Unlocking iCloud Activation Lock is probably the biggest problem plaguing the used iPhone market. The iCloud description on the listing might say it’s OFF but when the device arrives at your doorstep and you turn it on, you will get stuck on the infamous activation lock screen.
With almost ten years of experience in the field of iPhone Unlock, I have tried everything.
Free iCloud Unlock tools, YouTube guides, DNS Bypass methods, Apple Support, finding the original owner, iCloud IMEI Unlock Services, you name it.
Please do yourself a favor and dedicate 5 minutes in reading this article. Not only will I explain exactly what iCloud Activation Lock is, but also all the ways to remove it successfully. I will also include how to avoid all the scammers who are ready to get you into even bigger trouble.
What is iCloud Activation Lock
The iCloud Activation Lock first appeared in iOS 4.2, but iCloud Activation Lock was introduced as we know it today in iOS 6.
When you purchase a new iPhone, you have the option to create an iCloud account and connect your iPhone to it. For this purpose, you will create your own Apple ID and Password. By doing this, you can backup your iPhone in iCloud and at the same time, you have used Apple’s security feature to lock your iPhone.
No one else can use the iPhone without knowing the Apple ID and Password of the original owner. If the device gets stolen or lost, it will be completely useless to anyone else because the activation lock screen is as far as he can get.
In addition, with Find My iPhone (another app connected to the Apple ID and password), you can log in using your Apple ID and tag your iPhone as lost in Apple’s iCloud databases. You can see on a map the last location where your iDevice was active.
At first glance, iCloud Activation Lock looks like an unbreakable safe, the most perfect anti-theft mobile phone security system but this is not the case at all.
iCloud Lock Out 2020: All the ways to remove iCloud right now
Over the past ten years, there have been many methods of removing iCloud Activation Lock. I will show you everything, however, only just a few are working.
During the iOS 6 era, it was way easier because there were many bugs to exploit in both software and hardware of Apple devices. Year after year, Apple is constantly upgrading its security and now, shortly before the release of iOS 14 and iPhone 12, it is much more difficult but not impossible. I say it is not impossible, as long as you use the right iCloud Unlock tools.
So let’s see what they are, how they work, if they work, and point out potential risks.
Before we start spending our money on different methods, let's see what our free iCloud Unlock options are.
Free iCloud Activation Lock Removal
1. Contact the iPhone Seller
Many times the previous owner simply forgot to deactivate his iCloud account from the iPhone he sold you. If you are lucky your problem will be solved with a simple phone call or email.
Unfortunately most of the time you will be dealing with a reseller. In this case too, however, he may have the contact details of the original owner. If he doesn’t and the device description didn’t state that the iPhone is iCloud locked then ask for a replacement device or your money back.
Find My iPhone also allows the original owner to leave a phone number or an email on the activation lock screen. If the contact details are available, contact him or her.
If you have not been able to find the previous owner so far, don’t worry cause I will show you down below, the ways and services to do so.
2. Contact Apple Support
When contacting Apple Support, be sure to have your proof of purchase handy.
You can contact them via live chat (following the guide below) or by phone.
Based on the comments on our blogs, Apple has discontinued this service but it’s still worth a try. If you are able to get in touch with them, chances are that they will not agree to unlock the iCloud but may put you in touch with the original owner.
3. iCloud Removal via Jailbreak
Jailbreak is a process that allows you to become the ultimate administrator of an iPhone by gaining access to additional settings and applications outside the Apple Store that are blocked to other ordinary users.
There you will find various apps that may be able to achieve iCloud Unlock. Having tried several of these, the free apps failed miserably while only one of the paid apps worked.
Overall, the jailbreak is not recommended to unlock the iCloud activation lock.
4. iCloud Activation Lock Bypass Guides
This is the first iCloud unlock method, as it took advantage of many iOS bugs
During the early years of the iPhone, this is the first iCloud unlock method to be successful as it took advantage of the many iOS bugs.
Until iOS 8, there were various guides that allowed you to put a specific sequence of numbers or other special characters in the Apple ID and password fields, confusing Apple authentication servers and achieving complete unlocking of iCloud Activation Lock.
Apple put an end to all this with the release of iOS 9. iCloud Bypass continues to exist but with a completely different concept.
What is iCloud Bypass in 2020
Nowadays, iCloud Bypass doesn’t mean iCloud Unlock but can lead indirectly to it. How?
