How to Remove Find My iPhone/iPad Activation Lock without Previous Owner? [2020]

As great of a security feature as it is, the iCloud Activation Lock can become a burden in some instances. Its purpose is to prevent thieves from stealing your iPhone, wiping it, and selling it without running into any obstacles.

However, if you buy a second-hand iPhone and the previous owner doesn’t remove their account beforehand, this prevents you from signing in with your own Apple ID and using all the iCloud features.

With that in mind, this guide will explain how to remove the Find My iPhone Activation Lock without the previous owner.

Part 1. FAQs on How to Remove Activation Lock without Previous Owner

Here are 3 frequently asked questions you may be interested.

Q1. Why My iPhone is iCloud Locked?

So, what is the reason for your iPhone being iCloud locked? As we said above, this is designed as a security feature, but it doesn’t always seem like that.

Let’s say you just bought a second-hand iPhone. The previous owner might factory reset it, but they most likely forgot to sign out of their Apple ID as well.

apple activation lock

What does this mean?

When you start setting up the iPhone, you’ll be prompted to sign in with their Apple ID email and password. If you don’t have these account details, certain iCloud features will be unavailable.

You can’t remove the Apple ID from an iPhone without signing into the account and then removing it, even if you do a factory reset again. This also means you can’t sign in with your own Apple ID until after removing the previous owner’s account.

Q2. Can I Remove Activation Lock without Previous Owner?

Yes, there are ways that you can remove Find My iPhone Activation Lock without previous owner. Some of the methods involve using a software solution and others use removal services.

We’ll be explaining some of the ways to bypass the lock later in this guide.

Q3. Does Turning Off “Find My iPhone” Disable Activation Lock?

Yes, if you can turn off the Find My iPhone feature then you will also be disabling the iCloud Activation Lock.

Of course, to turn off Find My iPhone, you’ll likely still need to sign into the previous owner’s iCloud account.

Part 2. How to Remove Find My iPhone/iPad Activation Lock without Previous Owner?

For this first set of solutions, they will be focused on what you can do to remove the Activation Lock without requesting help from the previous owner.

2.1 Software to Remove Activation Lock without Previous Owner

The first thing we’d suggest you try is a software known as Tenorshare 4MeKey. This software has been developed specifically for removing iCloud Activation Locks without either the Apple ID or password, making it a popular solution for this problem.

  • Removes the Activation Lock without previous owner or password
  • Unlocks the iOS device and makes all iCloud features accessible
  • Suitable for iPhone models 5S and later
  • Compatible with iOS versions 12.3 to 13.6
  • A free version is available for both Windows and Mac computers

From these features, it’s clear that Tenorshare 4MeKey has a lot to offer and that it’s definitely worth trying out.

Follow these steps to remove Activation Lock without Previous Owner.

Step 1. Start by downloading and installing the Tenorshare 4MeKey software on your computer.

download buttons

Launch the program and connect your iPhone to the computer with a lightning cable.

Step 2. Click the Start button, read the agreement and check the box, and click Next.

4mekey home interface

Step 3. The next part of the process requires your iPhone to be jailbroken.

  • Mac. If you’re on a Mac computer, the jailbreaking software will be downloaded and 4MeKey will handle jailbreaking for you.
  • Windows. If you’re on a Windows computer, you will be given instructions on how to jailbreak your iPhone manually.

4mekey jailbreak

Step 4. Once the jailbreaking process is done, click the Next button and you’ll be shown information about your iPhone.

Step 5. Confirm that the information is correct and proceed by clicking Start Remove.

4mekey confirm device info

The removal will then commence and will take several minutes and once it’s complete, you should find that the iCloud Activation Lock has been removed.

4mekey remove icloud lock

After you’ve done this, Tenorshare 4MeKey will have completely wiped the iPhone and by doing so, the previous owner’s Apple ID will be removed too.

2.2 Service to Remove Find My iPhone/iPad Activation Lock without Previous Owner

Alternatively, instead of using a software solution, there are various services which can remove iCloud Activation Locks without previous owner or password.

appleiphoneunlock icloud unlock

In particular, AppleiPhoneUnlock offer this service and they’re one of the best on the market for a lot of reasons.

  • iPhones in any country can be unlocked from iCloud by this service
  • Permanently removes iCloud Activation Lock without previous owner
  • Supports all models of iPhone/iPad/Apple Watch
  • Compatible with all iOS versions
  • A team of skilled professionals handle the unlock remotely
  • iPhones are unlocked in less than 72 hours (with Fast Track, just 24 hours!)
  • Carrier lock removals are also available for hundreds of carriers all over the world

Whether you bought a second-hand iPhone or an iPad, all that matters is if there is an active iCloud Activation Lock and AppleiPhoneUnlock is more than capable of removing it.

If this is the service you want to use, go ahead and follow these steps to turn off Find My iPhone Activation Lock without previous owner.

Step 1 – Go to the AppleiPhoneUnlock iCloud Removal page.

Step 2 – Type your iPhone’s IMEI number and select the device model from the list, then click on the iCloud Unlock button.

find imei on activation screen

Step 3 – Next, agree to the terms of service by checking the box, decide if you want to Fast Track your order, and choose a payment method.

Once your order has been placed, the unlock will be processed within 1-72 hours depending on if you added Fast Track.

ipad icloud unlock complete

Using a service like AppleiPhoneUnlock pretty much guarantees that the iCloud Activation Lock will be removed because this service is incredibly effective and one of the easiest ways of bypassing the lock.

2.3 Using the DNS Method to Bypass Activation Lock without Previous Owner for free

If you don’t want to use either the software or service solutions, you can also try the iCloud DNS bypass method.

