When you have an iCloud-locked iPhone, which means Activation Lock is turned on as an anti-theft measure. To unlock and use the phone, you must access its original Apple ID username and password. Instructions apply to devices with iOS 7 and later.

Activation Lock is an effective anti-theft measure. Your iPhone or iPad automatically turns on Activation Lock whenever Find My iPhone is active. Once you enable the feature, nobody can delete the device, activate it on a different account, or disable Find My iPhone without entering the Apple ID username and password that originally set up the phone. If you encounter this issue, here’s what to do:

How to Unlock an iCloud-Locked iPhone

  • To determine if you have an iCloud-locked iPhone, look for the Activation Lock screen.
  • Enter the Apple ID username and password first used to activate the phone.

  • Your iPhone will open. If you forgot your Apple ID password, you’ll need to reset it.

IF YOU HAVE ACCESS TO THE IPHONE’S ORIGINAL OWNER

  • Ask them to enter their Apple ID account credentials on the phone.
  • When the phone gets to the home screen, they should sign out of iCloud:

    • On iOS 10.2 and earlier, go to Settings > iCloud > Sign Out.
    • On iOS 10.3 and up, go to Settings > [your name] > Sign Out.
  • When asked for their Apple ID username and password, they should enter it again.
  • They should then remove the Apple ID from the iPhone:

    • On iOS 10.2 and earlier, tap Sign Out, then tap Delete from My iPhone.
    • On iOS 10.3 and later, tap Turn Off.
  • Erase the phone again by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
  • When the phone restarts this time, you shouldn’t see the Activation Lock screen.

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