Is it safe to buy an iPhone that is iCloud locked?

If you're looking for a used iPhone, find one in good condition and for a reasonable price, but the catch is, Activation Lock is on, it's an immediate red flag. An iPhone that has been Activation Locked can only be unlocked with the iCloud credentials of its owner. Therefore, buying an iCloud locked phone is equivalent to buying a very expensive paperweight.

Despite what YouTube videos or websites say about hacks or programs that let you break past an iCloud lock, you can't do it. It's a layer of security designed by Apple to protect people from having their phones stolen and then resold by thieves. As such, you can't get around it unless you were the original owner of the phone who put the Activation Lock in place.

Not all iCloud locked phones are stolen, of course. Occasionally a seller might forget to deactivate their iCloud account through Find My iPhone before handing it over. That's why you need to check and make absolutely sure that step is done before you take possession of a new iPhone.

If you're buying off eBay or online, and you can't verify the iPhone is unlocked, don't buy it. If you're buying off of Craigslist or in person, and the seller is unable to unlock it for you before handing it over, do not make the deal.

There are a lot of great deals on used iPhones out there. Activation Locked iPhones aren't one of them.

Pop culture geek, hopelessly addicted to streaming movies, tv shows, and podcasts. Would be lost in life without unlimited data.

5 Comments
  • Nice warning, Marc! It's amazing the number of people who still buy activation locked phones. They all believe they can get past it. They can't!
  • WTF are you all on about? I bought an iPhone off Gumtree that said it wasnt locked but only the lcd needed replacing. Anyway i replaced it only to find it was locked to icloud, so i turned to google and youtube and one hour later i had a fresh iphone in which i could set my own icloud and lock for.. so it does work and can definitely be done this article is a piece of sh.
  • I need help please. Got same problem about a phone i bought on gumtree. Can you help with links to the sites that helped you sort out your issue with icloud?
    My mail addy is <removed>
    Thanks
  • Hi Corey, you can Help me i want unlocked my iphone please what are the link of video on youtube
  • So, in other word, you could also say Apple introduces not only a theft deterrent mechanism, but also prevent legitimate people cashing if for a cheaper iphone that what they sell for. We say this now about not getting past.... but no knows whats round the corner.... Nothing is full proof with the right equipment.