How to Bypass the iCloud Activation Lock

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Last Updated: Sep 23, 2020

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A while ago, while restoring an old iPhone, I realized that it was locked to someone else’s Apple ID via the iPhone/iCloud activation lock. In this article, I will explain how to get past the “Apple ID cannot be used to unlock this iPhone” error message.

I will also address circumstances that might prevent you from getting past the iCloud activation lock status. However, keep in mind that Apple introduced the iCloud activation lock for a reason. Namely, to prevent anyone else from using your Apple device (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch) or Apple Watch if it’s ever lost or stolen.

If you’re not familiar with the Find My iPhone app and its activation lock feature, check out this knowledge base article on apple.com.

Additionally, I’ll share my second-hand experience with activation lock removal services, such as AppleiPhoneUnlock* and IMEIDoctor*.

Unlock iCloud activation lock

At its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in June 2019, Apple introduced Activation Lock for Macs with a T2 security chip. As a result, I expect the issues we’ve been seeing with iPhones and other Apple Devices to also affect pre-owned Macs in the near future.

In 2013, Apple introduced a security feature designed to make iPhones less valuable targets to would-be thieves. An iPhone can only be associated to one iCloud account, meaning that, in order to sell it to someone else (or in order for a stolen phone to be used by someone new) that account needs to be removed from the phone altogether. 

Vice.com

Most users run into iCloud activation lock issues when purchasing a used iPhone or iPad that’s locked to the previous owner’s iCloud account. When you purchase a locked iPhone, you won’t be able to activate and use it until either Apple or the previous owner removes the iCloud lock.

What many people don’t know is that Apple can accidentally lock your iPhone to someone else’s Apple ID, even if you’ve been the only owner of the device. That’s what happened in my case, when I tried to activate a phone that I had recently erased because I wanted to sell it.

iCloud Activation Lock Bypass – Four Methods

The steps to bypass the activation lock of your iOS device — such as an iPhone or iPad — depend on a few factors, such as:

  • Access to the Apple ID the device is locked to.
  • Availability of proof of purchase.
  • Country of origin.
  • Perhaps other factors that I’m not aware of.

Note that the iCloud activation lock isn’t limited to iOS devices — it also affects the Apple Watch and newer Macs that have a T2 security chip, such as the iMac Pro I own.

1. Remove iCloud Lock Using Apple ID

If you have access to the Apple ID that locked the device, removing the iCloud activation lock is simply of a matter of entering those credentials in the iOS setup wizard or using the “Find My” app to remove the device. See “How to Deactivate the Activation Lock” for more details.

2. Get Proof of Purchase

If you landed on this page, chances are that you don’t have access to the Apple ID that locked the phone. That’s either because the phone was mysteriously locked — such as in my case — or because you purchased the iPhone/iPad from someone who didn’t remove the activation lock before selling you the device.

If that’s the case, I’d first try to contact the seller and either get that person to remove the sold device from his or her Apple ID (via https://www.icloud.com/find/) or to send you proof of purchase, which you can use to get Apple remove the activation lock.

If you can’t get a hold of the seller, or if you suspect the device was stolen but can’t get your money back, you need to start thinking outside of the box by leveraging an unlocking service or trying other (more technically advanced) bypassing techniques.

3. iCloud Activation Lock Removal Service

I’ve personally never tried an iCloud lock removal service, but other people swear by them. Based on feedback and reviews, IMEIDoctor* and AppleiPhoneUnlock seem to be among the best options.

I’m not entirely clear on the details of how those unlocking services work. But on a high level, they’ll get your iPhone or iPad removed from Apple’s lock list using your device’s IMEI number. To do that they charge a fee of around $30.

Assuming the unlock is successful, it’s a small price compared to having a bricked phone that you spent hundreds of dollars on but can’t use.

How to Use an Activation Lock Removal Service

The only two pieces of information you need to use an activation lock removal service are:

  • Device model (i.e., iPhone X)
  • IMEI number

You probably already know what model phone you have. But if you don’t, this Apple knowledge base article can help you identify it.

You can find your device’s IMEI number printed on the back of your device (on some older iPhone models, including the iPhone 5) or by clicking on the info (“i”) button on the activation screen.

