Last updated by Bridget Callaghan
If you are looking to sell, return or replace your iPhone there are a few steps that need to happen beforehand.
In order to allow another person access to the iPhone, you would need to remove your Apple ID/Activation Lock. If the Activation Lock is not removed properly from the iPhone it renders the phone useless to anyone other than yourself. However, these Activation Locks do come in handy in preventing someone from gaining access to your info if your phone is lost or stolen.
It is recommended to back up your iPhone before removing the Activation Lock if you are planning to restore your info to another phone.
If you are the new owner of an iPhone that still has an Activation Lock associated with the device, all hope is not lost. The steps below may help if you are able to get in contact with the original owner. The same steps can be used if you would rather disable the Activation Lock on your computer through your iCloud account while you still have the phone in your possession.
Removing activation lock on your iPhone
1. Remove Find my iPhone from iCloud
Settings > Your Name/Apple ID > iCloud > Find my iPhone > Tap Switch to turn off
2. Sign out of your Apple ID/Account (You will need to enter your Apple ID credentials in order to sign out)
Settings > Your Name/ Apple ID > Scroll down to the bottom > Tap Sign Out
3. Sign out of the App Store (You will need to enter your Apple ID credentials in order to sign out)
Open App Store App > Ensure you are on the Featured tab at the bottom left > Scroll down to the bottom > Tap your Apple ID > Tap Sign out
4. Now that you have signed out of everything you can Factory Reset your iPhone.
Unsure if the activation lock has been removed?
If after completing these steps you are unsure if everything has been removed, reach out! We have a handy tool that allows us to check to see if an Apple ID/Activation Lock is still present on an iPhone.
If the above steps are not working out, you are also able to remove the Activation Lock online within your iCloud Account.
Removing activation lock through iCloud
If you've purchased your iPhone and found that it's still associated with a previous owner's Apple ID the following steps may be able to help. Alternatively, if you would rather remove your activation lock using this method on your own phone that works too!
1. 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.
Note: The rest of these directions are for the person whose Apple ID is on the device.
2. Log into the associated iCloud account from any device or computer.
4. Click Erase iPhone/iPad. This will erase the device but not any of your stored backups in the cloud.
6. Don't enter a phone number--just click Next
9. Click Remove
10. Now the phone is ready to activate and the new owner should be notified.