It must be a terrible feeling to find your iPhone stuck at activation screen after iOS update/restore. Being asked for previous owner Apple ID account, such devices are literally turned into bricks. It usually happens if iPhone/iPad was used by different person before getting to your hands. In this article I’ll show you how to remove Apple ID from iPhone and what it takes to unlock an iPhone if it already asks for activation with Apple ID you don’t know.
OK! I don’t want to waste your time, so HERE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING straight at the beginning… If you purchased or found an iPhone which needs to be activated with Apple ID which you don’t know, THERE IS NOW LEGITIMATE WAY TO ACTIVATE THIS DEVICE other than entering correct Apple ID details that had been used for setting up this iPhone. There is no software bypass around iCloud Activation Lock… Despite that, I will mention all possible solutions below.
Because I care about you and your devices, here are few ways of solving the problem. In order to remove your iPhone or iPad from iCloud account, follow the steps below.
Every situation is different, so I would suggest to try every step in the order they are published. If the first method doesn’t work, try the second one and so on…
1: Remove Apple ID from iPhone
If you still possess the device and it’s NOT YET LOCKED, do the following 5 steps. If your iPhone is already locked (asks for Apple ID you don’t know) go straight to section #4.
Every time I write a guidance article I test every step on my own devices. I do this to be sure that everything I write about works. So… when I completed above steps on my iPhone, it was successfully removed from Apple ID account and disappeared from «All Devices» on icloud.com. From other’s people feedback I figured out that completing of these steps is not enough for some users to get rid of Apple ID on iPhone. Thus I strongly RECOMMEND to complete the two steps below also.
After that all data from your iPhone (including Apple ID) will be erased. The new iPhone owner will be able to activate the device with his own Apple ID account.
2: Remove iPhone from iCloud
It is also possible to remove iPhone from iCloud even if you no longer possess that iPhone (let’s say you sold it to other person). If Apple ID account belongs to other person, ask him/her to do the following 5 steps… Otherwise you can do these steps yourself if you know correct login and password for that Apple ID.
This is it! You’ve just removed iPhone from Apple ID account. Next time this device connects to internet the erasing process will be initiated. When complete it will be possible to activate and set up this device by another person.
Few readers had already asked me «What to do if my iPhone is still linked to Apple ID, but I cannot connect this iPhone to internet?». The device cannot be erased since it’s offline… obvious, isn’t it? In this case go to icloud.com and log in with Apple ID which was used to set this iPhone up. Run «Find my iPhone» and click little cross against the device you want to remove from Apple ID account. When asked, confirm that you really want to remove iPhone from Apple ID.
After that restore that device using DFU mode (guidance is here).
3: How to check iPhone’s Activation Lock status?
There was a page on icloud.com where anyone could check his iPhone Activation Lock status. Recently this page had been removed by Apple, since a lot of bad guys from China were using it to get «clean serial numbers» which they were then using in dodgy hardware iCloud Activation removal.
At the moment there is NO alternative service from Apple where you could check iPhone’s Activation Lock status.
I’m afraid a lot of users who plan to buy a used iDevice are at risk now. If you actually got yourself an iPhone which is asking for Apple ID account you don’t know, read the final part #4 below.
4: I’ve bought an iPhone which is linked to somebody’s Apple ID
I’m going to say it ones, but you’ll have to read it loud few times for yourself! When you buy an iPhone, which was used by another person, IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE SURE THE APPLE ID IS REMOVED FROM THIS IPHONE. This is what you should care about first of all.
A lot of people contact me searching for advice, after their iPhones get locked. All these people did’t know (or think) of iCloud Activation Lock existence at the moment of buying the device from other person. Unfortunately when the shit hits the fan the seller in most cases is inaccessible… his contact phone number is either lost or out of service. This is a rough reality man! In many cases even Apple support team wouldn’t be able to help you… Unless you have an original receipt from Apple store. Did you get one from previous owner? So, if you do have a receipt, contact Apple support advisor for remote iCloud Activation unlock. If you don’t have a receipt, the ONLY WAY TO REMOVE APPLE ID FROM IPHONE WAS DESCRIBED IN PART 2 above, but for that YOU NEED TO FIND AN OWNER OF APPLE ID ACCOUNT.
You won’t be able to remove Activation Lock by just restoring the firmware of your device. The thing is that Activation Lock status is automatically checked every time the device starts up for the first time after iOS update/restore. Apple «remembers» the lock status of every iOS device in the world, so every time somebody activates his iPhone/iPad, the request is sent to Apple servers… then appropriate status reply is sent back to the device. Unless you have ability to remotely modify the data, your iPhone will stay in a «bricked mode».
At last I want to warn everyone to be sober when it comes to internet scammers. There are a lot of websites and social network accounts where scammers offer a remote iCloud Activation Lock removal. Obviously they charge money for such service… But there is NO service at the end!
Don’t trust anyone on-line, don’t waste your money on scam. Feel free to help our website instead. I really need your support… Please share this article in social networks and help me to keep up in such cruel world. Thanks!