Once you have both your IMEI number and phone model, go to imeidoctor.com* or appleiphoneunlock.uk*, select your device, and enter your IMEI number.

Continue to the checkout page and enter your payment details. On average, it takes those companies up to three days to complete the unlock (or to notify you if the unlock attempt wasn’t successful).

If you decide to give IMEIDoctor* or AppleiPhoneUnlock* a try, please come back and leave a comment to let me know if you were successful!

4. iCloud DNS Bypass (Temporary Workaround)

Domain name service (DNS) makes the internet as we know it possible by translating domain names — such as apple.com — to IP addresses that devices use to communicate.

Coincidentally, every time you run through the iOS setup wizard after a factory reset, the phone contacts the Apple activation servers to see if the device has an iCloud activation lock or not.

The idea behind the iCloud DNS bypass method is to trick the phone into talking to a fake activation server that replies with “device not locked.” You can do that by manually changing the DNS servers when you select a wireless network during the setup process.

This approach has numerous issues, and won’t get you a fully-functioning and unlocked phone, so I don’t think it’s worth pursuing. In fact, it might not even work on iOS versions newer than iOS 10.

Specifically, this method has the following limitations and issues:

  • You risk exposing all your internet traffic, including usernames and passwords, to an unknown third-party (the DNS provider).
  • It might only work in iOS 8 to iOS 10. Newer versions have implemented safeguards against this “attack.”
  • By changing your DNS servers, you effectively disable or make unusable many functions of iOS, and you’ll only have access to some of the phone’s features.

However, if you’ve tried an unlocking service before (unsuccessfully) and want to give DNS bypass iCloud activation lock a try, here’s what you need to do…

  1. Insert your SIM card, if you haven’t already done so.
  2. Turn on the phone and select your country and language on the setup screen.
  3. On the Wi-Fi selection screen, don’t tap on your wireless network. Instead, click on the “i” symbol next to the Wi-Fi network name.
  4. Optional: If you accidentally connected to your Wi-Fi network already, click on “Forget this Network.”
  5. Scroll down to the DNS section and select “Configure DNS.”
  6. Select “Manual” and enter the iCloud Bypass DNS Server IP address from the list below — depending on the region you’re in.
  7. Remove the old DNS server from your ISP modem (in my example 192.168.1.1).
  8. Go back to the Wi-Fi network selection screen and tap on your wireless network to connect to it.
  9. Next, you’ll see a screen showing that iOS is trying to connect to Apple’s activation servers. Hit the back link in the upper left corner.
  10. You’ll be redirected to iclouddnsbypass.com.
  11. From there you can pick from a predefined list of apps to watch videos, chat, message, listen to music or take photos.

Let me remind you that the DNS bypass method doesn’t unlock your phone — it simply connects you to a Wi-Fi portal that offers some limited features that you can use while exploring a permanent unlocking solution.

iCloud Bypass DNS Server IP Addresses

Here’s the latest list of DNS bypass servers:

  • USA: 104.154.51.7
  • Europe: 104.155.28.90
  • Asia: 104.155.220.58
  • South America: 35.199.88.219
  • Australia and Oceania: 35.189.47.23

How My iPhone Got Locked to Someone Else’s iCloud Account

Remove iCloud Activation Lock
Remove iCloud activation lock.

A while ago, my wife dropped her iPhone and shattered its screen, and we didn’t get an appointment at the local Apple Store right away to have it repaired. So, I figured I would give her my old iPhone that I wanted to sell to use until her iPhone got fixed. I took it out of its box, booted it up, and connected it to my iMac to restore it from a backup I made of her broken iPhone.

Note that I was the original owner of the iPhone I tried to set up for my wife, and it was never used with anyone else’s Apple ID or iCloud password.

How to Deactivate the Activation Lock

iPhone activation lock fix: Apple ID cannot be used to unlock this iPhone
Apple ID cannot be used to unlock this iPhone.

When I upgraded to the latest iPhone model, I completely erased my old device via:

Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

By doing so, I effectively deactivated the activation lock. To confirm, I had to enter my Apple ID password. After the iPhone was erased, I put it into its original box and stored the box in our bedroom. My plan was to give the phone to another family member.

