Need to unlock or recover ipad but don't know the password

Posted on 2012-09-04
Last Modified: 2012-10-10
A client's son died tragically and the family would very much like to retrieve the data that is on his ipad, but they do not know the unlock code.  Is there any way to crack it, or any way to access the data "externally"?

they also do not know the icloud password.
they have tried all the "easy" 4-character combinations they know of.
the ipad was NOT backed up to a computer.
Question by:kenlotterman
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    My condolences to the family in this difficult time.

    The only option is to restore the iPad from iTunes. Reinstall the OS and Apps again.
    LVL 2

    Assisted Solution

    Sadly the only way to restore this iPad to working order is to do a hard reset on it and enable the DFU mode to restore it. Then you are able to do a complete restore of the iPad and get it back to factory working order.

    Also try calling Apple to get them to restore the password, you may be able to get them to unlock it for you. Then you could login and restore it through iCloud.

    Please post back.
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    The restore will wipe off all data.
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    Is it an actual password with an alpha-numeric password or is it the 4 digit numeric pin?  If it's the PIN there can only be 10,000 combinations.  I would sit down once a day and go through all of the combinations starting with 0000, 0001, 0002, etc.  As long as the iPad wasn't set to wipe after x number of failed attempts they will eventually get in.

    Another option would be to go to the Apple store with a death certificate and see if they have a "back door" way in.

    It's worth a shot.
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    Not tried it myself but what about using an itunes alternative like Sharepod or CopyTrans Manager or iFunbox to get to the master.passwd file and edit it?
    LVL 14

    Accepted Solution

    There exist a possible but difficult way to hack into your device:
    Emergency ssh into iDevice while in DFU mode:

    But First make sure your device is supported as described in the link.

    Author Comment

    Yes, it is the 4-digit PIN.  

    Progammer-x seems to have offered the most promising solution if the easy solutions like "ask apple if there's a back door" don't work.  Would you also be willing to consider doing all of that for me?  Of course I will pay you going rates.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    by:Hamidreza Vakilian
     one of my friends has written an application which does the process easier. I can contact him if you want and I can help you testing it. Also you may choose to close this question for now.
    LVL 19

    Expert Comment

    Failing Programmers-x's solution, depending on what software version is on there, it might be possible to jailbreak the current software on there.  THIS MEANS WITHOUT reinstalling iOS with itunes.  

    Once jailbroken if it is possible without the password, it would mean you have access to the file structure of the device.  Thus you could then remove the raw files like notes/images/music/video/ email/sms etc.

    Author Closing Comment

    Because my client has been unable to get the ipad back from "impound", and because I don't want this question to go "stale", I'm going to close it.  Apple store genius THINKS there is a way, given the circumstances, for Apple to get into a back door.  Failing that, Programmer-x will get another message from me.  I'll accept both solutions at this point.

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    Author Comment

    programmer-x, are you monitoring this thread?  I may need you after all.  Apple is unable to assist.

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