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Bypass iCloud Activation Lock on iPhone, iPad, Mac and more

Over the last 10 years I have been tracking down, verifying, and testing all the ways the claimed to successfully bypass the Activation Lock screen on Apple products.

So if you buy a used Apple device and it:

  • asks for the previous owner’s Apple ID and password, or
  • it displays the “Locked to owner” message when you try to use it

you can be sure your device has been activation locked and you need to bypass the lock screen before you can use it.

I have written this guide to help you solve this issue on personal, corporate, and educational devices.

activation lock message on Apple device screens
Above: Activation locked Apple devices


My guide shows you all the tried and tested ways I currently use to remove the iCloud Activation Lock from iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Mac Computer, or Apple Watch right now.

These step-by-step fixes include techniques, services, hacks, and online tools I use to help my clients.

Read on to find out all the methods I use that can help you unlock the iCloud lock screen on your device in 2024.

For a copy of this guide you can print and keep, download the PDF file. No signup is required. You don’t even need to provide your email address.

Key takeaways

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

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 IMEI unlock service is the easiest. You don’t need any technical skills or a computer. You provide some basic information, pay the fee, and have your device unlocked in as little as 24 hours. We found DirectUnlocks is the best removal company.
  2. Using a security bypass is a good option for computer experts. If you are computer-savy and are happy to download, install, and use DIY unlocking software then iBypasser is a decent option. Unfortunately, these tools don’t iCloud unlock a Mac.
  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, and only works on some Apple products. For more information see how to bypass iCloud using DNS.
  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 permanently damage your hardware.
  6. You can remove the Activation Lock without the previous owner. There are a number of tools and services that can help bypass the iCloud lock if the last owner can’t to turn it off. In corporate and educational settings, you can use the Activation Lock bypass code.

Be aware that if you erase the iPadOS or iOS device it will not remove Activation Lock. It will remain activated until it is turned off properly.

The iCloud Activation Lock has been added to Mac making this issue even more widespread.

What is Activation Lock?

In short, the iCloud Activation Lock, is like a guardian for your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, iPod touch, or Mac. If someone steals and tries to use your device, they can’t without your permission.

The moment you turn on Find My on your device, Activation Lock springs into action. Together, they join forces to link your device to your Apple ID. So, even if your device gets erased and reset, it’s still protected, thanks to these features.


The good news is setting up and using Find My is not complicated.

In a corporate setting, Activation Lock becomes even more crucial if you have a fleet of company iPhones, iPads, or Macs – each one potentially holding sensitive corporate data. If a corporate device is misplaced or is held by an employee that is fired, the data can be secured.

For IT departments, managing Activation Lock across multiple devices is streamlined with Mobile Device Management (MDM) tools. These tools allow admins to remotely enable or disable Activation Lock, ensuring both data security and ease of device redistribution within the company. It’s a win-win: keeping company assets safe while also making device management a breeze.

Why is bypassing needed?

Maybe you’ve bought a second-hand iPhone or inherited an iPad from a family member, only to find it’s locked to their Apple ID. Or perhaps you forgot your own Apple ID details. If so, removing the Activation Lock is essential to regain full use of the device.

In the corporate and educational world, organisations often repurpose devices for new a employees or newly enrolled student. This can be a huge issue when devices are linked to former owners Apple IDs, and the credentials are no longer accessible. The ability of the organisations IT Department to bypass or manage the Activation Lock is crucial as it ensures devices remain both usable and secure.

In both scenarios, the goal is to maintain the security and integrity of the device while ensuring its usability. Whether it’s a personal iPhone, a fleet of corporate MacBooks, or student iPads the ability to get rid of Activation Lock is a vital part of device management.

iCloud unlock methods for personal devices

My techniques, last verified in 2024, will help you to unlock an iCloud account linked to the Activation Lock on your personal Apple device.

Follow these steps:

  1. If you have an iPhone, cellular iPad, or cellular Apple Watch find out the IMEI and serial number. You will need it later. The IMEI is a unique id for your iOS device and you need to provide it so the correct handset gets unlocked.

