The iCloud Activation Lock is available on iMacs with M1 Apple silicon or the Apple T2 Security Chip. This includes the 2021 iMac, the 5K iMac, and the short-lived iMac Pro.
The iCloud lock is part of Apple’s security system that is administered via Find My Mac and is now found on all new Mac computers.
Find My Mac and the Activation Lock can’t be used on iMacs manufactured before 2021. This guide explains how to bypass Activation Lock on newer iMacs designed and released from 2021 on.
The topics this guide covers:
- How to turn off Find My.
- Free iCloud unlocking.
- Paid Activation Lock bypass techniques.
- Online services.
- Downloadable Tools.
- The bypass code.
To do an iCloud unlock on your iMac – without the previous owner’s help, or knowing the Apple ID and password – read on…
First, some background on Activation Lock?
Activation Lock works in conjunction with Find My Mac to find lost or stolen Apple devices. It protects iMac from theft by allowing remote locking and data removal.
When you turn on Find My Mac, the Activation Lock is automatically enabled. If your iMac is stolen, you can use Find My Mac to track it down.
An iMac also needs the following to use Activation Lock:
- Apple Silicon or a T2 security chip.
- macOS Catalina or newer installed.
- Two-factor authentication for Apple ID enabled.
- On an iMac Pro or 5K iMac, the security policy must be set to Full Security.
- On a 2021 iMac, startup security must be set to Secure Boot and Disallow booting from external media.
To find out more, see Activation Lock for Mac.
Table of Contents
How to remove the iCloud Activation Lock on iMac
An iCloud bypass is used to unlock an iMac from its linked Apple ID. It is easy to bypass the iCloud lock by following this guide.
The bypass techniques given are specific to the following iMac models:
Bypass iCloud lock for free
If the iCloud Activation Lock prevents you from using your iMac, the official solution is to unlock it using your Apple ID and password. This turns off Find My Mac.
If you can’t remember your Apple ID or password, you can use iForgot to reset them. You will be able to recover your account by following the on-screen instructions.
If you don’t even recall your Apple ID, you can find it in the following ways:
- On another Apple product you own, go to iCloud or Media and purchases.
- On Apple Mac you own, look at System preferences. > Apple ID.
- On your Apple TV, go to Settings > Apple ID
- On your Apple ID recovery page, click If you have forgotten your Apple ID, you can look it up.
For more information, see how to recover your Apple account.
On the Mac
To remove Activation Lock on iMac, you need to turn off Find My Mac.
The easiest way to do this is as follows:
- On your iMac, click Apple menu
- Then, click System Preferences.
- On the System Preferences dialog, click Apple ID.
- In the left sidebar, select iCloud.
- On the right pane, deselect Find My Mac.
From another device
You can turn off Find My Mac from another Apple device you own, such as iPhone, iPad, or iPod. To do so:
- On the other Apple device you own, tap Settings.
- At the top of the screen, tap on [your name].
- Scroll down and select your Mac mini.
- Tap Remove from account.
- Confirm by clicking Remove.
- The Activation Lock and Find My Mac will be disabled.
For more information, see remotely disable Find My.
The Activation Lock can be bypassed by turning off Find My Mac using a web browser. To do so:
- Go online to appleid.apple.com.
- When asked, Sign in.
- On the left menu, select Devices.
- On the list of devices on the right, pick the iMac.
- Click the Remove from account button.
Paid removal methods
If you can’t:
- get in touch with the previous owner
- can’t recall the Apple ID or password
you can remove the iMac Activation Lock using an activation lock bypass tool or service.
There are many companies online that claim they are able to bypass Activation Lock but my testing has shown most of them don’t work. You need to use a reputable company to avoid being ripped off.
Scams to watch out for:
- Tools that fail.
- Bogus online services.
- PDF downloads that don’t tell you what to do.
iCloud unlock prices
Prices range from $30 USD to $100 USD to unlock iCloud on an iMac.
One technique we noticed was the tendency for suppliers to break their fees into 2 parts:
- An up-front deposit.
- A final payment.
It is in the supplier’s interest to look inexpensive, so they tend to keep the up-front fee low. However, they increase the price by charging a much larger final fee which brings the overall cost up.
When we looked for the best iCloud tools and services, we took this into account.
Pros and cons of paying for an iCloud unlock
- Once done, you can use your iMac normally.
- All functions and features work.
- The fix is permanent – you only need to do it once.
- No special technical skills are required.
- Many services are scams.
- It is not free.
- It can take a few days to complete.
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 unlock fee was £29.99 GBP, which is around $38 USD.
For more details, find out how to erase the Apple ID blocking the Mac.
To unlock your iMac using this service:
- Go to DirectUnlocks.
- Enter the iMac serial number.
- Then in the device model drop-down menu, pick Mac.
- Click Unlock iCloud!
- Agree to the terms and conditions.
- Select your payment method.
- Provide your email address, then wait for an email with instructions explaining how to finalize the unlock.
There are many tools that claim to hack the Activation Lock so it is removed, but they don’t all work. If you pick the wrong tool you can break your device and infect your computer with viruses and open yourself up to fraud.
In our tests, we found none of the tools currently available were able to bypass iCloud on a Mac mini. This may change with time as the tools improve.
Our advice is to stay away from software tools at this time.
Activation Lock bypass code
Apple tries to make it easy for organizations to manage their stock of Apple products, such as Mac computers. Apple includes a management suite that allows the organization to remotely control the devices given to their students or employees.
If you have a managed iMac for example, then it can be controlled by the organization that gave it to you. This allows organizations to remove the Activation Lock from supervised devices prior to device activation without them knowing your personal Apple ID and password.
This is done via the profile manager by using an Activation Lock bypass code.
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.
Getting rid of Activation Lock on other Mac models
If you want to bypass iCloud on a different model of Mac computer see:
- Remove Mac mini Activation Lock
- Remove MacBook Activation Lock
- Remove MacBook Air Activation Lock
- Remove MacBook Pro Activation Lock
- Remove Mac Studio Activation Lock
Since Apple introduced the Activation Lock to iMac, many buyers of second-hand computers are getting locked out with the iCloud lock.
This has led to an influx of scammers that claim to be able to bypass the lock. They can’t. They are simply using buyers’ desperation to try to scam them.
If you want to avoid being ripped off, only use the official Apple methods to turn off Find My Mac and bypass iCloud Activation Lock. However, to use these you need to know the Apple ID password for the computer.
If you don’t know the Apple ID password, or can’t get in touch with the previous owner then use the recommended supplier in this guide to avoid being scammed.
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