Turn off Activation Lock on an iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, or Mac

Has your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac been blocked by Activation Lock? Then you can turn it off by logging into iCloud or resetting your Apple ID password.

Activation Lock is designed to keep your device and information safe should your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch , Apple Watch or Mac ever get lost or stolen. When you have the device back you can turn it off by entering your password. If you have forgotten this, you can request help using a special support page.


  • Activation Lock is important
  • Disable Activation Lock
  •  ⌙ Unlock someone else’s device
  •  ⌙ Owner not around
  •  ⌙ Owner is unknown
  • Forgot your password
  • Ask Apple Support for help

Activation Lock is important

As you read in the intro, Activation Lock is an important tool for your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple Watch and Mac. Should it ever be lost or stolen, the finder or thief cannot use the device. It must first be unlocked before it can be used.

If a device is wiped without first signing out of iCloud, it may still be protected by Activation Lock. Before the device can be reset, the owner password must be entered.

So, for example, are you buying a second-hand iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac? And is an activation lock active? Then you actually have a problem and the device is unusable until it is unlocked.

Disable Activation Lock

Disabling an Activation Lock is quite easy if you own it yourself. Enter the password and your Apple ID (iCloud) and the device will immediately be unlocked and you can use it again. If you bought someone else’s iPhone, iPad, Watch, or Mac, it’s a tougher job.

Unlock someone else’s device

Before you buy a second-hand or refurbished Apple device, you should check whether the device has been erased and is no longer linked to the previous owner’s account. If it does, then Activation Lock is most likely still active. You then need help from the previous owner.

If the owner is nearby, you can ask this person to enter their Apple ID and password to unlock it. Then you can restore the device together and disconnect it from the account.

Owner not around

Is the owner of the device not around, but does he want to help you? Then the owner can follow the steps below to remove the protection.

  • Log in to iCloud.com with its Apple ID
  • Go to ‘ Find iPhone ‘
  • Click on ‘All devices’ at the top of the screen
  • Select the device you want to remove from iCloud
  • Click on ‘Delete [device]’
  • Select ‘Next’ until the device is erased
  • Click on ‘Remove from account’

After the previous owner removes the device from their account, turn the device off and on again to start the setup.

Owner is unknown

If the device is blocked and the owner is unknown or not reachable, then there is bad news. The device can only be unlocked in consultation and with the help of the owner. It is impossible to restore an iPhone or iPad without entering this password. In most cases, Apple Support will not help you.


Forgot your password

Of course, you may have forgotten your Apple ID password. Fortunately, you can then recover the password by creating a new one. We have explained in detail how that works in this manual .

Are you unable to recover the password, such as that of a deceased partner? Then you need to contact Apple Support . Please note, there is a chance that Apple will not want to remove Activation Lock for privacy reasons.

Ask Apple Support for help

If the above solutions don’t work, you can ask for help to remove Activation Lock from the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch or Mac via this special support page from Apple.

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