Pinfinder Review And Tips to Recover Screen Time Passcode

Restrictions passcode or Screen Time passcode on your iPhone and other iOS devices can be a lifesaver or a nightmare. This passcode is a four-digit code that you set on Apple devices.

The security feature comes in handy because no one can access your mobile device without the Screen Time passcode. It also prevents kids from using certain apps or making purchases on your iPhone or iPad.

However, it can be a total nightmare when you’ve forgotten your restrictions passcode. The easiest way out is to factory reset your device and restore all your files, photos, and the works. That spells — hassle.

Thankfully, there are tools such as Pinfinder that can help you recover your restrictions passcode.

Part 1. What is Pinfinder?

Pinfinder is a free and lightweight program that can help you figure out your forgotten Screen Time passcode. It was designed for that specific task and does not work on unlocking other security features, such as on your phone’s screen lock.

It works on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running on iOS 7 through iOS 12.4.

pinfinder

Pinfinder does not support iOS 13 at the moment. The said version of iOS does not have a copy of the user’s Screen Time passcode in the iTunes backup, which Pinfinder uses to figure out the set passcode on the device. Also, iOS 13 or newer versions of the software allow you to reset your Screen Time passcode with Apple ID.

Pinfinder runs on Mac, Windows, and Linux. It also does not send your data anywhere, in case you worry about that.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, and Pinfinder’s story followed that path. Its creator, Gareth Watts, a software engineer and founder of Atolio, was inspired to come up with a solution after forgetting the restrictions passcode of a kid’s Apple iPod touch.

The advice of the manufacturer is to wipe the device and start over from scratch, which of course he didn’t follow. Instead, he created Pinfinder and published the code online.

Part 2. How To Use Pinfinder

If you need to find out the restrictions passcode on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, here’s a quick guide on how to use Pinfinder.

2.1 Pinfinder for Windows Users

Using iTunes, back up your device that you need to unlock.

backup iphone to itunes

If you are running on iOS 12, you need to make sure that you check the option to Encrypt iPhone Backup.

You need to download the latest version of Pinfinder for Windows.

After extracting and running Pinfinder, you will see your restrictions passcode on the screen after a few minutes.

screen time passcode recovery pinfinder

2.2 Pinfinder For Mac Users

If you are a Mac user, you need to open your iTunes and back up your device. If you are on iOS 12, you will be asked to encrypt the backup by setting a password.

You need to download the Pinfinder for Mac. Open Pinfinder and enter the password you’ve set for encryption when prompted.

After around a minute, you’ll see your Screen Time passcode. Take note of it, and you can close the Terminal window.

In case you’re using Mac OS X Mojave 10.14, you need to give access to the terminal programs so they can access the backup created using iTunes.

You can do this by going to the System Preferences and opening the Security & Privacy pane, choosing Privacy tab, and add the Terminal to your allowed applications list.

macosx security

2.3 Pinfinder for Linux Users

If you are a Linux user, you need to use a tool such as libimobiledevice to back up your iOS device.

Get the latest release of Pinfinder for Linux.

Run the program and make sure you pass the path of the backup directory as an argument.

Within 60 seconds or less, you’ll see your restrictions passcode on the display.

If you are using other operating systems, you can find instructions on how to compile and run Pinfinder for your purpose on its Github project page.

Part 3. Pinfinder Pros and Cons

While Pinfinder is a popular tool that help users figure out their forgotten restrictions or Screen Time passcode, you need to weigh its advantages and disadvantages before using it.

Pros

  • Pinfinder is free.
  • It has a proven track record.
  • You can quickly check the program’s source code.
  • It’s compatible with macOS, Windows, and Linux.

Cons

  • You can only use it with iPhones, iPad, or iPod touch running up to version 12.4 of the iOS.
  • Being an open source program, some still worry if it’s safe to use.
  • You still need to back up your device using iTunes, choose to encrypt that backup and remember the passcode that will appear on the screen.
  • The Pinfinder interface is not easy to use if you are a beginner or not a techie, plus there’s no technical support.

