Suddenly having to enter passcode when backing up an unlocked iPhone?

Well, this is new:

When I start syncing my unlocked iPhone to my Mac (via iTunes), the process starts; and as soon as it reaches the stage where my iPhone is backed up to my Mac, the “enter your passcode” screen appears on my iPhone, titled “Enter Passcode to Start a Backup”.

In the many (many) years of syncing/backing up my iPhone to my Mac, this has never happened when the iPhone is unlocked – i.e., the iPhone is awake, the desktop is visible, etc.

Anyone else seeing this behavior recently? And/or have suggestions of where in the iPhone settings I might go to stop it from happening? It’s annoying, but not serious; but it certainly is mysterious.

I’m trying to think of what changed that might have caused it. I updated to iOS 15.7.1 this weekend; I think it started right after that, but I can’t be sure.

BTW, here’s the technical/config info for my systems:

  • iPhone SE (1st gen), running iOS 15.7
  • 2017 iMac 27", running Mojave 10.4.6
  • iTunes 12.9.5.5
  • Syncing iPhone to Mac using Apple lightning/USB cable.
  • Backing up to Mac via iTunes, non-encrypted.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions – or for anyone with a similar configuration who isn’t (or is) having this problem.

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Seeing it here too after upgrading to 15.7.1 on a 12 mini. And that was over wifi, not even USB. Ugh.

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I updated and did backups on two iPhones and two iPads to iOS 15.7.1 via USB. I was asked for a passcode on the devices.

I was curious about the passcode issue so today I tried to do a backup on iTunes and was asked for a passcode. I then tried a backup on iMazing – also requested a passcode.

So this is a feature/bug of iOS 15.7.* and not a feature of using iTunes.

iTunes 12.9.5.5
iMazing 2.14.6 (155535)
macOS Mojave 10.14.6/MacPro 5,1

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I can see given Apple’s security focus that they might ask…once…but then remember the device and just like mounting encrypted drives with the password in the keychain just connect already.

Yeah, but that’s not what’s happening here.

They already ask once when you initially set up the iPhone to sync with a certain Mac. But now they are asking you again EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. you want to backup/sync. And to make matters worse, they ask you to do that when syncing over wifi too (so it’s not about some vague USB security concern) and, and this IMHO is the real kicker, when you’ve already unlocked your iPhone (faceID, passcode, whatever). It’s completely redundant.

This has to be a bug.

And if it’s really not, then I want to see a user setting asap to turn off this annoying baloney. And ideally, the idiot who authorized this idea (without even so much as a mention in the release notes) fired. Let them interview at Musk’s Twitter. :stuck_out_tongue:

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This started happening to me too after upgrading my iPhone 12 Pro from iOS 16.0.2 to iOS 16.1.

I do my backups over WiFi with iMazing so the prompt occurred without context that I was in fact initiating a backup. I thought that iOS had just glitched in a major way when the dialog popped up asking for authorization so I just power cycled my iphone.

It seems to have stopped after entering my iOS password just once.

Nice to know that I’m not alone.

UPDATE November 3, 2022 2:15 AM
Spoke too soon. It just asked me again. :weary:

I just filed a bug report with iMazing.

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I opened a ticket with iMazing and this is their response:

Thank you for contacting us.

This is a new security feature introduced in iOS 16.1 and iOS 15.7.1 that is designed to prevent unauthorized access to the device, mainly through Wi-Fi backups on trusted computers. You can try to back up the device via Finder or iTunes, you will get the same request.

Unfortunately, this feature can’t be turned off at the moment by Apple design but, hopefully, Apple will add a switch for it in the future. You can send the feature request to Apple on this website: Product Feedback - Apple. The more votes will be added for this feature, the higher the chance that it will be implemented in next versions.

Please let us know if you have any questions.

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Yeah…I figured it was an Apple problem…and asking once is fine but it oughta remember it after that…or perhaps only ask every couple of months like the Location Services one does. Security to make sure it’s authorized is good…but once (or periodically to re-verify) would be fine.

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It gets even better. If you by accident swipe up on the passcode page (yep, you don’t get to use FaceID for this) that appears to dismiss the page and thus cancel the backup.

