How to Retrieve a Forgotten iTunes Backup Password?

Summary: Want to restore your iPhone data using an encrypted iTunes backup file? But can’t remember the iTunes backup password? This post shares various methods to recover iTunes backup passwords and restore iPhone data. You can also download Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone to restore lost/ deleted iPhone data when iTunes backup is not accessible.

How to Retrieve a Forgotten iTunes Backup Password? How to Retrieve a Forgotten iTunes Backup Password?

‘I need to restore my iPhone 8 with iTunes backup. The backup file was encrypted and I forgot my iTunes backup password. Tried several passwords I could remember but none worked. Is there a way to recover encrypted iTunes backup password? I want to restore my iPhone with that encrypted iTunes backup file?’

iTunes won’t restore iPhone data, if you have forgotten the password of the encrypted backup file. After all, Apple is known for its security patches. A correct password is necessary to access encrypted iTunes backup and restore your iPhone.

So how to recover iTunes backup password to restore iPhone data?

forgot iTunes backup password

It’s human to forget. You may have multiple password-protected accounts or data to manage or may have not used the encrypted iTunes backup file for a long time. And now you are at your wits end, trying all the probable passwords.

It may seem complicated, but you can crack the password or decrypt the iTunes backup to recover iPhone data.

This post guides you through various methods that you can apply to retrieve forgotten iTunes backup password.

 Lets’ explore each.

Method 1: Try all possible passwords

If you have lost iTunes backup password, try every probable password you can think of to open the encrypted backup file. For instance, try old passwords or those you use to login your computer, iPhone, emails, or websites, etc.

Forgot your Apple ID Password? Know how to recover.

Method 2: Reset iTunes backup password

You cannot restore an encrypted backup without its password. If you forgot iTunes backup password, first reset the password. Next, create a new encrypted backup in iTunes.  

Use ‘Reset All Settings’ feature in iPhone, which will remove iTunes encrypted backup password. It won’t delete your contacts, photos, videos, messages, and other personal data on the iOS device.

But this will remove all the customized settings on your iPhone. Your ringtones, notifications, Apple Pay cards, location settings, privacy settings, brightness, font, wallpaper, cellular and Wi-Fi settings, etc., will be removed and set to default.

Steps to reset the iTunes backup password:

  1. Go to iPhone Settings > General > Reset.
  2. Click Reset All Settings.
  3. Enter your iPhone passcode.
  4. Tap Reset All Settings to confirm. Wait for a few minutes for the reset processes to finish.

Next, connect your iPhone to your PC/ Mac and create another encrypted backup of the current data using a new password. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Launch iTunes on your computer.
  2. Click on the Summary tab. On the right pane, under Backups, select Encrypt local backup.
Set iTunes backup password
Figure: Set iTunes backup password

3. In Set Password box, enter a new password. Wait till the process finishes. A lock icon will appear next to your device name after the encrypted backup is successfully created. This will also overwrite your previous iTunes backups.

Note: These steps are applicable for only iOS 11 and later users. If you are using iOS 10 or below, you can’t reset the password. In such a situation, use an older iTunes or iCloud backup.

Method 3: Recover iTunes backup password via Keychain Access (For Mac users)

As a Mac user, you are in a more favorable position. You can retrieve the forgotten iTunes backup password using Keychain Access.

Keychain Access is a macOS utility app that stores passwords created on your system. But the feature will work only if you have selected the option ‘Remember or save this password in my Keychain’ while encrypting the iTunes backup file.

Steps to recover forgotten iTunes backup password using Keychain Access on Mac:

  1. On your Mac, navigate to Application > Utilities > Keychain Access.
  2. In the search field on the top-right, enter iPhone backup. You may try search terms such as iOS, iPad, or only iPhone.
recover itunes password from  Keychain Access on Mac
Figure: Keychain Access window on Mac

3. From the search results, find and double-click on a file that displays Application Password against an iPhone Backup file.

iPhone Backup password window in Keychain Access
Figure: iPhone Backup password window in Keychain Access

4. Next, select Show Password. Copy the password.

Now, launch iTunes to enter the recovered password and open the encrypted iTunes backup file.

Method 4: Use an iTunes backup password recovery software

You can try an iPhone backup password recovery tool. The software assists you in recovering iTunes and iCloud encrypted backup password.

These are paid software that offer multiple password recovery modules for different situations, such as:

  • Brute-force attack, when you don’t know your password at all
  • Mask attack, when you remember part of the iTunes backup password
  • Dictionary attack/ Smart attack, recommends all possible passwords for your backup.

Although often helpful, these tools may not be able to recover long and complex passwords that use a combination of special characters.

Method 5: Use iCloud backup

If you have forgotten iTunes backup password, the alternative data recovery solution is to use iCloud backup. But this will work only if you have turned on iCloud backup on iPhone. With iCloud backup, your iPhone automatically backs up its data whenever you are connected with Wi-Fi or cellular data. Learn here, how to restore iPhone using iCloud backup.

Not able to restore iPhone using iTunes or iCloud backup. What to do?

It’s true. Backups can save you from severe data loss situations. But sometimes, they also fail to recover iPhone data. It is better to get a secure iPhone data recovery software, Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone that can restore deleted or lost data from iTunes and iCloud backup. The software thoroughly scans your iPhone or iPad, to recover lost, hidden or deleted data, in case you aren’t able to access iTunes encrypted backup.

iPhone Data Recovery iPhone Data Recovery Mac


There’s no doubt that it’s not easy to recover forgotten iTunes backup password. But you should try the above methods to retrieve lost password.

The password reset provision added by Apple, from iOS 11 onwards is helpful. You can at least remove the iTunes backup password and create a new backup using a new password in iTunes.

If you are a Mac user, the task gets easy with Keychain Access application. Other than this, a secure iTunes backup password recovery tool might also work sometimes.

But the crux of the matter is, you should save your passwords at a secure location in your drive or notebook if you want to avoid such password-loss in future.