Do you plan to buy a used iPhone? Before buying it, please be sure to check if Find My iPhone is switched off first to avoid any problem arising later on.
If you’re planning to buy a used iPhone from eBay or Craigslist, you should read this post I wrote last year on 5 Tips on Buying Used iPhone on eBay or Craigslist to Avoid Scam. The article has useful pointers for you and may save you a lot of money and headache later on. Aside from that, since the launch of iOS 7, Apple has added a new layer of security feature called the iOS 7 Activation Lock which is related to iOS 7 Find My iPhone.
Why do you need to check whether iOS 7 Find My iPhone is switched on or not? Well, firstly you need to understand how Find My iPhone works.
How Does iOS 7 Find My iPhone Activation Lock Work?
When you enable Find My iPhone on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 7, the Apple ID and password you use for iCloud is securely stored on Apple’s activation servers and linked to your device. From that point on, your password will be required before anyone can turn off Find My iPhone on your device, erase your device, or reactivate and use your device.
Activation Lock is enabled automatically when you turn on Find My iPhone in iOS 7, or when you upgrade to iOS 7 from a previous version of iOS that has Find My iPhone already turned on.
If you lost your device, turning on Find My iPhone on your iCloud account will enable the Activation Lock. Once this is enabled, the person who has your device will not be able to activate your device in any way and it will be stuck on the screen shown in the image above; rendering the device useless.
Therefore if you’re buying a used device, it’s extremely important to check whether it’s active or not. The most straightforward way to check it would be asking the seller directly.
If the seller is from the same city, ideally you might want to deal with him or her face to face. Bring your laptop and restore the device using iTunes on your computer (or the seller’s computer). Go through the activation steps and make sure that it doesn’t get stuck on the activation screen. If it does, please ask the seller to disable Find My iPhone before completing the deal. Be sure that you have the seller’s contact details in case you run into issues. For those who are already stuck in this situation and have no way of contacting the seller, this service will remove the password remotely.
What if you run a store or business and you trade plenty of iPhones or iPads? We can help you check the status using this service here. The result is fast and it will potentially save you from any loss when you bought a device that you’re not able to activate. All you need is to submit the 15-digit IMEI and we will let you know whether it’s enabled or disabled.