What Does iCloud Locked Mean? Is it Safe to Buy or Sell?
If you’re looking for a used or refurbished iPhone online, you may have seen “iCloud-locked” on some. Though the price is appealing if you’re on a budget, you can never be too sure. So, is it safe to buy or sell an iCloud locked iPhone?
- What is Apple’s iCloud lock, and what does it restrict?
- What to do if you’re selling an iCloud locked iPhone.
- What to do if you’re buying an iCloud locked iPhone.
What Does it Mean When an iPhone is iCloud Locked?
The iCloud lock is a protective measure Apple implements into their iPhones if your phone is misplaced. Without entering the iCloud information of its owner, you cannot use the iPhone. There are a few reasons why your iPhone is iCloud locked. Check the following to see if you’ve run into these issues:
When an iPhone is iCloud locked, it could simply be from forgetting your password. However, there are other reasons your iPhone activation is locked. If you bought a used iPhone and the previous owner failed to sign out of their iCloud account, this can prohibit you from signing into your own. You’ll have to contact the previous owner for them to sign out before using it.
Another reason could be someone accessing your iCloud password, which could result in them changing the password. If this occurs, contact the person who obtained your password and/or changed it. Additionally, if you bought a used iPhone, the previous owner may have changed and locked the Apple activation lock from their iCloud account.
For any of these reasons, you won’t be able to sign in to your iCloud account until the previous owner signs out.
What Can You Do With iPhones With Activation Locks?
If you’ve purchased a used iPhone, then there’s a chance it’s iCloud locked. The only way to resolve this issue is for the previous owner to log out of their account. Without their iCloud credentials, you will not be able to use any of your iPhone’s features. While the iCloud lock is an important safety feature in the event your phone is stolen or lost, it can be a hassle:
- You cannot erase data.
- You cannot turn off the ‘Find my iPhone’ feature
- You cannot log in with a new Apple ID
- You cannot update your phone with a new software
- You cannot use it for anything, basically
Can You Sell an iPhone That’s iCloud Locked?
Yes. If you can’t remove the lock, you can sell it to our buyers in the comparison table if you pick ‘activation locked’ in the filters on device pages here. When you sell an iCloud-locked iPhone, make sure you’re honest about the condition it’s in. If not, this will make it harder to receive funds for selling your iPhone, which will result in a bad transaction.
While you can sell your iCloud locked phone, the value will be less than if you unlocked it. If your carrier is locked on your iPhone, this might deter buyers from purchasing your device. If you’re concerned about selling an iPhone that’s iCloud locked, there are ways to unlock the phone.
Unlocking your device might make it easier to sell, but it is still possible to sell even with the iCloud lock. Jailbreaking an iPhone is a way to unlock your device, but it requires someone proficient in jailbreaking with the right expertise and software. This option can also be pricey.
How to Remove Your iCloud Activation Lock?
Here are the steps to remove your iCloud activation lock:
- Sign in to your iCloud account with your Apple ID through a web browser
- Click on Find iPhone
- Click on All Devices at the top of your screen
- Choose the device you wish to remove from iCloud
- Select Erase [device]. Press Next until the device is erased
- Press Remove from account
- Restart the device for the setup process.
Is it Safe to Buy an iPhone That’s iCloud Locked?
No. You’ll need the owner to unlock it before you’re able to use it. When shopping for used iPhones online, it’s best to skip ones that are locked devices. If the seller cannot unlock the iPhone, it’s a red flag that should deter you from buying the phone. However, it can be safe to buy used phones, as long as you know what to look for.
Here are some tips on buying used phones:
- Check the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number before purchasing. Use a mobile diagnostic website that checks the IMEI number. This is also important for making sure the phone isn’t blacklisted.
- Make sure the iPhone doesn’t show the “Find My iPhone” feature. If it shows up, ask the seller to unlock the phone before purchasing it.
- Ensure the phone isn’t locked with a carrier by placing a different SIM card with another phone service in the SIM slot. This will tell you if the phone works with other phone carriers or is locked with a specific service. Depending on what service you want, you may reconsider finding another used phone that’s carrier unlocked.
What to Do if You Bought an iCloud Locked iPhone?
Get help from the previous owner
To resolve your iCloud locked iPhone, contact the previous owner and see if they can help you unlock your device. Ask them to do the following:
- Unlock the iPhone and go to settings.
- Click on “Your Name” at the top of the screen. This will take the previous owner to their iCloud information.
- This will show the previous owner any device they have attached to their iCloud account at the bottom of the screen. Write down the password and remove the designated device. The owner will have to type the verification code to take the device off their iCloud account. This will give access to the buyer’s iCloud account.
What if you can’t reach them?
If you can’t contact the previous owner, it might be trickier. You can try the following step to get your iPhone unlocked.
- Go to iCloud.com and login with your Apple ID information
- Click on Find My iPhone and select all devices. Then, click the device you’d like to delete.
- Select Remove from Account, and the device you selected will be removed from the account.
This may work. However, it requires the previous owner to share their password, and they may disagree.