Find My iPhone Activation Lock

Apple recently made changes to their security that renders stolen iOS devices useless with Find my iPhone Activation Lock. But it can also render your legit decide useless.  As a system admin, this has been an incredibly frustrating feature to introduce into the enterprise. When devices are turned in, it is important to be diligent in asking users to sign out of Find my iPhone in their settings. Here is some know how on what do you do when you come across a device that has been locked.

If client is turning in device have them do the following.

  1. Go to Setting>General>Reset>Erase All content and Settings.
  2. Device will prompt user for Apple ID, once entered device will Erase and ownership will be erased.
  3. You are done! The device has been cleanly erased and is ready for the next deployment

If client is not present.

  1. Contact client and instruct them to navigate to
  2. Navigate to the All Devices list, and select device in question. Help them to confirm the device name so that the wrong device is not remotely wiped!
  3. Click Erase button
  4. When erase is complete, click “Remove from account”

If client cannot be contacted.

  1. Find proof of purchase. The receipt will need to have the serial number of the device.Schedule Genius Bar appointment at nearest Apple Store and present proof of purchase.
  2. In the enterprise, large orders are typically made. You still must provide the Order Summary with the entire list serial numbers. 3. If you are GSX service provider, there is a form you must fill out and upload the proof of purchase.

No proof of purchase.

Unfortunately Apple/GSX considers this a stolen device. There is no way to unlock the device at this point. Apple will turn you away if you reach this level. If the user is struggling to get Apple ID credentials correct, direct the to to explore all recover options.


Make sure your clients understand the security of their Apple ID. Stress the importance of creating quality security questions and recovery email accounts for password recovery. Be diligent with clients returning iOS device. Make sure they have completely erased devices and removed the device from their iCloud accounts. Average consumer must be informed on buying used devices and understand the steps to ensuring the device has been cleanly wiped.

Apple Reference:

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