During the setup process, an activation lock screen appeared indicating that the iPhone was still locked. I thought that was strange, because I knew that I had removed the activation lock when I erased the iPhone. But I entered my Apple ID and password anyway, to remove the lock.

Upon clicking continue, I got an error message stating that my Apple ID cannot be used to unlock this iPhone.

I was puzzled and took a closer look at the activation lock screen. And there it was — a hint about which Apple ID my iPhone was locked to. It showed [email protected] Neither my wife nor I own an email address or Apple ID that starts with “l” and contains “@1.” In fact, I have never seen an Apple ID with this pattern.

Apple Support Couldn’t Help

I called Apple Support and a senior advisor confirmed the lock but said he couldn’t see the full Apple ID my device was locked to either. He also couldn’t explain how this could have happened, but he said the activation lock only kicks in when someone signs in with an Apple ID and password during the setup process of the iPhone.

This particular iPhone was in a box the entire time since I reset it. So unless our cleaning lady decided to take the device out of the box, set it up under her Apple ID, and then remotely wiped the phone without going through Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings before putting it back into the box, something else was going on.

I guess there was some major screwup on the Apple backend, which somehow led to the association of my iPhone’s IMEI number (the iPhone’s unique identifier) with someone else’s Apple ID.

Bypass iCloud Activation Lock

Use passcode to erase an iOS device.

I always thought that Apple could remove the activation lock on their end, but that they require a proof of purchase to do so. As it turns out, that isn’t entirely correct (see below).

I ordered the iPhone that was now locked to someone else’s Apple ID via apple.com, and thus I had a receipt. Unfortunately, I ordered an unlocked T-Mobile phone while I was still with AT&T, and AT&T didn’t want to activate Wireless Calling on my iPhone because it was a “foreign” phone.

So I went into my local Apple Store and, out of courtesy, they replaced my T-Mobile model with an AT&T model. I did not get any paperwork for that transaction, and as a result, I didn’t have a proof of purchase for the iPhone I was trying to get unlocked

The senior advisor took the proof of purchase from the original iPhone and submitted it to the activation team. Fortunately, Apple had a record of their retail team swapping my AT&T phone for a T-Mobile phone, because they ultimately removed the activation lock.

If you purchased a used iPhone and don’t have an original proof of purchase, Apple won’t help you.

If you’re stuck with a locked phone and are considering using an unlocking service, be aware that you’re navigating in a “gray area.” Obviously, services such as IMEIDoctor (link*) or Apple iPhone Unlock (link*) aren’t endorsed by Apple, but some users have had great success with them.

The same goes for iCloud bypass tools like Doulci Activator and iCloud Assistant Pro: they’re ethically dubious, often have questionable success rates, and may leave you still permanently unable to use the phone on your service provider, as its IMEI number could still be marked as lost or stolen.

I have never tried any of those services. Based on my research, the unlock is not always successful and the country of origin appears to be a factor. So, you have to decide if it’s worth the money, even if you might not be able to unlock your phone and/or use your phone.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do iCloud lock removal services work with any version of iOS?

It depends on the particular iCloud unlock service. Each one makes a different set of claims about its iOS version compatibility. What I will say is that newer versions of the iOS tend to be more secure than older versions, which people have had more time to dissect. Anecdotally, bypassing iCloud locks would thus be easier on an Apple device that hasn’t been updated recently.

What’s the difference between iCloud activation lock and SIM lock?

The iCloud activation lock is an Apple invention meant to deter thieves by making it hard to use stolen devices. On the other hand, cell phone carriers invented the SIM lock to force you into multi-year contracts by locking your IMEI number to your SIM card (or at least to a specific carrier). Both types of locks leverage your device’s IMEI, but they have entirely different purposes.

What if someone sold me a stolen device?

When you buy a used iPhone, I recommend verifying that it was removed from the previous owner’s iCloud account, if possible. You could ask for proof of purchase, or you could try to activate the phone before completing the transaction.

If neither option is possible, and you end up purchasing a stolen phone, report it to the police. You could also try an iCloud lock removal service or one of the iCloud bypass tools listed above, but I don’t know how successful that’s going to be.

