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iOS Activation Lock

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Last updated by Suzanne Thomas

If you've purchased your Apple device and found that it's still associated with a previous owner's Apple ID, you may be able solve that problem by simply running a factory reset.

However, if the device is running iOS 10 or later with Find My iPhone/iPad activated, this will automatically enable Activation Lock. If this is the case, you'll need to contact the seller to correct this so you can activate the device. Unfortunately we are unable to remove an Activation Lock.

For information on Android activation locks, click here.

How do I know if there's an Activation Lock on the device I've purchased?

  1. Passcode - If there's a passcode on the device, it hasn't been erased and may have an Activation Lock enabled
  2. During Setup - After choosing language and country and connecting to a network, if you are prompted for a previous Apple ID and password during setup then an Activation Lock is enabled.

If you're able to get through the setup process without having to enter the seller's Apple ID and password, then there is no Activation Lock on the device.

Removing iPhone Activation Lock

If you've purchased an Apple device running iOS 10 with Find My iPhone enabled, Activation Lock is automatically turned on. To turn it off:

1. Contact the previous owner immediately

The previous owner will need to remotely erase the device and then remove it from their iCloud account. Feel free to send them a link to this article so they can follow the steps below. Just tell them to start at Step 2.

The rest of these directions are for the person whose Apple ID is on the device.

 

2. Log into the associated iCloud account at https://icloud.com/find from any device or computer.

 

3. Click on the All Devices drop down and click on the device in question

 

4. Click Erase iPhone/iPad. This will erase the device but not any of your stored backups in the cloud.

 

5. Enter the Apple ID password and click Next

 

6. Don't enter a phone number--just click Next

 

7. Don't enter a message--just click Done

 

8. Now that the phone is erased, click Remove from Account

 

9. Click Remove

 

10. Now the phone is ready to activate and the new owner should be notified.

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Comments

  • Avatar
    Samantha C

    Hey Alfred, Thanks for sharing, that is some wonderful advice for someone selling their phone.

    We've recently come across this great tool that will allow potential buyers to check an Apple device to be sure the activation lock has been removed. 

     

    ***UPDATE: This link is no longer supported by Apple.***

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