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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Restrictions Passcode Forgotten

In this post I will explain how to revert and fix the issue where the Restrictions Passcode has been forgotten in your IPhone or iPad. No Need to Factory Restore!
I have done it for free in my IPhone 4S with IOS 7.0 and worked like a charm!
As far as I know it works just fine with other devices and versions as well.
The Steps are as follows:
Deep Explanation:
Connect your IPhone or IPad to your PC or MAC, go to iTunes, Check "This computer" and click Back Up Now.





Download a software like iBackupBot or similar. You can download it from this location. I have used the version: V 5.0.3 (10/01/2013) and V 5.0.4 (10/08/2013)

Do not disconnect the iPhone or iPad from your PC or MAC. (Conenct it again if you have done it).
After installing and running the iBackupBot the software will try to read information from your device. The iPhone will probably display a "trust" message. Press "Trust it" on the IPhone/iPad so the Software could read data from it.

Now, go to the just backed up line in the tree root, and then drill down to System Files --> HomeDomain --> Library --> Preferences and search for the file called com.apple.springboard.plist as shown in the picture below.

Note: Take a look in which backup (date and time) you perform the modification, since later on will be used to restore.


Select the file (You can search for it using the search textbox) and click on the "Open" icon. A registration window will be opened, but do not worry, just click on cancel and it will open the file for edition.

Now you will be able to add the following 2 lines to the file:

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

I have used 1234 for the restrictions passcode, you may change it to any other 4 digits.

The two lines must be placed before the dictionary finalization tag (</dict>), and not after, as explained by mistake in other forums. See snapshot below.


Click on save, and close the file. you may close the application as well.



Ok, we are almost done. Go to iTunes, select the device. In the Summary tab, search for Restore Backup... (Not Restore Iphone).

Find my iPhone must be turned off before the restore. See snapshot below.


Then, choose the backup to restore...


The restore may take several minutes...

In the Iphone you will see a Restore In Progress message...

Note: After the restoring operation, your iPhone/iPad will restart and show a black screen with the white apple in the middle as when you turn on your device, and it will take some time until the device finish this stage and turn on. don't freak out, after a while, your device will turn on.
Go to Settings-->General-->Restrictions and tap 1234 or the code selected for you in the line added above, and voila, there you have it!

Your feedback will be appreciated!


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Disclosure: This post explains how to change the forgotten restrictions passcode in order to use it to access the restrictions page of your device. It does not explain how to disable restrictions. 

Final Note: Use this tutorial at your own risk. As far as I know, these procedures are not supported by apple.

91 comments:

  1. Hours of research and trial-n-error to figure this out... This was a very nice tutorial that worked perfectly.. THANKS!

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  2. THIS IS AWESOME. Used October 12th, 2013 on iPhone 5 with iOS 6.1.4. It worked perfectly and I'm so glad I didn't have to figure out how to jailbreak it or use one of the hours-long processes on Youtube. This didn't take too long and was pretty simple. Thank you!!

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  3. This also worked for me. I did have to disable "Find My iPhone" before a partial system restore of system files via iBackupBot would work.

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  4. Veni, vidi, vici (after two sleepless nights) Highly recommended!

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  5. I cant find the Springboard file. I have windows 7

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    Replies
    1. I see manifest.plst, status.plst, Info.plst, manifest.mbdb, and alot of hash files

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    2. Try to backup again, checking the "This computer" option, and re-check the content of HomeDomain --> Library --> Preferences
      Good luck!

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    3. This tutorial is fabulous . Nov.21, works like a charm. iPhone 4 OS 7.04. Would have saved even more time if I'd searched for the springboard file in the search box first. I would definitely give this procedure 5 stars!

      Delete
  6. Works great on iOS 7, too.

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  7. Hi - I located the necessary file, upon opening it ibobackup says that the "backup is password protected and you need to enter the password to decrypt it" any help her please?

