Use it or lose it

There’s a commonly known piece of information that pretty much everyone knows… use it or lose it.  It applies to foreign languages, computer language, cooking techniques… all sorts of things.

Things like the code to unlock restrictions on an iPhone!

It’s true.  I forgot.

The Ace (the older of the two boys) has an iPhone.  I wanted to make sure he wasn’t getting into things he shouldn’t.  The iPhone has pretty good restrictions to block things like installing apps, access to YouTube and use of the camera.

The problem comes when you decide to reward the child by allowing more freedoms on the phone and removing some restrictions.  When you haven’t written down the code and haven’t put the code in since Christmas (six months ago), you have a tendency to forget it.

I went looking for how to reset or recover the code.  I found lots of articles about how to remove the passcode for the phone if you forget that.  (Just restore from your last backup.)  But nothing about the restrictions passcode.

Finally, after a tremendous amount of digging and a bit of luck, I came across an article that explains how to find the restrictions passcode.

If you look at your backup files, you will find one that contains the code in clear text.

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/
  • Windows XP: \Documents and Settings\(username)\Application Data\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\
  • Windows Vista and Windows 7: \Users\(username)\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\

You’ll notice in the screenshot below, I’ve indicated the code.  In your files, the code might be somewhere else.  There might be several four digit characters sprinkled around the file.  Your code is one of them.

Good luck!

Here, you can see that the code is 4942.  I put that into the boy’s phone and voila!  Success!

FWIW:  The file you’re looking for is:  662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b – If you’ve gone and encrypted your backups, you’re probably screwed.  Sorry.

FWIW 2:  4942 is not the real code.  Sorry boy.

Scroll To Top