I do feel for anyone who has an iCloud locked iPhone that they have been trying to unlock for months now. Though unrelated, I once bought a network locked iPhone back in 2013, and until now I have never been able to remove its SIM lock successfully. That said, thousands of people still want to find a reliable activation lock removal tool.
I can imagine many iCloud locked iPhones are stashed away in drawers and remain unused because people just give up on unlocking them. If you bought an iPhone online from someone in the U.S and you live in a European country, trying to reach the seller or original iPhone owner can prove challenging. By now, most of us understand that only the iPhone’s initial owner can help bypass an activation lock screen.
That is why most people give in to the numerous activation lock removal websites that promise to unlock the iCloud lock. So, should you try an iCloud lock remover and do they work?
Do you Need the iCloud Lock on your iPhone?
Before the iCloud Activation Lock becomes a problem, you have to question why do you need it on your iPhone? If you bought the iPhone from an Apple store or a network provider as the first owner, then you will need to figure out if you need to enable the iCloud activation lock.
Apple built in the Find My iPhone feature into iPhones/iPads as a security feature. When activated on an iDevice, it can help you trace your iPhone if you ever lose it. When you “switch on” the function it directly places an activation lock on your iPhone.
You have to provide your Apple ID and password to bypass or unlock an iCloud activation screen. I am sure there has been a time when you entered the wrong password maybe once or even twice. You probably just reset the password and were able to use it again.
However, someone who buys a previously owned iPhone that comes with an iCloud lock screen removing it is never easy.
The Activation Lock Removal process
Everyone knows that to remove an activation lock, you must know its linked iCloud account details. Now what happens to anyone who bought an iCloud locked iPhone and they do not have this information? Everyone will start by trying to reach the seller about the problem.
For those who can reach the seller, they might follow the steps to unlink an iPhone from an iCloud account. Sometimes, that solves the issue for some people who then can use the iPhone as their own. However, it might not work in some cases, and the seller may not be able to help you beyond that.
In other cases, the seller may not even be cooperative or respond to your emails/phone calls. Then in most of the cases too, the return period for eBay or Amazon may have since passed so you would not be able to get a refund. That is why many people in a similar situation end up considering activation lock removal tools.
How do Activation Lock Removal Tools Work?
When you visit any iCloud unlock website, they will sell you in on using their services to unlock your iPhone quickly. Most will tell you that the only information they need from you is your iPhone model and its IMEI number. They will then ask you to make a payment and wait for them to unlock your iPhone in one to three days.
Some of them will then try to contact the previous owner, after finding out their contact information. If they hit a dead end, they may try to use phishing methods to retrieve the former owner’s iCloud account information. Unfortunately, others may never even get back to you once you pay for the iPhone unlock services.
In as much as many iPhone users are searching for activation lock removal solutions, a considerable number ended up duped by unlocking providers. Therefore, some of these sites may work because they use illegal ways to remove iCloud locks but most cannot help you out.
Also, you will have to keep spending on different websites if you choose the trial and error method to find a site that works.
What If All Activation Lock Removal Methods You Try Do Not Work?
The reality is that you might end up like many other people who have no option but to give up on trying to unlock their iPhones. However, you want to give every available legal solution a try before throwing in the towel. The first step is contacting the former iPhone owner.
Using iCloud ID Finder Services
If you are going to pay for anything, you might as well spend it on an iCloud ID Finder service. They can help you find the original iPhone owner’s contact information. Some iPhones with activation lock screens do not display any information that can help you trace the previous owner.
However, some iPhones come with iCloud lock screens with contact details. Such iPhones belong to people who lost them and want them back. You can call the displayed number to reach the iPhone’s initial owner to return the iPhone.
In some cases, it can be impractical to return the iPhone to its former owner. Sometimes, they may not be reachable entirely or even want the device back. There is also the likelihood that they will not be very understanding to help you unlock your iCloud locked iPhone.
That leaves you with an iPhone that you cannot use. However, there are more ways to gain back the use of an iCloud locked iPhone.
Convert an iCloud Locked iPhone to Money
Yes, some people knowingly want to buy iPhones with iCloud locks. The reasons vary, but often it is to use them as replacement parts or even attempt to make a breakthrough by discovering iCloud unlock solutions.
A few people who bought locked iPhones and successfully contacted the previous owners were able to reach agreements to sell the phone back to them. It sounds incredible, but some people do genuinely value their iPhones and would do anything to get the devices back.
Imagine losing the newly released iPhone X which perhaps had sensitive content. That is roughly $1000 lost, and most people would maybe even be willing to repurchase it for $200 or so. You just never know, the previous owner might agree to the option of repurchasing the iPhone.
A few websites will help you sell your iCloud locked iPhone to recover some of the money you spent on it. Do not expect to make much out of it but it is a better option than keeping an iPhone that you will never be to use.