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How To Bypass iCloud Activation Lock (3 FREE Fixes That Work)

Bypass iCloud activation lock

The iCloud activation lock is a security feature of iOS, Apple’s operating system for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and the Apple Watch.This security system protects your iPhone and it’s data if it is stolen or lost.

The iCloud lock protects the iPhone and prevents it being setup and used by anyone else until the owners Apple ID and iCloud password are typed into the device. Without the security details the device can’t be setup or used by the thief.

The big issue is when, like my wife, you buy a used iPhone on eBay and find it is unusable due to it being iCloud locked. This very problem led me to research ways to bypass iCloud.

Conclusions

I did find a way of bypassing the activation lock. But I not only found out how to temporarily bypass iCloud activation lock, I also found out how to remove it permanently, which was brilliant news for my wife.

Here are the conclusions of my research:

  • Always check second hand devices aren’t activation locked before agreeing to buy them
  • Check the device your about to buy hasn’t been stolen
  • The iCloud activation lock can be bypassed
  • You can unlock iCloud for free with the co-operation of the original owner
  • You can also potentially have your device unlocked by Apple
  • Bypassing the iCloud lock using DNS can get you some functionality back
  • If you want a permanent solution you have to pay to have your device bypassed
  • There are lots of scammers offering iCloud bypass solutions so be careful when picking one

Recommendations

After many hours I found 3 free solutions that will enable you to bypass the iCloud activation lock feature:

If these fail, or are unsuitable I have one paid method you can try too:

Option 1: Bypass activation lock using DNS

You can bypass iCloud and regain some functionality of your iPhone or iPad by using DNS.

This technique works by using your WiFi to get round the Apple security system. So you won’t need a SIM card in your device to get this to work.

You won’t be using the operating system (iOS) on your device. Instead you use a server to provide all the smart features such as Facebook and Instagram, as shown in the video below.

You set this up as follows:

  1. Turn on your device
  2. Go through the setup process until you get to the ‘Choose WiFi Network’ screen
  3. Click the small ‘i’ next to your WiFi local name
  4. Tap “Configure DNS”. Tap “Manual”.
  5. Tap “+Add Server” and a blank will come up.
  6. Step 7: Enter the server address of your location:
    – USA: 104.154.51.7
    – Europe: 104.155.28.90
    – Asia: 104.155.220.58
    – Africa, Australia, and other locations: 78.109.17.60
  7. Tap “Back >” at the top left of the screen.
  8. Click your Wi-Fi network
  9. Type in the Wi-Fi password and click “Join” at the top right
  10. The iPhone 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.
  11. Once logged in you will see a screen which will say something like “iCloudDNSBypass.net” at the top.
  12. You have managed to bypass the iCloud activation lock!

Option 2: Ask the original owner to remove iCloud activation lock

If you have purchased a used iPhone or iPad which has a locked iCloud account you should ask the original owner to remove it.

The iCloud activation lock removal can be done remotely so they don’t need access to the device itself to do it.

1. Go to https://www.icloud.com/

2. Type in your Apple ID (email address) and password

3. Click ‘Settings’.

4. Click the device you want to remove from your iCloud account found under ‘My Devices’.

5. Click the small X opposite the device name to remove it.

6. You will be asked to conform the removal. Click Remove.

7. All done!

If you are struggling, or need more in-depth tutorial on this I suggest you read my article on how to remove an Apple ID from an iPhone or iPad.

Once the iCloud lock has been removed you will be able to setup your iPhone or iPad normally. You will never be asked for the Apple ID of the previous owner again.

What if the previous owner has forgotten their iCloud details?

The original owner can reset the password if they have forgotten it – as long as they remember their Apple ID.

The Apple ID is the account that they use for everything they do with Apple, like when they shop in the iTunes Store, sign in to iCloud, buy an app, etc. To reset their password, they need to know the email address of their Apple ID.

