How to remove a Screen Time passcode on iOS 13

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How to disable the Screen Time passcode on iOS 13

The process will disable Screen Time on an iOS device (and, optionally, on every other iOS device and Mac on the same Apple ID). It will also reset the password, so if Screen Time is re-enabled, you'll be prompted to choose a new passcode.

  1. Download and install iPhone Backup Extractor (works on Windows & Mac), then open it.

  2. Connect your iPhone or iPad with a USB cable, and select it from iPhone Backup Extractor's left-hand menu.

  3. Choose the "Utilities" tab and click "Screen Time recovery". That'll open a wizard, prompting you with the next steps.

    iPhone Backup Extractor's "Screen Time recovery" option
    iPhone Backup Extractor's "Screen Time recovery" option

  4. The wizard will prompt you to temporarily disable Apple's "Find My" service on your iPhone, in Settings[iCloud account name]Find MyFind my iPhone. You'll need your Apple ID password to do this. Once the process has completed, you'll be able to re-enable it. (Note there's no need to remove your device from your iCloud account.)

    The Screen Time removal wizard for iOS 13
    The Screen Time removal wizard for iOS 13

  5. Click the "Recover" button. After a short while your phone will restart. When your iPhone or iPad completes its restart, it will appear back at the iOS setup screen.

    Your data is still on your phone, so choose Don't transfer apps and data and don't tell it to restore. It'll ask you a series of setup questions, and you can answer "Continue" on each of them to preserve the options you'd already set.

    If you choose "Continue" on the Screen Time dialog, it will disable Screen Time on your device and on every iOS device and Mac associated with your Apple ID. If you choose "Set up later", it will only disable it on the device that was just reset.

Here's a video showing the phone completing its restart. It now has Screen Time disabled, and because the user clicked "Continue", it also disables Screen Time on their Mac, too.

With that, you're all done.

ps. Don't forget to re-enable "Find My" in your device's Settings menu. 👍

How to recover your Screen Time passcode on iOS 13 by restoring an older backup

  1. Ensure you have recent encrypted iPhone backup.

  2. Before proceeding, turn off “Find my iPhone” in Settings[iCloud account name]Find MyFind my iPhone

  3. Connect the phone to iTunes with its USB cable, and click "Restore iPhone...". This will trigger iTunes to download the latest firmware for your phone, before erasing it and updating it. It is really important you have a backup before doing this.

    iTunes confirming the restore choice
    iTunes confirming the restore choice

    Choosing "Restore iPhone" in iTunes
    Choosing "Restore iPhone" in iTunes

    iTunes will double-check you've got a recent backup:

    iTunes asking to back up before a restore
    iTunes asking to back up before a restore

  4. Once the firmware upgrade has completed, iTunes will ask you to choose a backup to restore from. Select the backup you made earlier and restore it. Once it is restored, you phone will be how it was -- but without the Screen Time passcode.

On an older version of iOS? Remove parental controls from your iPhone or iPad with 2 clicks

Can’t remember your restriction passcode for some of the apps installed? Want to access the App Store and forgot your restrictions PIN? Do you want to avoid a factory reset of your iPhone or iPad?

We've found a way of resetting your forgotten restrictions passcode that'll work nicely on your iTunes backup. With iPhone Backup Extractor, you can also recover your restrictions passcode from older iTunes or iCloud backups. If you've lost or forgotten the restrictions passcode to your iPhone or iPad, there's an easy way to reset.

The Restrictions PIN can be found with iPhone Backup Extractor in any encrypted or unencrypted iTunes or iCloud backup of your iPhone or iPad, if parental controls are enabled. The restrictions passcode can be reset to 1234 with a click in our app, and a restore.

Reset forgotten restrictions passcode for any Apple device

Until recently, it was necessary to manually extract and edit the com.apple.springboard.plist file to reset your restrictions passcode. We've made this process much easier: iPhone Backup Extractor completely automates the process for you. All you need do is:

  • Make an iTunes or iCloud backup of your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch

  • Download and run iPhone Backup Extractor (works on Windows and Macs)

  • Open your backup with iPhone Backup Extractor

  • Click the “Utilities” menu and select "Reset restrictions PIN". The restriction passcode in the backup will be changed to 1234.

    Reset the restrictions passcode with a single click!
    Reset the restrictions passcode with a single click!

  • A popup will ask you whether you want to continue the process or not. Click on “Yes” and wait a few seconds. Your new passcode will be 1234.

    Reset passcode popup
    Reset passcode popup

  • Now you have to restore the modified iTunes backup on your iPhone. Just connect it to your computer and restore it with iTunes using these instructions. Once restarted, your iPhone’s parental controls passcode will become 1234 and you will be able to unlock it.

