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 sign out of iCloud first. If you're buying or receiving an iPhone or iPad, you'll need to make sure it's not locked to someone else's Apple ID 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 turn off Find my iPhone on iPhone and iPad
- How to turn off Activation Lock with Apple
- How to erase an iPhone, iPad, or Mac with the Find My iPhone app
- How to erase an iPhone, iPad, or Mac with iCloud.com
How to turn off Find my iPhone on iPhone and iPad
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.
- Launch Settings from the Home screen.
- Tap your Apple ID banner.
- Tap on iCloud.
- Tap Find My iPhone.
- Switch Find My iPhone to Off.
- Enter your Apple ID password to confirm.
- Tap Turn Off.
You'll then need to sign out of iCloud on the iPhone or iPad if you plan on selling it.
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Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.