If you can find similarities on your iPhone’s screen with one of the messages below, you can safely assume your iPhone has the iCloud Activation Lock enabled.
An iCloud Locked iPhone is useless since you can not make phone calls or even access the Home screen.
Typically, people end up with a problematic iPhone when:
- Made an online purchase from an unreliable seller without first checking it
- Got an iPhone as a gift but the previous owner was not logged out of the iCloud account
- They forgot the Apple ID and password they used during the activation process
- They found an iPhone
Having almost 10 years of experience, we have collected all available methods for iCloud Unlock in this article. We have seen and tested many tools, services and tutorials.
Updated on 07/08/2019
Some basic info about iCloud Activation Lock
Apple calls it Find My iPhone and is one of the best security systems. It was available from the iOS 4.2 version but the iCloud lock feature was introduced to the iOS 6 version.
Users with the same or higher version of iOS 6 were not only able to track their devices but they could connect them to an iCloud account.
When you buy a new iPhone, the activation process requires you to create an iCloud account and connect your iPhone to it. After this necessary step, you have full control of this iDevice and no one else can use it.
In order to start using an iPhone that has an Activation Lock, you either need to enter the correct Apple ID and password (of the activated iCloud account) or find another way that has the same “iCloud Unlock/ByPass” effect.
Methods to remove iCloud
In the last 10 years, there have been many methods of removing iCloud lock. To make some things quite clear from the start, only a very small number of them is still in place.
In the iOS 6 era, it was much easier to unlock the activation lock because there were many bugs and exploits. In recent years, Apple has upgraded its security and is now considered one of the safest.
So let’s look at the currently popular methods to unlock the iCloud lock from your iPhone, let us explain if they work and point out possible dangers:
- Removing iCloud lock through a Jailbreak
- Apply “weird” iOS configurations to confuse Apple (iOS Guides)
- Online iCloud Remover Tools & Software
- IMEI iCloud Unlock services
- ByPass Activation Lock tutorials
- Removing the iCloud lock with the iPhone’s previous owner assistance
- Contacting Apple iCloud support for requesting an activation lock removal
All of the above methods have been able to successfully unlock the iPhone activation lock in recent years, but they are not all able to do this as we speak.
1 – How to remove iCloud lock with Jailbreak
Jailbreak is a simple process that allows you to become the administrator of an iPhone. This means that you can access files that are “blocked” for use by ordinary users.
Apple locks some files to make sure their iOS devices can stay safe and healthy and prevent people from altering important files that are responsible for the secure and stable operation of the device.
The jailbreak process has enabled many hackers to create methods that could unlock an iPhone from its provider (Network Lock) or from iCloud Lock through specific files that were responsible for these locks.
There is no reason to analyze the whole story of this method since Apple realized it very quickly and patched these bugs and exploits.
Since the jailbreaking process requires the user to access the iPhone’s Home screen, Apple put an extra security tweak. When an iPhone is iCloud Locked, the user has access only to the Activation Lock Screen, nowhere else.
2 – iCloud Removal Guides (iOS)
This is probably the oldest unlock method, as it also exploited numerous iOS bugs.
The method was the following: You had to put a specific sequence of numbers or other special characters into the Apple ID and password fields.
The creators of these guides argued that these combinations sent weird signals to authentication servers and automatically unlocking your iCloud lock.
Needless to say, that of the eight iOS iCloud Unlock guides we have found, none of them worked.
3 – Free iPhone Activation Lock Removal services
Online services are the next generation of iPhone activation lock removal methods because they were able to take advantage of server-based bugs.
All you had to do was to download a tool, install it on your computer, connect your iPhone via USB and then click a button.
The most famous was the Doulci tool, which tricked your iPhone into thinking it was communicating with the activation server. This hack could unlock the activation screen and allowed you to activate your own iCloud account.
However, Apple managed to upgrade its iOS security which rendered Doulci tool useless.
The truth behind these methods is mixed. The most prevalent theory is that this method is trying to trick the original owner of an iPhone and make him turn off Find My iPhone.
