YES, a stolen iPhonecan be unlocked. There are available techniques that thieves exploit to unlock iPhones, hence worries after losing an iPhone are warranted.
There are many reasons why you may want to unlock a stolen phone. If you found a stolen iPhone and the owner has failed to claim it, the only solution is to unlock it. There are legal ways to unlock a stolen phone but there are also illegal options.
In this article, we will look at the steps you should take in case you pick a stolen phone. Before unlocking it, you must take specific legal steps to avoid getting in trouble with the law.
If you have a stolen iPhone that has not been reported, consider unlocking it. You can unlock it either using Siri, an iPhone Recovery tool, or a third-party application. Read further to find out more about how a thief unlock a stolen iPhone.
Part 1. Can a Stolen iPhone be Unlocked?
The short answer is Yes, a stolen iPhone can be unlocked. To unlock such a phone you will need a few tools. However, before unlocking, make sure you report your phone to local authorities.
Failing to return a stolen iPhone can spell trouble for you. Some of the risks of failing to return a stolen and found iPhone include potential imprisonment for theft. Even if you just found a stolen phone somewhere, you could be deemed a thief.
Part 2. Options to Locate Original iPhone Owner and Return it
There are several steps you can take to locate the iPhone owner. Whether the phone has a security lock or not, it is possible to return it to the owner. Here are some ways you can use to return a phone to the rightful owner.
Option #1 Use the iPhone’s Medical ID to Locate the Owner
The Medical ID information can help locate any person who has lost their iPhone. Tap on the emergency option at the bottom left of the device screen.
Just below the dial pad, you will see the Medical ID icon. You can find out the phone owner’s name and contact details if they are provided. If there are no details, try another option.
Option #2 Reach Out to the Carrier Using Phone IMEI
If the above two options fail, you can use the device’s IMEI number. The IMEI refers to a unique identifier number assigned to every mobile phone. This number is unique to every device and can be used by the carrier to locate the phone owner.
You can find the IMI number of a stolen iPhone from its SIM tray.
You will see the carrier’s name on the top left side of your screen. Find the displayed carriers’ contact information on the web and call them.
All you have to do is inform them that you have a stolen device. They will help you contact the owner of the lost phone or may collect the phone and send it to the owner.
Option #3 Use the Lost Mode Feature to Locate the Owner
If you find a stolen phone, there is a chance that the owner has locked his device in lost mode. The owner may add a custom message with his phone number on the screen.
You just need to make a phone call to the owner.
Option #4 Ask Siri to Find the Phone Owner
If you find the phone when the battery is still charged, chances are that Siri may also be awake. This is a good way to locate the owner since Siri can take commands even when the screen is locked.
Use commands to get information about the owner from Siri.For instance:
Say ” Hi Siri, who owns this phone?”
In most cases, Siri may only provide one name. If you get two names, the better. If the names are not helpful, you may request other important forms of data. For instance, you could say:
- “Hi Siri call mum”
- “Hi Siri call wife/husband”
If you get any valid contact or details from these queries, contact the owner or a close relative.
Option #5 Take a Photo of Your Contact
If you want the iPhone owner to locate you, take a photo of your contact information or home address.
Most iPhones can take photos even when locked. All you have to do is swipe left on the camera icon on your home screen.
Once a photo is taken, it will automatically be uploaded to iCloud as long as the phone has access to mobile data. The phone owner can use this contact information to get in touch with you.
Option #6 Use iCloud Login Finder
iCloud Login Finder is an application that can be used to help locate the owner of a lost iPhone. Besides finding a the owner of a lost iPhone, this service can also lock your phone so that a thief does not use it. When you download and activate the Login Finder, you can block your iPhone from being unlocked by thieves.
To locate the owner of a lost iPhone using the iCloud Login Finder, follow these steps:
Step 1. Visit the iCloud Login Finder page.
Step 2. Submit the IMEI of the stolen device. Check the steps above on how to find IMEI.
Step 3. Wait for the Login Finder team to collect all details about the owner of the phone.
Step 4. You will receive the phone owner’s details such as name and email in your email within 12 hours of the request.
Note: This process is only possible if you have access to the IMEI or the serial number of the phone. On most devices, you can locate the serial number or IMEI on the SIM tray.
