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PSA: Restoring iPhone from backup will not restore phone key

apacheguy

S Sig #255
Oct 21, 2012
5,083
1,243
So Cal
I had an issue yesterday which required me to restore the firmware on my iPhone. I was not worried as I had a complete backup which I proceeded to load after the restore completed.

Fast forward to this morning and I found myself unable to unlock my 3 even after I had signed in to the Tesla app. I could not establish a connection with the vehicle as it was parked in an underground garage.

A brief moment of panic ensued until I found my key card in my wallet (it was hidden behind another card).

Moral of the story: iPhone backups do not contain key profiles so you will have to set up the phone key from scratch. Always have your key card.
 

suttonlr

Member
Dec 25, 2016
44
55
Austin, TX
Yea, happened to me at the mall. Took my iPhone in for work and they replaced the damn thing and then I couldn’t get into my car. Luckily the wife was home and brought me the key card.
 

MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.4.18.2
Mar 8, 2015
9,683
8,960
Colorado
Out of curiosity, although it doesn't restore the key card, can you still use the app to unlock the doors and start the car (by using the icons)?
Yes, you can still open it remotely if the car has signal.

I'm amazed that in almost every "locked out of my car" story, everyone mentions having a spare key fob or card brought to them. Lots of people don't seem to know that they can use the app to unlock and start the car if it has signal. If you don't have your phone, you can borrow someone else's or call someone on a landline and have them unlock and start it remotely.
 

apacheguy

S Sig #255
Oct 21, 2012
5,083
1,243
So Cal
Out of curiosity, although it doesn't restore the key card, can you still use the app to unlock the doors and start the car (by using the icons)?

Absolutely. The problem is my 3 did not have cell reception.

Did you try doing a local Encrypted back-up on Windows or Mac? I should hold all Certs and Keys at that point...

Yes this was with a local backup on my windows PC.
 

JulienW

Active Member
Jul 7, 2018
2,565
2,794
Atlanta
Yes this was with a local backup on my windows PC.
Encrypted??? This is the key word. Without it NO password are saved.
Screen Shot 2019-07-05 at 4.46.59 PM.png
 
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boaterva

Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,565
3,737
Northern Virginia, USA
I backup my iPhone to iTunes with a password (encrypted backup as above) and everything is there when restored to my new iPhone every year (iPhone Upgrade Program). Have to see this fall if the Model 3 key connections are there because I’d be shocked if that ONE thing didn’t get restored when every other WiFi password, Dropbox, 1password, etc. did.

Encrypted backups are the only way to restore everything and not spend forever getting your phone the way you want it.
 

Zdrone

Member
May 4, 2019
11
7
Socal
I backup my iPhone to iTunes with a password (encrypted backup as above) and everything is there when restored to my new iPhone every year (iPhone Upgrade Program). Have to see this fall if the Model 3 key connections are there because I’d be shocked if that ONE thing didn’t get restored when every other WiFi password, Dropbox, 1password, etc. did.

Encrypted backups are the only way to restore everything and not spend forever getting your phone the way you want it.
I will be replacing my wife’s phone (iPhone) this weekend. I’ll check
 
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JulienW

Active Member
Jul 7, 2018
2,565
2,794
Atlanta
I can’t say I remember checking that box (or even seeing it). However, I did not have to enter the password for my WiFi network so the backup clearly did contain passwords.
I think it will remember a WiFi password so it can get connected. It is website and security type passwords that are not back-up. Also you would KNOW because you would have to use a password to enable encryption when you check the box and then use the same password to restore the backup. Also the box will be checked right now if you look. Did iTunes require you to enter your backup encryption password before restoring and is the box checked right now? If not it wasn't encrypted.

Also this is one of those if you'r not sure you used encryption it is all but certain you didn't use it.

You can also use an iCloud backup to restore all confidential information too and there is no extra encryption box to check. Encryption is just a part of iCloud.
 
Last edited:
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boaterva

Supporting Member
Apr 2, 2016
7,565
3,737
Northern Virginia, USA
I think it will remember a WiFi password so it can get connected. It is website and security type passwords that are not back-up. Also you would KNOW because you would have to use a password to enable encryption when you check the box and then use the same password to restore the backup. Also the box will be checked right now if you look. Did iTunes require you to enter your backup encryption password before restoring and is the box checked right now? If not it wasn't encrypted.

Also this is one of those if you'r not sure you used encryption it is all but certain you didn't use it.

You can also use an iCloud backup to restore all confidential information too and there is no extra encryption box to check. Encryption is just a part of iCloud.
I used to use iCloud but found it did not include everything. Has it improved recently? I don’t even remember the encryption option (with password) for iCloud so perhaps that’s been added.

I also use a third party app that makes the process more seamless. But in any case, everything does come back.

Looking forward to seeing that Tesla hasn’t something weird. :D
 

JulienW

Active Member
Jul 7, 2018
2,565
2,794
Atlanta
I used to use iCloud but found it did not include everything. Has it improved recently? I don’t even remember the encryption option (with password) for iCloud so perhaps that’s been added.

I also use a third party app that makes the process more seamless. But in any case, everything does come back.

Looking forward to seeing that Tesla hasn’t something weird. :D
iCloud has always been encrypted and is the only way it works. ALL iCloud data of any type is end to end encrypted. I use both as backup to the backup. iCloud is SO much better now. The apps' data is segregated and each app has an iCloud selection and the data is backed up dynamically.

iTunes backup is not encrypted by default because it is legacy and implemented before encryption was envisioned. So encryption is an added layer onto the top of the iTunes backup.

IMG_0742.jpg
 

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