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    Replies
    1. Apparently you have chosen to encrypt the backup in iTunes. As far as I know, if you don't remember the encryption password you may need to perform a full software restore http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4946?viewlocale=en_US&locale=en_US
      Another way is to restore from an older backup where the encryption password was not supplied.

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    2. My iCloud is blanked out and I can not go into it to "find my iPhone".

      Delete
  8. So excited to try this! Thank you for the screenshots!!

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Dealing with this currently - thanks for the tips - have tried a few times, but keep getting "iTunes could not restore the iPhone "My iPhone" because not enough free space is available on the iPhone." I have deleted all old backups and then created a new backup from scratch to see if it was just a corrupt backup, but same thing. I have 4GB available. Will search this problem now...

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    Replies
    1. Hi,
      I guess you have two options here.
      1.- Full restore (Restore iPhone)
      2.- Remove a lot of content on the device, apps, pics and videos from the camera roll, music, etc. Then, try again. If the problem persist, remove some other content until you succeed. I assume this content is in the backup, so will be eventually restored.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  11. Deleted all photos and videos on my phone and it worked! Guess you have to have as much free space as the backup size. Thank you!

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    Replies
    1. That's exactly right! Glad to hear it worked for you!
      Enjoy!

      Delete
  12. Hi Alejandro,

    I changed the code , but when it's about to restore the back up on Itunes it's says that my "Back Up corrupt or not compatible with the Iphone I restored".

    Thank you for your help,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      Adding the two lines...
      <key>SBParentalControlsPIN</key>
      <string>1234</string>
      ...before the tag, should not cause any problem.
      Please, double check if you performed the addition in Files --> HomeDomain --> Library --> Preferences in the com.apple.springboard.plist file.
      You may remove the lines (search for them again inside the file, since they will be probably moved to other position) and try to perform a restore to verify if those lines are causing you this issue. If the problem persist perform another backup, and redo the work.
      Good luck!

      Delete
  13. Finally!!

    Worked on my Ipad 3rd Gen Wifi with IOS 6.1.3

    Thank you so much!!

    Great help!

    ReplyDelete
  14. It's worked on my iphone5 with ios 7.0.3
    finally solved my problem.
    Thank you so much!!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hi, Have followed the instructions but when I get to the bit about turning off 'Find my IPad' I am unable to do this. The iCloud settings box is greyed out. I also tried doing it within Privacy-Location Services but again it is greyed out.
    Any ideas ??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi,
      I think you will have to remove your ipad from the icloud account, then connect it again. Explained here: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS4515
      Good luck!

      Delete
    2. Many thanks for your kind help.

      Delete
  16. FINALLY. Something that works! Thank you SO much!!

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  17. Thank you so much! This instruction really works on my Ipod 4th Gen 6.1.3. :)

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  18. love it !!!!! thanks a billion .........................................

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  19. Great Advice. !!. Highly appreciated.!!

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  20. It worked on latest IOS7 ipad, thanks!

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  21. Thank you, so much!!!!!
    Perfect, simple, fast, you gave me again the freedom of my iphone, thanks one more time!!!

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  22. Do you know if there is some similar procedure for the lockscreen code too? Thank you once again!

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  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  24. A word for word perfect solution, many thanks Alejandro.

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  25. Thank you so much!! it works on ios 7.0.4

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  26. I can not eidt the file com.apple.springboard.plist . after I add what you suggested , saved , then I open again , the content is the same . Do you know why , even I download plistset.exe , can not change anything for the Plist file.

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  27. so so amazing! so thankful for this, i'I've been dying without availability of my location service

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  28. This worked perfectly but somehow it worked when the phone initially restarted but somehow it reverted back and is not recognizing the passcode I setup thourgh this process.

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  29. YES! Thank You! I have been struggling with this on my daughter's phone for months. Finally a solution that worked for IOS 7! Great tutorial!

