Apple offers online iOS Activation Lock status tool

FindMyMacIconXAre you considering purchasing a used iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch second-hand from sites like eBay, Craigslist, or perhaps from an acquaintance? If so, then you might find yourself frustrated by the device having an activation lock in place. The lock, which Apple introduced in iOS 7, binds your iOS device to your Apple ID, and then prevents someone from erasing and activating an iOS device without first supplying your Apple ID.

This feature is turned on by default when you set up your Apple ID on a device, and as such it has its obvious benefits for security from device theft; however, it does have a drawback in that by purchasing an iOS device second-hand, it will likely be locked and unable to use.

Since the lock is bound to an Apple ID, the lock status of each device is on file with Apple and can be looked up with Apple’s new Activation Lock tool. This tool is part of Apple’s iCloud services, but is not available on the iCloud main page when you log in; however, it can be accessed directly here:

Anyone purchasing a used iOS device should be sure to enter its serial number in this tool, and check for an all-clear before going ahead with a purchase.

Keep in mind that even if you purchase a device and it shows as being locked, this likely just means the previous owner forgot to unlock it. However, until they do you will not be able to use the device. In these cases, you can have the seller unlock the device by following the instructions outlined in this Apple Knowledgebase document.

One thought on “Apple offers online iOS Activation Lock status tool

  1. Emiko Hanmer

    Dear webmaster, sometimes I get a 404 error when I view this page. I thought you would want to know.

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