iCloud Activation Lock is an anti-theft feature that Apple introduced in iOS 7, which prevents anyone from erasing your data from the device and restoring it on another one. If you find yourself in this situation – and if you’re not sure what to do next – don’t panic! Follow these steps to unlock iCloud Activation Lock and start using your device again.
The Types Of iCloud Activation Lock
Apple’s iCloud service is great, right? Well, if you happen to be unfortunate enough to lose your iPhone and someone finds it, there’s a good chance that they won’t have access to it. Why? Because by default, Apple locks all iPhones with an iCloud activation lock. This makes sure that in case anyone steals your phone or simply finds it on the street and doesn’t return it to you (or report finding it), they won’t have access to it or its data—but there are ways around this.
Before diving into the solution, let’s look at what types of iCloud activation locks exist.
There are two types:
- By using a PIN authentication
- By using Touch ID/Face ID authentication
If someone attempts to unlock your device without either of these methods being performed within 48 hours, after which point it goes into Lost Mode, then it becomes locked via Apple’s servers rather than locally on your device. Once locked down via their servers, only iTunes can make changes on it.
How To Remove It
The only surefire way to remove an iCloud lock from a stolen device is to contact Apple customer service and ask them to remove it. If you have your password (or can guess your password, which shouldn’t be hard for someone who knows you), then here are four methods that should help you bypass an activation lock. However, remember: none of these methods are guaranteed, and some may cause your iPhone to get wiped. If you don’t want to risk losing data on your iPhone, contact Apple support instead. You might even be able to convince Apple that you’re innocent, as many people do.
1. Request A Remote Wipe Of Your Device Through Find My iPhone > Send Last Location > Erase iPhone/iPad/iPod touch
Using Find My iPhone will erase all content on your device and make it usable again by anyone. This method works in iOS 7 but isn’t available in iOS 8 or later. This method doesn’t work if your iDevice has been factory reset or if it’s running beta software like iOS 9 Public Beta 2 or later versions of iOS 9. You can use an app called Find My iPhone Remover to bypass the activation lock after a remote wipe is performed. You can download it from Cydia, which is an alternative app store for jailbroken devices only. If you’re not jailbroken, you’ll need to find another way to bypass the activation lock.
2. Use iTunes to Restore Your Device With Another Apple ID
If you have access to another Apple ID, then restoring your device through iTunes with that account should remove its activation lock. Remember that if you restore with a different Apple ID than what was used to activate your device originally, then you won’t be able to use any data stored on iCloud (such as email messages). This method also won’t work if your iDevice has been factory reset or if it’s running beta software like iOS 9 Public Beta 2 or later versions of iOS 9.
3. Install An Older Version Of The OS That Doesn’t Have an Activation Lock
Downgrading isn’t possible anymore due to changes made in newer versions of iOS such as iOS 8 and newer. However, if you’re running an older version of iOS, then you can downgrade to a previous version that doesn’t have an activation lock. Doing so will remove your device’s activation lock but it won’t be able to use any data stored on iCloud (such as email messages). If you have an old backup, restoring from that should work. Remember that downgrading could potentially damage your device or void its warranty, so proceed with caution and make sure you’ve backed up everything important before trying it out. This method also won’t work if your iDevice has been factory reset or if it’s running beta software like iOS 9 Public Beta 2 or later versions of iOS.
4. Jailbreak Your Device And Use A Third-Party App:
There are apps available for jailbroken devices that claim to bypass activation lock, but we haven’t tested them yet and don’t know how well they work. Other third-party apps claim to help you unlock your iPhone, but we don’t recommend using them because they may contain malware. If you’re thinking about trying one of these apps out, be sure to read reviews from multiple sources before downloading it.
If none of these methods work for you, then unfortunately there’s no way to remove an iCloud lock from a stolen device. To use an iDevice again, it needs to be recovered by its original owner or erased through Find My iPhone (which will wipe all data stored on it). If you’re lucky enough to find someone who can help remove an iCloud lock from a stolen device (such as a friend or family member), then contact Apple support immediately so they can help remove it before anyone else tries unlocking your device with another Apple ID.
What Can I Do If I Cannot Remember My iCloud Username Or Password?
Don’t stress, there is a way around it. Apple offers an alternative security setting that allows you to bypass entering your username and password by answering a secret question or inputting your Apple ID recovery key. In addition, if you’ve enabled Find My iPhone, you can still remotely disable your device without knowing your username or password. Just make sure to do so before handing over your phone to someone else.
How Do I Get The Activation Lock Off My iPhone?
Whether you’ve lost your iPhone or it’s just not working, Apple’s “Find My iPhone” feature can help you locate your device. But if it’s locked with Activation Lock enabled—as part of Apple’s anti-theft security features—you might have trouble using Find My iPhone to locate your device. If that’s the case, what do you do? You could take it to an Apple Store or a third-party repair shop, where they might be able to get in touch with Apple Support and bypass the activation lock so you can erase your data and use it yourself. Or, in some cases (but not all), find someone who knows how to bypass the iCloud activation lock. That person could unlock it for you. This is risky, though: The same process used to unlock your phone from its iCloud account could also allow someone else to access your personal information. So, proceed with caution!
If you don’t want to deal with those hassles, there are other options available: If you bought a used iPhone on eBay or Craigslist and it’s still under contract, ask its previous owner if he or she had deactivated Activation Lock before selling it. If so, maybe he or she can give you enough information about how they did it that you’ll be able to figure out how to remove Activation Lock from your phone.
Although it is technically possible to remove an activation lock from an Apple device, it’s not a solution that most people are interested in pursuing. The process of removing an activation lock requires a jailbreak, which compromises your device and makes it more vulnerable to security risks (such as malware & Spyware). Additionally, there is no way to guarantee that Apple won’t restore your device without updating its software when you use this method. If you’re trying to retrieve your data, keeping your computer as untouched as possible is essential. Forcing someone with limited technical knowledge to reformat their hard drive doesn’t seem fair; especially considering that unlocking iCloud doesn’t permanently erase or change any files on a user’s iPhone, iPad, or iOS device.