Enter the password to unlock your iPhone backup error? How to fix

If you’ve just got yourself a new iPhone and you are trying to restore your data from backup, you may have come across a prompt asking you to “Enter your password to unlock your iPhone backup.” You may have unsuccessfully tried to log in with your iTunes password or any other password you know. If this is the reason you are here, then we have a solution for you.

Before we dig deep on how to deal with “the password you entered to unlock your iPhone backup is incorrect” text, why does iTunes ask for a password to unlock iPhone backup?

Why does this prompt appear?

When you first create a backup on your iPhone, the encryption software will prompt you for a password. Once you create a password, your backup will be encrypted and password-protected. Every time you need to access your backup from a different device, you will be required to enter that password.

Your iTunes backup recovery can be quite hectic if you don’t remember your password. But that is what this guide is designed to help you with. We’ll show you exactly how you can work around this issue.

Solutions to the “enter the password to unlock your iPhone backup” error

Try any of the following solution that have worked for many people when it comes to fixing this problem.

Try out all possible passwords

Is there a default password for iTunes backup? Well, there isn’t one. However, you must have used one of your passwords to create this backup.

Before you we get into other methods of accessing iTunes, make sure that you have tried out different passwords. Some of the possible hints could be:

  • Special days like birthdays or wedding days
  • Windows or Mac passcodes
  • Common passcodes e.g 0000
  • Your Apple ID or iTunes Store passwords
  • Blank spaces

If you bought your iPhone from someone, he or she must have used an iTunes backup password before. Make sure to get in touch with them to find out if they can remember.

Remember that there is no way to recover your encrypted password and without it, you can lose your iTunes backup. If this process doesn’t work for you, one of the following options should work.

Use iCloud

iCloud Backup

If you have your backup saved to iCloud, you can use this option to restore it to a new iPhone. If you hadn’t created a backup, follow these steps:

  • Connect your previous device to the internet using a Wi-Fi connection
  • Open Settings > [your name] > iCloud > iCloud Backup and make sure your backup is turned ON
  • Tap Back Up Now and wait for the process to finish

Once you have created your backup, follow these steps to restore it to a new iPhone:

  • Switch on your new device and connect to a Wi-Fi network
  • Follow the prompts until you see the Apps & Data screen
  • You should see Restore from iCloud backup among the options
  • Sign in using your Apple ID and password and choose the right backup
  • Wait for the process to finish

Reset your encryption passcode

This method will only work if you are using iOS 11 or later. Follow this process to reset your passcode and settings:

  • Open the iOS device that you intend to start using
  • Go to Settings > General > Reset
  • Tap Reset All Settings
  • Enter your iOS passcode when prompted
  • Follow the wizard to reset your settings and remove the encryption passcode
  • Wait for the process to finish then open iTunes
  • Connect your device to iTunes and set a new encryption backup

While you won’t recover your data through this process, you will have removed the backup prompt. You can then use other methods such as iCloud or manual transfer to copy your data to the new device.

Recover your password using Keychain

If you are on a Mac your password may be in your MacOS. So, you can check for the password in the Mac key chain because your backup password might be there. To open the Keychain Access, follow these steps.

  • From the Applications/Utilities, open Keychain Access. Or you can search for the Keychain program in the spotlight.
  • In the categories, choose “All Items”
  • Next, enter the iPhone to search in the upper-right corner
  • Now, press the Application Password named iPhone Backup. Select show password to see the password. Also, the system may require you to enter the macOS to access the backup password.

Using any of the above process can help you to remove the iTunes backup recovery prompt. However, in some cases you will be able to unlock iPhone backup, while in some you won’t. Despite the process you use, make sure to save your iTunes backup passcode to avoid experiencing the same problem again.