How to check Activation Lock before buying a used iPhone
This tutorial shows you the various ways to check Activation Lock on iPhone,
If the device is forcefully erased without first turning off Find My, the Activation Lock prevents it from being set up again. On the setup screen, the only way to bypass Activation Lock is by entering the Apple ID password of the last owner. Failing to do so makes setting up the device impossible, rendering it entirely unusable!
In other words, when Activation Lock is enabled, the previous owner’s Apple ID password is required before anyone can reactivate and use the device.
How to check Activation Lock before buying a used iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad
Here are the methods to check Activation Lock before buying used Apple devices. Note that you must have the device in your hand, and it should turn on for you to know the Activation Lock status.
Here’s how to check Activation Lock on an iOS or iPadOS device that the seller claims is erased and ready to be sold.
Power on the device and complete the basic setup process like choosing a language, region, and connecting to a Wi-Fi or cellular network. After this, if you see any of the following screens, that means the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch has Activation Lock enabled:
- iPhone Locked to Owner: The location of this iPhone can be seen by its owner. (iOS 15 and later)
- Activation Lock: This iPhone is linked to an Apple ID. Enter the Apple ID and password that were used to set up this iPhone.
Activate iPhone: This iPhone was lost and erased. Enter the Apple ID and password that were used to set up this iPhone. Message from Owner. This means the device not only has Activation Lock, but it’s stolen, and the original owner has put it in Lost Mode!
Don’t buy the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch if you see any of the above messages.
To remove the Activation Lock, ask the device owner to enter his Apple ID password on this screen. After that, use your Apple ID to set up the iPhone. In case you can’t use your Apple ID, ask the seller to follow these steps to turn off Find My and then erase the device. Once that’s done you can buy the device and set it up using your Apple ID.
If you don’t see any of the above messages, there is no Activation Lock on that device. Proceed with the device setup and enter your Apple ID (or create one) to use on it.
When you take the iPhone in hand and it shows a Lock Screen to enter the device passcode, it means the device is not yet erased and most likely Find My (and Activation Lock) is still enabled. Ask the previous owner to turn off Find My and erase the device. After that, you can buy it.
If the device is set up, go to the iPhone Settings app > tap the name you see on the top > Find My > Find My iPhone, and if Find My iPhone is green, that means Activation Lock is enabled. Don’t buy this device unless the owner turns it off and erases the device.