I want to back up my deceased father's iPhone

Drag'nGT

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
1,753
28
UPDATE: I figured out which code I needed and was able to get in the phone to take care of things. Mostly got the code by blind luck but I'll take it.

Thanks to everyone that offered options and ways to get past all of this. I tried nearly all of them. And thank you for your condolences.

To the people that think I'm lying, that's kind of fair, this is the internet and it is full of liars. But as others pointed out (because they can reason), I've been here far too long for this to be a lie.
 
Last edited:

zorinlynx

macrumors 603
May 31, 2007
6,030
8,508
Florida, USA
You're probably screwed as far as accessing the data on the phone itself.

However, was the phone backing up to iCloud? If it was, you should be able to DFU it, then restore it from the iCloud backup and get all the data back then. The backup itself is not passcode locked.

Same deal if he was backing up to iTunes itself; you should be able to restore the phone from that backup. You might lose the last few things he did but at least you'll have everything before that.

My condolences about your dad. :( Good luck with the data recovery.

I'm in a pickle... My father passed away and I want to gain access to his locked iPhone 5. I have access to his MBP, 1Password and his iTunes account... just not his 4 digit iPhone code. :confused: :(

He was using Dropbox and when I connected his phone to the MBP it popped open and downloaded his photos. It may have gotten all of his pics... I don't know. Apple has been little help to me. I tried to look at lock screen bypass bugs but he was on 7.1.2 and I couldn't find a working bypass on YouTube.

I have a friend who botched this up because he stuck his nose in my process of getting in to my father's iPhone. He was trying to do as the Apple reps instructed him but they were not giving him good advice. They claimed my dad's phone had to be on the newest iTunes and iOS in order to help. He did that, and now I'm stuck on "Slide to update."

What can be done? Does someone know a way around this? Any help would be great. Thanks.
 

Drag'nGT

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
1,753
28
My condolences about your dad. :( Good luck with the data recovery.
Thanks. It's been hard because he went so young due to cancer. I updated the post to reflect his last back up was to the computer in 2013 and no iCloud back ups that I've found. This right here is one reason that Apple should offer a little more than 5GB of room if they truly think we are in a post PC world. If I don't have to have a computer to activate the phone then we need a way to back up, even a little bit, just a little easier.
 

XboxMySocks

macrumors 68020
Oct 25, 2009
2,204
170
Thanks. It's been hard because he went so young due to cancer. I updated the post to reflect his last back up was to the computer in 2013 and no iCloud back ups that I've found. This right here is one reason that Apple should offer a little more than 5GB of room if they truly think we are in a post PC world. If I don't have to have a computer to activate the phone then we need a way to back up, even a little bit, just a little easier.
Do you know his iCloud password? Sign into it on your computer/iPhone and go through his picture stream that way :)

----------

Go into Apple and tell your story and see if you can get someone to bend the rules for some good PR.
Apple doesn't have the ability to brute force iPhones
 

nordique

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2014
1,618
1,107
My condolences, I wish you the best and hope you are strong with coping. My previous gf, her father passed away young...its a tough thing for anyone to go through.
 

Itsedstech

macrumors 6502a
Jul 24, 2011
674
237
Kansas
if he had find my iPhone on, just log into iCloud, lock the phone with a code through find my iPhone ( you get to select the code) then on the phone unlock it with that code. should work.
 

Appl3FTW

macrumors 603
Nov 15, 2012
5,392
1,024
I would just keep the phone as is for remembrance.

I'm hoping you're legit OP. Unless you're just trying to get sympathy to bypass iCloud lock security feature. I hope not.
 

ET iPhone Home

macrumors 68040
Oct 5, 2011
3,745
492
Orange County, California USA
I'm in a pickle... My father passed away and I want to gain access to his locked iPhone 5. I have access to his MBP, 1Password and his iTunes account... just not his 4 digit iPhone code. :confused: :(

He was using Dropbox and when I connected his phone to the MBP it popped open and downloaded his photos. It may have gotten all of his pics... I don't know. Apple has been little help to me. I tried to look at lock screen bypass bugs but he was on 7.1.2 and I couldn't find a working bypass on YouTube.

I have a friend who botched this up because he stuck his nose in my process of getting in to my father's iPhone. He was trying to do as the Apple reps instructed him but they were not giving him good advice. They claimed my dad's phone had to be on the newest iTunes and iOS in order to help. He did that, and now I'm stuck on "Slide to update."

What can be done? Does someone know a way around this? Any help would be great. Thanks.

EDIT: Forgot to add that his last backup was Dec '13 and no iCloud back ups according to iCloud.
I'm sorry for you loss. My condolences. Do you think his 4-digit password may be his birthdate - mmdd or birth year?
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
6,866
3,101
Here
Unfortunately, unless you have any idea what he based his passcode on there isn't much you can do.

Did he enable the "delete after 10 failed attempts" option? If not, you can just keep trying.

I'm sorry about your lose, at least he isn't suffering anymore.
 

JulesJam

Suspended
Sep 20, 2014
2,537
308
I'm in a pickle... My father passed away and I want to gain access to his locked iPhone 5. I have access to his MBP, 1Password and his iTunes account... just not his 4 digit iPhone code. :confused: :(
Will the estate be probated? If so, you could get an order from the probate judge that the iP5 and access to your dad's iCloud account were awarded to you (or your mom or whomever) and if you submit it to Apple's legal department, they would have to honor that at least to ownership of the iP5 and recognize you or whomever as the legal owner of the iP5. Access to the iCloud account may be more complicated depending on the state. Make sure the order lists the IMEI and S/N of the iP5 and to the extent known, your dad's Apple ID.

