The iCloud Activation Lock is available on MacBook Pro computers with Apple silicon or the Apple T2 Security Chip. This includes the 4th generation of MacBook Pro released in late 2018 and the 5th generation released in 2020.
The Activation Lock, also known as the iCloud lock, is part of Apple’s security system and is administered via Find My Mac. The lock is found on all new Mac computers.
The Activation Lock can’t be used on MacBook Pro 4th generation models released before 2018, or any older models. However, Find My Mac can be used to track older Apple laptops that have been lost.
This guide explains how to bypass Activation Lock on MacBook computers released since 2018, or newer.
The topics explained in this guide, include:
- How to disable Find My.
- Free iCloud unlock methods.
- Paid Activation Lock removal options.
- Online unlocking.
- Software tools.
- Activation Lock bypass code.
If you would like to get your MacBook Pro unlocked – without knowing the Apple ID and password, or getting help from the previous owner – read on…
Table of Contents
MacBook Pro iCloud bypass methods
An iCloud bypass is used to unlock a MacBook Pro from its linked Apple ID.
The bypass techniques in this article are specific to the following MacBook models:
- MacBook Pro (14-inch, 2021)
- MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2021)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2020, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2019)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2019, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
- MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018)
- MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018, Four Thunderbolt 3 ports)
Unsure which model you own? Find out how to identify your MacBook model.
Free iCloud unlock
If the iCloud Activation Lock prevents you from using your MacBook, the official fix is to switch off Find My using your Apple ID and password. This removes the iCloud lock from the laptop.
If you can’t remember your Apple ID password, you can go to iForgot and reset it.
If you don’t remember your Apple ID, you can track it down as follows:
- On a different Apple device you own, go to iCloud or Media and purchases. Your Apple ID is your email address.
- On another Apple Mac you own, click > System preferences > Apple ID.
- On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Apple ID
- On the Apple ID recovery page, provide your name and email address and you will be shown your Apple ID.
For more information, see how to do a password reset on an Apple ID.
To remove Activation Lock on a MacBook Pro you need to turn off Find My Mac on the laptop itself. The easiest way to do this is as follows:
- On your computer, click the Apple menu > System Preferences.
- On the System Preferences dialog box, select Apple ID.
- In the sidebar, select iCloud.
- On the right, remove the checkmark for Find My Mac.
Via iPhone, iPod Toch, or iPod Touch
You can turn off Find My Mac and the Activation Lock from another device you own. For example, on an iPhone you would do the following:
- Tap Settings.
- At the top, tap on [your name].
- Scroll down and select the MacBook Pro from the device list.
- Tap Remove from account.
- When prompted, confirm by clicking Remove.
- Find My Mac will be disabled and the Activation Lock will bt bypassed.
For more information, see how to disable Find My remotely.
Via Apple website
You can also bypass the Activation Lock online by disabling Find My via a web browser as follows:
- Go to appleid.apple.com.
- When prompted, Sign in with your Apple ID and password.
- Once signed in, click Devices.
- In the device list, pick your MacBook Pro.
- Click Remove from account.
Paid removal services and tools appeared after buyers found they had purchased Activation Locked products, but didn’t know the Apple ID or password to disable Find My. Of course, you could ask the previous owner to turn off Find My remotely, but sometimes it is impossible to track them down.
Instead, these paid options allow new owners to remove the MacBook Pro Activation Lock themselves using an activation lock bypass tool or service.
There are dozens of paid services that say they can bypass Activation Lock but my testing found most just don’t work.
Issues with paid services included:
- Tools that claim they only work properly after full payment is made. After you buy them, they don’t work.
- Online services that claim your device is marked as stolen, so they can’t unlock it.
- PDF downloads that claim to provide solutions. When you buy and read them, they don’t tell you what to do.
You need to use a reputable company with a money-back guarantee to avoid being ripped off.
Price to unlock iCloud on MacBook
Prices range from $30 USD to $100 USD to unlock iCloud on a MacBook Pro.
One tactic many paid removal companies use is to break their fees into 2 parts:
- An up-front deposit.
- A final payment.
You only find out the full cost after you pay the deposit. But because you have already spent money with them, you feel obliged to pay the final payment.
