Unbeatable Ways To Permanently Remove iCloud Activation Lock [2021 Guide]

How to unlock iPhone and iPad iCloud Activation Lock screen

Removing the iCloud Activation Lock prompt from an iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch has never been easier.

There are many fixes, services, and tools to pick from online. However, I found all of the free services, and most of the paid tools advertised are scams. This means you will probably get ripped off if you use the wrong method to remove iCloud lock.

This tried and tested iCloud Activation Lock removal guide will help you do the right things to get your device set up and running properly.

DOWNLOAD: A free copy of this guide that explains how to remove iCloud Activation Lock from your device permanently. No signup is required. We don’t even ask for your email address.

Quick tips to fix this issue

You can remove iCloud Activation Lock instantly if you know the previous owners’ Apple ID, or by using a software tool. Or within 24-hours by using a service.

Be aware that if you erase the device it will not remove the lock. It will remain activated until it is turned off properly.

Here is a quick summary if you’d like to know how to switch it off – if you need a bit more help, you can read our full guide below:

  1. Using an Activation Lock removal service is the easiest. You don’t need any technical skills or a computer. You simply provide some basic information, pay the fee, and have your device unlocked in as little as 24 hours. We found iPhoneIMEI is the best.
  2. Using a software tool to remove iCloud Activation Lock is the quickest. As long as you have a computer and are happy to download and install software on it then iBypasser is the fastest option offering a free trial, and a money-back guarantee.
  3. It is cheapest to bypass iCloud Activation Lock using DNS. However, this method of getting around iCloud is fiddly, and only allows some basic functionality on your device.
  4. Removing iCloud Activation Lock is simple IF you know the Apple ID and password used to set up your device. Just follow the on-screen instructions when prompted. You can reset your Apple ID if you forget your details. If you don’t have these details you need to use the tools or services discussed above.
  5. NEVER use a free service to unlock iCloud activation lock. None of the free tools work and they can permenantly damage your hardware.

The iCloud Activation Lock has been added to the latest MacOS computers making this issue even more widespread.

Other useful guides… See our guide on free iPhone iCloud lock unlocking methods you can try on your Apple devices if you know the original owner, or how to get rid of the Find My lock without the past holder helping, or our roundup of the best iCloud bypass tools. If you have a SIM-locked iOS device find out how you can axe the carrier lock. Or if you have forgotten the passcode how you can reset it even on devices with Touch ID or Face ID enabled.

What causes this problem?

The Activation Lock screen is a security feature that prevents anyone but the owner from accessing, using, erasing, or resetting an Apple device.

If someone tries to wipe and reset a device they found or stole, the gadget will request the Apple ID password of the owner. Without the owners’ iCloud account password, the device will not be activated and will be unusable.

Unfortunately, some owners forget to disable the iCloud Activation Lock before selling their used device preventing the new owner from being able to configure them. This is still the case with iOS 14 and 15.

In-depth step-by-step solution

Step 1: Find out your IMEI

The IMEI is a unique id for your iOS device and you need to provide it so the right handset gets unlocked.

On these models, you’ll find the IMEI on the SIM tray.

  • iPhone 13 Pro Max
  • iPhone 13 Mini
  • iPhone 13
  • iPhone 13 Pro
  • iPhone 12 Pro Max
  • iPhone 12 Mini
  • iPhone 12
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4 (GSM model)
  • iPhone 4s
IMEI code location on a SIM card tray so you can remove iCloud Activation Lock
IMEI or MEID code on a SIM card tray to allow Activation Lock removal

On these models, you’ll find the IMEI on the back.

  • iPad Pro (Wi-Fi + Cellular models)
  • iPad (Wi-Fi + Cellular models)
  • iPod Touch (all models)
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5
iPod & iPad IMEI location on the rear of the device

Step 2: Find out the model you want unlocked

You can get help identifying the exact model of iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Apple Watch you have by looking on this page of the Apple website.

