Can’t sync your iPhone or iPad with iTunes? Try resetting your Lockdown folder

By , May 9, 2016

iTunes problem

Those who use iTunes on a regular basis to keep their iOS devices in sync with one another are probably familiar with the problems that can arise from using the software, whether it’s on a Mac or a PC.

If you’re having problems while trying to sync or back up your iOS devices, the problem could very much be with your computer’s Lockdown folder, and resetting it could resolve the problem.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to reset your iTunes Lockdown folder.

How to reset your iTunes Lockdown folder

You may want to reset your iTunes Lockdown folder if you’re experiencing iTunes problems. To do that, you’ll want to follow the steps below.

Mac users

1) Remove all iOS devices from your computer if they are attached with their sync cables.

2) Quit iTunes completely so it is not running in the background by going to iTunes > Quit iTunes in the Menu Bar.

Quit iTunes

3) Open a Finder window so that Finder is in the foreground, and then go to Go > Go to Folder… in the Menu Bar.

Finder Go to Folder Mac

4) In the text field that appears, enter /var/db/lockdown and then press the Return key on your keyboard.

Finder Go to Folder Lockdown Folder

5) Once you get into the Lockdown folder, you will see a number of alphanumerically-named files. Select all of them and move them to the Trash.

Lockdown Folder Move to Trash Files

6) Empty the Trash to delete those files.

Mac Empty Trash

7) Re-launch iTunes and re-connect your iOS devices so iTunes can generate new Lockdown folder files.

On Windows

If you’re a Windows user and are having issues syncing your iOS devices with iTunes, you too can try resetting your Lockdown folder. These steps work for Windows Vista through to Windows 10:

1) Unplug all iOS devices from your computer.

2) Close iTunes so it’s not running in the background.

3) Press the Windows key on your keyboard or press Control + Esc at the same time.

4) Click inside of the search field and enter &ProgramData%  and press the Enter key.

5) Open the Apple folder by double-clicking on it.

6) Right-click on the folder entitled Lockdown and Delete it.

7) Empty your Recycle Bin and restart your computer as well as your iOS devices.

Congratulations! You’ve just reset your iTunes Lockdown folder, and hopefully now you can start syncing and backing up your devices with your computer again.

Wrapping up

All I’ve got to say is iTunes isn’t the absolute best software I’ve ever used, but at least there appear to be ways to fix the problems that can arise. Armed with this troubleshooting information, you can get your device syncing to work again, or even back up your devices if it wasn’t working before.

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Did resetting your Lockdown folder fix the problem you were having? Share in the comments!

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  • Bartosz Kustra

    It’s %ProgramData% not &ProgamData% on Windows. Other than that – good tip 🙂

  • Bill

    So what exactly is this Lockdown folder and what are the files?

  • Mark S

    Funny this sounds like a jailbreak only issue. Ahh the good old days of lockdownd.