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How to recover a forgotten Restrictions Passcode on your iPhone [tutorial]

Restrictions passcode is Apple’s answer to parental controls that most Windows users are familiar of. Apple’s parental control version is a fairly decent feature and is mostly useful in controlling critical tasks like installing apps and paying for in-app transactions. Restrictions passcode can also block specific apps and features in a device so it’s a good way to control the things your kids can do in your device. If you happen to forget your Restrictions passcode though, it may be tricky to get it back. In this tutorial, we detail the workarounds that you can do to recover it.

Before we proceed let us remind you that you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.


Try the default Restrictions Passcode

If your device asks you to enter Restrictions Passcode all of a sudden and you can’t remember setting it up before, chances are using the default passcode will be alright. To see if that’s the case, enter 1234. This is the default  Restrictions for iPhones, iPads, and iPods.

Use your iTunes backup

iTunes backups not only include your phone settings and your personal data but also Restrictions Passcode (default or custom). If you regularly back your device up to iTunes on your computer, you should be able to easily recover Restrictions passcode. The steps below depends on whether you’re backing to a Mac or Windows. We’ll details the steps for each of these platforms.

Using a Mac

  1. Turn on your Mac.
  2. Go to Library.
  3. Click on Application Support.
  4. Go to App Store and find a file named adoption.plist.
  5. Select the .plist file, hold Control key, select open with Text edit.
  6. Look for a line of code in this format: <interger>XXXX</interger>. The numbers should be the Restriction Passcode.

Using a Windows PC

  1. Turn on your PC.
  2. Open File Explorer and click on the drive where you install the operating system. It should like Local Disk (C:).
  3. Click on Users.
  4. Click on the right username.
  5. Click AppData.
  6. Click Roaming.
  7. Click Apple Computer.
  8. Click MobileSync.
  9. Click Backup.
  10. Find the adoption.plist file.

Unlike a Mac, Windows machines do not have default capability to open a .plist file so you need to download and install .plist opener first to do it. You can use Google to find a .plist opener.  Once you’ve opened the adoption.plist file, find <interger>XXXX</interger> and use the number as Restrictions Passcode.

Recover Restrictions Passcode using third party application

If the steps above won’t help in getting your passcode at all, another good alternative is by using a third party application like iBackupBot for iTunes. The full version of this application is not free but you can use its trial version to recover your Restrictions passcode.

Before you proceed, make sure to create a backup of your iPhone to iTunes.  Make sure that this backup is not encrypted by NOT ticking on the box next to Encrypt iPhone Backup. This backup is your insurance in the event that something bad occurs to your iPhone, and to get the Restrictions passcode you created. To back your iPhone up and recover your passcode, follow these steps:

  1. Plug in your iPhone to your computer and run iTunes.
  2. Click on the phone icon at the top to select your iPhone.
  3. Under Backups, make sure that Encrypt iPhone backup box is NOT checked.
  4. Click Back Up Now.
  5. Once you’ve finished creating your backup, open your favorite web browser and visit  iBackupBot for iTunes download page.
  6. Download the right iBackupBot for iTunes version (PC or Mac).
  7. Open the file that downloads and install the program to your Applications folder (on Macs).
  8. Follow on screen instructions to install iBackupBot for iTunes.
  9. Open iBackupBot for iTunes after installing it and wait for it to load backup information for your phone.
  10. If you’ll get an error message while it’s trying to create a backup, just ignore it by clicking on OK. if no error occurs, just ignore this.
  11. Once it finishes loading your info, you’ll see the folder for your iPhone near the top. Look for the System Files folder under this folder.
  12. Select the folder HomeDomain, then open he Library folder.
  13. Open Preferences.
  14. Using the search bar, type com.apple.re and tap enter on your keyboard.
  15. There may be a number of results that will follow so try to look for the one that says com.apple.restrictionspasscode.plist.
  16. Click on com.apple.restrictionspasscode.plist to open it.
  17. If a popup shows asking for your registration information, just press OK, press OK again, then select Cancel.
  18. Once the registration information pops up, open up a new tab and go to http://ios7hash.derson.us/.
  19. Now, you want to goi bac to iBackupBot app again and copy the code under Restrictions Password Key. Then, paste this information into the proper spot on the iOS7hash website. Do the same for Restrictions Password Salt.
  20. Go back to http://ios7hash.derson.us/ site and make sure that Starting Passcode says 0000 and the Last Search Code at 9999.
  21. Click on Search for Code and wait. This will take some time as it will try to uncover your Restriction passcode.
  22. Once it’s finished, it should show what your Restrictions passcode.

Reset your Restriction passcode via factory reset

If you don’t want to use a third party application or can’t recover your passcode using the workarounds above, you should use the Restore option and set your iPhone as a new device. Here’s how:

  1. Create a backup of your files. You can do that in a number of ways but the fastest and most effective way is by using iTunes in your PC or Mac.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer with the cable that came with your phone.
  3. We assume you remember your phone’s passcode so simply enter it when you’re prompted for it.
  4. Select your iPhone once iTunes asks you for the specific device.
  5. Once you’re in the Summary panel or screen, select the option that will restore your device (Restore).
  6. Confirm by clicking on Restore [your device].
  7. Wait for a few moments while iTunes restores your device to its factory settings. It may also take some time if iTunes will need to install an updated operating system version.
  8. After this factory reset, all software settings should be restored to their defaults.

Restore your iPhone via Recovery Mode

If you haven’t had the time to back your phone up or hadn’t synced your iPhone to iTunes or iCloud for whatever reason, the best way to go is by restoring it via Recovery Mode. To do that, you still a computer that has iTunes installed. Once you’ve taken care of that, follow the rest of the steps below:

  1. Connect your iOS device to your computer and open iTunes.
  2. While your device is connected, force restart it:
    • On an iPhone X, iPhone 8, or iPhone 8 Plus: Press and quickly release the Volume Up button. Press and quickly release the Volume Down button. Then, press and hold the Side button until you see the recovery-mode screen.
    • On an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus: Press and hold both the Side and Volume Down buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery-mode screen.
    • On an iPhone 6s and earlier, iPad, or iPod touch: Press and hold both the Home and the Top (or Side) buttons at the same time. Keep holding them until you see the recovery-mode screen.
  3. When you see the option to Restore or Update, choose Restore.
  4. iTunes will download software for your device. If it takes more than 15 minutes, your device will exit recovery mode and you’ll need to repeat steps 2 and 3.
  5. Wait for the process to finish. Then you can set up and use your device.

 


Engage with us

If you happen to have a problem with your own iPhone, let us know about it and we will do our best to post them and their solutions  in our upcoming articles. You can use this link to contact us for assistance. We can’t guarantee an answer to every question but rest assured that we will exhaust everything on our end to help you.

Be as detailed as possible when describing your problem to help us diagnose your issue easily. If you can include error messages, popups, attempted troubleshooting steps, and circumstances leading to the problem, that would be very helpful.

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