I live in a country without an Apple Store or a local support number to call. What should I do?

In cases like these, the best way to get in touch with Apple Support is via Twitter. Just follow @AppleSupport and send them a Direct Message (DM). Apple’s Twitter team usually responds within a few hours, and they’ll point you in the right direction. To find other ways to contact Apple Support, check out support.apple.com.

I bought a used iPhone and can’t activate it because it is still locked to someone else’s Apple ID. What can I do?

You have two options. First, you can contact the seller and ask him or her to resolve the iCloud activation lock status by following these steps:

1. Sign in to the iCloud website with their Apple ID and iCloud password.
2. Go to “Find My iPhone.”
3. Click “All Devices” at the top of the screen.
4. Select the device that they want to remove from their iCloud account.
5. If necessary, click “Erase [device].”
6. Click “Remove from Account.”

After the previous owner takes these steps and removes the device from their account, turn off the device and then turn it back on to begin the setup process.

Of course, if the person who sold you the phone was not the legitimate owner (i.e., if the seller stole the phone), they won’t be able to help.

In such a case, you might try an iCloud unlock service*. If they can’t help either, I’m sorry to say this but you are out of luck. I don’t know of any other iCloud bypass tools. It’s my understanding that there is no alternative method for bypassing this security feature.

Your second option comes into play if you bought a new phone from an authorized source (i.e., an Apple Store). In this case, you can contact Apple Support, submit your proof of purchase, and Apple will unlock the phone for you.

Should I use an unlocking tool or a service?

I have never used an iCloud activation bypass tool because I don’t want to download software that might be infected by malware or viruses. If you decide to try and remove iCloud activation by using a removal tool or an iCloud unlocker service, never give out your iCloud password, account credentials, or any other personal information.

And if you need to pay for the iCloud bypass attempt, make sure to use a service like Privacy.com, which lets you create a virtual one-use credit card as opposed to giving out your actual financial information.

I purchased a jailbroken iPhone — do I need to worry about iCloud unlocking?

Jailbreaking an iPhone doesn’t change the requirements to unlock the device. So yes, you still need to remove the iCloud activation lock — even on jailbroken devices.

How can I find the serial number of my iOS device?

You can see the serial number and IMEI under: Settings > General > About.

Do I have to be connected to a Wi-Fi network for the unlock to work?

No, you don’t have to be connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Are there free iCloud removal tools out there?

Not that I’m aware of. If you find such a tool, or even a free iCloud removal service, I’d be skeptical. You’ll either get infected by a virus or Trojan horse, or you’ll get scammed. Either way, I would not take the risk.

Does the mentioned iCloud removal service work on iPad?

In theory, any service or tool aimed at bypassing iCloud activation requirements should work on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad Air, iPad Pro, and pretty much all other iOS devices that are linked to an Apple ID account.

None of the above options work for me. Can you help me?

Unfortunately, no — I can’t. So please don’t send me an email asking for help! I wish I could, but there’s nothing I can do. In all likelihood, the device in question will remain locked forever. But you should be glad this process is so difficult: it’s the reason “Apple Picking” (the practice of stealing Apple devices) has died down in the years since the introduction of the original iPhone.

My case is different! Can I send you an email to see if maybe you can help?

You can always send me an email, but I won’t be able to unlock your iPhone.

How to Turn Off Find My iPhone Activation Lock

If you managed to bypass the activation lock on your new device, congratulations! However, you should also learn how to properly remove the device from your iCloud account if and when you decide to sell it to someone else. Here’s how that works:

  • Make an iCloud backup (iTunes backups work too) so you won’t lose any data.
  • Go to Settings > General > Reset and select “Erase All Content and Settings.”

Doing this will prompt you to enter the unlock code of your iOS device. iOS will also ask you for your iCloud password. Regardless of whether you have two-factor authentication enabled or not, the latter disassociates your device from your iCloud account. Only then should you sell the device to someone else.

Conclusion

I wrote this article to shed some light on issues surrounding the iOS activation procedure. As I learned first-hand, Apple might accidentally lock your iOS device when you remove it from your iCloud account. How that could happen, I don’t know — but it happened to me.