By changing some iPhone DNS settings you can temporarily bypass the Activation Lock Screen, gaining access to Home Screen with many limitations.
You will certainly not be able to make or receive phone calls but you will be able to use some iPhone apps and the device on Wi-Fi. Let me warn you though, you should not forget that by activating the Wi-Fi, you enable the original owner to locate you by using Find My iPhone.
Since you will be able to gain access to the Home Screen, you may be able to find the owner’s personal information (phone number, name, and email) in some pre-installed iPhone applications such as Message & FaceTime. You can also try checking the iPhone settings by going to Settings > Passwords and Accounts and edit an existing account (However, this may not work on all iDevices).
If you are fortunate to get the owner’s personal information, you can get in touch with the iPhone owner and hopefully work things out.
5. iCloud Αctivation Lock Removal Free Online Tools
Similar to the free iCloud Bypass methods I showed you before, up to iOS 8 there were several free online iCloud Activation Lock Removal Tools because they were able to take advantage of server-based errors.
All you had to do was 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 believing that it was communicating with the Apple Activation Server. This hack could unlock the activation screen and allow you to activate your own iCloud account.
However, Apple from iOS 9 onwards managed to upgrade the security of the software, which made the Doulci tool and everything related useless.
All Free iCloud Unlock tools in 2020 are one hell of a setup
Oh my, where should I begin?
I have really researched all these tools thoroughly. First and foremost iCloudLockRemoval, iCloud Remover, and iCloud Generator.
It’s supposed that all of them can hack the iCloud Activation Lock in seconds.
By visiting any of these, you will fill in the IMEI of the iDevice you want to unlock, a screen will appear showing you the hacking in real-time and you will magically get rid of iCloud Lock… not.
Soon after, you will win an incredible gift, usually the latest iPhone model. All they need is some extra information and especially your phone number.
From now on, two things (or both) can happen:
- They will keep sending you three text messages a week, of course at your own expense, until you realize it and stop the process
- Still, others really aim at hacking but the target is you
Now how and to what extent they will extract the information they want from you varies.
In general, they attack with phishing emails, most often pretending to be from Apple (Using the same user interface, fonts, and colors as Apple).
These phishing emails will ask you for your Apple ID and Password to hack your account. Unfortunately, not everyone is aware that Apple will never ask for personal information.
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.
Another common scam is that an email will be sent to you that the authorities have detected that you are doing something illegal and you will have to pay the fine (usually $100 to $500)
The same goes for all Free iCloud removal tools on the internet. None of them can unlock the iCloud screen on your iPhone and the damage they can cause is from a few dollars to compromise your bank account.
iCloud Unlock Unlock Paid Services
All the fake iCloud Unlock tools I described earlier also have paid versions. The only thing that changes, in this case, is that you have to pay something in advance. These tools will continuously try to deceive you in various ways later on.
iCloud IMEI Unlock Services
Companies that offer such services have access to Apple’s iCloud databases and can turn off the Find iPhone feature on any iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch.
Their services are not very stable, but when they are, they have a 100% success rate.
There are several prerequisites for using iCloud IMEI Unlock. Apart from the iPhone model and the country of origin of the device, the most important of all is that iCloud Status must be CLEAN.
Otherwise, if the original owner has enabled the LOST mode of Find My iPhone, then it has been recorded as lost in Apple’s iCloud database.
If you belong to this category, finding the real previous owner is one way.
For the past four years, many iCloud Unlock IMEI providers have been offering these services for just a few dollars ($20 – $30). This is a very common scam, as they use payment methods that make it impossible for their customers to request a refund.
Basically, they offer you a pre-order service by hiding it in their Terms and Conditions. If your device is compatible with an iCloud IMEI Unlock service they will ask you much more to start the process. If not, they will tell you that you should check if your iPhone is compatible before ordering.
What I want you to remember
There are many outdated iCloud removal methods and many companies are trying to sell them as a paid service. Still, others offer their services “for free” with a darker purpose.
After discussing all methods available, we can say with absolute certainty that there are no services or tools that can hack the iCloud activation screen from an iPhone.
For now, the only two ways to start using your iCloud Locked iPhone again is to bypass the Activation Lock screen or get an iCloud IMEI Unlock service as long as the iCloud Status is clean (among other conditions).