What is a Backup Password?
Both iMazing and iTunes give you the option to encrypt your device's local backups. In order to access data in a backup, or to restore a backup to another device, you may be prompted to enter your backup password.
This password is specific: it can be different from your device's passcode, which unlocks your device, or your Apple ID password.
The backup encryption password is set per device and is stored on the device itself. It will then be used to encrypt ALL future local backups of the device. Because of this, if you set a backup password in iTunes, and later back up with iMazing, your iMazing backup will be encrypted with the same password as your iTunes backup, and vice versa.
The following Apple support entry is specifically dedicated to backup encryption, and covers lost passwords too: https://support.apple.com/en-is/HT203790
What to do if you forgot the password?
Without your backup password, you will still be able to backup your device, but not browse the contents of your backups or restore them. Backup encryption is a very important Apple security feature that thankfully we cannot bypass.
Try known passwords
- Common passwords include:
- Apple ID password
- iPhone or iPad Passcode
- Main e-mail password
- Your computer user account's password
- Simple passwords such as 0000 or 1234
Keep in mind that you might have set this password a LONG time ago, so don't hesitate to try your older passwords.
As passwords are per device, if you bought your device second hand, or were given the device, it may be that it wasn't properly reset by the previous owner. In that case, maybe the password wasn't actually set by you. If your device is a corporate device, a default backup password may also have been set - ask IT.
Reset the password by erasing the device
There is only one known workaround to reset the backup password but keep your data:
- Make sure iCloud Backup is enabled on your device (Settings app->iCloud->iCloud Backup->On)
- Make sure the iCloud Backup completes. Leaving your device charging a whole night whilst connected to a strong Wi-Fi network is a good idea. You can check the backup's status on your device and on iCloud.com.
- Erase the device fully (Settings app->General->Reset->Erase all Content and Settings).
- Restore the iCloud backup. The setup assistant will offer to do so when you set up your erased device.