    Succesfully reset the parental restrictions passcode on an iPhone
    Succesfully reset the parental restrictions passcode on an iPhone

How to reset restrictions PIN from an iTunes backup manually -- for free

Use the instructions below to reset the restrictions PIN to 1234 on an iPad or an iPhone. If you decided to reset your passcode using this method, these are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Create a backup in iTunes while your restrictions passcode is enabled. Because we're doing this by hand, it's a lot easier if the backup isn't unencrypted. (It's better to keep your backup encrypted and use the automated method earlier in this guide.)

  2. Browse to the default backup folder (usually C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup\ on Windows or ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync on macOS). You could also run iPhone Backup Extractor and right-click on your backup before choosing "Show in Finder" or "Open in Explorer" to open your backup's folder.

  3. Take a backup copy of the file 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b as this is the one we'll be editing -- and you want a backup copy in case anything goes wrong...

  4. Use an online SHA-1 hash generator to take a hash of the file 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b - make a note of this hash (it will be something like a6533d4dc9ac9f8af7ba65cb955187f025cfde8b, though it will be different for each backup).

    Hashing the restrictions passcode file -- spooky!
    Hashing the restrictions passcode file -- spooky!

  5. Open the 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b file with iPhone Backup Extractor's Plist editor. Click on View / Edit Plist from the File menu and browse for your .plist file.

  6. Search in the file to make sure there isn't already a line with the text <key>SBParentalControlsPIN</key>. If there is, then the line beneath it (which will read something like <string>1234</string>) contains the PIN.

  7. If the line doesn't exist (which it shouldn't on iOS5 or 6 backups) then search for the line <key>SBParentalControlsEnabled</key>. Below that will be a line saying <true/> which indicates that parental controls are turned on. If the line is missing or says <false/> then parental controls are not enabled -- and changing the PIN won't help.

    Editing the restrictions PIN plist
    Editing the restrictions PIN plist

  8. Assuming the SBParentalControlsEnabled key is <true/>, click on "Edit" and add the following two lines just below the <true/> line:

    <key>SBParentalControlsPIN</key>
    <string>1234</string>

    So the text in the file reads something like this:

    <key>SBParentalControlsEnabled</key>
    <true/>
    <key>SBParentalControlsPIN</key>
    <string>1234</string>
    ...other lines...

    How the Plist editor should look with the lines inserted
    How the Plist editor should look with the lines inserted

  9. Save the amended 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b file, overwriting the old one.

  10. Use the SHA-1 hash generator to make another hash of the 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b file, and make a note of this.

  11. Take a safe backup copy of the Manifest.mbdb file, as we'll now be editing this file.

  12. Open Manifest.mbdb in a hex editor like HxD (free) (or TextPad running in hex mode).

    Editing the manifest with HxD (thanks for the tip, Taylor!)
    Editing the manifest with HxD (thanks for the tip, Taylor!)

  13. Search for the original SHA1 hash you took in step #4 (make sure you're searching in hex mode and not text mode). It’s saying com.apple.springboard.plist or similar - that’s the right bit of text you’re looking for.

  14. Now the tricky bit - you need to overwrite the old hex value with the new one (that you discovered in step #10). In most hex editors you do this by typing over the old value.

    For example, you may see something like this: 72 64 2E 70 6C 69 73 74 FF FF 00 14 38 F1 2D 84 14 0D 32 E3 6E DF D7 62 3F D1 7A 10 11 66 14 70.

    Let's assume the hex you are wanting to change is 38F12D84140D32E36EDF and you're needing to change it to 1234567890abcdef1234.

    The first thing you'd do is find the beginning of the old hex string and then you'd type over the old hex code to end up with something like this: 72 64 2E 70 6C 69 73 74 FF FF 00 14 12 34 56 78 90 AB CD EF 12 34 D7 62 3F D1 7A 10 11 66 14 70.

  15. Save the edited Manifest.mbdb file.

  16. Restore the backup to the iPhone using iTunes - make sure you replace the Manifest.mbdb and 662bc19b13aecef58a7e855d0316e4cf61e2642b files with the modified ones before restoring, if you didn't save them directly into the backup folder after editing them.

  17. Once the phone has restarted at the end of the restore you can now use the PIN 1234 to access the parental controls. Hurrah! 🎉

Drop us a note if you found this guide helpful, or leave a comment if we can help further. Happy passcode resetting! 😀

About the author

Aidan Fitzpatrick founded Reincubate in 2008 after building the world's first iPhone data recovery tool, iPhone Backup Extractor. He's spoken at Google on entrepreneurship, and is a graduate of the Entrepreneurs' Organisation's Leadership Academy.