This won’t always work and sometimes isn’t the most effective, but it’s free and for that reason, it’s worth trying out.

Step 1 – After factory resetting the iPhone, set it up until you reach the Wi-Fi Settings page.

Step 2 – Tap on the i next to your Wi-Fi network and if you’re already connected, tap on Forget This Network and go back to the settings.

set dns to bypass icloud activation lock

Step 3 – Next to the DNS entry, type one of the following IPs depending on your location.

  • North America: 104.154.51.7
  • Europe: 104.155.28.90
  • Asia: 104.155.220.58
  • Elsewhere: 78.100.17.60

Step 4 – When you enter the DNS IP, tap the Wi-Fi button at the top-left and connect to the Wi-Fi network normally.

Step 5 – On the next page, you’ll be taken to the iCloud bypass page and you’ll be shown the remainder of the process.

Although this method will bypass the iCloud lock, it doesn’t remove the lock.

This means that you won’t be able to sign in with your own iCloud account and most iCloud features will still be inaccessible. Nonetheless, if you just want to bypass the lock, this will do the trick.

2.4 Contact Apple to Remove Activation Lock without Previous Owner

If all else fails, you can request that Apple turn off Activation Lock for you. To do this, go to a nearby Apple Store and take proof that you bought the device and are the rightful owner.

If you can’t prove this then Apple will not be willing to help you out since this could indicate that the device has been stolen.

To find out specific information about how Apple may be able to help you out, contact them and explain your situation – they will give you some guidance on what to do.

Part 3. How to Remove Find My iPhone/iPad Activation Lock with Previous Owner

This next set of solutions are focussed around when you can get help from the previous owner, whether it’s by taking the phone to them or simply calling them up.

3.1 Ask the Owner to Enter Apple ID Password

There’s a low chance of them handing over their Apple ID password but if you’re out of options, it might be worth giving them a call and asking for the password.

With their password, you can sign into the account on your iPhone, disable the iCloud Activation Lock, remove their Apple ID from your iPhone, and sign in with your own account.

sign out of icloud from iphone

If they’re concerned about giving you the password, suggest that they change the password before giving it to you and then change it again after you’ve removed the account.

3.2 Ask for the Passcode

If the previous owner’s iCloud account is set up with 2 Factor Authentication, you can actually remove the iCloud Activation Lock by entering their passcode instead of the account password.

activation lock unlock with passcode

When you reach the iCloud Activation Lock screen on the iOS setup, tap on the Unlock with Passcode option and type in the passcode they had assigned.

Again, you’ll need to contact them to find out what passcode they used.

3.3 Ask the Owner to Remove from iCloud

When the previous owner isn’t willing to hand over their Apple ID password or passcode, the best thing to do is ask them to remove the iPhone from their iCloud account.

Luckily this can be done remotely and is relatively straightforward, and here’s how you can remove iPhone Activation Lock – removing a device from a previous owner’s account:

Step 1 – Ask them to sign in to iCloud.com with their Apple ID and go to the Find iPhone section.

Step 2 – Tell them to click on All Devices at the top of the screen and select your iPhone.

find my iphone icloud

Step 3 – Next, click on the Remove from Account option.

remove iPhone from icloud account

Step 4 – The Find My iPhone Activation Lock should be removed from the iPhone.

If you have been using the iPhone and have some data stored on it already, doing this will delete everything.

However, if you just bought the device and haven’t started using it because of the iCloud Activation Lock, this is a harmless and effective method.

Bonus: How to Find the Previous Owner of a Locked iPhone/iPad

Perhaps you bought the second-hand iPhone from a store and they didn’t wipe it properly, so the previous owner’s data and Apple ID are still there. Finding the previous owner to remove Activation Lock is possible and there are 2 ways to find them.

Tip 1. Find IMEI and Contact Carrier

The first thing you can do to try and find the previous owner is get the IMEI, look it up, and contact the carrier to ask for their help.

To get the IMEI, simply find it at the Activation screen, look on the back of the iPhone, or check the SIM card tray to see if it’s printed on there. To find out the carrier the phone is connected to, you’ll have to use an ancurate IMEI checker.

Give the carrier a call and explain your situation, tell them the iPhone’s IMEI number, and hopefully, they will be able to put you in touch with the previous owner to unlock the iPhone.

Tip 2. Using Info Provided by iCloud Lost Mode

On the other hand, the previous owner may have realised they made a mistake and forgot to disconnect their Apple ID before selling the iPhone, and they might put the iPhone into Lost Mode to notify you to get in touch with them.

ios13 iphone lost mode

Lost Mode basically locks the iPhone and displays a message on the lock screen, along the lines of “This iPhone has been locked, give me a call on…”. This feature can be accessed through the iCloud dashboard where you can manage any devices linked to your account.

Usually, this feature is used by users if they lose their iPhone and want to alert anyone who finds it, but it can also be applied to this situation.

Conclusion

Activation Lock is automatically enabled after you sign in to your Apple ID on an iOS device, is meant as a security feature. Removing it without the password is difficult for most of you.

Now whenever you get a second-hand iPhone, or any iOS device, you won’t have to worry about being held back by the iCloud Activation Lock.

We’ve given you two sets of solutions – one set for removing the Find My iPhone Activation lock without previous owner, and another set to remove the lock with the help of the previous owner.

This way, you have a much higher chance of iCloud Activation Lock removal and being able to sign in with your own iCloud account on your new iPhone!

About Author

Darren has been passionate about ios devices ever since he got his first iPhone since 2013, while he was still a student in junior high school. He currently uses an iPhone 11 and iPad Pro, and he’s become the go-to guy for many of his friends who have mobile device unlocking-related problems.

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