This post is also available in: Español (Spanish)
(WE HAVE NEW TESTING RESULTS FOR 2020 – UPDATED)
Unlocking iCloud – Is it possible?
Have you recently purchased a used iPhone and realized that it is connected to the previous iCloud account? Many people find themselves with a used second-hand Apple iPhone that still has the previous owner’s data and. accounts on it. This can prevent you from using the phone since the device will be locked to the previous owners account. Do not fear! There are possible ways to unlock an iCloud locked iPhone. We found a few methods.
There are two ways to get an iPhone iCloud Unlock:
- by having the previous owner unlock it: or by
- by using a service that specializes in unlocking iCloud locks.
The unlock service frees your phone from the previous owner’s account and allows you to setup your own account on that phone – meaning you can start making calls, sending messages, and using apps. Of the 9 iCloud activation unlock services, we found the best 2. We tested them for speed, cost and service quality. The clear winner is AppleiPhoneUnlock. They unlocked all 12 accounts we sent them, for the least money, and did it in the fastest time.
Please subscribe to our channel.
What is an iCloud Activation lock?
In 2014, a quirk was added to iOS7 by Apple that altered the way iPhone accounts were integrated into the software of the phone. This change was named iCloud Bypass Activation Lock. This new method made to iOS 7 (and carried through to iOS10, iOS11 and iOS 12) is that your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch is now locked to your personal iCloud, Apple account locked.
It means that when you restart your Apple device, you iPhone iCloud Unlock by entering your iCloud username and password to access the features, functions, and files.
When you are just using your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch – its not a big deal. But when you buy a used device from some random person called ‘HighMountain77’ on eBay, and he forgot to remove his iCloud details or neglected to provide the credentials, your phone is essentially useless. Literally, no use to anyone for anything. There isn’t anything you can do. You can’t jailbreak it, drain the battery nor try to reinstall the OS and wipe it clean. Whatever you paid for it ($300?) is gone and left the expensive smartphone that doesn’t work.
Because there were so many people who found themselves in this situation when the used iPhone market started to expand. All these people who had legitimately bought a second-hand iPhone, iPad, or Apple Watch and couldn’t use it were left without a solution. iPhone iCloud Unlock service providers started to investigate ways to bypass the iCloud lock barrier. After many false starts and testing different potential methods, a loophole emerged. As a result, you can now get the iCloud activation lock removed from your iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch.
How to check to see if your phone is stolen
Try these steps first before moving onto the low cost methods using a service.
First, check to see if iPhone was stolen. Typically, your phone is activation locked because the previous owner used both iCloud and Find My iPhone. However, in some cases, you may have obtained a stolen iPhone.
You can check the if your iPhone was stolen on this site (for the US): Free Stolen Phone Checker
For international phones, use this site: International Stolen Phone Checker
Note: If your check confirms that the phone is stolen then Apple will not help you with unlocking it and you will need an iPhone iCloud Unlock service provider. Also, the seller won’t assist either – considering they sold you stolen goods. It is possible that eBay or the credit card company can provide purchase protection. Then proceed to the Low Cost – iPhone iCloud Unlock Services.
How to Unlock iCloud for free- if you can reach the previous owner?
If the owner is physically near you, follow the directions below:
- Ask the previous owner to enter their Apple ID account credentials on the iPhone.
- When the phone gets to the home screen, they should sign out.
- On iOS 10.2 and earlier, proceed to Settings > iCloud > Sign Out.
- On iOS 10.3 and later, proceed to Settings > [your name] > Sign Out
- When asked for Apple credentials, they should re-enter the credentials
- iOS 10.2 and earlier, tap Sign Out, then tap Delete from My iPhone
- iOS 10.3 and up, tap Turn Off
- Erase the phone again by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings
- When the phone restarts this time, you shouldn’t see the Activation Lock screen.
If the owner is not physically near you, follow the following steps:
Ask them to sign in. with their username and password at iCloud.com which was used to activate the phone.
Choose Find My iPhone.
Select All Devices, then select the iPhone that needs to be unlocked.
Choose Erase iPhone.
Choose Remove from Account.
Once removed from their previosuly Apple account locked, you can restart the iPhone. At this point, you won’t see the Activation Lock screen when it starts up.
Low cost – iPhone unlock iCloud services
It was the wild west with all the new unlock providers jumping into the market. You could not tell who was legitimate and truly had the experience to unlock you iCloud account versus the many scam providers. I personally was scammed a few times. This experience motivated me to test the various providers to find ones who were reliable and safe to work with.
You can’t get certified in evaluating methods and vendors who can bypass the iCloud lock. So, I’m just as qualified to tell you about iCloud activation unlock as any other person on the street. However, there is one thing that makes me more of an expert than anyone else: testing.
