How to Recover a Forgotten iPhone Restrictions Passcode

Kelly Heffner Wilkerson, Co-Founder of Decipher Media
Kelly Heffner Wilkerson

Categories: iPhone | View Comments

My sister-in-law asks some of the best iPhone questions. Yesterday she asked me:

Do you know how to reset a restrictions passcode? I seem to have forgotten it.

We then waded through tons of webpages with totally outdated information about how to find out the restrictions passcode. They probably worked several years ago, but not in iOS 10 or iOS 11. Half of the descriptions were also pretty darn hard to read, even for me, and I work on iPhone data for my job!

So here is my contribution to the world of forgotten iPhone restrictions passcode tutorials.

Since about iOS 8, the restrictions PIN itself is no longer stored in an iPhone backup. However, the verification for the restrictions passcode is stored instead, much like how a website wouldn't store your passcode for your account, but instead stores information to verify it.

The good news if you forgot your iPhone restrictions passcode is that it's really easy to have a computer guess and check it for you. The passcode is only four digits, which is a small search space for a computer, and the steps to verify the passcode against the info stored in an iTunes backup are fast. (This is why iOS built a delay in allowing you to guess the restrictions passcode on the iPhone itself.)

We've built a little iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch restrictions passcode recovery tool, and put it into the free trial version of Decipher Backup Browser. You don't need to purchase a license code to use the restrictions passcode guesser.

Download Decipher Backup Browser and make a backup of the iPhone with the restrictions passcode if you don't have a backup already.

How to recover a forgotten iPhone restrictions passcode:

  1. Click on the backup of your iPhone in the left column of Decipher Backup Browser.

  2. Select "Restrictions Passcode Cracker" from the center column.

  3. After a few seconds, your iPhone restrictions passcode will show in the right column.

Decipher Backup Browser showing iPhone restrictions passcode after the passcode was forgotten.