Let’s say you want to see the contents of somebody’s iPad but there’s a passcode lock on their device. There’s an easy way around this if you have a second iPad with equal or larger space you don’t mind erasing.
You will need access to the computer they sync their iPad on and about 20 minutes.
First, on the iPad with a passcode lock, connect it to the computer it usually syncs to and let iTunes load it on the sidebar. When the iPad appears in iTunes, check to make sure the “Encrypt iPad backup” is not checked in the OPTIONS section, and then right click on the iPad and go to BACKUP. This will create a current image of the passcode locked device that we’re going to restore to the second iPad. (NOTE: You don’t need to know their iPad passcode for the backup to work.)
While the iPad with the passcode is backing up, take the second iPad and go to GENERAL / RESET and ERASE ALL CONTENT AND SETTINGS. This will ERASE EVERYTHING and you will be warned two times about this before the iPad starts to wipe everything. (You should back up the second iPad on its’ own computer so you can restore it to it’s original state later.)
The format will only take a moment, and then you will see the “connect to iTunes” icon on the second iPad’s main screen.
When the iPad with the passcode lock is done backing up, disconnect it from the computer it was syncing to and connect the second iPad that has the “connect to iTunes” icon on the main screen.
When you connect the second iPad, you will be prompted by iTunes if you want to restore from a previous image. Say YES and choose the iPad name with the passcode lock that was just backed up.
In a few minutes, the iPad will be restored and restart. iTunes will then restore a few programs to the iPad and then finish.
After the iPad is finished syncing, the iPad will ask “would you like to set a passcode now?”. Say LATER and you’re in! You will have full access to the formerly passcode locked iPad’s apps, settings and documents!
NOTE : Some apps don’t back up their files locally, but require you to re-download content from their servers. Fortunately, everything will be clearly marked inside each app for re-download, and usually under a “restore all purchased content” button.
I’ve found you can re-download everything (and even make brand new in-app purchases) without needing to re-enter any kind of login or password from the original passcode locked iPad.
This isn’t a hack of any kind. It’s just that passcode locks on iPads don’t to squat. The only way to keep your iPad (somewhat) secure is to encrypt your iPad backups at the main iTunes window under OPTIONS.
A password encrypted backup will prompt for a password before restoring to another iPad and keep this trick from working. (But if you have access to their iPad and computer, you can always de-select “Encrypt iPad backup” beforehand and make a new backup and this trick will work just fine.)
UPDATE : This trick works for iPhones as well.
UPDATE #2 : If you try and make a purchase direct from the iTunes store, you will be prompted for the password from the original locked iPad to confirm the credit card information on the iTunes store.