Apple has changed security settings in iOS 8.3 that prevent file managers and transfer utilities such as iFunBox, iTools, iExplorer, iBackupBot and PhoneView from gaining access to app directories on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. The change breaks current versions of transfer utilities for OS X and Windows, forcing many developers to release new versions of their software with workarounds that restore at least partial sandbox access.

"iOS 8.3 ruined our freedom of controlling data in our installed Apps and Games," writes iFunBox in a Facebook post. "Apple blocked access of the entire sandbox directory of every installed App since iOS 8.3. Previously only writing is block in executable directory. Now we totally lost the control of Apps on our own devices. We are investigating the situation. Before there is a solution, iFunbox will fail to open data directory of any App if the device is not jailbroken."

iFunBox iOS 8.3
iFunBox was one of the first utilities to be updated over the weekend with a partial fix, with the latest version 2.95 allowing all apps with "iTunes File Sharing" enabled, such as iFileExpress or VLC player, to be opened for sandbox browsing per usual through the utility. Access to other apps will require jailbreaking. iFunBox 2.95 also allows any music file type, such as MP3, to be imported as a ringtone.

Macroplant has also updated iExplorer to be iOS 8.3 ready for OS X and Windows.

The change does not affect users that jailbreak their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, as doing so enables OpenSSH to be installed for complete filesystem privileges and command line access. File transfers between a jailbroken iOS device and Mac or PC can still be completed as usual, although keep in mind that no jailbreak is available for iOS 8.3 and downgrading will soon no longer be possible after Apple stops signing iOS 8.2 in the near future.

Top Rated Comments

MR-LIZARD Avatar
80 months ago
I noticed this after the update during my day job in forensics. This is actually a positive thing for people who want more security. Previously this loop hole allowed additional data to be recovered from the App areas that were off limits to the backup service.

Apple haven't done it to stop people using 3rd party tools as such. I believe they've done it to make iOS even more secure for themselves and their customers by stopping potential snooping through people's cache folders etc.

I think it relates to the item in the 8.3 security change log that reads as follows:

Backup
Available for: iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch (5th generation) and later, iPad 2 and later

Impact: An attacker may be able to use the backup system to access restricted areas of the file system

Description: An issue existed in the relative path evaluation logic of the backup system. This issues was addressed through improved path evaluation.

CVE-ID
CVE-2015-1087 : TaiG Jailbreak Team
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kaiseryeahhh Avatar
80 months ago
Noooooooooooooooooooooo :'(

This was the only way to perform a clean install without loosing all your App data. FREAKING APPLE.

+1000
It's the best option for install clean system and preserve apps data.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MartinAppleGuy Avatar
80 months ago
Maybe they are blocking all of these apps to add their own file explorer in iOS 9 ;)
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oldmacs Avatar
80 months ago
Noooooooooooooooooooooo :'(

This was the only way to perform a clean install without loosing all your App data. FREAKING APPLE.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rigby Avatar
80 months ago
Apple haven't done it to stop people using 3rd party tools as such. I believe they've done it to make iOS even more secure for themselves and their customers by stopping potential snooping through people's cache folders etc.
Agreed, I think this is mostly a good thing (see e.g. Zdziarski's reporting last year on how this could be abused). Another reason might be to prevent people from hacking in-app purchases without paying.

Note that you can still extract app data from iTunes backup files, e.g. using iExplorer. So it is still possible to save text messages etc.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
roadbloc Avatar
80 months ago
And its exactly this sort of behaviour that is pushing me further and further away from Apple. With every mandatory update, something breaks. Quite honestly, it's weak and I can do without it.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

General Music and AirPod 3 Feature

Rumor: Apple to Announce Third-Generation AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier on May 18

Thursday May 13, 2021 10:32 pm PDT by
A new rumor suggests that Apple will announce the third-generation AirPods and the recently rumored HiFi, or high-fidelity Apple Music tier, on Tuesday, May 18, via a press release on its website. The new rumor comes from Apple YouTuber Luke Miani who shared the alleged exclusive news with the AppleTrack website. According to the YouTuber, Apple plans to release the next-generation AirPods...
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple Fires Newly Hired Ex-Facebook Product Manager Following Revelations of Past Misogynistic Comments

