Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does This Do?

Pinfinder has one job - To try and figure out the restrictions or screen time passcode used with an iOS device (iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch) in the event you forget it. See the About Page for more information.

How Do I Change my Restrictions/Screen Time Passcode

For iOS 12 or later: You can find the setting for the restrictions passcode by loading the Settings app on your device and going to the General followed by the Restrictions section.

Is iOS 13 or 14 supported?

iOS 13 and later (released in September 2019) is not supported at the current time.

iOS 13 does not include a copy of the passcode in the iTunes backup (even an encrypted one), therefore pinfinder cannot recover it.

The latest versions of iOS 13 and onwards allow you to recover your passcode by going to "Settings" -> "Screen Time" -> "Change Screen Time Passocde" and "Forgot Passcode" - entering your apple id and password should then let you enter a new passcode.

Alternatively, you can remove the code by turning off "find my iphone", taking an encrypted backup and then erasing and restoring it. See the "How to recover your Screen Time passcode or restrictions passcode from an iTunes or iCloud backup with iOS 13" on the iPhone Backup Extractor site for more details.

Pinfinder tells me my passcode is "none"

A couple of things to check:

  • Be sure that you're using the "Backup" button in iTunes, rather than "Sync"
  • If you're trying to recover the passcode for a child's device, you must backup the child's device itself, not the parent's - Even if the passcode was originally set on the parent's device.

Is This Really Free?

Yes. It's Free Software - You can download the code that makes it work, change it and generally do what you like with it; this way you can have confidence that it's not doing anything untoward with your device or data - Far more than any commercial program.

It contains no ads, does not transmit any data anywhere - It just does one thing - Attempt to recover your lost restrictions passcode.

It you like it, and it helps you out - I'd really appreciate it if you'd consider donating a few dollars to say thanks, bearing in mind that buying a commercial program to do the same cost cost you as much as $50!

Will It Work on My Computer/Device

Pinfinder works for iPhones, iPads and iPod touches running iOS 8 or higher (including iOS 12).

The software will run on Windows, Apple Mac or Linux computers (and if you compile it yourself, on BSD etc too!)

What If My iTunes Backup is Encrypted?

As of version 1.6.0, pinfinder can recover passcodes from encrypted backups - But you must know the password used to make that backup in the first place!

If you want to recover your screen time password from iOS 12, your backup *must* be encrypted (itunes does not store the screen time backup in an unencrypted backup).

I Forgot My Encryption Password!

If you forget your encryption password used with iTunes, you'll need to follow the instructions here to reset the password.

I Don't Know my Unlock Code

Pinfinder will only recover the restrictions passcode, used to limit which applications and settings can be used by third parties (such as kids) on your devices. It cannot recover the code used to unlock the device (even the FBI apparently doesn't have a good answer to that!).

What if I my device is running iOS 6 or older?

Pinfinder only works with devices running iOS 7 through 12. For old devices running iOS 5 or 6, I recommend using the free version of iPhone Backup Extractor, which can change the passcode to something else.

I'm told by the team there that the following works:

	    using the expert mode, expand Home > Library > Preferences > right-click
	    on com.apple.springboard.plist and open it with iPBE plist viewer. Scroll
	    down to SBParentalControlsPIN and it should have a string beneath
	    with the PIN in plain text
	    

The site also has instructions on how to do this manually, but it's much easier just to use the above software (reach out to support@reincubate.com if you get really stuck with that!)

It Didn't Work For Me

Oh no! I'd love to know why it didn't work for you. Please either open a ticket providing a screenshot of what happend, or run pinfinder from the command line with the -diag option:

pinfinder -diag
which will generate a file called
pinfinder-debug.zip
on your Desktop or in your home directory that contains the file pinfinder was trying to analyze (it only contains your hashed passcode) and some other diagnostic information. If you're comfortable sharing that (and please unzip the file and take a look inside first to be sure!), email it to me at gareth@omnipotent.net and I'll take a look.