There are different ways to turn off an iCloud Activation Lock on an iPhone or iPad. You can ask the previous owner to remove it in Find My iPhone, use alternate DNS servers during setup, or pay for a service to unlock it for you.
Method 1 of 3: Ask the previous owner
Step 1. Ask them to remove iPhone from Find My iPhone
This is the easiest and fastest way to remove Activation Lock. The following steps in this method should be performed by the previous owner.
Step 2. Go to iCloud in a web browser
The previous owner must log in with the account used in your iPhone or iPad.
Step 3. Click Find My iPhone
Step 4. Select All devices
This will display a list of paired iPhones or iPads.
Step 5. Click on the iPhone or iPad with Activation Lock
Step 6. Choose Remove from account
If you don't see this option, click again All devices, then select To delete next to the iPhone or iPad.
Step 7. Follow the on-screen instructions to confirm the deletion
Once the iPhone or iPad is deleted, it will no longer be locked.
Method 2 of 3: Use DNS bypass
Step 1. Start your iPhone or iPad
If the phone (or tablet) is already on, restart it to be able to set it up as a new device.
This method will allow you to access a locked iPhone or iPad using alternate DNS addresses
Step 2. Configure your device up to the Choose a Wi-Fi network screen
Before you can do that, you'll need to choose a language and region, among other things.
Step 3. Press the home button
It's the button at the bottom of the screen.
Step 4. Select More Wi-Fi Settings
A list of Wi-Fi networks will appear on the screen.
Step 5. Tap the "i" in a circle next to your Wi-Fi network
Step 6. Choose Configure DNS
Step 7. Select Manual
Step 8. Tap + Add Server
This will display an empty field.
Step 9. Enter the server address for your location
You will have different options.
For the United States and North America:
For Africa, Australia and other locations:
Step 10. Choose Save
Step 11. Press the back button
You will be redirected to the network information page.
Step 12. Select Join this network
If a password is required, you will see a pop-up window.
Step 13. Enter the network password then tap Join
This option is in the upper right corner of the screen.
Step 14. Press the back button
Do this when the iPhone or iPad tries to activate. You will be redirected to the Wi-Fi page, where you will see something like "iCloudDNSBypass.net" at the top of the screen.
Step 15. Continue with the configuration
Because you used these special addresses, the lock is now bypassed. You can set up your phone or tablet as usual.
Method 3 of 3: Pay for an unlocking service
Step 1. Search the Internet for a reputable service
Scams are rampant on the internet, which is why you should look for a reputable service that will effectively remove the iCloud lock.
- It is very rare that a professional offers this service for free. If you come across such an offer, it is most likely a scam.
- If in doubt, look for reviews on specialist sites like RipoffReport, TrustPilot or Trustmark.
- Some trustworthy paid sites include iPhoneIMEI.net and Official iPhone Unlock.
Step 2. Find your iPhone's IMEI code
The unlocking service needs this code to unlock the phone. The IMEI code can be displayed in different ways depending on your iPhone model.
If you have an iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, or iPhone X:
the IMEI is located on the SIM card drawer. Insert the SIM card eject tool (or the end of a paper clip) into the hole on the drawer on the right side of the phone. Pull out the drawer and find the MEI on its outer edge.
For an iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, SE, 6, 6 Plus or an iPad:
the IMEI is printed on the back of your phone at the bottom. It is preceded by the mention "IMEI".
Step 3. Follow the instructions on the site you selected
Enter the IMEI, model number, and payment information on the site, then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the unlock process.