Find my iPhone toughening up in iOS 7, requires Apple ID to erase the phone

iOS 7 is taking security pretty seriously, with some updates to Find my iPhone that requires your Apple ID and password in order to perform a remote erase. This also applies to turning off Find my iPhone, making it much tougher to access should you ever lose it or have it stolen.

Once the device has been erased, a custom message can still be displayed on the lock screen. And, to re-enable the phone once its been erased, requires your Apple ID and password again. So, as Apple puts it, "your iPhone is still your iPhone. No matter where it is"

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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Find my iPhone toughening up in iOS 7, requires Apple ID to erase the phone

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Well, you reset to factory settings before you sell it and don't register your Apple ID when it starts back up, perhaps?

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I think this may put the criminals on the other side of the deal.

Sell an iPhone on CL -> Passcode lock it -> Buyer later asks for the phone to be unlocked -> Seller gets iPhone back by force and keeps money

I see this happening a lot at the start until people realize that they need it to be fixed. Question really is, how does one take this out so they can resell an iPhone?

You can remove devices from iCloud so they don't show up in find my iPhone. Once you remove the device from iCloud you can sell your device cause it won't be tied down to your Apple ID.

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Yes, but the Buyer still has to take the Seller's word for it, because you can't really see it removed from iCloud on the device, it is removed from iCloud on iCloud.com. You can remove it from the settings, but we're not sure if Apple is going to take that as removed because a stolen one could have that done too. Because if you think about it, all the bad guy would have to do then when he steals it is delete the account, and he has the iPhone.

Cant the thief just take out your sim card, or turn off the phone. I'm sure there is way to bypass this and wipe the phone via itunes. iPhone isnt 1 user intended. Cmon now

This is an amazing inclusion by Apple. It's a move that does nothing for their bottom line and will essentially eliminate the stolen iphone/ipad market. bravo.

I agree. I really like the inclusion of the 2nd password requirement.....Though it could also be a bit of a security risk. I think that you should receive a custom password that will be required to re-enable the device instead of using your Apple ID. The problem is that if people are after your ID they can hack the device to their hearts content until they get your Apple ID info. Once they have this......well all your personal data is still on the iCloud. :(

I understand what you're saying. But your Apple ID is already being used in your device examples iTunes, App Store, FaceTime, iMessage so if the want to they can do that now. But I don't think its not that easy.

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That's true...What I'm talking about would only work properly
if they incorporated a fail-safe like BlackBerry where if you enter your BBID incorrectly X number of times it wipes your device. What I would like to see would be for that device to be a paperweight until the owner enters a code to boot it again.

Yes, this will eliminate the stolen iPhone/iPad/iPod market. But, it will create the sold iPhone/iPad/iPod then disabled market.

Sell iDevice on CL -> Get $ -> Lock device -> Buyer finds his new device locked when s/he gets home -> Seller meets Buyer to unlock it -> Buyer gets beaten up so Seller keeps iPhone

Even without that:
Sell iPhone -> Get money -> Lock old iPhone to be spiteful -> Buyer can't do anything

Without the way to undo this (so the Seller can prove to the Buyer it won't be locked 5 minutes later) being stated outright, this kills the resale market.

I am going to have to see how this actually plays out once this feature is in the wild. That is when we will start hearing about problems with this and find out all the actual holes.

It is gonna take a while for crooks to realize they can't make money on stolen iPhones any more but this is a great addition. Kinda sad it has taken manufacturers this long to implement this kind of thing though.

During the keynote, Apple said the Apple ID prompt appears during activation, not during factory reset. They called it "activation lock." Sounds like the thief can wipe the iPhone but can't activate it.

Read the text on the slide.....it states, this was lost and erased; enter the apple id used to erase the phone.
Simple work around, put phone in Dfu mode, factory reset from iTunes, activate with bogus apple id.....sell product, or if imei is locked by carrier as lost/stolen, unlock phone, then sell....
This is a useless feature to anyone smart enough to use the google....
Nice try, but half-measures don't stop thieves!!!

Actually DFU restore does NOT bypass it. It still requires the ORIGINAL Apple Id/Password to activate or move forward. Trust me, I bought one on Ebay and am now stuck with a $100 brick. it wasn't that person's phone, they bought it in a batch of broken ones (the screen and back are shattered). I have tried almost everything, next stop, jailbreaking to see if I can remove it. I even called AT&T to try and get in touch with the original owner but they are NO HELP. They won't even discuss it. So what's the point of the activation lock? If I can't even return it to the original owner because AT&T won't pass a message on to them? If the phone was stolen or lost, it will still be stolen or lost because I cannot contact them. It's a stupid feature to be honest. I checked my "Find my Iphone" and realized I had one of my old Iphones still on the account. Anyone that updated to iOS7 would have found that phone to be useless as it would have been automatically locked. Overkill in my opinion. There should be some way for LEGITIMATE buyers to get these phones unlocked.

It makes it harder on the owner as well, my daughter locked herself out of her phone (long story) and now I cannot figure out how to restore it because find my phone was enabled! And I cannot remote erase because it is offline. Anyone know any tips for this?

for me as a gadget reseller, most of my favorite gadget is apple, but since they launched this security, i'll stop supporting this product anymore, my business is buy& sell gadgets, even i bought a not stolen apple product but what if the owner didn't erase the account on their apple id on icloud and they forgot the account? i really stop supporting anymore it will destroy the image of my business, I just wanna say thank you apple.