How to turn off Activation Lock on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch

BY Jason

Published 21 Sep 2013

Activation Lock is a new feature in iOS 7 that ties your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with your Apple ID so that if your phone gets stolen, the thief has to know your login credentials to turn off Find My iPhone or erase the phone to factory state.

While this a great feature for everyone, it can be a bit of a problem if you have Activation Lock turned on when you sell your phone, since the buyer doesn’t know your Apple ID. So here’s how you can turn of Activation Lock, courtesy of the gadget repurchase experts at Gazelle.

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone and go to the iCloud section
  • Scroll down until you see a Find My iPhone toggle, and turn it off.


  • When you turn it off, iOS will ask you for your iCloud password. After entering, tap “Turn Off” and you should have both Find My iPhone as well as Activation Lock turned off.

Of course, it’s also possible that you forget to turn of Find My iPhone before selling the device, but fortunately, Apple has a way to turn it off even from the iCloud web-interface. So if you’ve already sold the device, these are the steps you should follow:

  • Open “Find my iPhone”, and click on the “Devices” button to get a list of all devices tied to your Apple ID. (Note that it might take some time for iCloud to determine the location of your devices.)
  • Click on the device you’ve sold. It should show a gray dot or the word “Offline” next to the device name.
  • Click on “Remove from account”. You will get a confirmation message. Click on ‘Remove’ to remove the device from your account.

Most trade-in companies won’t pay for iPhones with Activation Lock turned-on, since it might be possible that the device is stolen. You can choose any of the two methods above to turn-off Activation Lock, and prepare your iPhone for resale.