But, some people say that those companies have access to iCloud databases and are able to simply disconnect the current iCloud account from your iPhone.
Those companies are either faking an Apple employee by telephone or send fake emails to the previous owners by making them believe they come from Apple (Using same user interface, fonts and colors as Apple does).
They are based on the fact that many users do not know that Apple will never ask for personal information from its customers, such as Apple ID or password (Apple’s Security support Page).
They clearly state the following:
Never provide your password, security questions, verification codes, recovery key, or any other account security details to anyone else. Apple will never ask you for this information. If Apple Support needs to verify your identity, we might ask you to generate a temporary Support Pin. We’ll only ask for this information over the phone after you contact Apple Support for help.
4 – IMEI iCloud Unlock services
The name of this method was mostly used for marketing purposes as it implies that companies that offer such services have access to Apple’s iCloud databases and can turn OFF the Find my iPhone feature to any iPhone.
These services are not very stable, but when they are they have a 100% success rate.
During the last 3-4 years many IMEI iCloud Unlock providers offer these services for only a few dollars ($20 – $30). This is a very common scam, as they use payment methods that make it impossible for their clients to request a refund.
They usually “hide” some bizarre return policies in their Terms and Conditions to avoid reimbursing your payment.
5 – ByPass Activation Lock tutorials
Bypass iCloud locks and Unlocking iCloud are two very different concepts.
For the time being, unlocking an iCloud lock is not possible, but to Bypass iCloud locks is something that is working and has been tested multiple times.
After successfully completing the bypass of the iPhone’s iCloud screen, you will be able to access the Home screen, unfortunately with many limitations.
You will be able to:
- Access iPhone’s Home Page
- Access the majority of iPhone’s apps
- Browse to the internet
- Access the WiFi (For games, apps & surfing)
- You might be able to make phone calls & send SMS
You will not be able to:
- Deactivate Find My iPhone
- Update the iOS version
- Make changes to most of the settings
- Make phone calls & send SMS (Not guaranteed)
6 – Removing the iCloud lock with the iPhone’s previous owner assistance
As we stated to the top of this article, “In order to start using an iPhone that has an Activation Lock, you either need to enter the correct Apple ID and password (of the activated iCloud account) or find another way that has the same effect.”.
The only person who is able to do the above is the one who has activated “Find My iPhone” on this device. This person is the owner and you must find a way to contact him.
The obvious answer, which is to contact Apple, is not the right one. Apple does not share this kind of information. Only those who can prove that they are already Apple customers have this right.
In order for Apple to verify that someone is a customer, it will ask for the owner’s personal details and the original proof of purchase of this iPhone.
Naturally, only a real iPhone owner has access to this information and to the original purchase receipt.
Fortunately, you can find some owner’s personal information (phone number, name and email) on some iPhone apps or through iPhone’s settings.
Before attempting to open the following applications or Settings, you must bypass the iCloud Activation Lock.
Some pre-installed applications, such as Message & FaceTime, will definitely have some information to contact the owner. You can also go to Settings > Passwords and Accounts and edit an existing account (This may not work on all devices).
Once you find ways to communicate with the iPhone owner, you can call or send an email to explain your situation.
You can find some ready-made templates to contact the owner by email HERE that have been used by other users and have managed to persuade the owner to disable Find my iPhone.
7 – Contacting Apple iCloud support for requesting an activation lock removal
This method is only applicable to a very specific case. You must have the original proof of purchase of this iPhone, as required by Apple.
You can contact them via Live Chat or by phone.
Follow the tutorial below to contact Apple and request that iCloud lock be disabled.
Conclusion on iCloud Unlock
There are many outdated iCloud remover methods and many companies are trying to sell them as a paid service.
We can say with certainty that there are no services, tools or hacks to unlock the iCloud activation screen from an iPhone.
Jailbreaking, iOS Guides, Online Tools / Software are methods that will not unlock your iPhone’s iCloud lock.
At the moment, the only two ways to start using your iPhone is to Bypass the Activation Lock screen or to order an iCloud IMEI Unlock service.
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