How to check activation lock status on a used iPhone

Update: This tutorial doesn’t work anymore because Apple removed their official tool to check Activation Lock status. We updated new tutorial to check Find My iPhone / Activation Lock status here: Check Find My iPhone (activation lock) and IMEI blacklist status for FREE

Apple’s iPhone is without doubt one of the most desired smartphones in today’s market. However, not everyone can afford Apple’s newest models, so an older iPhone is an option if you are desperate for an iPhone. In fact, buying a used iPhone not only saves you some money, but it can get you most of the exciting features of the latest model. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly involved a few risks. Remember to check the Activation Lock status of any used iPhone before you bring it home.

According to Apple, Find My iPhone comes with a feature called Activation Lock that is built to prevent anyone else from activating your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch when it is lost or stolen. By default, Activation Lock will be activated when you enable Find My iPhone on an iOS device running iOS 7 or newer.

If you buy a used iPhone, which iCloud account is locked, your iPhone will be useless. Therefore, in this piece, we offer you a little trick by which you can use when buying a used iPhone.

1. How to check activation lock online

Apple allows you to check the activation lock status of any iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Apple Watch by entering the device’s IMEI.

IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is used to identify each mobile phone. The IMEI number is usually written on the back of an iPhone or on the bottom of the SIM tray.

Besides, you can find your iPhone’s IMEI number by going to Settings > General > About > IMEI number.


Once you have the IMEI number, go to on your Mac or computer, then enter the IMEI or Serial Number and Verification code, and click Continue. If the IMEI number is labeled locked, don’t buy the used iPhone.


2. How to check Activation Lock in person

If you meet the seller in person, check to make sure Find My iPhone is now disabled.

  • Step 1: Launch the Settings.
  • Step 2: Tap on iCloud.
  • Step 3: Tap Find My iPhone.
  • Step 4: Make sure Find My iPhone is turned off.


However, you’d better ask the seller to reset their iPhone before giving it to you. That means all their data is securely erased. If the activation Lock is still enabled, you will be asked to enter the iCloud password.

To reset the used iPhone, you can follow the steps below:

  • Step 1: Launch the settings app.
  • Step 2: Tap General.
  • Step 3: Tap Reset.
  • Step 4: Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  • Step 5: Enter the passcode and tap Erase iPhone.
  • Step 6: Enter the iCloud passcode associated with the iPhone to turn off Activation Lock.


Once finished, the Activation Lock will be disabled, the iPhone will reboot, and you can set it up as new.

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