How to remove Activation Lock from iPhone or iPad

Activation Lock is a form of theft protection designed to prevent people from taking, wiping, and restoring your iPhone or iPad without your express permission. It does this by using your Apple ID. Before an iPhone can be activated with a new account, it needs to be removed from yours. If you're selling or giving away your iPhone or iPad yourself, you'll need to unlock it first. If you're buying or receiving an iPhone or iPad, you'll need to make sure it's unlocked first. If anything goes wrong and you can't get through Activation Lock... well, read on!

Update: There have been some reports of iPhone 7 and iPhone 6s showing Activation Lock that can't be removed. If that happens with you, you'll need to contact Apple to have it taken care of. (See below)

How to remove Activation Lock with the Find my Friends app

Activation Lock is tied to the Find my iPhone (or iPad) app on iOS. If you have your iPhone or iPad in your hands, this is the fast way to turn off Activation Lock.

Note: You can also reset your iPhone to erase all content and settings. Do that, and you'll be asked to remove Find my iPhone — and Activation Lock — as part of the process.

  1. Launch Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Tap on iCloud.
  3. Tap Find My iPhone.

    Launch Settings, tap iCloud, tap Find My iPhone

  4. Switch Find My iPhone to Off.
  5. Enter your Apple ID password to confirm.
  6. Tap Turn Off.

    Turn off Find My iPhone, enter your password, tap Turn Off

How to turn off Activation Lock with

If you don't have your iPhone or iPad with you, you can remove it remotely via the web.

  1. Go to on your browser.
  2. Click Find My iPhone on the iCloud website, from any web browser on your Mac or Windows PC.
  3. Sign in to your iCloud account when prompted.
  4. If you're not immediately taken to Find My iPhone, click on Find My iPhone from the Home menu.
  5. Click on All Devices at the top of the Find My iPhone screen.

    Sign into iCloud, click All Devices

  6. Click the device you'd like to erase.
  7. Click Erase (device) on the upper right of the screen, beneath the picture of your device.
  8. Click Erase and wait for confirmation that it's been erased.
  9. Click on Remove from Account

    Click Erase and then Erase

How to turn off Activation Lock with Apple

If all else fails, Activation Lock is turned on, and you can't turn it off, you still have an option:


You can either call AppleCare or go to your local Apple Store and present proof of ownership. From there, Apple will confirm that it is indeed your iPhone or iPad and, if satisfied, remove the Activation Lock for you.