And since in iOS 13 (not 100% sure about that version number) Apple stupidly removed sync controls from the iPhone General settings, there is no way to tell the iPhone to try again. Your only recourse is to get out of bed, walk through half the house to find your Mac, open a Finder window, and initiate another backup attempt from there by hand. :man_facepalming:

Thank you, Apple. Yes, we get it. Modern humans use the cloud for everything. Because that’s so much better than systems people control themselves. And already paid you for. And of course on top of paying you thousands of $ for hardware, it’s obvious those people should also be paying you endless subscription fees for “services” just so they get to use your fancy cloud (even though, frankly, it’s an unreliable pile of doo-doo) in spite of their own systems just sitting there and working fine. We should be happy to be allowed to contribute to your revenue stream. Really feel for the plight of your $2T company. Sniff. :roll_eyes:

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Nello, thanks for the reply from iMazing, and the link to the Apple Product feedback site. I’ll definitely send them a request to be able to turn this off. Besides iTunes, I also do backups using iMazing (great program, incredibly useful), and have been encountering the problem there, too.

BTW, thanks to everyone who took the time to investigate this, and reported back; glad to know it Wasn’t Just Me. It frustrates me that I can’t turn this feature off; however, I also feel fortunate – if I did wifi syncs, this would be a full-blown pain in the *ss.

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In my opinion, this isn’t just an inconvenience; it is a serious subversion of security for people who do their backups via WiFi.

When iMazing decides it’s time to do a WiFi backup, this authentication screen comes up but it gives no sign what application/service is asking for permission to do the backup.

Unlike a USB backup, I don’t have any context for the this request.

Thus, I’m being asked to blindly approve access to my iOS device. Since iMazing does a WiFi backup daily, I’m going to get this request over and over again until it becomes muscle memory to approve it.

As a result, demanding authentication for each WiFi backup is the perfect cover for a fraudulent request to access my device.

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Yes, my automatic iCloud backups continue to work daily without any additional authentication.

Funny how iOS trusts iCloud and nothing else. I wonder why? :thinking:

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This does seem to be a feature of iOS/iPad OS 15.7.1 - it just recently started happening when I sync to iTunes on my fifth-gen iPad, which is on 15.7.1, but it’s not happening on my iPhone 13. Which seemed strange, since I thought they were both on the same OS version, but I just checked and apparently I haven’t gotten around to updating the iPhone from 15.7.

I suppose I could just update both to 16.1 (which my iPad just barely qualifies for), but in my advanced dotage I keep finding OS upgrades are always more work than they’re worth; features I use regularly get removed, and features I have no use for are constantly shoved in my face. </YellingAtClouds>

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It’s apparently in both 15.7.1 and 16.1. :man_facepalming:

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Yup. Very annoying when you have idevices throughout your house and are then told (on a TRUSTED COMPUTER) you must enter a password on the device. And it doesn’t provide you enough time to go to the wrong room, and then the right room because your spouse moved the iPad. What is happening is that your security is actually being lessened because the button you hit is ‘cancel’. This probably works OK with someone who has one iPhone that lives in their pocket. I too use iMazing and got the same reply and was provided the website where I could and did complain. Either revert to previous or supply us with an ‘opt out’…

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Not seeing this behavior after installing 15.7.1 update on my iPhone 13—thank goodness!

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Apple keeps making it ever more difficult to make “local” backups of my iPhone to my iMac. Years ago, when I first bought an iPhone (5s), I wrote a little script that cron would run at 05:00 to back up my phone and sync my calendar, contacts etc. It worked just fine and took care of backing up my phone without my having to think about it. Unfortunately, when I replaced my 5s with an iPhone SE 2020, my script stopped working. The problem was that the backup would not talk to the phone while the phone was locked. That was a nuisance, but I just switched to running my script manually every morning after unlocking my phone. Now, I also have to key in a passcode eveyr time, which is even more of a nuisance. I am a sysadmin by profession, and I prefer to keep my backups under my own control rather than consigning them to someone else’s cloud. I guess that makes me some sort of dinosaur. :frowning:

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I would argue that they’re making it ever more difficult to automate the backup system. And I agree, it’s a pain if you want to automate the process to a service other than Apple’s.

But for people like me who have always done it manually (connect a USB cable, open a Finder window, select device, click Sync), having to enter my passcode isn’t a whole lot of additional work.

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It’s not just that they made it more difficult on the Mac side. They made it outright impossible on the iPhone side.

You used to be able to lunch backup/sync from the iPhone itself under Settings > General. With iOS 13 or so they silently removed those controls. Big mistake since there is no need to use USB when syncing to your own Mac (especially not when Lightning uses dirt slow 480 Mbps USB2). Wifi does the trick just fine but that means now Mac and iPhone could be potentially be quite a bit apart. Who wants to wander to their stashed away Mac when all it use to take was a tap on your iPhone?

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Remote Desktop?

(Ducking and running away now…)

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