Forgot Your Restrictions Passcode? How to Reset It Without Restoring Your iPhone or iPad

If you forgot your Restrictions passcode, you’ve probably scoured the internet for a solid answer on how to recover it. Most articles on resetting a Restrictions passcode involve restoring your iPhone, but that method hasn’t worked for quite some time. If you don’t know your Restrictions passcode, you can recover it surprisingly easily using a free online program and our easy-to-follow how-to. There’s a good reason to set an iPhone Restrictions passcode, but Apple doesn’t offer any “forgot your Restrictions passcode?” fail-safes to make recovering your passcode obvious. In fact, I haven’t found a way to recover a forgotten Restrictions passcode other than the method below. But no worries, we’ll go through it step-by-easy-step. Here’s how to reset Restrictions passcode without restoring your iPhone.

Related: How to Find Your iPhone Even If It’s Dead (with & without Find My iPhone)

Restricting the use of certain apps and settings is one of the iPhone's best features, but forgetting your Restrictions passcode makes it almost impossible to disable Restrictions without this work-around. Restrictions on iPhone or iPad is Apple's answer to parental controls. It allows you to set limits on what your children can do and access on your iPhone or iPad. However, it's not fun when you forget your Restrictions passcode, but we’ll make it as easy as possible to reset Restrictions when you don’t know the password.

How to Reset Restrictions if You Don’t Remember the Passcode

  • First you need to back up your iPhone to iTunes on your computer, and make the backup unencrypted. You need to do this for two reasons:
    • 1) If something goes wrong, you'll be able to restore your iPhone.
    • 2) We’ll use the iTunes backup of your iPhone that’s stored on your computer to figure out the Restrictions passcode you forgot.
  • To back up your iPhone to iTunes, simply plug your iPhone into your computer and open iTunes.
  • Select the little phone icon near the top that appears when you plug in your iPhone.
  • Under Backups, select This computer and make sure Encrypt iPhone Backup is not checked.
  • Click Back Up Now.

Once that’s prepared:

  • Open the file that downloads and install the program to your Applications folder (on Macs).

  • Then open the program iBackupBot. It’s going to load the backup information for your device. This may take some time.
  • *If error messages pop up while iBackupBot is loading your info, just tap Ok. It will still load what it can and the info we need will be there regardless.
  • Once it finishes loading your info, you’ll see the folder for your iPhone near the top. Within that folder, select the System Files folder.

  • From the list, select the folder HomeDomain.

  • Open the Library folder.

  • Open Preferences.

  • In the search bar, type com.apple.re and tap enter on your keyboard.
  • Find the one that says com.apple.restrictionspasscode.plist. Click on it.

  • A window will pop up asking for your registration information. Simply press Ok. Press Ok again. Then select Cancel. The information you need will pop up.
  • Now open up a new browsing window and go to http://ios7hash.derson.us/.
  • Go back to iBackupBot and copy the code under Restrictions Password Key. Then paste it into the proper spot on the iOS7hash website. Do the same for Restrictions Password Salt.

  • On the website, leave the Starting Passcode at 0000 and the Last Search Code at 9999.
  • Click on Search for Code. This will take some time as it searches through the possible codes. For example, if your code was 1111, it won’t take as long to get to that possibility. But if your code was 7865, it’s going to take a while before it gets to that number.

  • When it figures out the code, a window will pop up with your four digit Restrictions passcode.

This worked seamlessly for me, and it’s the only legitimate way to recover your forgotten Restrictions passcode that I’ve been able to find. Now you can open Restrictions on your iPhone, enter the passcode, and change what you need to or turn Restrictions off. This tip works for iOS 7, 8, 9, and 10. My iPhone is running iOS 10.2.1 and I had no issues following the process and getting my Restrictions passcode. The only small issue I had was closing iBackupBot when I was finished, but I simply right clicked on the icon, selected Quit, and restarted my computer to close it out completely.

How to Turn Off Restrictions on iPhone

  • On your iPhone, open the Settings app.
  • Tap General.
  • Select Restrictions.

  • Enter the passcode you just got using the information above.
  • Tap Disable Restrictions. Re-enter your passcode.
 
 
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Jim Karpen holds a Ph.D. in literature and writing, and has a love of gizmos. His doctoral dissertation focused on the revolutionary consequences of digital technologies and anticipated some of the developments taking place in the industry today. Jim has been writing about the Internet and technology since 1994 and has been using Apple's visionary products for decades.