I know that seems extreme, but if the estate is being probated anyhow, no reason not to ask for a formal order awarding you or whomever the iP5 and access to the iCloud account. If the estate is being probated, then you likely have an attorney so you can speak with the attorney about this.
 

Drag'nGT

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
1,753
28
if he had find my iPhone on, just log into iCloud, lock the phone with a code through find my iPhone ( you get to select the code) then on the phone unlock it with that code. should work.
That actually could or would work but my friend tried to update it after the Apple rep said you had to be on the latest firmware for iOS and iTunes. So I'm stuck in the "slide to update" mode.

I would just keep the phone as is for remembrance.

I'm hoping you're legit OP. Unless you're just trying to get sympathy to bypass iCloud lock security feature. I hope not.
It's legit, I have no reason to be focused on just his phone. It's a cheap item in the grand scheme of things. Not to mention I've been a member here too long for this to be my ultimate end game. lol ;)

I'm sorry for you loss. My condolences. Do you think his 4-digit password may be his birthdate - mmdd or birth year?
I tried that. I tried a few that I know he used for other things. Nothing.

Will the estate be probated? If so, you could get an order from the probate judge that the iP5 and access to your dad's iCloud account were awarded to you (or your mom or whomever) and if you submit it to Apple's legal department, they would have to honor that at least to ownership of the iP5 and recognize you or whomever as the legal owner of the iP5. Access to the iCloud account may be more complicated depending on the state. Make sure the order lists the IMEI and S/N of the iP5 and to the extent known, the Apple ID.

I know that seems extreme, but if the estate is being probated anyhow, no reason not to ask for a formal order awarding you or whomever the iP5 and access to the iCloud account. If the estate is being probated, then you likely have an attorney so you can speak with the attorney about this.
I can try that. I'm the only heir so it should be easy.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
Silly question, but does the phone still sync when plugged in to your dad's MBP? If so, I would sync the phone to the MBP, and get all his pictures off it that way. See if iPhoto recognizes the phone, and will allow you import the photos off his camera roll.

Next step: are backups encrypted? If not (hopefully), then do one last backup in iTunes, and then restore from that backup. The data should come back onto the phone intact, and without a passcode (but with the opportunity to set up a new one).

Of course, the "slide to update" thing has me concerned. May be past the point of no return if you see that, unfortunately.

And, my condolences. I lost my dad a little over a year ago too, and he also passed away pretty young, so I get a sense of how tough this is. :(
 

Drag'nGT

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Sep 20, 2008
1,753
28
Silly question, but does the phone still sync when plugged in to your dad's MBP? If so, I would sync the phone to the MBP, and get all his pictures off it that way. See if iPhoto recognizes the phone, and will allow you import the photos off his camera roll.

Next step: are backups encrypted? If not (hopefully), then do one last backup in iTunes, and then restore from that backup. The data should come back onto the phone intact, and without a passcode (but with the opportunity to set up a new one).

Of course, the "slide to update" thing has me concerned. May be past the point of no return if you see that, unfortunately.

And, my condolences. I lost my dad a little over a year ago too, and he also passed away pretty young, so I get a sense of how tough this is. :(
An iPhone with a passcode requires the passcode in order to sync. My first attempt was to get the phone to talk to iTunes or iPhoto. It wanted a passcode each time.
 

aphexacid

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2007
929
20
Chicago
i think you're out of luck trying to get into the phone. But if you get iexplorer for osx, you can read whatever was on his last backups.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
An iPhone with a passcode requires the passcode in order to sync. My first attempt was to get the phone to talk to iTunes or iPhoto. It wanted a passcode each time.
Unfortunately, that would indicate the phone hasn't been synced before on that Mac, or was reset after it was last synced.

(Once synced with a computer and "Trust this Computer" is accepted, a passcode locked iPhone no longer requires a passcode to sync to that same computer when locked... unless it's been wiped, or a reset of Privacy or network settings has happened.)

Sad to say, if the update to iOS 8 has already started on that phone, you might be at the end of your options.
 

mofunk

macrumors 68020
Aug 26, 2009
2,415
159
Americas
I think I'm the third person that asked… Did you open up a web browser and log into iCloud with your dad's Apple account?

Good luck with finding the passcode. Could it be his wife's bday or any kids or favorite number.
 

mjb59463

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2012
368
125
Don't have a solution for this, but wanted to offer my condolences for the loss of your father.

I really hope you get the iPhone sorted out!
 

Wirbowsky

macrumors member
Mar 12, 2010
92
0
Belgium
I suppose your best bet is to try all combination of 4 digits.
That requires some time but it should not be so long.
May be first do a list of common combination like 1234, 1111...
Then do the rest in a systematic approach

Good luck and sorry for you loss.
 

nathan.kindle

macrumors member
Nov 2, 2014
32
0
Check YouTube I believe I saw a few instance where people were able to bypass parts of the lockout. Not sure if any would work or help but this made me realize that I need a backup plan encase something like this happens in my home.
 
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