Step 3: Pick a supplier

We found iPhoneIMEI the fastest, easiest, and most reliable company.

Step 4: Unlock completed

After a day or 2, the supplier will successfully remove iCloud Activation Lock from your iOS device. You will be able to set it up without being asked for the previous owners’ Apple ID.

Services & tools that unlock iCloud

Option 1: Use a service

Summary box: iPhoneIMEI

iPhoneIMEI is an unlocking service that can get any iCloud locked device working without previous owner involvement.

  • Price: Varies from around $25 USD
  • Speed: 5 days (Or 24 hours with additional FastTrack fee)
  • Customer Services: Quick and helpful
  • Rating: 9 / 10
icloud unlock

Pros

  • Hassle-free iCloud bypass service
  • Responsive and helpful customer support
  • 1 to 5-day turnaround
  • Good selection of payment methods
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 100% success rate

Cons

  • Odd payment structure
  • Extra fee for 24-hour turnaround

The verdict: iPhoneIMEI is perfect if you want to reliably remove iCloud Activation Lock on your iOS device. It works for every iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Apple Watch on the market. They are the best supplier to remove iCloud Activation Lock.

Who it’s best for: People who want to remove iCloud Activation Lock from iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, or iPod Touch without any involvement beyond asking for it to be done.

Customer video reviews

Clear the lock using iPhoneIMEI

Step 1. Find out the model of the Apple device that has the iCloud Activation Lock enabled. Identify your iPhone model.

Step 2. Get the IMEI code or serial number (for WiFi-only products) of the locked device. Find the serial number or IMEI on your iPhone or iPad.

Step 3. Go to iPhoneIMEI and enter the IMEI or serial number.

Step 4. Pick the model of tablet, watch, or phone from the dropdown.

IMEIdoctor home page

Step 5. Click Remove Activation Lock.

Step 6. Agree to the terms and conditions and request the 24-hour FastTrack service, if required. Click the Credit /Debit Payment button.

IMEIdoctor lock removal order page

Step 7. Pay with  Visa or MasterCard at the checkout.

IMEIdoctor purchase page

Option 2: Use a software tool

Summary box: iBypasser

iBypasser is a software tool that can remove iCloud Activation Lock without previous owner helping.

  • Price: Free trial with cost dependant on license selected
  • Speed: Instant
  • Customer Services: Fast 
  • Rating: 9 / 10
iBypasser website

Pros

  • Free trial version
  • Responsive support
  • Can be done immediately
  • Good selection of payment methods
  • Money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Some features still won’t work after unlocking
  • Requires a computer
  • Need some computer skills
  • Software license automatically renews so be careful of additional payments

The verdict: iBypasser is a perfect software tool for computer enthusiasts that are happy to remove iCloud Activation Lock themselves. You can start removing the iCloud account as soon as you download the software. A free trial makes it a good way to try before you buy.

Who it’s best for: Competent computer users that are in a hurry, and don’t mind trying to remove iCloud activation themselves.

Get rid of the lock using iBypasser

Step 1: Download iBypasser, install and launch it to begin to remove the previous owner’s iCloud account. Select Bypass iCloud Activation Lock Screen.

Select the bypass option

Step 2: Click Start.

Start the unlocking process

Step 3: Connect locked iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch to Mac using a USB cable.

Connect your device to your computer

Step 4: Jailbreak your iOS device so the lock can be eradicated.

The jailbreak tool for Mac is different from the Windows tool.

Mac tool jailbreak

i. iBypasser will download the Mac compatible jailbreak package for your iOS device. It will work without the need to install an Apple driver.

iPhone activation lock jailbreak

ii. Click Start Jailbreak to begin the process.

Begin iPhone activation lock jailbreak

iii. Follow the on-screen instructions and wait for the tool to finish jailbreaking your device. Click Next to continue.

