I have been in this business since 2011, and since Apple introduced the iCloud Activation Lock, many people constantly come to us on how remove iCloud Locked iPhone so that they can use their devices normally.
This guide will be the most comprehensive that you can find on the internet so that you won’t have to waste your time from trying one solution to another and get the most definitive solution to remove the iCloud on your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch.
Before we move forward to remove iCloud locked iPhone, you’ll need a bit of introduction on the iCloud Activation Lock that’s now currently enabled on your device. I assume it’s now enabled because otherwise you won’t be looking for a solution right now.
Introduction on iCloud Lock
This security feature was introduced by Apple since iOS 7 was introduced. It was meant to add additional layer of security for all Apple devices to prevent unauthorized use.
Another term used is Activation Lock. As straightforward as it sounds, it basically lock the device from activation. The feature is enabled when you activate Find My iPhone.
As soon as that’s turned on, there’s no other way to use the iPhone aside from entering the original owner Apple ID username and password that were used to activate the iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch the first time.
How to Identify iCloud-Locked iPhone
The first thing you would have noticed by now is the activation screen on your device. It requires you to input username or Apple ID and password.
As shown in the image above, you also see status as lost or erased. This happens when the original owner uses the Find My iPhone to wipe the device remotely.
Alternatively, the owner can also put in additional message like a phone number so that whoever finds the device can call him or her.
Are All iCloud-Locked iPhones Lost or Stolen?
The answer is NO. Sometimes, owners who do not the function may accidentally enabled this feature. Other possible reasons include:
Not turning off Find My iPhone
Not signing out of iCloud
Apple ID is disabled
The possible scenarios above normally happen when someone is trying to sell his or her device to someone else. If this happens, it’s much easier to resolve this. Skip to the section below as part of the free method.
If in doubt, before buying any used iPhone, always check with the seller if the iCloud is turned off. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with this problem and there’s no quick or easy way out for you to remove iCloud locked iPhone.
Other Terms for iCloud Lock
The thing about the internet is people come up with all sorts of terms despite the official term issued by Apple. Therefore, it gets very confusing especially if you’re new to this concept. To have a clarity, these are the different terms used but essentially they all mean the same:
iCloud Activation Lock – Official term used by Apple
Find My iPhone
Find My Apple Watch
Find My iPad
Removing iCloud Lock on iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch
Often times, people who buy used iPhone online are usually the victims of iCloud Lock iPhone. This is not 100% preventable but it’s also not the end of the world. I’ll share with you the available methods both free and paid.
Basic Prerequisites to Remove iCloud Locked iPhone
In order for you to use the free methods outlined below, there are some basic prerequisites in order for you to remove the iCloud lock successfully using the free methods.
The requirements for your iPhone are:
No fraud status
No insurance claims
Not blacklisted the carrier
No unpaid bills
No permanent blacklist by Apple
Remove iCloud Locked iPhone (Free Methods)
I will explain here on how to use free methods to remove the iCloud lock. These methods are simple and you won’t need any technical knowledge. In case these don’t work, you can skip to the next section to try the paid methods.
Firstly, please make sure the person whose account was originally used is with you.
How to remove iCloud Lock for free:
Request the person to enter his or her Apple ID username and password on the iPhone.
Go to Settings > iCloud > Sign Out (note: on iOS 10.3 and later, go to Settings > [Owner Name] > Sign Out.
Enter the credentials again.
Remove the Apple ID by tapping Sign Out > Delete. (note: On iOS 10.3 or later tap on Turn Off).
Erase the iPhone by entering to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
The other method if the person is not next to you is to do it remotely.
How to remove iCloud Lock for free remotely:
Ask the owner to login to iCloud.com
Go to Find iPhone.
Select All Devices, then select the specific iPhone that needs its activation lock removed.
Follow on screen instructions.
If that doesn’t work for you, then perhaps it’s also worth trying this at an Apple store nearby.
I can say this is a long shot but worth trying.
One thing for sure is the proof of ownership document is needed for example the purchase receipt.
It’s best to get this when buying a used iPhone from someone to prove that the ownership of the iPhone has been transferred to you. While this is still questionable, it’s always good to have a paper trail.
In some cases, if an owner of the iPhone has passed on, Apple will also consider unlocking it for you.
One thing for sure Apple will always verify that the iPhone is not lost or reported stolen because this is one thing Apple will not do for you.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the chance is slim but worth trying.
Remove iCloud Locked iPhone (Paid Methods)
Of course, not all free methods will be effective so that’s why I also added information here on how to remove iCloud Lock using paid methods.
iPhone iCloud Locked Removal Software Tool Method
There are several software solutions being offered on the internet but no one has really able to claim that the method is working.
A quick Google search for iCloud Bypass Tool will return hundreds of results which won’t guarantee if the solution would work or not. Most of the offerings are out-dated and won’t work with the latest iOS version.
Technically, the iCloud lock is set by Apple and no software can bypass it.
Even more so, some companies are using subscription method to remove the iCloud lock. This is not sustainable because as soon as the subscription is over, your iPhone will be iCloud locked again.
Besides, you’ll need to download and install the software on your computer which may compromise security. Your personal information can be stolen or hacked by hackers.
iPhone iCloud Locked Removal Official Method
This is more suitable for those who are not technically inclined or don’t have time to research on other possible methods.
There are quite a number of service which they claim can get remove the iCloud Activation Lock, but by using non-official method, the warranty will be affected.
Besides, you are not able to update the iOS and activate it normally.
So the best paid method is using our verified and reliable partner which you can find here for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch iCloud Lock removal. A trusted service is rare but I’m glad to let you know that you’ve found it right here.
This is done through an official method by removing the iCloud on the server so your iPhone can be activated normally.
They will make sure to unlock your iPhone safely so that the warranty is not void and also to make sure your iPhone is always has legit status.
iPhone Activation using SSN or ZIP
Many of our customers have purchased a new AT&T iPhone off eBay but they’re stuck in this situation in which iTunes or the device itself is asking for the Zip Code and the last 4 digit of SSN of the phone.
The original owner simply refused to provide any information to help him activate his new iPhone. Why? We have no idea.
15-digit IMEI of your iPhone (Go to Settings, General, About).
The phone number tied to the iPhone when it was purchased.
Servers will take about 1-7 business days to remove the SSN and ZIP activation.
Is it Possible to Get the iCloud Email Required to Activate an iPhone?
If you think you can email the original owner of your iPhone or iPad to help you activate it, we may be able to help
You’ve probably thought of emailing the original owner but the full email address is not shown so you’re pretty much running out of options.
We have a service to help you get full email address displayed on the iPhone or iPad so that you can get in touch with the original owner of the device, hoping that he or she would reply and provide you the iCloud password or help you in any way so that you can activate your iPhone or iPad. (Note: This service will not remove activation lock/iCloud lock.)
What Information Do We Need to Get the Full iCloud Email?
Please note this is not a hack. We only provide the full email address and some other information related to your device. We won’t be able to provide the password, or answers to the security questions.
We only need the IMEI of the device, nothing needs to be shipped and is all done remotely. We will query Apple database to get the full email address and related information as shown above. Please be sure the device has an email address on the activation screen.