How to remove Activation Lock

Learn how to remove Activation Lock so that you can set up and use your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Activation Lock is designed to keep your device and your information safe in case your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch, or Mac is ever lost or stolen. If you erase your device without signing out of iCloud first, it might still be protected by Activation Lock.

Whether you erased your own device or bought one from someone else, you can turn off Activation Lock by entering the correct Apple ID and password. 

Forgot your Apple ID or your Apple ID password

If you erased your own device

If you don't sign out of iCloud before you put your device in recovery mode and restore, it might remain in Activation Lock. That means you need to enter the same Apple ID and password that you used when you previously set up the device.

If you have iOS 11 or later and your account is protected with two-factor authentication, you can turn off Activation Lock with your device passcode. Tap Unlock with Passcode, then tap Use Device Passcode. Learn more about using a passcode

If you still need help removing Activation Lock from your own device, contact Apple Support

If you bought the device from someone else

Before you buy an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from someone other than Apple or an authorized Apple reseller, make sure that the device is erased and no longer linked to the previous owner’s account. Learn what to do if an Apple Watch or Mac is still protected by Activation Lock. 

If you turn on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and see one of these screens, you need help from the previous owner.

   iPhone showing Activation Lock screen

If you see the Activation Lock screen, the device is still linked to the previous owner's account.

iPhone showing Enter Passcode screen   

If you see the passcode lock screen or the Home screen, the device isn't erased.

Ask the previous owner for help

If the device is linked to a previous owner's account and they're close by, ask them to enter their Apple ID and password on the Activation Lock screen and remove the device from their account.

If you see the passcode screen and the device isn't erased, ask the previous owner to unlock the device and go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. They'll need to enter their Apple ID and password.

If the previous owner isn't with you

If the previous owner isn't present, contact them and ask them to remove the device from their account:

  1. Sign in to with their Apple ID.
  2. Go to Find My iPhone.
  3. Click All Devices at the top of the screen.
  4. Select the device that you want to remove from iCloud.
  5. Click Erase [device]. Select Next until the device is erased. 
  6. Click Remove from Account.

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

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