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  30. Dear Alejandro, I have tried and tried with no luck. Here is what I have 4S, unencrypted backup. Using iBackupBot (downloaded from above) plist editor Pro (unregistered). I can get to the line to add the 2 lines you suggest. Which I do, then try to save and get the error message unknown letter "K" on ---line. Please help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bill,
      Based on your comments, it seems you're doing it right.
      So I will give you two options here:
      1. Perform a Full restore (Restore iPhone)
      2. Do not use the plist editor to edit and update the plist file. Do it straight from the iBackupBot as I did, and see if it work out for you.
      Thank you and good luck!

      Delete
  31. Alejandro, I tried again, adding the 2 lines at the very end ...before the dict, then tried adding the 2 lines right after the SBParental controls on line 115. The error message is as follows "encountered unexpected character k on line 265.
    Need another angle of attack. thanks for your valuable time answer. Bill...Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Bill,
      First of all, perform a new backup, and restore it without adding anything. This will explain us if the problem exist in the current backup. If so far all good, then add the two lines, but write them by yourself (I assume that a hidden character is copied and causes the malfunction).
      And again, avoid using the external editor.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  32. Hi Alejandro, I was successful in adding the 2 lines you provided. I am ready to restore the backup......BUT, it says it will only restore, contacts,calendars,notes, text messages,and settings. BIG question, will all my other data and applications still be there, and not affected?? I will wait till I hear back from you before I restore the backup. So far so good. If this works you are a genius. Bill...Cheers

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    Replies
    1. It will be ok Bill. All your data will be there after. you'll see. :-) Besides we've come a long way to make a u-turn now. Go ahead and let me know.
      Bye!

      Delete
  33. Alejandro, It is almost midnight here. I'll be back in the morning. Waiting for your answer. Thank you, Bill...Cheers

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  34. Here goes. Bill...Cheers

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  35. Alejandro, The restore backup has started, and the estimated time is 1 hour. Guess I'll be up for at least another hour. Will report back to you when completed, and I of course will have a new restrictions passcode, that I can turn off or on. Bill...Cheers

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  36. Alejandro, Bill here. Did the restore backup, took a little over an hour, and the restriction passcode is still on, and the 4 digit number I put in did not work. What do we try next. I do not want to give up. If you have another solution, I am up for trying it. I'll be back in about 8 to 10 hours. Really tired. Bill...Cheers

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  37. Alejandro, back again. My problem might be that I used the wrong backup to restore.Will check that backup and proceed and try again. I am not giving up, I will win, with your help of course. Thanks for your time helping. Bill...Cheers

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  38. Alejandro, Hooray, Hooray......You are a miracle worker. I entered the 2 lines at the end, before the . Then did a restore backup of the correct backup. I even added the restriction's passcode that I would remember. and IT WORKS !!!!!!! I don't know to thank you, except thank you so very much. If you so desire you are more than welcome to use my reply, so that other people that need their restrictions passcode reset will use your way. IT WORKS------IT WORKS.Thank you so very much. Bill...Cheers

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  39. Thanks for such an easy to follow tutorial :)

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  40. I have been trying to unlock my restrictions passcode in my iPad mini using your method. currently, it's showing the apple icon on the black background every few minutes. It has been an hour and i only have 300+MB files. How long does it take to restore the info from ibackupbot?

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  41. I have been trying to unlock my restrictions passcode in my iPad mini using your method. currently, it's showing the apple icon on the black background every few minutes. It has been an hour and i only have 300+MB files. How long does it take to restore the info from ibackupbot?

    Sorry, I wanna know if this long restoration process is normal?

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  42. Will you lose all information from iphone like sms if you do this process?

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    Replies
    1. No. Everything will be there after. :-)

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    2. i cant find the 1234 coz im using version 5.1.1 how is it? please help thanks alot

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    3. You don't find it inside the file, you just add it. Read this tutorial again.

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  43. I did all the steps and at lthe last step my ipod turn off like u said then the apple sign in the middle and still the same logo for 4 hpurs and now it never turns on again every time i try to turn it up it turns off instantally

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  44. Dont do this tutorial :c my ipod is not working now thanks to this .