    You can find the IMEI and serial number on the barcode on the device’s original packaging.

    imei on original packaging
    On these models, you’ll find the IMEI and serial number on the SIM tray:

    • iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 Pro.
    • iPhone 12 Pro Max, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12.
    • iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
    • iPhone XR.
    • iPhone Xs, and iPhone Xs Max.
    • iPhone X.
    • iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus.
    • iPhone 7, and iPhone 7 Plus.
    • iPhone 6s, and 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 LockIMEI or MEID code on a SIM card tray to allow Activation Lock removal

      On these models, you’ll find the IMEI and serial number 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 and iPad IMEI location on the rear of the device
  2. For a WiFi-only iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch, you only need the serial number. For help finding the serial number, see find the serial number on your iPhone or iPad
  3. You need to find out the exact model of iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch you want to be unlocked. For more information, find out how to identify your iPhone model by its model number and other details.
  4. Pick a trustworthy supplier. We found DirectUnlocks the fastest, easiest, and most reliable company.
  5. Request an unlock for your device. To ensure the correct device is unlocked, you will be asked to supply the IMEI or serial number, and the model.
  6. The iCloud Activation Lock will be removed from your iOS device in 1-5 days. You will be able to set it up without being asked for the preceding owners’ Apple ID.
  7. Optional: If you prefer to attempt the unlock yourself using a software app, use a trustworthy unlocking tool. You can perform the unlock procedure straight away using your own computer, as long as you are computer literate.

Using a tool or service

After researching over 30 top-rated iCloud unlockers online and negating the poorly rated ones (the ones that have a 1 star or less rating on review sites), we purchased the top 10 services and tools and tried them out for ourselves.

We then spent over 30 hours testing each service, or tool even going as far as to employ the help of members of the iChimp community to get opinions directly from the target market. During the tests, we measured customer service, speed, reliability, cost, and the ability of each unlocker to actually get rid of the iCloud Activation Lock. To find out more, see Tools that bypass iCloud.

After the process was completed, we crowned a winning service and winning software tool. Both offer the best balance of features for the price.

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iCloud unlock service

DirectUnlocks is a perfect service if you want to bypass Activation Lock easily on your iOS device. During our tests, it worked for every Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, and Apple Watch we sent them.

Based on price, support, and reliability, they are the best service we tested that can remove Activation Lock.

Summary box: DirectUnlocks

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

  • Price: £29.99 GBP ($36 USD)
  • Speed: 24-84 hours
  • Customer Services: Quick and helpful
  • Rating: 9 / 10
icloud unlock


  • Hassle-free iCloud bypass service
  • Responsive and helpful customer support
  • From 24 – 48 hour turnaround
  • Good selection of payment methods
  • Money-back guarantee
  • High success rate


  • New supplier – so no long-term track record
  • Some negative reviews

Who it’s best for: A service is best for people who want to bypass iCloud Activation Lock from iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch without any involvement beyond asking for it to be done.

In common with every service we tried, the payment is broken down into 2 parts. You are asked to pay a deposit, followed by a finalization fee. This is the worst aspect of the service as it can give the impression that the service is cheaper than it really is. Some buyers reported feeling blackmailed as they didn’t realize there would be a second payment. This is why I specifically mention the odd payment structure.

Independant reviews say Direct Unlocks is trustworthy and reliable

Direct Unlocks has been receiving positive reviews on Trustpilot since its launch in 2012.

Customers praise the company for its fast, reliable and affordable unlocking services. Many customers have written that they had their phones unlocked without any hassle, and some have even said that they were able to get their phones unlocked in under an hour.

Customers have also stated that the customer support team is knowledgeable, friendly and helpful.

direct unlocks review

People have noted that the team is quick to respond to any queries and are willing to help find a solution to any issue. Some customers have even said that the team is willing to go the extra mile to find a solution to their problem.

Overall, customers have had a positive experience with Direct Unlocks. Many have written that they would highly recommend the company to their friends and family.

