About encrypted backups on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

To protect backups of your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch on your computer, you can use password protection and encryption. 

When you encrypt the backup for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

The "Encrypt local backup" option in the Finder or iTunes will lock and encode your information. Encrypted backups can include information that unencrypted backups don't:

  • Your saved passwords
  • Wi-Fi settings
  • Website history
  • Health data
  • Call history

Encrypted backups don't include Face ID, Touch ID or device passcode data.

Your backup isn't encrypted by default. To encrypt a backup in the Finder or iTunes for the first time, turn on the password-protected "Encrypt local backup" option. Backups for your device will be encrypted automatically from then on. You can also make a backup in iCloud, which will encrypt your information automatically every time.

Encrypt your backups

  1. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, open the Finder. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC, open iTunes.
  2. Connect your device to your computer with the included USB cable. Then locate your device on your computer.
  3. From the General tab or the Summary tab, select "Encrypt local backup" under the Backups section. 
    Dialogue box showing your device on your computer and the status of your device's backups.
  4. When asked, create a password. Create one that you'll remember or write it down and store it safely, because there's no way to use your backup without this password. If you've forgotten your password, find out what to do.

After you've confirmed your password, your backup will start and immediately overwrite and encrypt your previous backups. When the process has finished, make sure your encrypted backup has been completed successfully:

  1. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, open the Finder, click the General tab, then click Manage Backups. You should see a list of your backups. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC with iTunes, from the menu bar at the top of the iTunes window, choose Edit > Preferences, then click the Devices tab.
  2. You should see a lock lock icon next to your device's name and the date and time that the backup was created.
    Device backups dialogue box showing device name, a lock, today's date and current time.
  3. Click OK to close the backup window.

Check if your backups are encrypted

If you've set up the Finder or iTunes to encrypt your backups, the "Encrypt local backup" box in the General or Summary tab will be ticked.

You can also see whether a specific backup is encrypted:

  1. On a Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later, open the Finder, click the General tab, then click Manage Backups. You should see a list of your backups. On a Mac with macOS Mojave 10.14 or earlier, or on a PC with iTunes, from the menu bar at the top of the iTunes window, choose Edit > Preferences, then click the Devices tab.
  2. Look for a lock lock icon next to the backup. If you see a lock lock icon, the backup is encrypted.
  3. Click OK to close the backup window.

Turn off backup encryption

To turn off backup encryption, untick the "Encrypt local backup" box in the Finder or iTunes and enter the password. If you can't remember your password, you have two options:

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Contact the vendor for additional information.

Published Date: