If you are about to sell your iPhone or iPad then you must remove your Apple ID from it first.
If you don’t, then the device will forever be tied to your iCloud account causing it to be ‘iCloud locked’. This makes it difficult, costly, and almost impossible for the new owner to use (although I do have an article giving some advice on what to do if you want to unlock iCloud).
You’ll also get a lot of complaints from the new owner that can easily be avoided.
How to remove your Apple ID before you sell your device
When you try to remove your Apple ID you will be asked for your password. This password is also known as the iCloud password.
This might seem odd – asking for your password when signing out, but there is a good reason for this.
Let me explain…
Imagine your iPhone was stolen. The thief want to use it as their own. However, when they look at the settings it is your iCloud account details that appear, not theirs. This limits what they can do. They also run the risk of you logging in to your iCloud account and locking the phone remotely so they can’t use it at all. the first thing they will try is to sign you out so you no longer have any control over the phone. They can’t – because they will be asked for a password they don’t know .
To get round this they erase the contents and try to set it up as a new phone.
But this won’t work.
The iPhone detects the Apple account and requests the password before allowing it to be setup – so they are stuck with a phone they can’t do anything with – unless they have your password.
So the reason the password is needed to sign out is simple – it is secure.
This is why you need to remove the Apple ID before you sell your device and give it to the new owner.
So if you are the owner of an iPhone or iPad and you are about to sell it you should follow the steps below to unlock it first.
If it is too late and you have already sold your device, and the new owner is asking you to remove your or Apple ID then follow the advice later in this article.
1. Tap the Settings icon
2.Tap your name at the top of the screen
3. Scroll all the way down and tap ‘Sign Out’ at the bottom of the screen
4. Tap Sign Out.You will be asked for your iCloud Apple ID password.
5. You will be asked if you want to keep a copy of your data on the device. Make sure all of the toggles are switched off (white).
6. Click Sign out at the top right. You will be asked if you are sure. Click the Sign Out button again.
7. The iCloud data is removed – this can take a few minutes.
8. The Settings page will no longer have your details at the top.
You have now removed your Apple ID from the device.
How to remove your Apple ID after you have sold your device
If you no longer have the phone or tablet in your possession and the new owner says it is locked then you can still unlock it remotely. This is done using Apples iCloud website.
1. Go to https://www.icloud.com/
2. Type in your Apple ID (email address) and password
3. Steps 3-5 are likely to appear if it is a new computer you are using to sign in to iCloud. If they don’t, skip to step 6.
You will have a warning appearing saying that a new login as been detected from a new computer. Click Allow so that you can provide the verification code.
4. Now that two-factor authentication is mandatory you will be asked for a verification code. This can be sent via text message or sent to another Apple device you own. The screenshot below shows how it appears on a MacBook computer.
Type the code in.
5. If you think you will use the same computer again for accessing iCloud then click ‘Trust’. This will mean you won’t be asked for the verification code again.
6. Click ‘Settings’.
7. Click the device you want to remove from your iCloud account found under ‘My Devices’.
8. Click the small X opposite the device name to remove it.
9. You will be asked to conform the removal. Click Remove.
10. All done!
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Kevin Craighead is iChimp’s chief technology editor and has been covering Apple’s mobile electronics, security, privacy and the wider technology sector since 2011. He is also a highly regarded Web Designer & Developer.
With a career spanning 30 years which began doing PC support (before the internet existed), Kevin’s technical expertise and experience is highly regarded in a wide variety of fields. His well-researched work resulted in highly regarded and often cited articles such as the infamous ‘Unable to move message to trash’ error on iOS devices.