Am I locked out permanently?

0989382

Suspended
Original poster
Jan 11, 2018
534
365
I refunded my MacBook Pro on Thursday at my local Apple Store.

I had it backed up regularly to a Toshiba 1TB hard drive. It was encrypted via time machines setup wizard option.

Where did I store the key? In my MacBook Pro’s Keychain Access Secure Notes section. I don’t think this is synced with iCloud as nearly all my stuff is now synced to my new Mac and it’s not there..

The key was a long string of random characters and symbols, so I’ll never guess it.

Now, I can’t access it without the key.

Is there anything I can try or do?

Most of my stuff that’s important is on iCloud. But my apps, settings and configurations are all waiting if I could restore from that drive...

If there’s absolutely no way to recover the data then I might as well wipe it.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,408
8,992
California
Hmm... I think you are in bad shape.

That password is stored in the Keychain app. I have iCloud Keychain sync turned on and I just checked and my TM backup password is stored in the Keychain, but it is in the local "login" Keychain and not in the synced iCloud Keychain (which is separate).

Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 6.31.56 AM.png
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,490
5,680
This is why one should NEVER encrypt backups, unless there is a compelling reason to do so.*

You have just "locked yourself out of" your data for good !

* an exception where I do encrypt a backup:
I keep a backup of my "main data drive" in my car. I encrypt that one because someone could steal the car, and if they do, all they get "is a drive", and NOT the data on it.
But ALL the other backups I make and keep are "in the clear" -- for easy data recovery in "a moment of extreme need".
 

dwig

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2015
660
243
Key West FL
This is why one should NEVER encrypt backups, unless there is a compelling reason to do so.*

You have just "locked yourself out of" your data for good !

* an exception where I do encrypt a backup:
I keep a backup of my "main data drive" in my car. I encrypt that one because someone could steal the car, and if they do, all they get "is a drive", and NOT the data on it.
But ALL the other backups I make and keep are "in the clear" -- for easy data recovery in "a moment of extreme need".
Correct. Basically it boils down to not encrpting ALL backups. Only encrypt in special cases where loss or theft is a reasonable possibility and only when there is also an un-encrypted backups somewhere else. If you must encrypt all backups then store the key in a human readable form (readable without access to any of your computers) in at least two physically separate places.
 
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