All in all, the positive reviews on Trustpilot show that Direct Unlocks is a reliable and trustworthy unlocking service. Customers are satisfied with their unlocking services and also with the customer service provided. People have written that they would highly recommend the company and that they would use it again in the future.

direct unlocks trustpilot reviews
Above: At the time of writing, DirectUnlocks is rated great on trustpilot

Using DirectUnlocks

To bypass Activation Lock using DirectUnlocks, use the following unlock process:

  1. If you have an iPhone or cellular iPad, find out the IMEI code. You need it later. For help finding the IMEI, see find the IMEI on your device.
  2. For a WiFi-only iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch, find out the serial number. You need it later. For help finding the serial number, see the preceding link.
  3. To request the unlock, go to DirectUnlocks.
    DirectUnlocks website
  4. If you have an iPhone or cellular iPad, enter the IMEI in the box. For a Mac, WiFi-only iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch, enter the serial number in the box.
  5. In the device model dropdown, select your product. 
  6. To continue, press the Unlock iCloud! button. The order details and price will be shown on the order summary page that opens.
    DirectUnlocks checkout page
  7. Where it says I agree to the terms and conditions, tick the box.
  8. Choose the payment method you prefer to use and pay securely. DirectUnlocks gets your contact details from the payment screen.
    DirectUnlocks payment
  9. In your email, you will receive a confirmation of your order.

Lock screen removal tool

Who it’s best for: A software tool is suited to competent computer users that don’t mind trying to bypass iCloud activation themselves. If you are not tech-savvy avoid this option and use a service instead.

Summary box: iBypasser

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

  • Price: Between $40 – $70 USD, depending on the license selected
  • Speed: Immediate, after download and installation of the tool
  • Customer Services: Fast 
  • Rating: 9 / 10
iBypasser website


  • Free download
  • Responsive support
  • Can be done immediately
  • Works on Mac and Windows
  • Good selection of payment methods
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Well designed and frequently updated


  • Some features still won’t work after unlocking
  • Requires a computer
  • Complex process
  • Jailbreaks your device which invalidates the warranty
  • 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 bypass 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.

Using iBypasser

To bypass iCloud Activation Lock using iBypasser, use the following unlock process:

  1. Download iBypasser app, and install and launch it.
    iBypasser install
  2. Click Bypass iCloud Activation Lock Screen.
    Click Bypass iCloud Activation Lock Screen.
  3. On the Bypass iCloud Activation Lock Screen, click Start.
    On the Bypass iCloud Activation Lock Screen, click Start.
  4. Connect your locked iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch device to the computer using a Lightning to USB Cable. For more information, see connect iPhone and your computer with a cable.
    Connect your locked iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Apple Watch
    iPhone connected to computer
  5. To jailbreak your device ready for unlocking, follow the on-screen prompts.
    • To jailbreak a Mac computer:
      1. iBypasser will automatically download the Mac compatible jailbreak package for your iOS device. You don’t need to install an Apple driver.
      2. To begin the process, click Start Jailbreak.
        click Start Jailbreak
      3. Follow the on-screen instructions, and click Next.
        The tool will jailbreak your device
      4. The tool will jailbreak your device.
    • To jailbreak a Windows computer:
      1. There is no automatic method to jailbreak iOS devices on Windows computers. Instead, follow this tutorial.
      2. Once completed, click Finished Jailbreak.
  6. The iOS devices details appear on the computer. Confirm they are correct, then click Start Bypass.
    Confirm device's IMEI number , iOS version, IMEI number and more
  7. The iBypasser bypass tool will remove the current iCloud account and activation screen. It only takes take a few seconds to bypass Activation Lock.
    iBypasser unlocking device
  8. Once you have removed iCloud Activation Lock, you can use a new Apple ID account, iCloud password, erase iPhone, do a factory reset, or set up any iPhone feature you want.
    Successful removal of the activation lock

Via DNS server hack

iPhone & iPad iCloud unlock bypass screen

If you would like to know how to bypass Activation Lock using DNS, there is a very clever hack that allows you to do so.

It gets around the security on your iOS device when 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 Activation Lock bypass to work as it uses Wi-Fi settings 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.

On the plus side, it is a free solution.

