Well, this all depends on what your definition of “easy” is. There are a few different ways to bypass iCloud activation but they are all fairly in-depth processes so you will need to set aside some time to do this properly. The good news is that you can do it remotely though, which means you will not have to visit an Apple store to get your device unlocked. Although it may be easier to visit a Genius Bar for this, many users have reported little luck going down that path due to lack of receipts or other problems.
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There are many reasons why you may be in possession of a locked device, with the main reason being that most people simply do not understand what the iCloud lock is and that they should have disabled it before parting with their device. Whether you bought your iPhone second hand from eBay or an offline retailer, or a friend was nice enough to give you their old device when they bought a new one, there are steps that you can take to make sure you have complete access and control over your new phone.
Avoid The Problem Before You Buy
First of all, you will need to know either the IMEI or serial number of the device before you can see what the status is, and whether you will have to go through this process at all. These are the same identifiers that an Apple support representative would ask you for over the phone or online. You can find these details in a few different places, such as the settings menu on the phone, the iTunes account associated with it, or printed on the SIM tray inside the device.
After you have found either the IMEI or serial number, simply go to the official check iCloud activation lock website and enter the appropriate details. In ideal circumstances, you should do this before you actually purchase or sell an iOS device so that you can be a little more confident in what you’re buying. If you have already made the purchase, and have now found that it is indeed locked, then you will need to continue the process explained below.
Removing The iCloud Activation Lock
The best method for unlocking your iPhone that can be done remotely, without the assistance of Apple support, is by using a third-party iCloud server. This non-Apple server will basically trick your phone in to getting past the activation lock, allowing you to permanently bypass this feature. You will need to do this from a desktop PC or Mac – not another phone, iPad, or similar device – so you may need to do this from school, work, or a friend’s house if you do not have access yourself.
The complete step by step process, including screenshots and comments from other users who have successfully completed the process, can be viewed at this iCloud Activation Lock website. As mentioned earlier, you should only do this when you have a good amount of free time; it can be fairly complicated for some beginners so if you try to rush the process you may cause even more stress than having a locked phone already does.
Tips For Selling Your Old Device
You can avoid passing on the problem of locked phones by taking some steps before selling or giving away your old device. Do not manually delete your personal data and content from your phone if it is connected to iCloud, as this will delete the information from all associated devices.
- If you have an Apple Watch, unpair it from your phone. You can do this from the Watch app on your phone.
- Sign out of iCloud (Settings > iCloud). You may need to sign out a second time, then select the delete option.
- Now you need to use the Erase All Content and Settings option (Settings > General > Reset). You may be asked for your password throughout these steps.
Of course, at the end of the day the easiest way to unlock a phone that you bought second hand is to contact the seller – or previous owner – and ask them for the Apple ID and password associated with it. This may be impossible in some situations though, which is why these other methods must be discussed.