Apple devices need a jailbreak

Windows tool

There is no automatic method to jailbreak iOS devices on Windows computers. Instead, follow this tutorial. Click Finished Jailbreak to continue.

Jailbreak iOS devices on Windows

Step 5: The iOS devices details will appear on the screen. Confirm they are correct and click Start Bypass to continue.

Confirm device's IMEI number , iOS version, IMEI number and more

Step 6: iBypasser will start the bypass tool and remove the current iCloud account and activation screen. It only takes take a few seconds to remove the activation lock.

iBypasser unlocking device

Step 7: The tool should have now eliminated the previous owner’s Apple ID and password.

Step 8: You can use a new Apple ID account, iCloud password, erase iPhone, do a factory reset, or set up any iPhone feature you want now you have managed to remove iCloud activation lock.

Successful removal of the activation lock

If all else fails try a DNS bypass

iPhone & iPad iCloud unlock bypass screen

A DNS iCloud bypass is a very clever hack that allows you to get around the security on your device if it is locked to someone else’s Apple ID password.

It works by setting up your device to use a DNS server that doesn’t use the inbuilt iOS security system.

You don’t need a SIM card inserted to get the iCloud lock bypass to work as it uses Wi-Fi to connect. It is a little fiddly but this hack isn’t that difficult to do. It does have its limitations tho. For example, you can’t make conventional phone calls.

Video instructions for bypassing

DNS method: step-by-step instructions

  1. Reboot your iPhone ready to set it up as a new device.
  2. Start the setup process and select your country and language.
  3. On the Choose Wi-Fi Network screen press the i next to the Wi-Fi symbol for the Wi-Fi network you want to connect to.
  4. Next, configure DNS. Scroll down to where it says DNS and type in the server address:
    • USA: 104.154.51.7
    • Europe: 104.155.28.90
    • Asia: 104.155.220.58
  5. Tap Back > at the top left of the screen.
  6. Choose your Wi-Fi network.
  7. Type in the Wi-Fi password and click Join at the top right.
  8. 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 and gain access to the online server.
  9. Once logged in you will see a screen that will say iCloudDNSBypass.net at the top.
  10. Congratualtions, you have managed to bypass iPhone activation!

FAQ’s

Can you unlock iOS devices without using the Apple ID?

If you don’t know the Apple ID of the account then it is difficult to unlock it. This is because you need both the Apple ID and the password to login and disable the Activation Lock. You could ask Apple to unlock it as long as you have proof of ownership such as the original purchase receipt. If you don’t have proof then your only option is to buy a tool, or service to get rid of the Apple ID without anyone’s help.

Can you do away with the activate screen on iPad and iPad Pro?

Yes, you can remove iCloud Activation Lock from any iPad by using a specialist tool or service. This is despite Apple releasing iPadOS in 2019.

iPadOS is a variant of iOS with a different set of features. It replaced iOS on tablets but it still shares the same security system. This means the same unlocking methods work on both iOS and iPadOS operating systems.

Is there a tool that tells you if a used device is locked before you buy it?

The Activation Lock status tool was discontinued by Apple in 2017. You can check the status of the Activation Lock by doing the following instead:

  1. Go to Apple’s Support website.
  2. Select the device you want to check from the list
  3. From the categories select ‘Repairs & Physical Damage’
  4. Pick ‘Send in for repair’
  5. Provide the device’s Serial number or IMEI number
  6. If the device has the iCloud Activation Lock enabled you will see “Sorry but we can’t create a repair while Find my iPhone is active”.

Is there an iCloud hack or hacking tool that works?

No, none of the tools available work successfully these days. It was claimed that in the iCloud celebrity hack cybercriminal used tools that include MagicApp, Applekit, and Find My iPhone (FMI.php) framework to automate unlocks but this was never proved. It is more likely a phishing scam was used to get the celebrities’ Apple ID and password.

Can iTunes clear the lock screen?

