The activation lock is tied to the “Find My iPhone” setting on iOS. It is automatically enabled when you turn on Find My iPhone. Therefore, if you want to remove the activation lock, you should do so by turning off “Find My iPhone” or signing out of iCloud.
This post provides several ways to remove Activation Lock from iPhone, even if you don’t know the Apple ID and password that was originally used to set up this iPhone.
- Option 1: Unlock with passcode or iTunes
- Option 2: Ask the previous owner to remove iPhone from account remotely
- Option 3: Ask Apple to remove the activation lock – If the seller cannot help
The activation lock may be accidentally obtained, including:
- Forgot to turn off “Find My iPhone” before erasing iPhone.
- Forgot to sign out of iCloud before erasing the iPhone.
- Your Apple ID is disabled. In this case, when you try to set up your phone again, the Activate Lock screen will be displayed. These errors are common to some extent when buying a second-hand iPhone.
Option 1: Unlock Activation Lock with a passcode or iTunes
The standard way to remove an activation lock is to log in with your Apple ID and password.
If you don’t know the Apple ID email address, you can find it on Apple’s iForgot website. If you are not sure what the password is, or if you want to recover the password, you can do it on iForgot. More info on how to reset your password and regain access to your account, see How to Unlock a Locked/Disabled Apple ID with 2FA Enabled
You can try tapping “Unlock with passcode” and enter the passcode that was previously used to unlock this iPhone.
If your iPhone could not be activated because the activation server is temporarily unavailable. You can try connecting your iPhone to Mac or to a PC with iTunes to activate it. Here’s how to activate your iPhone through iTunes instead:
- Make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes.
- Make sure that your computer has an Internet connection.
- With the cable that came with your iPhone, connect your iPhone to your computer. Locate your device on your computer.
- Wait while your computer detects and activates your iPhone. If you see an alert that shows “Set up as New” or “Restore from Backup,” it means your iPhone is activated.
Ask the previous owner to remove activation lock remotely
This good option involves using iCloud and Find My iPhone to erase all data and settings from your phone. Make the iPhone is powered on and connected to a WiFi internet.
Step 1: Go to iCloud.com and sign in with the password they originally used to activate the iPhone (and the iPhone is locked).
Step 2: Click Find My iPhone > All Devices menu. Click on the iPhone you want to unlock.
Step 3: Click Erase iPhone. When prompted, enter the iCloud password to continue, then enter the Apple ID verification code when prompted, and then click Yes to continue.
If the device is offline, the remote wipe will start the next time you are online.
Step 4: After erasing the device, click Remove from the account.
After completing these steps, the iPhone has been removed from its account and the activation lock should have been removed. you can now activate the device.
How to remove activation lock on iPhone without previous owner
If you are unable to reset your Apple ID password or restore your email address, you can ask Apple to remove the activation lock from your device.
- Make an appointment at your local Apple Store. Bring your device, proof of purchase and the best smile.
- Call Apple Support and explain the situation. Ask the sales representative to remotely remove the activation lock from your device remotely.
Apple will check if the iPhone has been reported stolen and will check your documentation. If Apple is sure of your situation, they may remove the activation lock for you.