Same problem and (after writing the waffle below) - solution as miniphtnb
...backed up iPhone4.
...manually launched iTunes,
...went to "restore from backup"
Asked for Password -
...Tried a series of passwords that I though it might be - No luck. (I hadn't set phone nor encrypted backup)
..."Ejected" phone. Came on here, and whilst reading,
...reconnected phone back into laptop.
...went back to Itunes to try above suggestions of default codes and before I had a chance -
...was already syncing?
Fix or fluke? I don't know, but hope it helps someone.
Oh dear! That doesn't work either.
No Fix - No Fluke.
Tried the "defaults" as above. Tried the "windows login" although this is all incredibly optimistic. Tried a bunch of passwords I use/ have used. But this is all futile - I DID NOT set a password to encrypt. I only backed the thing up 10 minutes before I restored it. I was only restoring it because the thing hasn't worked properly since IOS6 upgrade.
Trying to contact Apple - minutes have long turned into hours. Very very frustrating!
Can't stream videos
Can't download podcasts
Apple Maps app - awful.
Very important data all now inaccesible.
Off to try password breakers - because Apple wont call back, "momentarily" was the word they used.
Finally spoke to Apple. "Please stay near your phone. You will receive a call momentarily" means, wait 24 hours, then call us.
"Just enter the password you set when you did the back up."
"I have never heard of this problem before"
"Would you like to speak to my supervisor" (which actually meant, "would you like to hear the aforemention statements but from a different person")
Politley I declined and in true Brit style, thanked them before saying goodbye.
In utter futility, booted up the cracking software. Based on a 6-12 set of 36 characters, using 2 x 2.5Ghz processors working at full tilt, it is going to take up to 2.5 Billion days to crack.
In short - I wish you luck - not in solving the problem, but keeping your sanity.
PS - if you use a MAC, they can get the password from the Keychain. If you use a PC - You have two Hopes and Bob's dead!
This issue was making me crazy this morning - iTunes was rejecting the one, stock, simple password I use in cases like this - and finally figured out that when your phone is locked (even if it's connected via USB), any attempt to enter a backup password will fail. I unlocked my phone and everything was fine.
I realize that this may not be the situation that others face but I figured I'd throw in one other solution. (This whole thing is poorly implemented if you ask me.)
ANSWER (well... that worked for me)
First and foremost. If your iPhone or iPod is LOCKED nothing you do in iTunes will work. So, before you try and change or test passwords make sure your phone is unlocked.
Then try the default Apple passwords: 1234 or 0000
I had actually set my password, but couldnt get it to re-set because the phone was locked. Unlocking it and re-entering the password solved all of my issues. This suggestion was made very deep in this thread.
Personally Apple....as a software vet of 23 years I think you totally screwed the pooch on this one. The "Forgot Password" ability needs to be added OR... you really must allow a full reset of the phone to work and re-set this to a null password. The UI and workflow for this is dumb. People shouldnt have to fight with this. Especially on Windows.... you know, that crappy operating system that 90% of the world uses...??
Thanks to the community for the help. Had I not found this trick I would have never been able to get this to work. So I thought I would re-share it back at the top in hopes it helps someone else.
I do realize that Apple clearly stated here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4946
that it is impossible to recover the encrypted password nor data.
"Warning: If you encrypt an iPhone backup in iTunes and then forget your password, you will not be able to restore from backup and your data will be unrecoverable."
However I still this this is quite a large problem, as so many people are becoming overly frustrated at their lost data. Apple seriously needs to get off their lazy behinds, and look into an alternative for this.
I am also struggling with the same problem the majority is here, there should at least be an option to create a new backup, with perhaps a separate password, or no password. (For those who are still in possession of the data, and are backing up with an unknown encryption.)
For those who are still unable to recover their data, keep the backup. Perhaps one day in the future, Apple will solve finally solve this extremely irritating, time wasting, and comtemptible crisis for us, and award us for our meaningless endeavor.
[ Seriously Apple, it's been long over a YEAR since this problem started. ]
P.S. Excuse my ranting, I believe the majority of you can understand my frustration at this point.
There might be a way! In iTune, instead of backing up your iphone to local hard disk, try backup to iCloud. There is no separate password to iCloud, except maybe the password to your Apple ID. So, after backing up the data to icloud, you can wipe your iPhone clean before restoring your backup from iCloud.
However, there is a maximum storage of 5GB on iCloud, unless you pay to purchase more space. Good thing is that there are different ways to get around this restriction:
1. Don't select backup your photos, videos to iCloud. Sync your iPhone and copy your stuff to iPhoto.
2. Don't select backup your music to iCloud. Sync them to your iTunes.
3. Go through the list of apps under iCloud storage management (you can do that under iCloud in your iphone). Turn off backup to icloud for those apps that you do not need, especially those large ones. Of course, leave those essential ones such as whatsapp and iBook turned on.
For me, I have reduced the storage to less than 1 GB.
The above should work, including the case when you choose your backup password, you have not click to select storing the password to the keychain access utility. This is actually my case when I first input the password more than a year ago.
I haven't try this yet as I am still waiting for my new iPhone 5. If you find this works, please share.
My problem was solved by entering my Apple user password in lower case. However, this was tried on numerous occassions as part of the "try every password I have ever used solution" as listed deep in this thread.
My guess - is that I may have done it with the phone unlocked as per Rittic above. Easy way to tell is to wipe my phone and do it again. However, I can't afford it to go wrong.
I cannot say for 100% that I never set a password in the past. What I can say with absolute certainty is, THE PASSWORD WAS UNCHECKED at the time I did the backup. Hope it helps........
I tried all the original suggestions, but hit paydirt on the passcode I use 50 times a day to unlock my phone. Wondering why Apple can't just say that in the iTunes prompt?? Anyway, Thanks to all who contributed so I didn't have to pay Apple $19.95 for support call. Oh, and Happy End of the World Day.
I, too, recently got a new iPhone (5), plugged it in to my laptop to restore all my backed up data from my previous iPhone, and received the message about a password. I entered my AppleID password, the passcode from my iPhone, and anything else I could think of...nothing worked. I remembered nothing about a password for backup or restoring a backup--because I had never set one. I came to these posts and started running through each suggestion, but nothing worked. I finally closed iTunes while my phone was still plugged in to my computer. I reopened iTunes expecting to see the same "Welcome to your new iPhone!" page to start all over again. For some reason, iTunes opened on the new phone registration page, and after I registered my phone, it started the backup. As with most things in Apple-land, I have no idea why this transpired. Hope this helps someone else.