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Pictured above are members of Reincubate’s team meeting HM Queen Elizabeth Ⅱ at Buckingham Palace, after being awarded the UK’s highest business award for our work with Apple technology. Read our position on privacy, safety and security.

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Comments (69)

I’m trying to recover parental passcode on iPhone 6s Plus. It is restricted from adding apps so cannot add your app to find the password. Any suggestions?

Hi Lisa, our app runs on your PC or Mac, so that shouldn't be a problem. 🙂

Ciao, scusate, anche se ho fatto backup su iTunes quando vado su “Utilità” mi blocca “ripristina restrizioni”. Ho già provato anche con il metodo manuale ma non mi trovava il file delle restrizioni delle password. Potreste aiutarmi con questo problema? Grazie :)

Se stai cercando di recuperare il PIN Screen Time / Restrictions, tieni presente che il passcode può essere ripristinato solo da un backup di iTunes crittografato o direttamente da iPhone, collegandolo al computer con il cavo USB. Non è possibile utilizzare il backup iCloud per il recupero del passcode perché Apple non include il file necessario in questo tipo di backup per motivi di sicurezza.

Raccomando l'uso della funzione di ripristino USB. Basta collegare l'iPhone al computer con il cavo USB, quindi avviare l'Estrattore di backup di iPhone. Vedrai il dispositivo elencato nella barra di navigazione a sinistra, nella sezione DISPOSITIVI CONNESSI. Fare clic su di esso per selezionare, quindi accedere alla scheda Utility e fare clic sull'opzione Screen Time / Restrictions PIN.

Thank you so much for this help... was able to successfully reset my restrictions password on my ipod touch with ios 6.16! This site is crucial for resetting IOS 6 restriction passcode. :mrgreen: :D

p.s. I advise others to leave Itunes open while changing the two files, because my Itunes re-backed up all the files when I opened it again to restore the edited backup. Trying to copy and paste the two edited files into the new backup caused Itunes' backup restore to fail... so I had to do the process all over again. It went a bit quicker the second time though. :)

p.p.s. If you use the HxD hex editor: after you make the two SHA-1 hashes and open the file that it states up there, click Search>Replace... and then copy the HEX value from the first hash, paste it in the "Search for:" box, copy the HEX value from the second hash, paste it in the "Replace with:" box, select "Hex-values" in the "Datatype:" row, and click the "Prompt on replace" checkbox . That should safely find and replace your hex values all at once. :)

Perfect!

I hate Apple products, so thanks to some knowledgeable people and programs such as this by Apple Fans, I was able to fix my kids iPod so there are no more "Parental Restrictions" even though none were ever set. I even had to fight to get the iPod to take the backup I wanted it to (thanks to iTunes), nothing can ever be simple can it?

Great Software! Thank you so much!

Worked perfectly, iPod touch 4th gen iOS 6.1.6. Thank you so so so much!

This took me a while to find but was worth the search and did exactly what it was supposed to do.

Thanks!

HERO MAN

Hi guys, just wanted to share with that i tried this and it worked out fine for me. THANK YOU VERY MUCH for sharing this. You saved my day!

Dude thank you!!! I was skeptical about tweaking code and stuff, but this worked like a charm! It reset the restrictions pass to 1234 and now I can turn them off! I am using Windows 8 btw and I found those files.

I cannot get this to work with 5.1.1. I have have very carefully followed the instructions two separate times. Each time when I go to restore the modified backup, about 2/3 of the way through the restore, it aborts, with an error message that the backup file is corrupted. Does this mean that if I pay for the Home Version that will fail too? I do not want to spend the money for the Home Version only to find it does not work either.

Hi Olga, thanks for commenting. Sorry to read you're running into this problem. If you buy the software it will do it for you safely, as you suggest. And don't forget we have a money back promise. 👍

Worked like a charm for an iPhone 6 running iOS 8.1.3/8.2. Happy wife = happy life.

Two things you should add to the end of your guide:

  1. If you are resetting the PIN, you will need to turn off your iPhone and restart it in Recovery Mode.

  2. You will still need to know the password of the iTunes account used to activate the phone if "Find my iPhone" was enabled.

Also, (if you are using Windows) to minimize headaches, I recommend the HxD hex editor. The search and replacement features are fantastic.

Obrigada!!!!!!!!! Paguei pelo programa mas valeu. Congui a senha de restrições!

