UPDATED ON: 1st April 2018
By now you must know that to bypass an activation screen lock you have two options. You either have to use the Apple ID linked to the iPhone to unlock it or unlink the iPhone from the connected iCloud account. However, you could also choose to delete iCloud account locking your iPhone.
Everyone calls Apple support or goes over to an Apple store for help with any iPhone-related issue. When contacting Apple, you will need to provide proof of ownership. Only then can Apple help you deleter or recover iCloud account details.
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However, if you have a pre-used iPhone that you bought off of an eMarket or one that you “found” Apple may not be of help. Delete iCloud account locking your iPhone using this guide.
The Function of the Activation Lock
The iCloud activation lock functions as a “Find My iPhone” feature. When enabled through the iPhone/iPod settings it places a screen lock on the device. The only way to unlock the screen is using the connected iCloud account details.
Apple introduced the feature to iDevices as an anti-theft measure. The activation lock screen prevents anyone other than the device’s rightful owner from using it. The iPhone becomes virtually useless when it falls into the wrong hands. Anyone who buys an iPhone online that comes with an iCloud lock will have challenges bypassing the activation screen.
The option in such an instance is to reach out to the previous owner or Apple support for help.
Solve iCloud Activation Lock Issues
Anyone can face challenges with the iCloud activation lock, even if you bought the iPhone directly from Apple. It also means that the ability to bypass and delete iCloud account depends on your particular situation.
That is the first thing that you should understand; the iCloud lock presents itself on iPhones in different states. The first situation involves a forgotten password leading to a locked iCloud account.
Recovering a Lost/Forgotten iCloud Password
It happens to all of us, and you can forget your password at some point. In other cases, a friend or family member might try to invade your privacy by trying to pry into your iPhone. Both instances lead to several incorrect password entries and a suspended iCloud account.
iCloud accounts become suspended when Apple detects unusual activities on them. Several wrong password attempts mean that someone other than the account owner keeps trying to access it. Even if you are the one who forgot your password and you end up trying out different password combinations, Apple can suspend your iCloud account.
Apple will send an email to you notifying you of the iCloud account suspension. However, worth pointing out is that hackers started sending out similar emails asking you to reset your iCloud password. It often happens to people who lost their iDevices, and such emails aim at phishing the original owner’s iCloud account information.
The trusted way to reset an iCloud account password is on your Apple ID account page. Do not click on links sent to your email asking you to reset the password.
Linked iCloud Account
An iPhone that has an activation lock screen implies that someone activated Find My iPhone on it. For that to have happened, it must have been the initial iPhone owner who enabled the function when setting up the device. In some rare instances, an iPhone bought directly from an Apple store might display an activation lock screen.
If you are the original iPhone owner with an Apple store bought iPhone, an activation screen might appear on your iPhone after resetting the iPhone. It could also happen after you deactivate Find My iPhone or unlink the device from your account. Often, it is a fluke that occurs from Apple’s end, and they can usually help to reset or delete iCloud account looking your iPhone.
You still must provide proof of ownership when contacting Apple support for them to remove a linked iCloud account from your iPhone. For pre-owned iPhones bought off of eBay or Amazon; you will have to contact the seller/previous owner. The original owner can delete the iPhone from their iCloud account to remove the activation lock.
Stolen/Lost Activation Lock Screen
The final iCloud lock state that proves the hardest to bypass is the lost/stolen iCloud activation screen. Such an iPhone will come with an activation lock screen with a message. The display will say that the iPhone is a lost device and anyone who comes across it should call an included number.
When anyone loses an iPhone, he or she will naturally try to get it back. Everyone will report to relevant authorities and try every means possible to disable the phone. Disabling the iPhone means that no one can breach the previous owner’s privacy. With Find My iPhone enabled on the iPhone, the owner can activate Lost Mode and erase its contents remotely.
Enabling Lost Mode sends a message to the device which then displays on its screen to alert anyone who comes across it that the iPhone is a lost device. If you buy an iPhone that shows such an activation screen, it means that the previous owner wants the device back.
Bypass and Delete iCloud Account on Stolen/Lost iPhones
As explained, an iPhone with a lost/stolen activation lock means that someone wants the device back. It does not matter whether you bought the iPhone with proof of the purchase; only the original iPhone owner can reactivate such an iPhone.
The owner might also be trying to track the iPhone using Find My iPhone from the iCloud site. It does not feel good knowing that your option in this situation would be to return the iPhone to its previous owner. You can reach out to the previous iPhone owner by calling the number displayed on the screen.
Apple will not help much, and in fact, they will advise that you return the iPhone to its owner. Sometimes, the iPhone owner may not even be reachable for one or another reason, but you still would not get much help to unlock your iPhone’s iCloud account.