The iPhone is an amazing piece of technology, there’s no doubt about it. But as well as being amazing, iPhones are expensive – and everybody knows it. While this may make iPhone users a priority for thieves, Apple has taken steps to ensure that if an iPhone is lost or stolen, the new owner can’t use it without the old owner’s permission.
The technology is dubbed “activation lock” and can help deter thieves, but what happens if you’ve bought a second-hand iPhone with the Find my iPhone Activation Lock still active? Thankfully there are ways around it without asking for their Apple ID password, and here’s where we show you how to turn off Find my iPhone Activation Lock.
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How to turn off Find my iPhone activation lock: iPhones that have been wiped
If the iPhone you’ve bought has been wiped without the previous owner disabling the Find my iPhone Activation Lock, there’s only one way around it. The good news? If you’ve got two options available to you: ask for their Apple ID password or get them to remove it from the list of devices linked to their Apple ID. While the former would be the easiest option, it also requires a huge amount of trust – especially if you’ve bought it online from somebody you don’t know.
The only other option, it seems, is to get the previous owner to follow the steps outlined below to remove the iPhone’s activation lock remotely.
1) head to
iCloud.com and log in with your Apple ID.
2) Click the Find my iPhone web app to open it.
3) Select “All Devices” on the menu bar at the top of the page to bring up a list of devices associated with your Apple ID, and click on the device you want to remove.
4) Click “Remove from Account”.
Once the previous owner has completed the above steps and removed the iPhone from their list of devices, simply restart your iPhone and continue setup as you normally would.
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How to turn off Find my iPhone activation lock: iPhones that haven’t been wiped
So, how do you disable the Find my iPhone Activation Lock if the iPhone hasn’t been wiped? Thankfully, it’s a much easier process – if you’re the owner of the iPhone resetting it, anyway. If you’re looking to sell your iPhone on eBay or give it to a friend or family member, follow these instructions to remove the Activation Lock as you wipe your smartphone.
1) Head to the Settings app.
2) Head to General > Reset and select “Erase All Content and Settings”.
3) You should be prompted to enter your Apple ID and password – inputting this information before wiping the smartphone should disable the activation lock and allow the new owner to go through the setup process as usual.
But what about if you’ve bought an iPhone that hasn’t been wiped, but does have an active Activation Lock? As long as you know the PIN/password to access the iPhone, it should be a relatively stress-free process. Simply contact the previous owner and get them to follow the instructions in the “iPhones that have been wiped” section.
Once that has been done, simply restart the iPhone and head to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings to wipe the phone, ready for use.
How to turn off Find My iPhone
How to turn off Find my iPhone activation lock: How to tell if the iPhone activation lock has been disabled
Can you tell whether there’s an activation lock on an iPhone just by looking? While this would make the buying and selling of second-hand iPhones much simpler, there’s no way to tell whether it’s active or not until you go through the initial setup of the phone and get prompted for the Apple ID of the original owner.