🙏

It worked ! (On an 3GS running iOS 6.1.6) Fantastic! Well done and thank you for providing such clear, bomb-proof instructions.

thank you so much this was very helpful

Perfect!

thank sir

Works great for me on iOS 7.1.1!!

I was having a problem while trying to do the process. Here was my problem and how to fix it.

I was converting the file name instead of the whole file.

You rock!! I easily rest my iPod Touch 5th generation's Restriction's PIN using your steps! Thanks a lot.

Hi, My iPad has a two year Apple warranty and my iMac has a three year warranty. I would like two use your product to reset the Restrictions Passcode, but was wondering if it would void my warranty with Apple? Also, would I download the software to my IMac and connect my iPad to the iMac to do reset the code?

Hi Teresa, thanks for asking! This won't affect the warranty of your devices. Yes, you'd run it on a Mac (or PC) with a connected iPhone or iPad.

A long time ago I had setup a restriction code on my iPhone 4 to stop my younger brother from making in-app purchases. But now when I went to reset my device, I couldn't as I realised I had forgotten my restrictions code. I searched online everywhere but I didn't find a way of resetting this code. I had saved a local backup on my Mac and I came across this software. At first I was VERY sceptical of it working but the choice was between losing all my data and taking a leap of faith by paying for the home license. I went for the latter and am I glad! It's worked as promised, resetting my restrictions code to '1234' now I've turned the damn thing off - lesson learned! My phone is running iOS 7.0.6 as of now. If you are in a similar predicament, would definitely recommend!

This worked without issues. It took about 30 minutes. Thanks for the help. iPhone 5S ver.6.1.4 Firmware 3.04.25

Took a bit of fiddling, but got it to work with IOS6 on an iPod Touch. Three things I encountered...

  1. My iTunes was set to automatically back up when I plug in the device, so I ended up editing the files and then needing to do it all again after iTunes immediately overwrote the backup before I could restore from it. After disabling the auto-sync in the iTunes preferences, I was able to restore.

  2. While I've used TextPad for many years and have a full paid license, I could not get it to actually edit the manifest.mbdb file. TextPad kept complaining that the file was Read-Only, even though Windows Explorer did not agree. In the end, HxD-Hexeditor did the trick for me.

  3. Also, the SHA-1 hash generation site above kept giving me 503 errors. (1/20/2014) In the end, I used onlinemd5.com instead, and things were just fine.

Thanks for the help!

Awesome man! You saved my life. Thanks for the trick :D Smoothly worked!

Hey guys, I got stuck on the 16th step.

The problem: after the 15 steps, when I try to restore the backup to the iPhone, iTunes tells me I must turn off "Find my iPhone" app on the iPhone (which is on but I don't have access due to the forgotten Restrictions code). So I cannot restore the backup until it is disabled.

I even reseted my iPhone using my iCloud account, but when I try to restore it form the back up, it brings all the previous settings back to it, including the restrictions code which I don't know.

Is there a way to disable "Find My iPhone" directly from the iCloud website? What should I do? Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Hi TonyZgt, thanks for commenting. Yes, you'll need to know your Apple ID password in order run the restore. If you don't have that password there's a lot of stuff on your phone that will be difficult to use, irrespective of this.

We'd recommend visiting an Apple Store or contacting Apple with proof of purchase of your device. They'll be able to unlock it for you. 👩‍💻

THANKS!! Works also with IOS 7.03

Thanks SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!

AAAAAAWESOME!!! Worked perfectly on my iPhone 5 with iOS 7.0.2. Thanx a lot.

Holy crap, i am so amazed that this worked, even on ios 7.0.2, thank you very much, now i can download apps without my brother spending money again

Thank you soooo much!!! It perfectly works on my iPhone 5 with iOS 7.0.2. Thanks for sharing this precious method.

Thank you soooooooooooooooooo much!!!!

Great! Follow the steps and it's fixed forever. Thank you very much!

Thanks a lot for the instruction.

Worked perfectly on my iPhone 4S with brand new IOS7.

PS: I don't get why step 14 should be that tricky? just prepare the HEX-hash with blanks, copy and paste.

NOT SURE IF I AM JUST HAVING A BLONDE MOMENT AND NOT SEEING IT BUT IF I FOLLW THESE DIRECTIONS.... WILL I LOSE ANY OF MY STUFF THAT IS ON THE PHONE NOW OR WILL IT JUST CHANGE THE RESTRICTIONS CODE?

Don't worry, it'll effectively just change the code!

Amazing.. Worked like a charm. Did this from a Windows 7 box with the same tools for Windows. You did a fabulous job with this guide. My hat is off!

Thank you. Works great with iOS 7 as well!

Have you managed to figure out a workaround for IOS7 yet?