To get past the Activation Lock with no help from the last owner using a DNS server bypass, do the following:

  1. Power up your Apple device.
  2. Follow the on-screen instructions to setup your product until you reach the Choose WiFi network screen.
  3. Select More WiFi Settings.
  4. Tap the i symbol next to the WiFi network.
    remove Activation Lock without previous owner dns
  5. Choose Manual on the Configure DNS screen.
    remove Activation Lock without previous owner dns server
  6. Next, tap +Add Server and, input the server address that corresponds to your location:
    • USA:
    • Europe:
    • Asia:
    • Oceania:
    • Other locations:
  7. Once done, tap Back to return to the WiFi page.
  8. Your device will now connect to the local bypass server.

This server bypass method does have some limitations, such as:

  • Not all functions and features will work on your device.
  • This won’t work on devices running iOS 10 or newer, so it is unlikely to help you bypass the iCloud lock in 2024.
  • It’s fiddly to do.
  • You will need to go through this process each time you reboot your device.

For more detailed information, including other techniques, see how to remove the Activation Lock without the previous owner.

Without previous owner helping

The Activation Lock is enabled because the previous owner has turned on Find My and forgot to switch it off before selling it to you. This is quite a common issue resulting in buyers ending up with devices locked to the previous owners iCloud Apple ID.

Asking the previous owner to turn off Find My will bypass the lock and allow you to setup the device normally.

But what if you can’t get hold of the last owner?

Well, you need some options to allow you to remove the Activation Lock without the previous owner helping.

Luckily, if the ex-owner of your Apple product can’t turn off the iCloud Activation Lock there are still a few of things you can try to remove it yourself:

For more information, see how to bypass iCloud Activation Lock without the previous owner.

When you don’t have the Apple ID password

If you don’t know the Apple ID or password of the account that has iCloud locked your iOS device, you can’t enter it when prompted. This means you can’t switch off Find My and disable the Activation Lock easily.

There are a few things you can try to bypass iCloud Activation Lock if you don’t know the Apple ID, such as:

  1. Ask the last owner to turn off Find My iPhone remotely.
  2. Ask Apple’s Support to help. Be prepared to prove your ownership with a reciept.
  3. Using the iForgot website to unlock or find out the Apple ID or reset the account password.
  4. If you are not a computer expert, try a recommended unlocking service.
  5. If you are computer savy, try a recommended tool.

To find out more, see how to bypass Activation Lock without the Apple ID.

Free iCloud unlocking

Disabling the iCloud Activation Lock for free is possible by entering the Apple ID and password on the iOS device when prompted.

For example, to turn off iPhone iCloud Activation Lock for free, use the following unlock process:

  1. Select Settings.
    tap settings
  2. Then, tap [your name].
    Tap your name
  3. Next, tap Find My.
  4. Then, tap Find My iPhone.
  5. Tap the toggle to turn off Find My iPhone.
  6. When prompted, enter your Apple ID password.
    confirm apple id password
  7. Next, tap Turn Off.

If you don’t know the Apple account details, you can Reset your Apple ID.

For more free methods to get rid of the iCloud Activation Lock, see how to unlock iCloud for free.

Clearing Activation Lock in organizations

In my experience of dealing with corporate tech, managing Activation Lock on company or educational devices is a different ballgame when compared to personal gadgets.

Let me walk you through how it works.

Using Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions

First up, Mobile Device Management (MDM). It’s been a game-changer in my line of work.

MDM solutions are like the Swiss Army knife for overseeing Activation Lock on a bunch of devices. I use it to keep everything from iPhones to MacBooks secure yet accessible. Basically, MDM lets us remotely control Activation Lock on all our company devices. So, if someone leaves the company, or we need to shuffle devices around, it’s not a headache.

We don’t have to chase down former employees for their Apple IDs or deal with locked devices gathering dust.

Supervision and enrollment in MDM

Supervision and Enrollment are the 2 key features within MDM:

  • Supervision
    Supervision gives me extra control over devices, more than what’s available to personal Apple products. It’s like having administrative superpowers. I can set restrictions, push necessary apps, and manage Activation Lock.
  • Enrollment
    Enrollment is about adding devices into the MDM system. When I enroll a device, it’s officially part of our corporate fleet, and we can start managing it with all the MDM tools at our disposal.

