"Just purchased an iPad stuck on activation lock. Please help! It was in perfect condition and so after giving the seller the money he logged out of his iTunes account and gave me the iPad......When I got home, I wanted to restore it and put some apps and games on it, but during the restore I got stuck at the activation lock. Now I'm locked out of the iPad and have been unable to reach the seller"
- A question excerpted from Reddit
If you find yourself in a similar situation and need help on how to remove the activation lock without the previous owner, this article is for you. Read on to learn all the possible ways to remove activation lock without previous owner or password.
What Is Activation Lock & How It Works?
Method 1: How to Remove Activation Lock without Previous Owner via iOS Unlock [Most Effective]
Method 2: How to Remove Find My iPhone Activation Lock without Previous Owner via DNS Bypass
Method 3: How to Remove Find My iPad/iPhone Activation Lock without Previous Owner via Apple Support
Method 4: How to Remove Find My iPhone Activation Lock without Apple ID via iCloud Website
4.1 Try to Get In Touch with the Previous Owner
4.2 Remotely Remove Find My iPhone Activation Lock
Frequently Asked Questions
What is activation lock?
Activation lock is a security feature which closely tied to Find My iPhone. This feature automatically enables when you turn on the Find My iPhone. Actually, both are enabled on all iPhones by default. If your device is lost or stolen, activations lock can prevent others from accessing your device without your permission.
In addition to ensuring your device's safety, activation lock also improves your chances of retrieving your device. If your device is lost, you can go to Find My and click "Mark as Lost". This feature locks your screen with a password and allows you to display a custom message containing your phone number to help you retrieve your device.
How does activation lock work?
According to Apple, when you enable the Find My iPhone on your device, your Apple ID is securely stored on Apple's activation server and associated with your device. From that time on, your device will be automatically protected. Anyone who wants to reactivate and use your device must first enter your Apple ID account password or device lock screen password.
If you can not get in touch with the previous owner, using a third-party unlocking tool is the most effective way to remove activation lock. iOS Unlock is one of the best iCloud bypass tools that helps you remove the activation lock on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch within easy steps.
Main features of iOS Unlock:
How to remove find my iPad/iPhone activation lock without previous owner via iOS Unlock:
Step 1: Install and run iOS Unlock on your computer; click Screen Unlock from the welcome interface.
Step 2: On the next screen, click Unlock Apple ID > select the Remove Active Lock option.
Step 3: Next, follow the Jailbreak Guide to jailbreak your iPhone on your Windows computer. Click check the box of I HAVE READ AND AGREED TO THE AGREEMENT and click Next to proceed.
Step 4: Confirm your iPhone model information and then click Start Unlock to remove the activation lock. The process will take only a few seconds; after it is complete, you can get into the phone without activation lock.
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If your iPhone is running an older version of the operating system, you can try to change your Wi-Fi DNS settings to bypass the activate the lock. This method takes advantage of a loophole in the device's Wi-Fi DNS settings and tricks your iPhone into thinking it's unlocked. This method is not always effective, and it supports limited devices. In addition, this is not a permanent solution. The activation will reappear if you restart your iPhone.
Anyway, here's how to bypass Find My iPhone activation lock without password via DNS bypass:
Step 1: Set up your iPhone as a new device according to the prompts.
Step 2: When you reach the Wi-Fi screen, connect to a Wi-Fi network and tap the "i" icon next to the network name.
Step 3: Click Configure DNS on the following screen.
Step 4: Select the Manual option > tap Add Server.
Step 5: Choose one DNS value from the following:
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If you are stuck with the iPhone activation lock on the inherited or second-hand iPhone, removing a device from a previous owner's account is possible by contacting Apple Support. You will need to describe your problem thoroughly, provide sufficient proof of ownership documentation, and follow any further instructions they provide. The required documentation may include:
This is a free method, but it may not 100% succeed. Because even if you provide all the details, Apple Support can still decide on its own whether to unlock your device. Apple needs to be sure that you own the device legitimately; they won't unlock your device if they have any suspicion.
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If the device is not properly wiped, it is possible to get the previous owner's contact information. Here are two tips for tracking the previous owner:
1. Find the IMEI number of the iPhone
You can try to access the IMEI of the device, then find and contact the carrier for their help to find the former owner.
You can get the IMEI from the SIM card tray, the back of the iPhone, or the activation screen. Then, eject the SIM card and look up the carrier and call its support. You need to explain the situation thoroughly and provide them with the serial number or IMEI of the device. They should be able to help track the original owner.
2. Check iCloud lost mode for information
The previous owner may put the iPhone in lost mode to notify you to get in touch with them. If the device is in lost mode, a message will appear on the screen stating that the iPhone is lost and there is a number to dial. You can contact the owner for help.
If you find the previous owner, things will become quite simple. You can get the Apple ID password from the original owner to unlock your phone.
And it doesn't matter if they don't want to hand over the Apple ID password. You can ask them to delete the iPhone from their iCloud account remotely.
Step 1: Log in to iCloud.com with Apple ID and password.
Step 2: Select the Find iPhone option.
Step 3: Click All Devices > select your iPhone.
Step 4: Click Remove from Account.
Q1: Can I remove Apple ID without password?
Officially, the Apple ID can only be deleted after entering the correct Apple ID and password. But some tools can help you delete the Apple ID without password and log in to a new account. The iOS Unlock software mentioned in Method 1 is one of the best tools you can try.
Q2: What happens when you turn off Find My iPhone?
A: When you turn off Find My iPhone, the activation lock will also be disabled. You will no longer be able to use the Find app or the iCloud website to locate your phone. That means you can't see its location on a map, nor can you trigger the iPhone to play a sound when you cannot find it in your house. And if your device gets stolen, you can't erase it remotely.
Q3: How to remove activation lock on iPhone and iPad?
A: Open Settings > tap your name > iCloud > scroll down and locate Find My iPhone, turn it off. Then, enter your Apple ID and password as required > tap the Turn Off button.
Q4: How to delete unwanted Apple ID from iPhone?
A: Open Settings on your iPhone > tap Apple ID > scroll down to the bottom and tap Sign Out. You will be asked to enter the Apple ID and password to remove it.
Q5: What if I forgot my Apple ID and password for activation lock?
A: If you forgot your own Apple ID and password, you can reset the password and regain access to your iCloud account. You do this on your own device, or using the Apple Support app or Find My iPhone app on your friend's iOS device. Click here to learn the detailed instructions.
Q6: What is the difference between password and passcode in iPhone?
A: A passcode is usually a 4-digit or 6-digit screen lock in your iPhone. It is used to unlock the iOS device when you want to access it. And a password usually refers to your Apple ID password, which is used to purchase products and services from Apple iTunes or App store. It's also used to access iCloud account and turn off Find My iPhone.
Tip: Forgot lock screen passcode on iPhone? Here are the solutions to bypass iPhone passcode without restoring.
By reading through this post, you probably master all the well-known methods to remove the activation lock without the previous owner. The DNS bypass method is less recommended since it is not reliable enough and may not work for you. Apple will help you unlock the activation lock if you can provide proof of ownership. But it's entirely up to Apple to decide if they're satisfied with the files you've provided and if they're willing to unlock the phone.
If, unfortunately, you purchased a second-hand iPhone/iPad/iPod touch that came with an activation lock, using iOS Unlock is the most effective way to remove the activation lock without the help of the original owner.