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  45. January 16, 2014 it doesn't work.... :((

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  46. Thanks for such a simple tutorial. It workied perfect on my IPhone 4s io7.04.

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  47. Hi Alejandro, somehow the iBackupbot for iTunes does not really make the change I did. When I save the file it looks like it changed but when I re-open the file the change is gone. Any idea?

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  48. Thank you for the step by step tutorial. It worked perfectly iPhone 4 ios 7.0.4.

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  49. Wow! I have been trying to find a way to reset a password that I never put on my phone. This worked like a charm and is not hard to do at all. Thank you very much.

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  50. after i do this, the restriction code works für 5 min. !
    After then the 1234 not work :-(
    Any idea?

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  51. Thank you! It worked perfectly (iPad2 / iOS 7) - after everything else (including restoring) failed.

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  52. Amazing!! Feb. 11th, 2014 1Phone 4s iOS7, Beijing, China

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  53. THANK YOU SO MUCH! WORKS LIKE A CHARM! 100% GUARANTEED.

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  54. Thanks soooooo much!!!! Worked Great!!

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  55. thank you thank you thank you!!! Worked like magic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  56. thank you so much!

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  57. Alejandro - THANK you so much - this was a perfect solution. Cheers from Minneapolis.

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  58. Has anyone tried this with ios 7.06? the ipad ran through everything like I thought it would but the 1234 passcode isn't working.

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    Replies
    1. It appears ibackupbot isn't saving my edits. After I make the edit to the com.apple.springboard.plist file and saved it, I opened it back up and the edit isn't there. Thoughts?

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    2. Finally I got it to work. Thanks for this.

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  59. Worked for me with IOS 7.0.6.
    Thank you very much !!

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  60. would have worked had I not forgetten the new pw :D Silly me, so i did it again, but have to wait the 60 mintues to test it. Iphone 5/ IOS 7.0.6

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  61. Hi, Have followed the instructions but when I get to the bit about turning off 'Find my IPad' I am unable to do this. The iCloud settings box is greyed out. I also tried doing it within Privacy-Location Services but again it is greyed out.
    however i dint use icloud before.
    Any ideas ??

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  62. Awesome fix.......worked perfectly on my son's ipod! Thank you!

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  63. Worked great on my iPhone 5s with 7.0.6. I did need to clear off some apps and photos because I couldn't otherwise restore from the back up. Thanks so much!

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  64. phew, thanks alot. worked great...

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  65. Removed the iphone from Icloud. Turned off location services. Turned on airplane mode and still getting error -37 when I try to run this, which means it still thinks find my iphone is on.

    Since restrictions is locked I can't turn find my iphone off in settings.

    It's like a terrible cycle. Any help appreciated.

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  66. To anyone else unable to do this because you have FindMyIphone on and are unable to turn it off because it's locked by the restrictions passcode you forgot:

    Recommend you get iphonebackupextractor. It costs me $25 but I spent over a day doing this and was unable to get around error -37 and restore the edited backup because findmyiphone was on. This did it for me in 5 minutes. It was literally as easy as pressing a button and well worth the money.

    Here's an explanation of how to do it:
    http://www.iphonebackupextractor.com/blog/2014/jan/28/recover-ios-7-ipad-or-iphone-restrictions-passcode/

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  67. This is excellent. Thank you so much...

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  68. Thanks a bunch, this worked great. Though I was a bit apprehensive of using the iBackupBot.
    I also faced the issue of greyed out 'Find My iPad' option, as few others have noted. But I followed your advice again and erased my device from iCloud, after reconfiguring the device it asked me to setup as new or restore from itune backup. I chose the later.

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  69. Hi thank you for the tutorial,, but it doesn't work for my case...it says try again in 12M minutes..so it doesn't allow me to enter code...

    Please help me

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  70. THank you thank you thank you so muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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