Clear Activation Lock via bypass code

Removing Activation Lock through MDM isn’t just clicking a button and calling it a day. It’s a bit more involved, but still pretty straightforward by using Profile Manager.

Here’s how I usually do it:

  1. MDM enrollment
    I ensure the device is enrolled in my MDM system. If it’s not enrolled, it can’t be managed.
  2. Initiate removal request
    If the device is in my MDM, I can start the process of removing the Activation Lock. This usually involves going into the MDM dashboard and selecting the device
  3. Send bypass code
    After selecting the device, I send a command from the MDM to clear the Activation Lock. This command communicates with Apple’s servers and initiates the unlocking process.
  4. Verification and Completion
    Sometimes, I might need to provide additional verification, like proof of purchase or corporate ownership. Once everything is verified, the lock is removed, and the device is free to be reset, repurposed, or assigned to a new user.

For more information, see organisation-linked Activation Lock for Apple devices.

Permanent vs. temporary fixes

In the world of Activation Lock bypass methods there are permanent and temporary solutions.

Permanent solutions will remove the Activation Lock completely, making the device work as if it were never locked in the first place. This is typically achieved using methods like MDM solutions in a corporate or educational setting. On a personal device you can use an IMEI iCloud unlock or an iCloud Bypass tool to achieve the same thing.

These permanent methods work directly with Apple’s systems or leverage authorized bypass techniques to clear the lock.

On the flip side, there are temporary solutions, like the DNS bypass hack. These don’t entirely remove the Activation Lock but rather bypass it for a limited time or under specific conditions.

This means that you will have to repeat the unlock process from time to time in order to continually use your device.

OS 15

Activation Lock removal on different Apple devices


To unlock iPhone Activation Lock you need to do slightly different things than on other Apple devices. In short, a different technique is needed to Remove the iCloud Lock on an iPhone. In fact, to bypass Activation Lock you need specific instructions for each model of iPhone. For this reason, we have produced specific iCloud bypass instructions for each model.

iPhone 14

The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro ranges were unique as they included a redesigned notch, improved battery life, an upgraded A16 Bionic chip, a larger display, and new Face ID hardware. This is why we built a specific guide on how to bypass Activation Lock on iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro models reliably.

iPhone 13

The Apple Activation Lock on iPhone 13 models is handled via Find My. With a smaller notch, improved battery life, an upgraded A15 Bionic chip, better photo handling, and larger camera arrays the iPhone 13 series is different from its predecessor. This is why we created a guide to show you how to bypass Activation Lock on iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max models.

iPhone 12

With 5G support, an upgraded A14 Bionic chip, better photo handling, and increased storage capacity the iPhone 12 range are unique. So we created an article to explain how to bypass Activation Lock on iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max models.

iPhone 11

Substantial design changes within the phone, including the addition of the more powerful Apple A13 Bionic chip as well as an ultra-wide dual-camera system, make the iPhone 11 different from other series. This is why we built a guide on how to bypass Activation Lock on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max iOS device models reliably.

iPhone XS

The Activation Lock on iPhone XS came with a 30% improvement in Face ID speed, and an all-new A12 Bionic chip the XS series is different from the model it replaced. This means we created a guide explaining how to bypass Activation Lock on iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max models.

iPhone XR

The iPhone XR features the same processor as the XS and XS Max, the Apple A12 Bionic chip but instead of the OLED screen on the XS, the XR has a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LED-backlit LCD IPS panel which makes it unique. This is why we wrote a specific guide to bypass iCloud Activation Lock on iPhone XR phones.

iPhone X

On iPhone X, the home button’s fingerprint sensor was replaced with Face ID, which used sensors to scan the user’s face to unlock the iOS device. With a bezel-less design, iPhone user interaction changed significantly, using gestures to navigate the operating system rather than the home button used in all older iPhones. This is why a guide explaining iPhone X iCloud Activation Lock bypassing was created.

iPhone SE

The Apple Activation Lock on iPhone SE came with the A15 Bionic chip. But the Apple device has a lower-quality LCD retina display. Security is handled slightly differently as there is no Face ID and it has a physical home button. This is why we created a guide to show your how to bypass the iPhone SE Activation Lock on this iOS device.

