About encrypted backups in iTunes

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

When you encrypt your backups in iTunes

The Encrypt backup feature in iTunes locks and encodes your information. Encrypted iTunes backups can include information that unencrypted iTunes backups don't:

  • Your saved passwords
  • Wi-Fi settings

 

  • Website history
  • Health data

 

iTunes doesn't encrypt your backups by default. To encrypt a backup in iTunes for the first time, you need to turn on the password-protected Encrypt backup option. Then, iTunes automatically makes encrypted backups for that device from then on.

There is no way to recover your information or turn off Encrypt Backup if you lose or forget the password.

You can also make a backup in iCloud, which automatically encrypts your information every time.

Encrypt your iTunes backups

  1. Open iTunes. Make sure that you have the latest version.
  2. Connect your device to your computer with the included USB cable. Your connected device appears as an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch icon in the upper-left corner of the iTunes window. Learn what to do when you don't see the icon
  3. On the Summary screen, select "Encrypt [device] backup" in the Backups section.
    Encrypt your backup in iTunes.
  4. When asked, make a password. Create one you'll remember or write it down and store it safely, because there's no way to use your iTunes backups without this password.
    Make a password for your encrypted iTunes backup.
  5. After you confirm your password, iTunes starts backing up and also immediately overwrites and encrypts your previous backups.

When the process completes, make sure that your encrypted backup finished successfully:

  1. Mac: From the menu bar at the top of your computer screen, choose iTunes > Preferences.
    Windows: From the menu bar at the top of the iTunes window, choose Edit > Preferences.
  2. Click the Devices tab. 
  3. You should see a  Lock to the right of your device's name, and the date and time that iTunes created the backup.

  4. Click OK to close iTunes Preferences.

Check to see if iTunes is already set up to encrypt your backups

If iTunes is set up to encrypt your backups, the Encrypt backup option has a check mark in the Summary pane when you connect your device to iTunes.

Check whether your backup is encrypted in iTunes.

You can also see whether a specific iTunes backup is encrypted:

  1. Mac: From the menu bar at the top of your computer screen, choose iTunes > Preferences.
    Windows: From the menu bar at the top of the iTunes window, choose Edit > Preferences.
  2. Click the Devices tab.
  3. Look for a lock icon next to the backup. If you see a lock icon, the backup is encrypted.
  4. Click OK to close iTunes Preferences.

If you can’t remember the password for your encrypted backup

You can't use an encrypted backup without its password.

When you try to use a backup, you might see a message that says, "The password you entered to unlock your backup was incorrect." If so, one of these things happened in the past:

  • You turned on the iTunes encryption option.
  • Whoever set up your device or transferred your data to a new device turned on the iTunes encryption option.
  • Someone set up an installed profile on your device (often for business or education). If so, contact your system administrator.

If you don't have your password, here's what to do:

  • If someone else set up your device, ask them for the password. 
  • Use an iCloud backup instead of iTunes. If you don't have an iCloud backup, you can make one.
  • If it's still relevant, try using an older iTunes backup.

Turn off iTunes backup encryption

To turn off iTunes backup encryption, uncheck the Encrypted backup box in iTunes and enter the password. If you can't remember your password, you have two options:

Learn more

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