Many iPhone owners rely on iTunes backup encryption to keep their files and password safe. However, there may come a time when you want to disable the encryption function.
How do you proceed? What is the best way to turn off encrypt iPhone backup in iTunes?
We answer these questions and more in this ultimate guide to deactivating backup encryption on iOS.
How iTunes backup encryption works
You should encrypt your backup data because of security reasons. Losing a device can be tragic, but falling into wrong hands can result in identity theft or stolen bank accounts.
Encrypting your backup data prevents the information from being accessed by an unknown party.
Apple has a built-in encryption service that you can use, so you don't need third-party software to safeguard your backup data.
iTunes is an application from Apple that helps users sync, upload, and backup data from their Apple device (iPhone, iPad, or iPod).
One of the interesting options available in iTunes is to encrypt the backup data that is stored on the PC. These backups typically include the following information:
- Wi-Fi Settings
- Call History
- Saved Passwords
- Website History
However, encrypted backup data doesn’t include the following:
- Face ID
- Touch ID
- Device (iPhone, iPad, and iPod) passcode data
It’s possible to safeguard backup data by using password protection and encryption. In the Finder or iTunes, there's an option called "Encrypt local backup" that locks and encodes the information.
You’ll need to use it, as Apple does not encrypt your backup data by default. Once you’ve selected the option, all the backups of your device will be encrypted moving forward.
How do I check that my backup is encrypted?
When the user encrypts their data for the first time, the combination of the data is saved on the device. The saved data will be considered as the default password for the backup.
You will only find out if the backup data is encrypted when you would need to restore the Apple device.
However, there's another way to check if your backup data is encrypted. You can check the Finder or iTunes for whether you've set up the 'Encrypt local backup' option to encrypt your backups.
In the Summary or General tab, there will be a tick on the checkbox. Additionally, you can also check if a specific backup has been encrypted by taking the following steps:
- From your Mac that has macOS Catalina 10.15 or above, launch the Finder > General tab > then click on Manage Backups. You can find a list of all your backups.
- For macOS Mojave 10.14 or before can open iTunes (works for PC users as well) and click on the Edit from the navbar > click on the Preferences tab > Device tab. If you see a lock icon next to the backup. Then, it means the backup is encrypted.
Remove iPhone backup encryption without Password
You can easily remove or disable the encryption option from the settings inside the iTunes app.
As you attempt to do so, you’ll be prompted to enter the backup encryption password. If you remember the password, enter it in the field and continue.
But for those who can’t recall the right password, it's impossible to disable the encryption option from iTunes.
You would need a third-party tool to assist you in removing the iPhone backup encryption password.
Unlockit – iPhone screen Unlocker is the preferred choice for many iOS users. It can help you to delete the iTunes backup password with a few clicks.
Download and install the latest version of the Unlockit (100% safe and secure) on your computer and follow the guide below:
Step 1. Launch Unlockit. On the main interface, click on the 'Remove iTunes Backup Encryption' button,
Step 2. Then connect your iPhone or iPad to the computer. Unlockit will automatically detect the device. (If the device is not detected then, disconnect and connect the device again.).
Step 3. Now click on the 'Start' button and continue. Note: Make sure the 'Find My iPhone' feature is disabled while you perform these steps.
Step 3. Wait for the process to complete. During this time, do not remove the iPhone from the computer. Once the software disables the password, you can check if the encryption backup password is removed.
You will now have the option to either disable the backup encryption in iTunes or create a new password for the backup.
Disable iTunes backup encryption with password
You might want to disable the backup encryption feature on your iTunes if it annoys you, you cannot remember the backup encryption password, or you're worried that the saved information cannot be restored on a different device.
Apple does not have an option to disable encryption from your iOS device, iPhone, or iPad. It means that you won’t be able to disable the encryption from the Settings tab from your iPhone.
However, there are few other ways to disable the encrypted backup from iPad or iPhone:
- Reset all the settings from your device and create a new backup. Note: Resetting the device can erase all the data and without the backup password, you will not be able to restore it.
- Use the iTunes app to disable the encryption backup password.
Check out the below instructions on how to uncheck the backup encryption service in iTunes:
- Launch the iTunes app and then connect the iPhone or iPad to the computer.
- From the iTunes window, go to the 'Summary' tab > iPhone settings. Now uncheck the option 'Encrypt iPhone backup.'
- Enter the encryption password when prompted, then click the 'OK' button to proceed.
- A backup would be created by iTunes for your Apple device. The newly created backup data will not be encrypted.
You have now successfully turned off the encrypt iPhone backup option from the iTunes application.
Encrypting backup data is useful for protecting your sensitive information like bank account credentials and social media passwords.
But when you don't remember the encryption password, using a third-party tool becomes a necessity.
Using random software can cause harm to your device, therefore, we suggest using the Unlockit tool. The tool is 100% safe and comes with easy-to-use instructions.
You can also use the Unlockit tool to recover the password if you wish to use the iTunes backup encryption service.