Part 4. Is Pinfinder Safe and Really Free To Use?

Pinfinder is free. However,  it is natural to be wary about potential dangers when you need to install free tools and applications on your computers or mobile devices.

It is a small program specifically designed to help recover your restrictions passcode. It is open source, and you can grab its code on Github. If you have some technical know-how, you’ll be able to see and even tweak how it works.

This level of transparency assures some users that Pinfinder is safe, while others remain skeptical.

Part 5. Alternative Ways To Recover or Reset Screen Time Passcode

If you have tried all the possible four-digit combinations inspired by your date of birth, home address, or lucky numbers, don’t give up. You can try free tools to reset your Screen Time passcode, such as Pinfinder.

In case you’re not keen on using open-source tools to recover your restrictions or Screen Time passcode, don’t worry. Below are some other methods and tools you can try.

5.1 User Your Apple ID To Reset Your Screen Time Passcode

If you know how to access your Apple ID, resetting your Screen Time passcode is relatively easy.

From the home screen of the iPhone or iPad, go to Settings. Scroll down the Settings menu and tap Screen Time. Choose, Change Screen Time Passcode next. Then, tap Forgot Passcode.

reset screen time passcode

The system will then ask you for your Apple ID and password so you can input a new Screen Time passcode.

5.2 Remove Screen Time Passcode Using Tenorshare 4uKey

Not all tools and methods will work when recovering your Screen Time passcode. If all else fails, there’s software that you can use to remove it without worrying about data loss at all.

Tenorshare 4uKey is a versatile tool that can help remove the Screen Time passcode on your iPhone and other iOS devices. You must ensure that your device runs on iOS 12 or later.

Here’s what you have to do:

Step 1. Download Tenorshare 4uKey and install it on your computer. After installation, launch the program and choose Remove Screen Time Passcode on the interface.

Step 2. Connect the iPhone, iPad, or iPod to your computer using a cable. Make sure that you unlock your iOS device after it’s connected.

Step 3. Tap the Trust option on the screen. You will be asked for the device password to trust the computer where your iOS device is connected to.

Step 4. Click Start Remove to remove the Screen Time passcode.

Step 5. The system will ask you to turn off the Find My iPhone feature. Just follow the on-screen guide to do this.

Step 6. Once Find My iPhone is off, Tenorshare 4uKey will remove the Screen Time passcode. Your iOS device will restart.

Step 7. The system will guide you in setting up your iOS device to avoid data loss. And you’re done.

Aside from removing your Screen Time passcode, Tenorshare 4uKey can also remove your iPhone password, remove Apple ID without password, and more.

5.3 Factory Reset

When all methods and tools to recover and reset your restrictions passcode or Screen Time passcode, there is no other choice but to do a factory reset. You will wipe off all of your data but it also removes the screen time passcode on your iOS device.

Take note that you will not be able to back up your device and set it up from that because restoring using a backup will not remove the Screen Time passcode.

To reset your iPhone, go to Settings, General, then tap Reset iPhone. Choose the option to Erase All Content and Settings.

ios 10 erase all content-settings screens

Conclusion

It can be frustrating when you forget your Screen Time passcode for your iOS device.

But remember, you always have a choice if you do not want to wipe everything on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod and set your iOS device as new. You can try popular and useful tools such as Pinfinder or Tenorshare 4uKey to recover or bypass Screen Time Passcode.

Share with us your experience using these tools. Were you able to recover your Screen Time passcode? Feel free to share other techniques and tools that might also help other readers in the comments section.

About Author

Darren has been passionate about ios devices ever since he got his first iPhone since 2013, while he was still a student in junior high school. He currently uses an iPhone 11 and iPad Pro, and he’s become the go-to guy for many of his friends who have mobile device unlocking-related problems.

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