In other cases, owners might forget to restore factory settings, thus unlocking the device, before selling it. In yet other cases, someone might sell you a stolen phone that’s still locked to the legitimate owner’s iCloud account or Apple ID.

In either case, there might be ways to remove that activation lock using official (or less official) channels.

If you decide to give one of those third-party services a try, let me know how it went by leaving a comment below!

45 thoughts on “How to Bypass the iCloud Activation Lock”

  1. About the only thing one can do in the case of a permanently bricked iPhone is purchase a used, unlocked logic board from someplace like Ebay. I’ve had to put different logic boards in bricked iPhones. The iCloud locked logic boards are only useful for scabbing parts, unless you’re buddies with an Apple store manager. They are personally allowed to unlock a limited number of phones per month with no receipt. I think the number is 4/month.

    Never do business with a company that doesn’t use PayPal. PP holds liars accountable and will claw back your money if you’ve been cheated. Avoid companies that use payment services such as Nochex and the like.

    Reply
  2. This site https://appleiphoneunlock.uk/, is an absolutely a fake services… at first it as for £19.99 to unlock your phone.. once you have paid , nothing will happen. Until you go to their site and track your order.. Once you have done that, they will ask you
    1: Do you have the original proof of purchase receipt?
    2:Do you have any contact with the previous owner?
    If you have neither of these, we will need to perform our iCloud AutoRemoval® which requires no human intervention.
    This service removes the device from the previous owner’s iCloud account, very useful if the previous owner is unresponsive. It will take around 2-3 working days.

    Now they ask for additional fee of £30 !!! ..

    I mean if I had the Apple ID or the receipt of my iphone, Apple Support would unlock my phone for me without any charges…

    So what they do here on https://appleiphoneunlock.uk/ , they trick you to pay 19.99 first and then ask for an additional amount of 30 meaning , if this service would cost you £50 !!!! and not £19.99 as they says on their site.

    I still not even sure they will unlock your phone even after paying them £50 ! …

    Myself I am in contact with the payment company to refund my 19.99 as this company is no where to be trusted!!

    Reply
    • Just for all to know. Serious services will only work if the phone is not marked as lost or stolen. This means that as soon as “find my phone” is activated a paid service will not work. However, this will only be said after you have paid the money.

      Reply
  3. I’m actually trying a solution for an IT customer who has this exact issue. 4 iPhone 6s devices all bought through company Telstra plans. All handed to employees, all who proceeded to register them in their personal iCloud account. Employee leaves, doesn’t release phone, disappears. Phone bricked. Now I have nothing against anyone using whatever brand/model phone they want and I get the lost/stolen thing but thank god I own Google devices in my business where this can’t happen. The Apple activation lock has knobs on it for a lot of legitimate users!

    Reply
  4. I was using an iphone 5 from 2 years after resetlmy iphone locked with a unknown apple Id. I think apple hacked my iPhone . Now using android phone without any fear

    Reply
    • I’m fairly certain that Apple did not hack your phone and that you’re probably slightly worse off — from a security perspective — with Android :)

      Reply
  5. Hi I have a problem with my ipad I need to clear I cloud it was used with someone I don’t know his I cloud password

    Reply
  6. Recently had an issue the device was locked, activation lock thereof but iCloud responded that the email had been closed for security reasons and the only available step was by sending email to change password which I can’t access. Any remedy to access the email. Other devices haven’t connected either

    Reply
  7. Someone sold me an iPhone that stolen . My hard earned money just gone like that . I was so disappointed because I couldn’t use it . Is there anyway I can u lock this one?

    Reply
  8. Hi Micheal, I have the same issue. My mom’s iPhone is locked, whereby she can’t remember what she did. Now the phone is at activation lock and the main issue is that she can’t remember her icloud password. We have the apple id & password but not the icloud password. It is really frustrating because when I try to reset the password, it turns out that the instruction was sent to the same icloud “We will send instructions to your email address ending in i•••••.com” which is no point. We also forgot the security question. Pls, help me. Do you have any suggestion?

    Reply
    • Hi Nuraini!