Part 3. How to Unlock a Stolen iPhone Passcode
If you try finding a phone owner for a while without success, you should try to unlock it. Unlocking a stolen phone will increase your chances of finding the owner. Thankfully, there are several proven ways you can unlock a stolen iPhone. Here are your options:
1. Unlock Stolen iPhone Passcode Without Computer
While most people know that unlocking a stolen iPhone is possible, the general assumption is that a computer must be used. On the contrary, you can unlock any device without using a computer. Follow these steps to unlock it in a few minutes using Siri.
Step 1. Say “Hi Siri” to activate Siri on the device.
Step 2. Ask a question related to time such as ” Hi Siri, what is the time now.”This will display the clock on the screen.
Step 3. Select the clock icon and tap the + button at the top of your display.
Step 4. Enter a search term in the search box and select the searched term to access “Options.”
Step 5. Tap on “Select All” and then click the “Share” button, which will open a new pop-up menu.
Step 6. Choose “Message” from the options.
Step 7. In the message menu, enter text in the “To” field and press the “return/back” button on the keyboard. This will highlight the text in green.
Step 8. Once the text is highlighted, tap the “+” button and select “Create a New Contact.”
Step 9. Tap on the photo icon to access the gallery.
Step 10. Choose a photo by tapping on “Choose Photo” and browse through the gallery.
With that, the stolen iPhone passcode will be unlocked. Press the Home screen button to return to the main screen.
Pros and Cons
- The process enables you to unlock a stolen iPhone passcode without computer.
- Doesn’t involve any third-party apps.
- Suitable for individuals familiar with adjusting settings.
- This process is only possible for old version of iOS, such as iOS 10.3.2 or 10.3.3. If you are using newer version try the next step.
2. Unlock the Phone in Recovery Mode
The other way you can unlock a stolen iPhone is via the recovery mode option. This method involves the use of a computer. However, it can work on a wide range of iPhones compared to the method used above.
Here are the steps on how to unlock it.
Step 1. Connect the stolen iPhone to a computer using a USB cable. If you’re using a Mac, open Finder. For other PCs, use iTunes.
Step 2. Put the iPhone into recovery mode. The key combinations to enter recovery mode differ depending on the iPhone model.
For iPhone 8 and later models:
- Press and hold the side button and volume down button to power it off
- Press and hold the side button while immediately connecting it to computer via a USB cable
- Keep holding until you see the recovery mode screen as below
Step 3. Once in recovery mode, find your device on iTunes and click on Restore.
This will restore the stolen iPhone to factory mode allowing you to access all features.
Pros and Cons
- The process takes a shorter time compared to the previous one.
- It can be used to unlock all iOS versions.
- The process is quite simple and does not require technical skills.
- Unlocking erases all data limiting the ability to trace the phone.
- It will not work if the owner has turned on the “Find My iPhone” feature.
- You must have an Authentic Apple ID to activate this iPhone.
3. Unlock iPhone Using Tenorshare 4MeKey
If the stolen iPhone you want to unlock is iCloud locked, you’ll need to offer the Apple ID and password that is linked to this iPhone to be able to activate it. If you can’t offer, then it stays locked.
Tenorshare 4MeKey can be very helpful in bypassing iCloud lock. With this tool, you should be able to unlock your iPhone in a few minutes without Apple ID or password required.
Here are the steps.
Step 1. Download Tenorshare 4MeKey to your computer.
Step 2. Connect your iPhone to your PC using a USB cable to automatically start the Tenorshare application.
Step 3. Select “Start Jailbreak” when your device is well connected
Step 4. Wait for a few seconds and you will see a notification stating Remove Successful.
Pros and Cons
- The unlocking process is simple and quick
- You can unlock all types of devices
- Bypass the Activation Lock on a stolen iPhone without password
- It will jailbreak the iPhone
Part 4. How to Sell a Stolen iPhone
Before you consider selling a stolen iPhone, do your research well. Try finding the owner through all the above steps. If this does not work, try calling a local police department to know if the phone was reported. If all does not work, you can proceed and sell the phone.
Steps to sell the stolen iPhone
Step 1. Visit the BankMyCell Sell iPhone page to get a quote.
Step 2. Select the appropriate model and choose the stolen or lost status under the “lock filter”.
Step 3. Look at available offers and pick the best price for the device.
Before you decide to sell a stolen iPhone, it is recommended that you try to return it to the original owner first.
This article lists all the tools and ways you can use to find lost iPhone owners. Alternatively, you can use the applications to unlock a stolen iPhone. If all fails, visit the iPhone selling page and sell the device.
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