No, you can’t remove the iCloud Activation Lock with iTunes. You can unlock a disabled device using iTunes but the Activation Lock is not controlled with it. You need the Apple ID account credentials of the previous owner to remove it.

Does free unlocking software work?

Free unlocking software does not work. In my experience, these bypass and unlock software apps often contain viruses that infect your computer. Others force you to click ads or sign up for unwanted products before pretending to attempt the iCloud unlock. I would avoid free tools as they are scams to get your personal info and don’t work.

Is it possible to axe the lock screen using the IMEI?

Yes, you can remove the iCloud Activation Lock using your device’s IMEI as long as you use a trustworthy supplier such as iPhoneIMEI.

Can the passcode clear the Apple ID?

The passcode lock allows you to gain access to the smartphone but it won’t switch off the Find My iPhone activation lock. You need the Apple ID and password for the iCloud account to turn it off.

Wrap up

As long as you use a recommended company you can unlock and remove the iCloud Activation Lock from your device permanently.

If this doesn’t work you can claim. a refund using the money-back guarantee and try an iCloud bypass to get around the Activation Lock instead. It may not be as good but it is still a decent workaround.

If you want to know more then check out our other guides & solutions on unlocking iCloud. You can also click here to read our how-to tips and articles on other aspects of using and fixing your Apple product.

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Article Sources

iChimp takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
[1] Apple Inc. How to remove Activation Lock.

[2] Apple Inc. Activation Lock for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

[3] Joe Rossignol, MacRumors. Apple Launches Self-Serve Portal for Initiating Activation Lock Removal Requests.

[4] Apple Inc. Request additional support for unlocking your device.

[5] Sampreshita Maheshwari, Sanjay Agal Pacific University India. iCloud and its security issues.

[6] Glenn Fleishman, Senior Contributor, MacWorld. Need to disable Activation Lock on an iPhone or iPad? Here are the 3 Apple-connected options to do so.

[7] Lex Friedman , Senior Contributor, MacWorld. Get to know Activation Lock.

[8] Dallas DeAtley, Apple Inc. Patent No. US 8,666,366 B2. Device activation and access.

54 thoughts on “Unbeatable Ways To Permanently Remove iCloud Activation Lock [2021 Guide]”

  1. Great posts great site wish I had read it before downloading Tenorshare ReiBoot which is a total scam with no intention of honoring their 30 day refund guarantee….

  2. These are helpful but I’ve been trying for over a month to connect iTunes and everything try it’s really starting to feel that an ex has done this. All want is help to get a life again by being online.

  3. What about devices that don’t have an IMEI that are Activation Locked? E.g. I have an iPad with only a serial number (no IMEI, i.e. no cellular) that is locked. These services all seem to require an IMEI. Can my device be unlocked and have the existing Apple ID removed from the device?

  4. I tried to bypass the activation lock on an ipad mini, but there is no “i” in the wifi setup and no option for entering a DNS.

  5. So how do you clear an Activation Lock without the password? You haven’t explained that at all.

    Ours was tied to an email address from a previous ISP that doesn’t exit any more, and we forgot the password. Until the iphone updated its iOS a couple of days ago everything was sweet (without knowing the password) but “find my iPhone” on the iPad together with that iOS update has locked it to the Activation Lock screen.

    We can’t access the machine to reset/download/anything, just that activation lock screen. Don’t have the original receipt as proof of purchase.

  6. When trying the bypass, there is no ‘ℹ︎’ next to Wi-Fi name at ‘Choose a Wi-Fi Network’ screen,
    so I cannot configure DNS.
    Is there any workaround?
    (iPad 2 Wi-Fi only)

  7. I can’t seem to find any info on the internet about success stories with unlocking Apple activation locked devices, other than this article. Anyone in the comments had any luck with any of these sites mentioned?