      To get past the activation lock, you could try the service I have linked. But I don’t know how you could get past the forgotten iCloud account password, without contacting Apple.

      Reply
  9. This problem still persist in 2019 bought an used iphone 5s there was no icloud account activated in the phone went to reset it completely bam after the reset process here it comes activation lock there was an email to activate the phone that I never used or known there was no icloud account activated or activation lock when I reset the phone.

    P.S: Apple is hacked better stick to android less painful.

    Reply
  10. Hello Michael Kummer! A friend of mine sent me an iPad couple of months back I was using it with a passcode, Suddenly my girl try different passwords on knowing to me until the iPad get lock and Disable. I tried as hard as I could to restore it through iTunes, After the process it requires me to enter The account I used to set up the iPad::::: what am I going to do

    Reply
    • Hi Peter,

      If your iPad was locked because someone used the wrong passcode too many times, all you can do is wait until the iPad unlocks itself. There is no workaround for that.

      Reply
  11. i’m having the same problem. I got my ipad mini from a Honda dealership as a promo for buying a car 3 years ago. they recently provided me a receipt to give to apple but it doesn’t say much more than ipad mini so apple won’t accept it. I read on ‘macrumors’ website that theives were using legit serial numbers to unlock their stolen devices by changing a couple numbers and so now legit apple devices are associated with some stranger’s device. I think it’s unfair of apple to deny that these things are happening and not helping us who are legit owners.

    Reply
  12. So. I’ve got the same issue. Sent in all documentation. Now my case is being escalated to a higher level. No explanation and no unlock. So frustrating.

    Reply
  13. i bought an iphone 6 and i plugged it into my itunes account and did a restore on it and erased everything but how do i get the activation code off of it i cannot get in touch with the owner now so i called apple and they wont help me even though i have an account with them already helpppppp how do i get past this and start using my phone [email protected]

    Reply
  14. i finally was able to reset my apple id then i turned off find my iphone. next i logged out of my icloud account so far so good but when i did a factory reset the activation lock came up with someone else apple id and the phone never left my hand. so explain to me how some other apple id got on to iphone. i think apple has been hacked and if you reset your iphone you are screwed unless you waste your time trying to trace down all the proof that the phone is yours. after this i am going to Android a lot less problems

    Reply
  15. I also had this same frustration. When attempting to update a new phone (7) with a previous backup, all the sudden I was also faced with an activation lock and the only Apple ID that was ever associated with the new phone was not the one that would get through the activation lock. I had to call Apple customer service and, as it was a new phone (one month old), I still had my receipt from the apple store in the form of an email. Sending that along to Apple customer service was sufficient proof for customer care to disassociate a h*****@icloud.com Apple ID (never used by me) from the phone.

    Reply
  16. I am facing the same issue. Sudden Activation Lock after i reset that shows me an address t*****@yahoo.com that i have never used. I had bought this Ipad new and i do not have the receipt. The ipad was showing in Find my iphone a few days ago and after reading various articles, i deleted the ipad from my find my phone under icloud. that did not help as well. i called apple support and they are not willing to help without a bill. When i ask them then why was the ipad showing under my devices on icloud before i removed it, to that they do not have any answer.

    Reply
  17. I woke up on Thursday morning 9/28/17 and went to look at my iPhone 6 for the time. My iPhone was plugged into the charger the night before when I went to bed. When I bought the iPhone, I had an existing Apple ID account because I had originally bought a 4S in 2012 from the Apple Store and they set up an Apple ID as an @me.com account.
    I had the habit at the time of carrying my iPhone 4S in my jeans pocket as it was convenient to have it available at all times. My mistake was to forget to remove it from my jeans pocket when I put the jeans in the wash. I discovered my mistake the next a.m. When I went to put the jeans in the dryer. My heart sank.

    I had to go to work so I waited until the evening to go to my carrier to purchase an iPhone 6 which had just come out and luckily was available to purchase. My carrier insisted that I create a NEW Apple ID for this phone as they said the old Apple ID format was no longer being used. I did that using my email address as they suggested and got my phone set up enough to have service. (It was late and I needed to get home.)

