14 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2010 11:44 AM by a.belenko
JobyOne Level 1 (0 points)
I can't unclick or access my backup iPhone encrypted file. For the life of me I can not remember ever entering a password for the encrypted iPhone backups. I've tried every password I've used or use and nothing is working. I'm not getting anywhere with long searches online. Can anyone here help?

iPhone 3.1.2
iTunes 9.1.1

Please help, how do I get my iPhone backed up from my 'locked' file I've never locked?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), iPhone 3.1.2 iTunes 9.1.1
  • Ingo2711 Level 7 (22,490 points)
    Did you try to set it up "as a new iphone"?
    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. If you forget the password you can continue to do backups and use the device, however you will not be able to restore the encrypted backup to any device without the password. You do not need to enter the password for your backup each time you back up or sync.
    *If you cannot remember the password and want to start again, you will have to do a full software restore and when prompted by iTunes to select the backup to restore from, choose "Set up as a new device."*

    copied from: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1766
  • JobyOne Level 1 (0 points)
    That doesn't answer my problem though? If I go set up as new device I lose all my information and the backup which has become encrypted even though I've never asked for it to be encrypted? I've not entered a password, there is nothing in the keychain.

  • Ingo2711 Level 7 (22,490 points)
    I think there's only one chance to break this "circle", try create a new user account on your mac, log in and set up your iTunes, make sure autosync is deactivated and try to backup manually by right clicking on your phone in the device list and choosing "backup", make sure that the encryption is disabled before you start.
    If that does not work, try this using another computer. The main goal is to create a backup of your phone before it is getting erased during a new setup "as new iphone". You can restore from that backup after the phone got wiped.
  • JobyOne Level 1 (0 points)
    I will give that a go with this Mac and also a PC. Does it matter what version of iTunes do you think? I might install an older version of itunes on my PC and try it on there...

  • JobyOne Level 1 (0 points)
    Went onto a new user account on the mac, made sure the autosync was disabled and connected my iphone. Sadly, the encryption button was ticked already upon connection. Perhaps it won't work across accounts on the same Mac. Am in the process of installing itunes 8.2 onto my PC and will see what that comes up with.. hopefully something better! Just need a backup that isn't 'encrypted' with a password that doesn't exist!
  • Ingo2711 Level 7 (22,490 points)
    Did you include your iphone backup folder into your Time Machine backup routine? If yes, set it up as new phone to get rid of the encryption setting and restore from a backup from time before this happened.
    The backup folder is located here: Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
  • JobyOne Level 1 (0 points)
    Could be a solution? My only concern about doing that would be losing information that is on my phone at the moment (text message). Why I can't force off the encryption to do a new back up?!
  • Ingo2711 Level 7 (22,490 points)
    I'm afraid the encryption is tied to the phone software unless you're setting it back "as new iphone"
  • JobyOne Level 1 (0 points)
    Any idea how I can retrieve a password that I've never set then? Must be stored somewhere? It's not in my keychain under anything... but it must be trying to cross reference it with something?

    I was hoping that iTunes 8.2 on a PC that doesn't have the encryption button would work. Obviously not.

    I just don't want to lose my SMS and other bits. I know 'starting new device' will do that?
  • Ingo2711 Level 7 (22,490 points)
    Yes, all data will be erased setting it up "as new". You could try to use copy/paste and send them using mail.
  • JobyOne Level 1 (0 points)
    Why has the encryption enabled when I've NEVER asked it too.. that's what I want to know.
  • jjprachyl Level 1 (0 points)
    I am having the same issue. I removed all passcodes from my phone, and did the reset all settings. I do not have the encrypt iphone backup password, and DO NOT want to lose my SMS or other data on the phone.

    I'm using the Elcomsoft password breaker in brute force mode now because the dictionaries I tried didn't work. Its only going to take 99999999999hours to crack.

    Someone help!
  • Ingo2711 Level 7 (22,490 points)
    I don't know, but I remember that after the latest iTunes update autostart was enabled again on my Mac, although I disabled it since the 3G came out, and every following update did not put my iTunes back to some default settings.
  • a.belenko Level 1 (0 points)
    Please contact Elcomsoft support at iphone-at-elcomsoft-dot-com. We will try to help you.