iPhone 8

With the addition of inductive charging, a faster processor, and improved cameras and displays the iPhone 13 series is different from its predecessor. This is why we created a guide for iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus iCloud Activation Lock bypassing.

iPhone 7

The iPhone 7 had improved water and dust resistance, a new capacitive, static home button, revised antenna bands, and the controversial removal of the 3.5 mm headphone jack. This is why we created a guide on how to bypass Activation Lock On iPhone 7.

iPhone 6

With updated hardware, including a strengthened 7000 series aluminium alloy chassis and upgraded Apple A9 system-on-chip, a new 12-megapixel rear camera that can record up to 4K video at 30fps the iPhone 6 was unique in the iOS device range. So we wrote a guide specifically explaining how to bypass Activation Lock on the iPhone 6.

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 was upgraded with a taller screen, the Apple A6 system-on-chip, LTE support, and the lightning connector that replaced the 30-pin design making it different from all other models. As a result, we created a unique guide explaining how to bypass iCloud Activation Lock on the iPhone 5 range of smartphones.

iPhone 4

The iPhone 4 introduced Apple’s new high-resolution Retina Display, while maintaining the same physical size and aspect ratio as its precursors, Apple’s A4 system-on-chip, along with Apple’s new FaceTime video chat service. It was the first iPhone to include a front-facing camera. These unique features are why we created a guide explaining iPhone 4 iCloud Activation Lock bypass techniques for this iOS device.


Different versions of iOS have different security features and levels of protection against unauthorized access.

Therefore, the instructions to bypass activation lock for different versions of iOS must be tailored to the specific security mechanisms and features implemented in each version of iOS.

iOS 16

To find out how bypass Activation Lock on iOS 16, see the iOS 16 iCloud Lock bypass guide.

For step-by-step instructions on how bypass Activation Lock on iOS 15, see the iOS 15 iCloud Lock bypass guide.


Although the iPad uses a different operating system, iPadOS, it can be iCloud locked using Find My in the same way as an iPhone.

Each iPad range is unique, with the Pro series offering laptop-like functionality and the mini being like an oversized phone. This means that specific instructions are required to bypass iCloud Activation lock on each unique tablet.


The ninth generation of iPad uses an Apple A13 Bionic chip, which has a 20% faster CPU and GPU and an embedded, artificial intelligence–immersed Neural Engine. Its Retina Display features True Tone technology, which automatically adjusts the iPhone screen color temperature according to the ambient lighting. This is why we created an iPad Activation Lock bypassing guide.

iPad mini

The iPad mini is a subset of the iPad range with screen sizes of 7.9 or 8.3 inches. The iPad Mini 6 includes USB-C, and support for the second-generation Apple Pencil. Due to these unique features, we wrote a guide that explains how to bypass Activation Lock on the iPad mini.

iPad Air

The iPad Air is a lighter and thinner device originally created as a replacement for the iPad 4. It has now become a subset of the iPad lineup in its own right with the latest versions boasting the M1 SoC chip used in the iPad Pro (5th generation). As a result, we created a unique guide explaining how to bypass iCloud Activation Lock on the iPad Air range of devices.

iPad Pro

The iPad Pro was marketed as a PC replacement boasting a desktop-class SoC Apple silicon M1 chip, USB compatibility, and a Liquid Retina display. It is a uniquely powerful device with very specific features so we created a guide showing how to bypass the iPad Pro Activation Lock.


The instructions for bypassing Activation Lock on different versions of iPadOS must be tailored to the specific security features and protection levels of each version, as different versions of iPadOS have distinct security measures and levels of protection from unauthorized access.

iPadOS 16

To find out how remove Activation Lock on iPadOS 16, see the iPadOS 16 Activation Lock bypass guide.

iPadOS 15

To find out how remove Activation Lock on iPadOS 15, see the iPadOS 15 Activation Lock bypass guide.

Apple Watch

Apple Watch is a line of smartwatches that incorporates fitness tracking, health-oriented capabilities, and wireless telecommunication, and integrates with iPhone and other Apple products and services.