    I called Apple when I was ready to download my contacts and other info from the cloud. I told them my info was on the @me.com Apple ID account but the phone was set up under my email address. They had me download all the info/contacts and that was fine. The support person told me I needed to back that info up to the new iCloud account. When I did, the info (for some reason) disappeared off my phone. The Apple Support person had me re-download the info and told me to keep the two Apple ID’s. I kept them both by using the same PW on each.

    In 2015, I bought an iMac because my PC broke down and I decided I was going to go to Apple. I told the person who set up my iMac (I was too new to this at the time) the scenario above and requested my email address Apple ID be used. Until Thursday, I thought that was what he did. I recently bought an iPad Pro and it is set up under my email Apple ID. It would not allow me to change the PW (which somehow got out of sync) for my iPhone which I discovered was linked to my original @me.com Apple ID (surprise, surprise!) I called Apple support from my sisters phone to call Apple on Thursday and they suggested I go home and use my iMac to change the PW.

    I went home and tried to log on to that account but it was locked because it too used my original Apple ID! My daughter and I used the guest “login” to see if we were able to change the Apple ID Password but like you, it asked for my debit card number, date of exp., and security code with which I bought the iPhone. That card expired in February and like they tell us – I destroyed the card when I activated the new debit card. I called my bank but despite having the card number and exp. date, they had no record of the security code. I went thru so much to get that info and here I sit without a phone available to use. I am at my wits end. I disconnected my home phone a year ago because the only calls I got on it was from marketers.

    What can I do now? I am a 68 year old retiree with Osteoarthritis so it is hard for me to get around. I don’t know if going 40 miles to the Apple Store will yield me any results. And if I did, would I need to drag along the iMac and the iPad as well?

    Thanks for any advice you can give me.

    Judy

    Reply
    • Hi Xtacy!

      Apple ultimately removed the activation lock. There is nothing you can do without Apple’s help.

      Reply
      • So I am in this exact situation where my brand new iphone purchased straight from telstra requires an apple ID of s******@s*****.com which I have never even seen a combination for. The problem is where I live we do not have an apple store, so I’m assuming I know have a very expensive phone that I can’t even use??? :(

        Reply
  18. OK, before calling Apple Support, I noticed that when the Activation opened, it actually had my real email address this time, and wanted a password. But it gave me the option of choosing “skip this step” which I did. Now it says “Merge with iCloud?” YOur News data and Safari data on this iPhone will be uploaded and merged with iCloud. I selected “Don’t Merge”. It is now saying “Welcome to iPhone” and I have to select “Get Started” and suddenly I’m back to the original text I was typing. Very weird.

    Reply
  19. Hi Matt,
    I just had this happen to me, and found your page when I Googled “iphone suddenly requires Activation Lock password”. I was using my phone as usual, typing a text to someone, and my phone randomly and suddenly required an Activation Lock ID and PW. I just did a hard reset and it opens to the same Activation screen. Really frustrating! I will call Apple Support now and try to remember to update you on what I find. Thanks for your post.

    Reply
  20. I had face similar issue today. As you did, I too logged out of find my phone. then Reset all Content and Settings. Then when logged in asks for activation lock ID. it suggest me some p*****@hotmail.com being associated with my iphone. Strange since i have never used any id which starts with “P”. It was newely purchased from Best buy. I have the invoice but its fuzzy, some characters are clear.

    I called apple customer care and they informed me that this might be done only through sending my apple bill.

    Haven’t heard from them yet.

    Reply
  21. I recently had a somewhat similar experience. I reset my phone and gave it to my brother in law. First thing he asked me for was my Apple ID password as the phone was asking for it. Although unlike yours it was referencing my actual Apple ID. I know activation lock was removed as I have the email showing that find my iPhone was removed when I did the reset.

    As for proof of purchase I have to guess that Apple have a paper trail that links your replacement phone to your original purchase. They’ll just take some time to find it.

    Reply
  22. I recently had a somewhat similar experience. I reset my phone and gave it to my brother in law. First thing he asked me for was my Apple ID password as the phone was asking for it. Although unlike yours it was referencing my actual Apple ID. I know activation lock was removed as I have the email showing

    Reply

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