How to unencrypt an iPhone backup in iTunes


If you need to retrieve certain files from your backup and have just downloaded iPhone Backup Extractor, you might notice that it asks for a password before reading any of your encrypted backups. This means you chose the "Encrypt iPhone backup" checkbox in the iTunes options when you last syncronised or backed-up your iOS device.

If the files you require are in your backup, you'll need to decrypt the backup in iTunes to access them. This can be achieved by following the instructions below.

Synchronise your iPhone, iPad or iPod with encryption turned off

  1. Select your iOS in iTunes.
  2. Choose the "Summary" screen (tab) and scroll to the bottom of the screen.
  3. Then deselect "Encrypt iPhone backup" (the same for iPad or iPod).
  4. iTunes will then prompt you to "Enter the password to unlock your iPhone backup", enter the password you set originally
  5. Now synchronise your device to create an unencrypted backup.

Unencrypt an iTunes backup
Unencrypt an iTunes backup

You can reverse the process to encrypt your backup after extracting the files to protect your backup again.

Need to recover your encrypted backup password?

We publish a support article on recovering iTunes backup passwords which may be useful for you. Also, if you contact our recovery team we may be able to help, and will respond as rapidly as possible.

About the author

Alexandra Petruș served as Reincubate's VP of Product for a number of years and remains a friend of the company. She's recognised as a Google Developer Expert for Product Strategy, and is a co-founder of Bucharest AI.

Reincubate's CEO at Buckingham Palace

Pictured above are members of Reincubate’s team meeting HM Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ at Buckingham Palace, after being awarded the UK’s highest business award for our work with Apple technology. Read our position on privacy, safety and security.

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

Comments (3)

That's all very well if one REMEMBERS their encrypted password. You will find that the people with this problem DIDN'T REALISE THEY ENCRYPTED THEIR PASSWORD AND NOW THEY CAN'T REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS. They want to un-or-de encrypt so that they can access their backup.

What now? What do you do when you CAN'T REMEMBER your encrypted password? A different ballgame, don't you think? Blind Freddy can follow instructions how to de encrypt a password they do remember.....

Hi Lee: if you've forgotten your backup password, drop our support team a note. We can usually help people recover them. It's just a little more complicated.

What's My password password

We don't know! But if you contact us via live chat, we might be able to help you find out...

J'apprécie énormément votre produit qui semble faire l'unanimité sur le marché. Toutefois, quelle déception quand j'ai vu que nous ne pouviez pas traiter les sauvegardes cryptées. J'espère que vous pourrez résoudre ce problème à court terme. Je souhaite vous encourager dans ce sens. Par contre, j'estime que ce n'est pas une bonne idée de casser le mot de passe qui a toute son utilité.

Thanks for your support! We've recently added encrypted backup support -- check it out, and we hope you enjoy it.

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Jonathan Zdziarski picture

This is iPhone Backup Extractor, think of it as a "personal forensics" utility. It's pretty awesome.

Jonathan Zdziarski

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