to copy and paste the two edited files into the new backup caused Itunes' backup restore to fail... so I had to do the process all over again. It went a bit quicker the second time though. :)

p.p.s. If you use the HxD hex editor: after you make the two SHA-1 hashes and open the file that it states up there, click Search>Replace... and then copy the HEX value from the first hash, paste it in the "Search for:" box, copy the HEX value from the second hash, paste it in the "Replace with:" box, select "Hex-values" in the "Datatype:" row, and click the "Prompt on replace" checkbox . That should safely find and replace your hex values all at once. :)

Perfect! I hate Apple products, so thanks to some knowledgeable people and programs such as this by Apple Fans, I was able to fix my kids iPod so there are no more "Parental Restrictions" even though none were ever set. I even had to fight to get the iPod to take the backup I wanted it to (thanks to iTunes), nothing can ever be simple can it?

Great Software! Thank you so much!

HERO MAN

Hi guys, just wanted to share with that i tried this and it worked out fine for me. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for sharing this. You saved my day!

Dude thank you!!! I was skeptical about tweaking code and stuff, but this worked like a charm! It reset the restrictions pass to 1234 and now I can turn them off! I am using Windows 8 btw and I found those files.

Obrigada!!!!!!!!! Paguei pelo programa mas valeu. Congui a senha de restrições!

It worked ! (On an 3GS running iOS 6.1.6) Fantastic! Well done and thank you for providing such clear, bomb-proof instructions.

thank you so much this was very helpful

Perfect!

thank sir

Hi Alexandra, You rock!! I easily rest my iPod Touch 5th generation's Restriction's PIN using your steps! Thanks a lot.

A long time ago I had setup a restriction code on my iPhone 4 to stop my younger brother from making in-app purchases. But now when I went to reset my device, I couldn't as I realised I had forgotten my restrictions code. I searched online everywhere but I didn't find a way of resetting this code. I had saved a local backup on my Mac and I came across this software. At first I was VERY sceptical of it working but the choice was between losing all my data and taking a leap of faith by paying for the home license. I went for the latter and am I glad! It's worked as promised, resetting my restrictions code to '1234' now I've turned the damn thing off - lesson learned! My phone is running iOS 7.0.6 as of now. If you are in a similar predicament, would definitely recommend!

This worked without issues. It took about 30 minutes. Thanks for the help. iPhone 5S ver.6.1.4 Firmware 3.04.25

Took a bit of fiddling, but got it to work with IOS6 on an iPod Touch. Three things I encountered...

  1. My iTunes was set to automatically back up when I plug in the device, so I ended up editing the files and then needing to do it all again after iTunes immediately overwrote the backup before I could restore from it. After disabling the auto-sync in the iTunes preferences, I was able to restore.

  2. While I've used TextPad for many years and have a full paid license, I could not get it to actually edit the manifest.mbdb file. TextPad kept complaining that the file was Read-Only, even though Windows Explorer did not agree. In the end, HxD-Hexeditor did the trick for me.

  3. Also, the SHA-1 hash generation site above kept giving me 503 errors. (1/20/2014) In the end, I used onlinemd5.com instead, and things were just fine.

Thanks for the help!

Awesome man! You saved my life. Thanks for the trick :D Smoothly worked!

I'm a thirteen year old girl, my parents put a child tracker on my phone and locked it with parental controls. This saved my life! Thanks so much!!! <3

THANKS!! Works also with IOS 7.03

Thanks SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAWESOME!!! Worked perfectly on my iPhone 5 with iOS 7.0.2. Thanx a lot.

Holy crap, i am so amazed that this worked, even on ios 7.0.2, thank you very much, now i can download apps without my brother spending money again

Thank you soooo much!!! It perfectly works on my iPhone 5 with iOS 7.0.2. Thanks for sharing this precious method.

Thank you soooooooooooooooooo much!!!!

Great! Follow the steps and it's fixed forever. Thank you very much!

Thanks a lot for the instruction.

Worked perfectly on my iPhone 4S with brand new IOS7.

PS: I don't get why step 14 should be that tricky? just prepare the HEX-hash with blanks, copy and paste.

NOT SURE IF I AM JUST HAVING A BLONDE MOMENT AND NOT SEEING IT BUT IF I FOLLW THESE DIRECTIONS.... WILL I LOSE ANY OF MY STUFF THAT IS ON THE PHONE NOW OR WILL IT JUST CHANGE THE RESTRICTIONS CODE?