  8. Dear sir/madam please help me to remove iCloud from iPhone 6 which was signed by old owner and he sell me at prices 10000(Bhutanses currrentc) I brought it thinking that is cheape but now I am suck in hello screen and I don’t know the password of that account.
    Please help me cause I don’t have dollars to pay online help me

    1. Kevin Craighead

      It sounds like a blacklisted phone which I haven’t tried to have unlocked so I can’t give any specific advice or recommend an unlocker for these circumstances. I think it unlikely that it could be iCloud Unlocked but having never attempted it I can’t be 100% sure.

  9. Hi Kevin, I hired the AppleiPhoneUnlock and have paid 50 pounds already. The thing is they pretend to run technical process and ask for money each time they send an email. “Oh, you have paid 27 pounds: Please contact the original owner and we will help you”. “Oh, you dont have the purchase proof, lend us another 35 pounds and we’ll remove it”. “Oh, we noticed your IMEI is blacklisted so there’s no solution at this time, we made a voucher for you to unlock another device (which I do not have), but stand still cause a Premium option is on the way to solve this particular case.
    Then I replied I need a refund cause before hiring their service I’ve already told em my phone was unable to get signal in my country (thats because is reported stolen/lost), and their answer was ‘THAT’S NOT A PROBLEM., go ahead!’ and they replied that email saying “now and definitely, the premium service arrived, pay another 50 pounds and wait 30 days because of its “popularity (?)..
    So, I know for sure this sounds like a premium scum, i’m stucked in the middle of it, and can go through the red sea trying to get the other shore or come back, and never get my money back. as well.

    Anyway, Kevin, do you have experienced any like this and still recommend to finish it?
    My phone is a third hand purchase (it was given to me for a job, with another things) and I was told it won’t work as a phone because is in a black list for the local carriers and may be internationals too.
    Do you believe it still worth it?

    Thanks a lot,

  10. Great article Kevin. I’ve read the disclaimer at appleiphoneunlock.uk, but still don’t get if the job works for a blacklisted IMEI, so I’m waiting their answer (saw also they offer the simlock service for use it in any carrier). I don´t want to keep a limited device, thats the thing.

    thank you

  11. very good article overall,however i wish you had given a little more attention to ipods as that is my dilemma.. i purchased this particular ipod almost a year ago and have had no luck unlocking it to date.,it is a 6th gen 128gig ipod touch,serial number CCQVK3DZGM17.any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Have him talk with apple and they will do it for you for free. As long as your sure he bought it as the first owner you’re good.

  12. But are there any that are free my friend gave me his old Apple Watch and dosent remember the password because his phone broke and it’s now forever reset and iCloud locked

  13. Can you please explain how you could possibly try so many services? Do you have many phones?
    How you chose the favorite that “work”? How you know they work? You used a different phone for each?
    And most important:
    You do not say a word about how the ones that work do it.
    They use some mystery solution?
    The best way to know if something works is to know how it is done.

  14. Hi Kevin,

    I have paid the $65 and have been requested to pay more to unlock the device. I’ve got the email if you require additional info.

    Cheers,
    GP

  15. Jayden coleman

    Amazing tips and very useful resources. I am sure definitely unlock my apple devices with this technique. Great info!

  16. Am from Nigeria I was giving an iPad as a birthday gift but unfortunately the iPad get lock with iCloud please how can I unlock it please I really need my iPad back

    1. Hi Kevin,

      I have paid the $65 and have been requested to pay more to unlock the device. I’ve got the email if you require additional info.

      Cheers,
      GP

    1. Kevin Craighead

      I agree that the 2 part payment method comes across as very scammy. This is why I mention it in the article so that people are aware of this before they place an order.

      Specifically, I say “They are also good value for money charging approx $65 USD (£49.99) broken down into a deposit of $25 (£19.99) and a completion fee of $40 (£30). This is mentioned on the payment page, although you might not spot it so it is worth it being highlighted in this review. This is why I knocked a point off their score.”