In addition, it is in the supplier’s interest to look inexpensive, so they tend to keep the deposit low. However, they increase the price by charging a much larger final fee which brings the overall cost up.
Pluses and minuses of paying for an iCloud unlock
- Once completed, you can use your MacBook Pro normally.
- All functions and features work.
- The fix is permanent – you only need to do it once.
- No special technical skills are required. You send them the serial number and they do the rest.
- Recommended suppliers have a money-back guarantee.
- Some services don’t work. Chose carefully.
- It is not a free technique.
- It can take a few days for the process to be completed.
In a recent review, I tested a range of tools to find the best online iCloud bypass service that can remove the Activation Lock. I concluded the best service at this time was provided by DirectUnlocks.
At the time of writing, the deposit was £19.99 GBP, which is around $28 USD.
For more information on iCloud unlocking, read our in-depth guide.
To unlock your MacBook Pro using this service, do the following:
- Go here: Bypass iCloud lock.
- Scroll down, then click the red Go to DirectUnlocks button.
- You will be sent to the DirectUnlocks website.
- When prompted, enter the serial number of the MacBook Pro.
- In the device model, choose Mac.
- Click the Unlock iCloud! button.
- On the next screen, tick the box to agree to the terms and conditions.
- Select your payment method, and pay.
- You will get a confirmation email saying if the iCloud unlock is possible. If it is, they will request the final fee.
- Once the full fee has been paid, you will be sent an email confirming the bypass has been completed.
Hacking using a tool
There are many tools that claim to hack the Activation Lock so it can be disabled or bypassed. They vary in quality from excellent to dangerous. If you pick the wrong tool it can destroy your laptop or infect it with viruses.
In our tests, we found none of the tools on the market today are able to bypass iCloud on a MacBook Pro. This may change as the tools improve.
As a result, we can’t recommend you try any tool to bypass Activation Lock on a MacBook Pro at this time.
Using bypass code
You may have noticed that Apple talks about an Activation Lock bypass code. The name sounds promising because it appears to offer the exact solution you are looking for.
However, the bypass code only works if your laptop is a corporate machine provided by an employer or school, not a personal computer.
If you do have a managed computer, the organizations can remove the Activation Lock from supervised devices prior to device activation without knowing the userʼs personal Apple ID and password.
So the bypass code does not work for all Apple devices, only for those controlled by an organization like a business or school. So if you have a standard Mac you use at home, then you won’t be able to get rid of the Activation Lock using a bypass code as it is not a supervised device.
What is Activation Lock?
The Activation Lock is a security tool that prevents an unauthorized user from accessing, using, or reformatting your computer without your permission. It is controlled via Find My Mac using the Apple ID and password.
Find My Mac is a free app that helps find lost or stolen Apple devices, including laptops. It now protects computers, including the MacBook Pro, from theft by allowing tracking, remote locking, and remote data removal.
When you enable Find My Mac on your laptop, the Activation Lock is automatically turned on. So if your MacBook Pro is stolen, it is almost impossible for anyone else to use it unless they know your Apple ID and password.
To use all of the features of Find My your MacBook Pro also needs the following:
- macOS Catalina, Big Sur, Monterey, Ventura or newer installed.
- Two-factor authentication is enabled for the Apple ID.
- For 2018, 2019, and early 2020 MacBook Pro, the security policy must be set to Full Security.
- On a 2021 and late 2020 MacBook Pro, startup security must be set to Secure Boot and Disallow booting from external media.
To find out more, see the MacBook Pro Activation Lock guide.
The new Apple Silicon version of the MacBook Pro brings increased security that helps prevent theft. However, buyers of used computers are getting caught out with the iCloud Activation Lock. Sellers are forgetting to turn off Find My Mac triggering the Activation Lock.
This has encouraged scammers to enter the market with products that claim can remove the lock, but they don’t work. They are just riping unsuspecting buyers off.
If you want to be 100% safe from scams, only use the free method to turn off Find My Mac and bypass iCloud Activation Lock.
However, to use the free option successfully you need to know the Apple ID and password for the laptop.
If you don’t know the Apple ID or password, or can’t get in touch with the previous owner then I suggest you use the recommended supplier in this guide. If they fail to unlock your computer, at least they have a money-back guarantee – unlike many of the scammers online.