Members of the iChimp community often get in touch asking me how to bypass Activation Lock when they don’t have the Apple ID for their iOS device.
If you find yourself in the situation you have come to the correct place. This short, easy-to-read guide explains everything you need to know.
Many years ago I found myself with an activation locked iPhone after buying a used device on eBay. This led me to research solutions on how to bypass the Activation Lock Screen.
In the end, I found a number of ways to remove the Activation Lock. These are the same solutions I still recommend today.
- Bypassing using a service.
- Bypassing using DNS.
- Bypassing using the previous owner’s help.
- Removing Activation Lock using official methods.
- What to do if you forgot your Apple ID or password.
If you need to know more about bypassing, including several techniques to try, see How to bypass Activation Lock.
To find out the exact steps to bypass the activation lock when you don’t have the Apple ID, read on…
Table of Contents
Activate your device without Apple ID
By using a service
The quickest and easiest method to bypass the iCloud activation lock screen is to use an online service.
I found unlocking using an online service simple and stress-free. I provided the supplier with my device details and they took care of the rest. Within a few days, the iPhone activation lock was removed and I could use my secondhand iPhone normally.
For more information, see the best Apple ID bypass tools.
The biggest issue I found was the huge number of scammers online. Many claimed to be able to remove Activation Lock when they couldn’t. This makes it very important to select the correct supplier otherwise you may end up wasting time and money.
|Supplier||Method||Cost||Reason to avoid|
|iCloud Unlock Buddy||Tool||$25||The software doesn’t unlock iCloud.|
|Unlock Instantly||Service||£10.95||No Company details are provided on the website. No response to my inquiries.|
|iPhone Approved Unlock||Service||£14.99 deposit + £30.00 = $44.99||Didn’t work. No company details are given on the website.|
|IMEI24||Service||$160||Didn’t work. No company details are given on the website.|
|AppUnlock||Service||€30.99||No Company details are provided on the website. No response to my inquiries.|
|iRemove Tools||Tool||£29.99||Tool doesn’t work.|
|iCloud Remover||Service||$29.99||No Company details are provided on the website. No response to my inquiries.|
|CellUnlocker||Service||$49.99||Take payment then claim the device can’t be unlocked as it’s marked as stolen. Refunds are often refused.|
|WooTechy iSalvor||Tool||$39.95 / month||You won’t be able to make calls, use cellular data, or access iCloud on your device after bypassing.|
After testing many companies over a long period of time I found the best solution is provided by DirectUnlocks.
Simply go to the website and provide them with a few simple details including:
- The device model
- The IMEI or serial number
To bypass iCloud Activation Lock and remove the Apple ID:
- Click this link: Reputable Activation Lock removal service.
- Scroll down a little, then click the red button that says Go to DirectUnlocks to go to the website.
- In the box, type in the serial or IMEI number of your device. Your Apple product is automatically identified.
- Click Unlock iCloud.
- Your order details will appear on the checkout page.
- In the box, type in your email address.
- Where it says I agree to the terms and conditions, tick the box.
- Checkout and pay using your chosen payment method.
- You will be emailed when the bypass is completed.
By using DNS
You can get around the iCloud activation lock using a DNS bypass. Learn more about setting up and using iCloud.
The iCloud DNS bypass method has been in use for many years. It allows you to use your device without actually removing the Activation Lock.
It achieves this by using an alternative DNS server to Apple. This DNS server provides different services that can run on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. For example, you can browse social media, watch YouTube videos, and more.
Unfortunately, because the Activation Lock is still enabled on your device you do not have full functionality. This makes it a last resort when you can’t bypass the Apple ID using other methods.
In order to perform an iCloud DNS bypass do the following:
- Turn on your device.
- Go through the setup process until you get to the Choose WiFi Network screen.
- Click the small i next to your WiFi local name
- Tap Configure DNS.
- Tap Manual.
- Tap +Add Server and type in one of the following:
- USA: 126.96.36.199
- Europe: 188.8.131.52
- Asia: 184.108.40.206
- At the top left of the screen, tap Back.
- Click your Wi-Fi network.
- Type in the Wi-Fi password and Join it.
- The phone will try to activate by going to a new screen. Don’t let it, hit the Back button at the top right to return to the WiFi page where you will be logged in.
- Once logged in you will see the iCloud bypass screen that will say something like iCloudDNSBypass.net at the top.
With the previous owners help
If you don’t know the Apple ID password for your device you can ask the previous owner for help. Since the original owner enabled Activation Lock on your Apple device, they should be able to turn it off.
The iCloud Activation Lock can be removed by the previous owner remotely. Simply asked them to:
- Go to the iCloud website.
- When prompted, sign in using their Apple ID and password.
- Select Settings.
- Under My Devices, pick the device they want to unlock by clicking the X.
- Click Remove, to confirm the removal of the device from the iCloud account.
After following the preceding steps, you will no longer be asked for the previous owners’ Apple ID.
If you forgot your Apple ID?
If you have forgotten your Apple ID you can find it out using the following methods:
- On another device logged in using the same Apple ID look under iCloud or Media and purchases.
- On your Apple Mac under System preferences, look at the iCloud account details.
- On your Apple TV, you will find your Apple ID in the Settings.
- You can also find you’re Apple ID via iCloud for Windows.
Another useful method is done via the Apple ID account page. You simply provide your first and last name together with your email address and you will be given your Apple ID.
To find out more, see What to do if you forgot your Apple ID or password.
Reset your Apple ID password
To reset your password using iForgot:
- In the box, enter your Apple ID to get started.
- If you have a phone number linked to your account the website will prompt you to verify it.
- A message will be sent to your Apple devices with a prompt to reset your password.
- You can tap the prompt, follow it, and get a new password.
Ask the seller for help
Get in touch with the seller and ask them to remove the device from their Apple account.
This shouldn’t be a problem for the original owner if they simply forgot to do this before selling the Apple device.
You don’t need to worry about sending the device to them – they can remove the Apple ID remotely without having the phone in their possession.
So if you bought a device from a seller located on the other side of the country it isn’t a problem.
When the seller disables Find My, the Activation Lock will be bypassed and you will be able to setup your device as your own. It won’t ask for the previous owners’ Apple ID password again.
Apple believes someone has attempted to hack into your account. To prevent unauthorized access they have locked your Apple ID so that your personal information is secured. You need to verify your account before you can use your Apple ID.
For more information, see How to unlock an Apple ID locked for security reasons.