Encrypted backup password issue

Discussion in 'iTunes Forum' started by KevinJS, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. KevinJS

    KevinJS
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    Originally posted at iphoneforums.net, repeated here since it may be of use to iPad users.

    Thought I'd better throw this information out here, after having a problem at work.

    As most people know, encrypting a local backup on iTunes saves your passwords, so if you have forgotten any, it's no big deal when you come to switch your info to a new phone. Simply make a backup with the encrypted checkbox, supply a password and set up the new phone from the backup.

    Here's where it gets ugly. Make SURE you don't lose or forget the password for the backup, because there is no way of turning off encryption without it. According to Apple's website, you are out of luck and that's all there is to it.

    If you use a Mac and save your passwords to iCloud Keychain, it's not quite as bad but if you use Windows you're done. The computer can't be used again to backup and restore an iPhone.

    So, either remember that password or don't encrypt, unless you have a good reason for doing so.

    Also, if you are setting phones up for colleagues, try to impress on them the importance of remembering Apple ID passwords etc. I'm tearing my hair out trying to get it through to people that The phone can't be restored without the original AppleID.

    IMO, Apple have dropped the ball big time by having no way out of the encryption issue. People often get themselves into a jam before they ask for help, and it's pretty annoying to have to tell them that they are already beyond help.
     
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  2. scifan57

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    Thanks, Kevin.
     
  3. twerppoet

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    I agree with everything you said, except the conclusion.

    A way out of encryption is the same as saying the encryption is useless. If there is a standard way to break encryption, then it will be discovered and used by the unscrupulous. And while I consider this the lesser of the two evils, if Apple can break your encryption at will, then they can be ordered to do so by law enforcement (with the proper warrants, we hope).

    Security is inconvenient. As far as I can see that is an insoluble paradox. The only questions is whether it's way more inconvenient for the bad guys than the user, and is your data worth the trouble.

    BTW, I'm pretty sure you could use that Windows computer to backup iPads again. At very worst you'd have to completely delete and re-intall iTunes on the Windows computer. Being Windows that probably requires more than dragging the iTunes app to the trash. The backup is gone, of course. That would be true on a Mac as well.

    As for me. I don't use encryption on my backups (though maybe I should). I don't mind going through the extra steps the few times a year I need to restore my iPad.
     
  4. KevinJS

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    It's worse than that @twerppoet. In order to clear the check box for encryption, one must supply the original password. Deleting the backups does not work (although that is quite easy to do), and digging around the Internet for answers doesn't help

    I didn't actually need the backup that had originally been created, since I was attempting to back up a different phone. Backing up this phone automatically encrypted the backup, and iTunes asked me for the password when I attempted to set up the new one from that backup.

    Sorry. That last paragraph reads like mush. Hope you can figure out what I mean.

    It would appear that the password is held in the depths of the Windows registry. Even deleting iTunes and starting with a fresh install apparently doesn't work.

    Note that I wasn't attempting to circumvent the encryption. I was simply trying to make a new backup, with or without encryption in order to transfer the data from a faulty 5c onto a new 5s. This SHOULD have been simple.
     
  5. scifan57

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    Would erasing the hard drive and reinstalling Windows fix the problem?
     
  6. KevinJS

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    Wow. That is one mean sledgehammer to crack a nut!

    Probably would, though. Can't see the registry surviving that kind of treatment.
     
  7. twerppoet

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    Ok. Now I 'think' I understand the problem. Not being a Windows user I've little idea of how to attack this issue.
     
  8. rasmith1959

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    You could use Revo Uninstaller to uninstall iTunes. After the program supplied uninstaller runs, Revo Uninstaller then scans the hard drive for any remnants of the install that were left behind, including registry keys, and removes them. This would be much better that reinstalling Windows... ;-)




    Roy

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