      I haven’t heard anything about people being asked for a further £99, so if you have any further information on this let me know and I’ll investigate. Nobody should be asked to pay that much extra and if they are it obviously would change my opinion on them and I’d change the review to reflect this. When I went through the process I certainly wasn’t asked for £99 more!

  17. I was really pleased to find your site and recommendation for iCloud activation removal. I used your number 1 recommendation (appleiphoneunlock.uk) and I paid £19.99 for the service and then find that I need to pay a further £30 to actually get it removed, even then it isn’t guaranteed and there are comments from people on the site who say they are being asked for a further £99.

  18. After reading your blog I too bought a Apple Watch series 3 from Facebook buy and sell site and used twice. I held onto it for a couple weeks as it was a Xmas gift for my daughter… one night I thought I’d bring it out and with a big surprise it was activation lock on as well as iCloud and there was no way I could get around this. Contact Apple and they said they couldn’t help as I didn’t have a receipt and the owner who is overseas now kept telling me she unlocked it from her phone etc… blah blah blah!!! I went then and filed a report and nothing again came out of this after paying $345 Aus dollars..! The watch is nearly new rose gold 42mm and it’s been sitting in a drawer as was going to sell the parts until a friend said to me the other day, what did you do with the watch!! Mmmm then I thought I’d do another search and see if there are anything that could unlock the activation lock so I could you it as I don’t have money to waste, and then today I read you site and paid $25 Aus dollars to see if this is possible. I’ve checked the status of the order and it’s still 25% after 4 hours:( I hope this site you referred as your no:1 is not a scum

  19. Paid £20 to first link then £30 requested.
    I am now waiting on a response as it all seems a bit sus now.

  20. Did you mean you’ve tried the icloud bypass and it showed you activation server cannot be reached?
    If yes, you just need to tap the “<Back" option and it will reload to the said DNS server of icloud bypass
    Hope it worked for you. Let me know if it did.

  21. Hi there I am so excited I found your blog, I
    really found you by mistake, while I was looking on Digg for something else, Anyhow I am here now and would just like to say cheers for a tremendous
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  22. Good info – thanks for the guidance in an area where I previously had no clue. Now at least i understand it all better and have some options.

  23. The first one appleiphoneunlock.com I tried it and it took. The first payment but would not take the second payment.. I thought it was the best??

  24. i recently just bought an iphone & it is on icloud lock, is the first website given to unlock the icloud really work ? i dont have the money to just pay for other things that might not.

  25. A few years ago I bought a iPad a yard sale. They were moving and trying to sell anything of value. I’ve had it 3 years and it worked fine until 2 wks ago. Now it’s asking for an I’d and password. It seems the ppl who sold it didn’t buy it now I have no way of getting the info to remove it. Is the bypass really effective

    1. He listed numerous ways of doing it. I can’t stand the people that comment on articles like this with a sob story. Either suck it up and take the loss or sale that stolen iDevice to someone else!

  26. Hi my brother gave me an iphone 8 which was icloud locked he says he can’t remember his apple ID please help me out i don’t know what to do now my phone died a few days ago so i don’t have any other phone to use.

  27. My daughter gave my husband an iPad years ago. All of a sudden it wants Apple ID which she can no longer remember. Been a pensioner I cannot afford to pay to have this sorted.. l live in South Africa. There is no DNS for Africa. Need help please.

    1. Mine also, A girl I was dating gave mine to me along with her husband’s death certificate, he committed suicide, and it worked fine other than it wasn’t in my name. I took it by the apple store and they did this to it. If you hear something please let me know
      Good Luck
      Dan

    2. Did you mean you’ve tried the icloud bypass and it showed you activation server cannot be reached?
      If yes, you just need to tap the “<Back" option and it will reload to the said DNS server of icloud bypass
      Hope it worked for you. Let me know if it did.

  28. Nice dissertation but your really never said anyone has successfully had there ipad unlock-ed and who can actually do this. I have one collecting dust and would definitely pay a small fee to have it unlocked. The dns bypass really isn’t that good.

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