How to remove an Activation Lock on iPhone

Activation Lock iPhone

Activation Lock helps keep your iPhone and personal data safe. In the early days of the iPhone, devices were more easily stolen and wiped for resale on the black market. Thanks to Activation Lock and Find My, devices are kept secure from anyone who's not the rightful owner. A lost iPhone can even be erased remotely. Without your Apple ID and password an iPhone cannot be erased or reactivated, and Find My cannot be switched off.

When purchasing a used iPhone, always check to make sure that Activation Lock has been disabled. Otherwise the device will continue to be associated with the previous owner's Apple ID. Before you sell your old iPhone or send it to Apple for repair, you must turn off Find My to disable Activation Lock.

Follow the steps below to remove an Activation Lock screen on your iPhone:

Remove Activation Lock directly on the iPhone or iPad

  1. Follow the prompts to remove activation lock. You must use the same Apple ID and password used to set up the iPhone
  2. Click here if you have forgotten your Apple ID
  3. Click here if you must reset your Apple ID password
  4. Call Apple Care at 1-800-275-2273 if your Apple ID security questions have been forgotten

Remove Activation Lock using a web browser

  1. Launch a web browser and navigate to
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID credentials. You must use the same Apple ID and password used to set up the iPhone
  3. Click All Devices
  4. Choose the iPhone to remove from your iCloud account
  5. Click Remove from Account

Request help from Apple

If you are still having issues with Activation Lock:
  1. You must have proof of ownership documentation, including the serial number, IMEI, or MEID
  2. Your iPhone cannot be in Lost Mode
  3. If Apple can unlock your iPhone, all data stored on your iPhone will be permanently erased. Restoring from a backup will restore Activation Lock as well
  4. After the above conditions are met, click here to file an Activation Lock support request with Apple