Thanks in advance!

We have, and we've just updated the guide for this. 🙂

YOU ROCK MAN!

THank you thank you SO MUCH! You're a lifesaver!! Thanks! WORKED LIKE A CHARM!

Ohh yeahh!!! After hours of searching! It worked!!! Thank you very much :D

It's a good thing I didn't spent Php 800.00 just to retrieve my passcode. Thanks again, dude!

I don't know who you guys are, but you ROCK! Thanks a bunch.

I used Softonic's hex editor for the mdbd file. I has a neat find-and-replace feature that made editing a piece of cake.

Thanks again.

Thank u

I was able to finally get the program to work. Could not use SRIron browser which is basically Chrome. Had to check for my emailed key in IE and copied it to clipboard which automatically put it in the key field for me. Program is a lifesaver for anyone with an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. I have an iPad 3 and Vista. Worked great! But this time, I wrote down my passcodes so at least I have them somewhere. Nothing is better than the release from stress!

This post made my day. Kudos!

this is amazing service, I am very pleased. thanks greatly

brooke

wow working good.. thank u very much.

Worked great for me! Thanks!

This is awesome and it works. It took 20 minutes of time. I will recommend these steps to everyone.

Thanks a lot.I had enabled the restrictions on while i installed iphone finder.The app suggests to enable it, so iphone finder can`t be uninstalled by other people.

What should I do if my iPad has not been backup before?

Hi Nat: you can create a new backup, and use that. Guidance here.

way a go, just follow the tutorial above and it works!!!

Thanks yaar!!!hv a grt day!!just reset my restction passcode, its amazing!!!

After trying all the steps i can not restore the phone to the modified backup, itunes says the restore cant be made because there is not enough space free on the iphone.

@Paul: Hi, photos and videos take up the most space in the backup and on your phone. You can import media files from the device to your computer from time to time to save space and make your backup smaller. Photos and videos imported this way can always be synced back to the device. Good luck!

Where is a decent Plist editor for Windows? And also, what exactly is making a "safety copy" of something? Where do you put it? Is it just copying/pasting the part that's needed to be safely copied?

Hi Tash, that's right: just copy and pasting the file before you modify it. iPhone Backup Extractor has a built-in Plist editor for this. 🙂

so after i did the "'Extract>Restrictions PIN' and reset your parental controls PIN", do i restore my iphone to that backup? or just unplug the phone and the PIN will be 1234?

Andrea: Hi, the last step is to restore the modified backup to your iPhone. The data from that backup restored means your PIN will be reset to "1234". Don't forget to keep a copy of your original backup in case something goes wrong! Good luck!

I was also succesful! I did in on a Mac (with Mountain Lion), and since I could not use the Mono framework to run the iPhone Backup Extractor, I needed to use some other tools. These were PlistEditPro and Hex Fiend. With those tools and your instruction, it worked on the first attempt! Thanks a lot!

Thanks perfect

IT's just amazing ,i cant believe that it's working prefect ,i was so worried ,even i'm not good programmer to understand these but still i did it and working well ..... Really appreciate ,Thank you

We're really pleased it worked for you Max.

BIG TIME with this tutorial. Works more than well. Thanks a lot you guys.

Windows 8 & Surface Pro.

Thank you, worked perfectly!

On a first try I used WinVi32 as a hex editor and it didn't work: Couldn't restore the backup file (iTunes said it was damaged). Using Hex-Editor MX it worked well. :) Thank you very much for this great tutorial!

Just did this stuff, totally thought it wouldnt work, worked without a hitch, if when your doing it the part where your writing stuff under SBParentalControlsEnabled and it says you have unsuccesful attempts at unlocking it, just write in where he says to and it works fine.

Nice job. Got it on the first try.

After 27 failed attempts at trying to guess a code I don't remember setting, I found (and have bookmarked) this solution. Worked with no issues.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! This post is a lifesaver!!:D :D :D

Woohoo! 💪

Many thanks! It is working perfectly!

Worked like a charm. THANK YOU!

Great piece of work! Thank you for sharing it to us folks who forget their passwords and don't have all that technical knowledge. Good that you are there!

Thanks for your kind feedback.

I'm no computer wizard, and even I could follow your wonderful directions to reset a forgotten 'Restrictions Passcode' in my iPad. THANK YOU. The blogs and forums and Apple Support Communities are still not able to figure this out!

Many thanks, Nelson

Awesome, thanks Nelson. We appreciate any word of mouth support!

Thank you so much. Unbelievable that I was incapable of remember 4 numbers, lol. Thank you, very straight forward and easy to do.


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