iOS 17.5 to deliver major upgrade to iPhone repairs — send your device away without disabling Find My

iPhone 15 Pro Max Battery Settings
(Image credit: Future / Apple)

The latest iOS 17.5 beta introduces a new feature that lets you send off your iPhone for repair without needing to disable Find My and Activation Lock.

According to MacRumors, iOS 17.5 features a new 'Repair State' option that will allow a user to send their iPhone to Apple for repairs without switching off Find My or Activation Lock. The measure will offer significantly better protection against device theft when a user sends in their phone for repair via post. Where previously a lost or stolen iPhone could have just been reset, iPhones running iOS 17.5 will prevent this.

As it stands, when you need to send your iPhone away for repair, you need to switch off Find My and Activation Lock adding a risk of theft for devices sent via post. If you forget to, the device can’t always be repaired.

Find My was introduced way back in iOS 5 as ‘Find My iPhone’. Over the years, the app expanded to all of Apple’s devices and added the ability to follow friends and family at their discretion. Activation Lock binds your Apple ID to an Apple product. If this gets stolen and wiped, the security feature will block a thief from accessing an iOS device. 

Using ‘Repair State’ instead of disabling these two features will be a great help for many who worry about security when sending a device away via post. Instead of switching off Find My and Activation Lock, this new feature can be enabled before sending the device away — though it’s unclear for now whether this will also be available on other Apple devices in the future.

We’re expecting iOS 17.5 to land on compatible iPhones soon after Apple’s ‘Let Loose’ event on May 7, where the company is all but certain to announce a new M3 iPad Pro, a 12.9-inch iPad Air, and an Apple Pencil 3. With iPadOS 17.5 also in testing, we’re expecting these new software updates to arrive a few days after the event. If you’d like to try out iOS 17.5 right now, go to Settings > General > Software Update > Beta Updates.

My previous life would have loved this feature — iMore’s take

Many years ago I used to work as Tech Support in a retail store. I would look at many devices, mainly iPhones, with different kinds of issues every day — but if there was one I couldn’t fix, it would be sent away for repair.

This would require Find My and Activation Lock to be switched off so, if needed, iPhones could be wiped to fix the issue. Yet this would also make the device vulnerable to theft, as they would be sent by post in order to be fixed at another location.

Thanks to ‘Repair State’, this scenario is far less likely to happen once iOS 17.5 is released. The iPhone will be protected by Activation Lock if the device is stolen, as well as having Find My enabled, letting the user see where the iPhone is at any time.

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Daryl Baxter
Features Editor

Daryl is iMore's Features Editor, overseeing long-form and in-depth articles and op-eds. Daryl loves using his experience as both a journalist and Apple fan to tell stories about Apple's products and its community, from the apps we use everyday to the products that have been long forgotten in the Cupertino archives.

Previously Software & Downloads Writer at TechRadar, and Deputy Editor at StealthOptional, he's also written a book, 'The Making of Tomb Raider', which tells the story of the beginnings of Lara Croft and the series' early development. He's also written for many other publications including WIRED, MacFormat, Bloody Disgusting, VGC, GamesRadar, Nintendo Life, VRV Blog, The Loop Magazine, SUPER JUMP, Gizmodo, Film Stories, TopTenReviews, Miketendo64 and Daily Star.