1. Go to https://iforgot.apple.com/password/verify/appleid

2. Enter the Apple ID

3. Select the option to reset the password

4. Choose the reset method:

  • By answering security questions
  • To reset it via email
  • To reset it using two-factor authentication

5. Follow the instructions on screen to complete the reset

Option 3: Have Apple remove the iCloud activation lock

Apple will unlock the activation lock on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Apple Watch in some circumstances. To do so, you need to prove:

  1. You are the owner of the device – by showing your receipt. 
  2. Ownership has been transferred from the original owner to you.

Apple will then check if the device has been reported stolen. If the checks show it has, they will not help you.

If your handset is not reported missing or stolen then they may still refuse to help. For example if they don’t believe you can adequately prove you are the rightful owner.

Apple rates security and privacy very highly so unless they are 100% sure the device is yours they will not unlock it.

Option 4: Pay to have the activation lock bypassed

There are many websites that claim to bypass activation lock. Unfortunately most of them are scams, such as:

  • PDF downloads that claim to give the answer – after you buy them you find out they don’t
  • Online tools that do real-time unlocking in your web browser. These are simply an excuse to get you to click pop-up ads
  • Software downloads that bring viruses with them that infect your computer. Plus they don’t work

So be careful when it comes to trying iPhone or iPad activation lock removal tools from your device.

I would recommend the following supplier based on their track record, customer feedback, and responsiveness. Unlike most of the others that try to lure unsuspecting visitors with lies they actually do a good job.

Bypass activation with AppleiPhoneUnlock.uk

AppleiPhoneUnlock screenshot

AppleiPhoneUnlock take a couple of days to complete an unlock.

They charge around $30 (€21) but the actual price varies with the model you want unlocked.

1. Go to AppleiPhoneUnlock.uk and pick the model of iPhone or iPad from the drop down menu and enter the IMEI number in the box on the screen.

To find out your IMEI code:

  • Option 1: If your iPhone is not activated, there will be a little “i” button on the screen, tap it and you’ll see the IMEI
  • Option 2: If you have an iPhone 5 or newer, your IMEI is printed on the back of the device

2. Click the Unlock now! button.

3. You will be sent to the secure checkout. Enter your email address so that you can be kept up-to-date with the unlocking process. 

4. Click the ‘Continue’ button and provide your payment details and you’re done!

5. If they believe they can unlock iCloud on your device you will get confirmation of your order and a request for payment of the completion fee.

6. Sit back and wait for the unlock to be processed.

7. Once complete, set up your device with your own iCloud account and use it normally.

For more information and to buy an unlock go to the AppleiPhoneUnlock website.

How to check if your device is activation locked

There are some dodgy people out there who sell devices knowing that they have an activation lock on them. The best thing to do is check for this before you pay for it.

If you are able to get your hands on the device before you pay for it do the following:

  1. Turn on the device
  2. If you are asked for the passcode, face ID, or fingerprint the device has not been reset back to factory defaults

Ask the seller to do the following before you pay them:

  1. Unlock the device
  2. Click Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings

They will be asked for the Apple ID and password to do this

If they can’t unlock the device then this is a big issue. If they are unable to erase everything because they don’t know the Apple ID and password this should also make you concerned.

Do not pay for the product until it is properly erased and unlocked. If you do, then you may be stuck with a device that you have to pay to unlock yourself.

If you are buying at a distance ask them to make a video showing the above. This is fairly easy to do and shouldn’t raise an objection from a reputable seller.

The other thing you should do is check if the device is stolen. A stolen device is highly likely to have an activation lock on it.

You can find out if the device you bought is stolen using the Stolen Phone Checker. It is a free online tool that lets you check (U.S. consumers only).

It will request your IMEI which you can find like this:

  • Option 1: If your iPhone is not activated, there will be a little “i” button on the screen, tap it and you’ll see the IMEI
  • Option 2: If you have an iPhone 5 or newer, your IMEI is printed on the back of the device

Wrap up

You should be able to bypass the activation lock on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch using the different options mentioned above.

I would suggest you try to have the previous owner or Apple unlock your device first – as it is the cheapest and most reliable options.

If these fail, I suggest you get in touch with Cellunlocker and ask them to do it on your behalf. They are reliable and respond to questions quickly.

If you have any other suggestions, or questions feel free to leave a comment below.

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2 Comments

  1. Niloy Sarkar
  2. Jason Lepurage

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