I am a member of the Verizon Influencer team. While I am sharing this post as part of my relationship with The Online Mom and Verizon, these are solely my thoughts and opinions and do not necessarily reflect those of Online Mom Media or Verizon.
Shortly after updating my iPhone to iOS 9 I wanted to remove a few apps. Only I couldn’t. Not because I didn’t know how. Removing apps is pretty easy. That is, if you don’t have a Restrictions Passcode set on your phone. Or, if you do that you remember the Restrictions Passcode.
To access Restrictions, go to Settings > General > Restrictions.
What is the Restrictions Passcode? By default, Restrictions is disabled. If it is enabled, for all iOS devices it is a 4-digit number that is something akin to Parental Controls. If Restrictions are enabled you need this 4-digit number to allow you to do things, like make in-app purchases, disable apps or features of the device, prevent download of movies with certain ratings. So, your typical Parental Control features. But since it’s more than just a way for parents to control what their kids see or use, Apple changed it to Restrictions.
But what if you don’t remember setting up Restrictions? What if you don’t remember that 4-digit number? Or, in my case, what if the iOS update caused a glitch and now Restrictions thinks it’s enabled? So, thinking may be I did set up a Restrictions Passcode I entered what I thought it would be. First failed attempt. Well, let’s try another. Then another. Then another. 19 failed attempts and now I’m locked out of my phone for 543 minutes! Fun times.
After searching and reading, and reading and searching, all I could find was that I’d have to do a factory reset on my iPhone. Right. Erase everything on my phone and pretend I just got it. Well, if that’s what it would take I guess that’s what I had to do. And since I had just backed up my phone the day before at least I had something that would restore my device to pretty much the same place.
But as I kept reading I found out that if I were to do a backup, it’s likely that the Restrictions feature would still be enabled with this unknown Passcode since the backup is after the iOS update. Sigh! By this time I’d spent over 3 hours trying to figure this out. And now I’m going to explain to you how to do it in about 30 minutes.
How To Retrieve Your iOS Restrictions Passcode Without Resetting Your Device
1. Backup your phone.
2. Download the iPhone Backup Extractor.
3. Open iPhone Backup Extractor, Click Read Backups in lower left.
4. In the new window select the backup you want. Likely it’s the top one since you just did a backup. Click Choose.
5. Now, scroll all the way down to iOS Files. Click Extract. I saved the file to my Desktop so it would be easy to find. Save it somewhere easy for your to find it in the next steps. Depending on how much stuff is on your phone it could take up to an hour to extract all the files from the backup.
6. Once the files are extracted, go to the file. You’re looking for Library > Preferences > com.apple.restrictionspassword.plist
7. Right click on com.apple.restrictionspassword.plist and open with Text Editor.
8. In text editor, you’re looking for RestrictionsPasswordKey and RestrictionsPasswordSalt. Under each one you’ll see random letters and numbers.
9. Open the iOS Restrictions Passcode Cracker website.
10. Enter the string of numbers for RestrictionsPasswordKey and RestrictionsPasswordSalt. Cut them from the Text Editor and paste them into the Passcode Cracker website so you know they’re correct.
11. Now click “Search for Code” and let it do its thing. Depending on the number it’s looking for it could take awhile.
12. Once the number is found, enter that number on your device for the Restrictions Passcode and it should unlock the device.
It took me hours to figure this out, so I hope you find this and are able to get your passcode easily and open your Resrictions. Now you don’t have to restore your phone to factory settings and hope your backup won’t override the default and set the Restrictions Passcode again. Let me know how it worked, ok?