How to fix iTunes backup password glitch

Apple is known for an abundance of simplistic, but useful features. And somewhere in between the important part is reserved for iTunes desktop client. If you are downloading something, updating system or performing backup, iTunes is much faster and more reliable way than standard procedures via the device.

However, even though the Apple techs won’t agree, iTunes is a program and therefore, sustainable to errors. One of those (and users swear that it is not their wrongdoing) must be the backup password glitch. So today, we’ll try to inform you about this annoyance and give you some guidelines on how to fix it. But, don’t be too optimistic about past backups. They are probably unreachable without the proper password.

What to do if iTunes asks for a password when you try to retrieve backup?

First, let us introduce the problem to users that are not sure what we are talking about. As you already know, the iTunes desktop app can be used for synchronizing your iPhone/iPad with the PC or MAC. Moreover, you can use it to backup files and encrypt them. And that is the point where some users get into a lot of trouble.

Namely, some users encountered a grave problem when tried to Restore from iTunes backup. They were prompted for a password confirmation. They tried all kind of different passwords (iTunes password, Apple ID, lock screen password etc.) but the result was always the same. Wrong password. Well, kudos to Apple security measures but many of them are sure that they didn’t set any password whatsoever. Or even encrypted backup files.

And these are the possible reasons for this issue:

  • You’ve indeed forgotten your password. Have in mind that the password may be set a long time ago.
  • You accidentally check Encrypt Backup box when backing up your data. Because of that, the data can be retrieved only with the password.
  • The iTunes client set the password on its own. That is hard to believe but everything is possible.

What to do? Firstly, try out any password you can think of. Even the ones you are certain you haven’t used. Try 0000 or 1234. When you’ve depleted all passwords, you have only 2 options.

  • Use iCloud backup instead of iTunes.
  • Delete certain password files from the device (this is not guaranteed on iOS 9 or 10). Not advised since it can lead to a variety of issues.

Use Cloud to restore backup and ignore iTunes Encryption password shenanigans

Creating new backup:

  1. Open Settings.
  2. Tap iCloud.
  3. Choose to Enable iCloud.
  4. Start backup process.
  5. Wait for the process to finish. It can take a while.
  6. Have in mind that you won’t be able to access this backup through iTunes backup client.

Restoring/Setting up a new device from iCloud (trough iTunes client):

  1. Install the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Connect your iPhone/iPad to PC.
  3. Start iTunes app.
  4. Click on device and choose Restore.
  5. Enter the iCloud password and restore from iCloud.
  6. Once the restoring process is finished, unplug your device.
  7. Go to Settings > iCloud and disable iCloud backup.
  8. Connect the phone again and backup via iTunes.
  9. You can check the Encrypted backup box.
  10. Create password. Make sure you write it down or save it with password manager of some kind.
  11. Finish backup.

Maybe you can’t reach an old backup you’ve wanted but at least you can use iTunes for local backup again. Moreover, we strongly advise you not to use applications or programs for password retrieving. They are all false and may damage your device.

We hope you’ll manage to overcome your issues with these workarounds. In case you have any questions or suggestions, please share them in the comments section.


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