Don't worry, it'll effectively just change the code!

Amazing.. Worked like a charm. Did this from a Windows 7 box with the same tools for Windows. You did a fabulous job with this guide. My hat is off!

Thank you. Works great with iOS 7 as well!

Have you managed to figure out a workaround for IOS7 yet?

Thanks in advance!

YOU ROCK MAN!

THank you thank you SO MUCH! You're a lifesaver!! Thanks! WORKED LIKE A CHARM!

Ohh yeahh!!! After hours of searching! It worked!!! Thank you very much :D

It's a good thing I didn't spent Php 800.00 just to retrieve my passcode. Thanks again, dude!

For pass code

Thank u

I was able to finally get the program to work. Could not use SRIron browser which is basically Chrome. Had to check for my emailed key in IE and copied it to clipboard which automatically put it in the key field for me. Program is a lifesaver for anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. I have an iPad 3 and Vista. Worked great! But this time, I wrote down my passcodes so at least I have them somewhere. Nothing is better than the release from stress!

This post made my day. Kudos!

did any of you loose any data

this is amazing service, I am very pleased. thanks greatly

brooke

wow working good.. thank u very much.

Worked great for me! Thanks!

I need help every time I try to spring bored it won't change on the jailbreak plz help

This is awesome and it works . It took 20 minutes of time. I will Recommend these steps to everyone .

Thanks a lot.I had enabled the restrictions on while i installed iphone finder.The app suggests to enable it, so iphone finder can`t be uninstalled by other people.

way a go, just follow the tutorial above and it works!!!

Thanks yaar!!!hv a grt day!!just reset my restction passcode, its amazing!!!

After trying all the steps i can not restore the phone to the modified backup, itunes says the restore cant be made because there is not enough space free on the iphone.

@Paul: Hi, photos and videos take up the most space in the backup and on your phone. You can import media files from the device to your computer from time to time to save space and make your backup smaller. Photos and videos imported this way can always be synced back to the device. Good luck!

forgot my code

so after i did the "'Extract>Restrictions PIN' and reset your parental controls PIN", do i restore my iphone to that backup? or just unplug the phone and the PIN will be 1234?

Andrea: Hi, the last step is to restore the modified backup to your iPhone. The data from that backup restored means your PIN will be reset to "1234". Don't forget to keep a copy of your original backup in case something goes wrong! Good luck!

I was also succesful! I did in on a Mac (with Mountain Lion), and since I could not use the Mono framework to run the iPhone Backup Extractor, I needed to use some other tools. These were PlistEditPro and Hex Fiend. With those tools and your instruction, it worked on the first attempt! Thanks a lot!

Thanks perfect

IT's just amazing ,i cant believe that it's working prefect ,i was so worried ,even i'm not good programmer to understand these but still i did it and working well ..... Really appreciate ,Thank you

BIG TIME with this tutorial. Works more than well. Thanks a lot you guys.

Windows 8 & Surface Pro.

Thank you, worked perfectly!

On a first try I used WinVi32 as a hex editor and it didn't work: Couldn't restore the backup file (iTunes said it was damaged). Using Hex-Editor MX it worked well. :) Thank you very much for this great tutorial!

Just did this stuff, totally thought it wouldnt work, worked without a hitch, if when your doing it the part where your writing stuff under SBParentalControlsEnabled and it says you have unsuccesful attempts at unlocking it, just write in where he says to and it works fine.

Nice job. Got it on the first try.

After 27 failed attempts at trying to guess a code I don't remember setting, I found (and have bookmarked) this solution. Worked with no issues.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! This post is a lifesaver!!:D :D :D

Many thanks ! It is working perfectly !

Worked like a charm. THANK YOU!

Great piece of work! Thank you for sharing it to us folks who forget their passwords and don't have all that technical knowledge. Good that you are there!

I'm no computer wizard, and even I could follow your wonderful directions to reset a forgotten 'Restrictions Passcode' in my iPad. THANK YOU. The blogs and forums and Apple Support Communities are still not able to figure this out!

Many thanks, Nelson

Thank you so much. Unbelievable that I was incapable of remember 4 numbers, lol. Thank you, very straight forward and easy to do.

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