This post was updated in May 2017
Reset forgotten Restrictions Passcode for any Apple device
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 to your iPhone or iPad?
We have found a way of resetting your forgotten restrictions passcode that will work nicely on your iOS 10 or older iTunes backup. With the iPhone Backup Extractor, you can also recover your restrictions passcode from older iTunes or iCloud backups.
In this article we will walk you through the steps needed to retrieve your restrictions PIN.
Warning: These instructions are complicated and can be overwhelming if you are a non-tech person. We can't be held responsible for any loss or damage that may result if you make a mistake during the process. If you are looking for a simple way to recover your restrictions passcode from your iOS 10 iTunes backup, please read our detailed guides:
- Recover restrictions pincode for iOS 10 on iPhone 6s
- Recover restrictions passcode for iOS 10
- Reset restrictions passcode for iOS 5 or 6
- Recover iOS 7 or 8 restrictions passcode
or check our video tutorial:
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 Home Domain\Library\Preferences\com.apple.springboard.plist and searching for the SBParentalControlsPIN value in the file.
How to reset restrictions PIN from an iOS 10 or lower iTunes backup in 17 steps
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 10 or lower.
If you decided to reset your passcode using this method, these are the steps you need to follow:
- Create a backup in iTunes while your restrictions passcode is enabled - ensure it's not encrypted
- Browse to the backup folder (usually
C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\</username>). 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.
- Take a safety copy of the file
662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642bas this is the one we'll be editing and you want a backup copy in case anything goes wrong.
- 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
a6533d4dc9ac9f8af7ba65cb955187f025cfde8band it will be different for each backup).
- Open the file
662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642bin a plist editor. Run iPhone Backup Extractor, click on 'View/edit PList' from the File menu and browse for your .plist file to open.
- 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.
- 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.
- Assuming the SBParentalControlsEnabled key is true,click on Edit and add the following two lines just below the <true/> line:
- Save the amended
662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642bfile, overwriting the old one.
- Use the SHA-1 hash generator to make another hash of the
662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642bfile and make a note of this.
- Take a safety copy of the
manifest.mbdbfile as we will now be editing this file.
manifest.mbdbin a hex editor (or Textpad running in hex mode).
- 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.
- 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.
- Save the edited
- Restore the backup to the iPhone using iTunes - make sure you replace the
662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642bfiles 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.
- Once the phone has restarted at the end of the restore you can now use the PIN '1234' to access the parental controls.
So that the text in the file will read something like this:
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
Side Note:rom now on, 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).
Reset Restrictions PIN with 2 clicks!
If the above method is too complicated and you want to complete all these steps in just a few clicks, try the latest iPhone Backup Extractor with a brand new Restriction Passcode reset feature. Simply install the iPhone Backup Extractor, open it and load your iTunes backup. To reset your PIN for your iOS 5 or 6 backup, click on the top menu 'Utilities' and then on 'Reset Restrictions PIN'. If you have an iOS 7 or 8 iTunes backup, from the 'Utilities' menu, select 'Recover Restrictions PIN'.
Note: After you reset the Restrictions PIN code to
1234 for iOS 5 or 6 backups, 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! We recommend you to create a safe copy of your backup.
You'd follow the same procedure as mentioned above. Load your backup (be it iCloud or iTunes) with iPhone Backup Extractor > Utilities (on the navigation menu) > Recover Restrictions PIN. As simple as that.:) Check our most recent guide on recovering iOS 10 Restrictions (parental control) PIN code.
Important: the automatic Restriction PIN Reset or Recover feature is only available using the Basic or Premium version of the software and works on all iOS iTunes and iCloud backups. See our pricing plans.
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.
Happy Restrictions PIN resetting!:)