This tutorial will show you how to recover or reset the Restrictions Passcode on your iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad. Previously, we have shown you how to use the Restrictions feature on iOS to disable features like in-app purchases, location services etc. using a Restrictions Passcode. Last night I tried to get rid of a few restrictions and to my greatest horror, I realized I could not recall the passcode I had used.
Unfortunately, there is no easy way to recover or reset your iPhone’s Restrictions Passcode. At least none that I could find documented by Apple. Restoring to a previous backup will not get rid of the passcode and the only other option would be to setup iPhone as a new device. All this at the cost of losing some data and also a lot of time and effort restoring your iOS device.
So let me share a simple method to recover the Restrictions Passcode, that will take no more than five minutes. You just need access to the computer the iOS device was synced to.
This tutorial is meant for Mac users only. Download iPhone Backup Extractor for Mac OS X from here. It’s a free application to read iPhone or iPod Touch backups made by iTunes.
After extracting the archive, launch the app and click on Read Backups. Select the iOS device whose Passcode you need to recover and click on Choose.
Now, you should be able to see a list of Apps that have been backed up. Scroll down to select iOS Files and then click on Extract. This process will take a few minutes. Browse to the location you specified for extracting iOS Files and navigate to iOS Files > Library > Preferences
Look for the file called com.apple.springboard.plist and open it in Property List Editor.
The file should have a key titled SBParentalControlsPin and the Value for this item is exactly what we were looking for. Our missing 4 digit Restrictions Passcode.
Now, go ahead and enable/disable restrictions on your iOS device using the recovered passcode.
Tip for Users with Jailbroken iPhones:
If you have a jailbroken iOS device you can also navigate to var/mobile/Library/Preferences/ to access the file mentioned above. You can either use OpenSSH to access this file via Wi-Fi or use iPhone explorer utility to access the file using the USB cable.
You can try this in case you don’t have immediate access to the iPhone backup files. Of course, this method won’t work on non jailbroken devices as access to system files is disabled on them.