I do not use iCloud backup for my iPhone. Instead, I do local encrypted backup, more or less regularly. I wanted to browse and find something from one of these backup.

Did you know, that there is no native way on macOS to browse and restore something from your encrypted iPhone backup? I didn’t.

If you have encypted backup, you’ve a problem. The Internet is full of software that solve this issue. However, I haven’t want to deal with commercial, third party software.

Fortunately, a few years ago, smart guys (Jean-Baptiste Bédrune and Jean Sigwald) found a way to access the data. User andrewdotn on StackOverflow described the situation and how to deal with encrypted backups – in theory and in practice. Ultimately, I found that GitHub’s user jsharkey13 shared a ready-to-go solution as a python library, called iphone_backup_decrypt.

I had opportunity to test the process of restoring the files and can confirm, that everything worked great!

Some context and environent:

  • encrypted local backup of iOS 14.4
  • macOS Catalina 10.15.7
  • Python 3.9.1 + libraries required by iphone_backup_decrypt (installed by pip3)

I utilized the example code from the repository.

If you need to withdraw data from encrypted iPhone backup, it’s the one of potential solutions.