Apple Watch, like other Apple devices, can use Find My, and the Activation Lock. But due to the unique nature of the iWatch the technique to bypass iCloud Activation Lock is slightly different. Due to this we produced a unique guide explaining how to bypass the Activation Lock on Apple Watch.


With the advent of the T2 security chip and Apple Silicon, the iCloud Activation Lock was introduced to Mac computers.

Older Macs that were designed around Intel chips can be located using Find My Mac, but can’t be iCloud locked. These differences mean that specific instructions for dealing with the iCloud Activation Lock are required for each model of Mac.

Mac Mini

The 4th generation of Mac mini released in 2018 and the 5th generation released in 2020 can both be iCloud Locked. To find out how to get rid of the lock, see bypass Activation Lock on Mac Mini.


The 2021 iMac, the 5K iMac, and the short-lived iMac Pro can all be Activation Locked. To find out how to get around the iCloud lock, see how to bypass iMac Activation Lock.

MacBook Air

The 3rd generation MacBook Air computers with the Apple T2 Security Chip and Apple silicon MacBook Air laptops can be iCloud locked with Find My Mac. For more information on removing the Activation Lock, see the MacBook Air Activation Lock bypass guide.

MacBook Pro

The 4th generation of MacBook Pro released in late 2018 and the 5th generation released in 2020 can be Activation locked via Find My Mac. For more information on getting rid of the iCloud lock, see MacBook Pro Activation Lock bypass.

Mac Studio

The Mac Studio computers released in 2022 all run on Apple silicon, using either the M1 Max or M1 Ultra processors. This means all Mac Studio computers can be Activation locked via Find My Mac. To find out how to unlock iCloud on the Mac Studio, see the Mac Studio Activation Lock bypass guide.


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

A tool that tells you if the Activation Lock on iPhone, iPad, or any other device is turned on before you buy it would be great. However, the Activation Lock status tool was discontinued by Apple in 2017. 

You can check the status of the Activation Lock by doing the following:

  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. Enter 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 a hack or hacking tool that can remove the lock?

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 IDs and passwords.

So if you want to bypass iCloud lock, a hack is not the answer.

Can I use iTunes to disable the lock screen?

No, you can’t bypass Activation Lock with iTunes and remove the iCloud Activation lock screen. 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 preceding owner to remove it.

Is it possible to get rid of the lock message using the IMEI?

Yes, you can bypass Activation Lock using your device’s IMEI as long as you use a trustworthy supplier such as DirectUnlocks.

Will removing the passcode unlock my device?

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 to unlock Apple ID and password info, so the iCloud account can be turned off.

If you want to know more about passcode removal, see How to unlock iPhone without the passcode.

If you don’t have the Apple ID password it makes it difficult to turn off Find My as these are required. If you have a used device you can ask the last owner for help as they should know the credentials required.

Wrap up

In my research creating this guide I gained valuable insights into effectively handling the iCloud Activation Lock on various Apple devices.

The key takeaway is the reliability of using a recommended company to permanently bypass the lock – a process deeply intertwined with the iCloud unlock method. If this approach doesn’t yield results, there’s a safety net in the form of a money-back guarantee, ensuring no you are not out of pocket.

I also went in-depth with the iCloud bypass strategy. While it may not match the effectiveness of a full Apple ID Recovery or delving into iOS Security, it serves as a practical solution.

My guide extended to IMEI Unlock Services and the impact of Firmware Updates on locked devices, providing more depth of the issue.

I also emphasized the importance of navigating these solutions within legal and ethical boundaries, particularly when considering Security Bypass Tools and Jailbreaking Software. I highlighted the balance between achieving Locked Device Recovery and maintaining proper Account Authentication.

My guide should have provided you with a comprehensive perspective on the complexities of bypassing activation locks, emphasizing the need for informed and responsible action.

If you have any further questions on this issue, feel free to leave a comment below or get in touch using the contact form.

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54 thoughts on “Bypass iCloud Activation Lock on iPhone, iPad, Mac and more”

  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. 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.


  15. 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.


    1. 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
    post and a all round exciting blog (I also love
    the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please
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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

    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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