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. The activation locks main purpose is 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. There is a way to remove the activation lock remotely through iCloud. 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 your activation lock on your iPhone
To remove the activation lock from your iPhone, you need to turn off Find my iPhone from your iCloud settings on the phone.
- Go to Settings on your phone.
- Tap Your Name/Apple ID at the top of settings.
Note: If you're running an earlier version of iOS, you want to go straight to the iCloud option in your settings.
- Tap iCloud.
- Select the setting for Find my iPhone
- Tap the switch to turn it off.
- You will be asked for your iCloud password to continue.
- Enter your password
- Now that you have signed out of Find my iPhone, you can Factory Reset your Apple device.
Unsure if the activation lock has been removed?
If after completing these steps you are unsure if everything has been removed, reach out to us. 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!
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.
- Log into the iCloud account that is associated with the device from any device or computer.
- Click on the All Devices drop down and select the device in question.
- Click Erase iPhone/iPad. This will erase the device, but not any of your stored backups in the cloud.
- Enter your Apple ID password and click Next.
- Don't enter a phone number on the next screen, just click Next.
- There's no need to enter an optional message on the next screen, you can simply select Done.
- Now that the phone is erased, click Remove from Account.
- Click Remove.
- Now the phone is ready to activate, and the new owner should be notified.