Thursday May 13, 2021 12:10 am PDT by
Apple has fired Antonio García Martínez, an ex-Facebook product manager and author of the controversial book "Chaos Monkeys," following public and internal calls for removal and investigation due to past misogynistic statements, The Verge reports. Apple hired Martínez earlier this week to join its ads team, however, comments that Martínez made in the past sparked condemnation from users...
imac m1 blue isolated 16x9 500k

M1 iMac is Up to 56% Faster Than Prior-Generation High-End 21.5-Inch iMac

Wednesday May 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Apple's M1 iMacs are set to start delivering to customers next week, and ahead of the official launch day, benchmarks for the machines have been showing up on Geekbench, likely from reviewers who are testing them. It will come as no surprise that M1 iMac benchmarks are right on par with benchmarks for the M1 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini, coming in with an average single-core score...
2021 mbp hdmi slot 3d

2021 MacBook Pro Leaks Confirm Returning MagSafe and Ports

Friday May 14, 2021 3:06 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro models are expected to feature a number of major changes such as larger display options and powerful new Apple silicon chips. Among the more surprising updates to this year's MacBook Pro models is the return of three ports that have been missing from the machines for over five years. Expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, the 2021 MacBook Pro models are...
fortnite apple logo 2

Judge in Epic vs. Apple Case Floats Potential Compromise

Wednesday May 12, 2021 3:54 pm PDT by
In the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the two companies are this week calling up their expert witnesses to argue their points before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who will make a decision in the case after a three week trial. Expert testimony is not as exciting as some of the leaked App Store documents that were highlighted last week, especially as much of what's being...
google photos

PSA: Google Photos Unlimited Storage Ends Next Month, Here's How to Export Your Pictures to iCloud

Thursday May 13, 2021 5:26 am PDT by
For as long as it's existed, Google Photos has offered free unlimited storage for uploading images at a reduced yet good enough quality for most users. From June 1, 2021, however, all photos and videos uploaded to Google accounts will count against users' cloud storage. If you've been relying on Google to back up your media library, it may be time to move that content elsewhere. This article...
AirTag in Envelope Feature 2

AirTag Used to Successfully Track a Mailed Package Across the UK

Wednesday May 12, 2021 8:44 am PDT by
An Apple customer in the United Kingdom has successfully used Apple's Find My network to track an AirTag as it was being sent by mail to a friend in a completely different city. Outlined in a blog post at Intego, Kirk McElhearn said he taped an AirTag to a piece of card, wrapped it inside a small bubble envelope, and then sent it on its way. Kirk lives in the small town of...
m1 ipad pro chip

M1 iPad Pro Over 50% Faster Than Previous Generation in Early Benchmarks

Tuesday May 11, 2021 11:56 am PDT by
Last month, Apple introduced a new iPad Pro with the same M1 chip found in the latest Macs, and early benchmark results indicate that the M1 iPad Pro is over 50% faster than the previous-generation iPad Pro. Based on five legitimate Geekbench 5 results (here's the fifth) for the fifth-generation 12.9-inch iPad Pro with the M1 chip, the device has average single-core and multi-core scores of...
prosser macbook air colors stacked

Images Reveal Colorful New MacBook Air Design

Tuesday May 11, 2021 5:06 am PDT by
Apple's next MacBook Air will feature a completely new design and come in a range of colors like the 24-inch iMac, according to leaker Jon Prosser, who has now released supposedly accurate renders of the new machines based on leaked images. In a new video uploaded to YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser elaborated on his previous prediction that Apple's next-generation MacBook Air models ...
iPhone 13 Camera Backs

iPhone 13 Models Will Be Slightly Thicker and Will Have Larger Camera Bumps

Monday May 10, 2021 10:41 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 models will be slightly thicker than the iPhone 12 models and will also feature larger, thicker camera bumps with lenses that protrude less, according to iPhone 13 schematics seen by MacRumors. The new iPhone 13 and 13 Pro models are expected to feature a thickness of 7.57mm, up from 7.4mm in the iPhone 12 models. That's an increase of 0.17mm, which won't be hugely ...