Our team assessed and evaluated 9 different providers and tested 3 of them on all active iPhone models. And the simple fact that I’ve actually tested these providers with all models makes me the expert in the space.
There are other reviews available but most of them have never reviewed even one carrier, let alone reviewed all nine. That’s why I’m qualified to talk about the top iPhone iCloud Unlock service providers.
Unlock iCloud account for an Apple Device in 4 steps
- Visit the one of the recommended services we review in this article.
- Enter your IMEI or Serial Number of your phone or device.
- If your iPhone is active: Dial *#06# to get your IMEI or go to Settings -> General -> About -> then Scroll down to find the IMEI number;
- If your device is not active: Located on the activation screen, there will be a little “i” icon on the screen. Tap to that button and you will get your IMEI number.
- Wait for confirmation that your iCloud lock has been unlocked!
- Now create a new account and start using your device.
This service works on all iPhone 7, 7 plus, 6, 6 plus, 5S, 5C, 5, 4S, 4 and iPad 4, 3, 2 Air 2.
Test methodology for removing iCloud Lock
The way I conducted these tests was simple. First of all, I Googled iCloud unlock providers and drew up a list of everyone I could find. After removing services that didn’t look like they were still active, I was left with nine services. The next step in the process was to cull that list down from nine operators to my top three. I wanted my test of each operator to be comprehensive and complete and it wasn’t possible to rigorously test all 9 operators. To do this, I jumped onto review websites such as TrustPilot and RipoffReport to weed out any obviously dodgy operators. I read the reviews and tallied up the average score of each service provider giving me an average score for each. I cut the lowest scoring six services and was left with three to test.
To make sure I had enough devices to thoroughly test each provider, I put the call out to all my readers to get iPhones that need unlocking. I wanted to get people in a variety of countries and using a variety of models (as I did at the time I tested how to unlock iPhone5).
Of the 73 who responded, I chose 12 to test (12 for each provider):
- 1x iPhone 11;
- 1x iPhone 11 Max;
- 1 x iPhone X;
- 1 x iPhone XS;
- 1 x iPhone XS Max;
- 1 x iPhone 8;
- 1 x iPhone 7;
- 1 x iPhone 7 Plus;
- 1 x iPhone 6;
- 1 x iPhone 6s Plus;
- 1 x iPad Pro 2019;
- 1 x iPad Air.
The chosen applicants then sent me their IMEI codes and I placed the orders.
How to unlock iCloud account – testing criteria
The iCloud providers were judged based on 4 criteria:
Price range varied greatly between providers. Some were as little as $15 whilst others were as much as $149. There are very few people on this earth who can purchase services without being price conscious so this is where we started our assessment.
Handing over your device details and a chunk of cash to an unknown website to perform a service you know very little about can be a little nerve-wracking, but having a supportive and understanding person on the other end of the customer support line can help calm those nerves.
We tested each service provider three times during the course of the unlocking process:
- Before the purchase
- After the purchase but before the unlock was complete
- After the unlock iCloud service was complete
This was to get a comprehensive understanding of who was really there to help and who was there just to take your money.
What the point in great prices and caring customer support if they can deliver on what they promised? Because of this, the third criteria is: success. It’s a simple pass/fail criteria. If the Apple account locked is now unlocked, it was a success. If not, then no.
Getting your iCloud account unlocked is great, but waiting can be frustrating. To compare apples to apples, we didn’t assess the sites on how long they said it would take to understand how to Unlock iCloud account, just how long it actually took to unlock them.
Top 2 iPhone iCloud Unlock Service Providers
As with anything in life, not all iCloud activation unlock providers are the same. Some have low prices but no customer support. Some will answer your email within five minutes, but take four weeks to unlock your iPhone.
After assessing 9 providers and testing them, these are the top two providers:
AppleiPhoneUnlock – 9.5/10 (Best Unlocking iCloud Activation Lock Provider)
They are my number #1 choice on how to unlock iCloud account. We’ve tested them based on the above four criteria and they came out top in all four.
First of all, they unlocked every device we sent them. They were assigned versions of iPads and iPhone models from 6 to XS to unlock and completed every single one of them (the only one to do so). That’s always a good place to start.
Secondly, they unlocked them all quickly. The total time for completing all twelve iPhones was only a TOTAL of 24 days. This is the breakdown:
- 1 x iPhone X – 2 days
- 1 x iPhone XS – 2 days
- 1 x iPhone XS Max – 2 days
- 1 x iPhone 8 – 3 days
- 1 x iPhone 7 – 2 days
- 1 x iPhone 7 Plus – 2 days
- 1 x iPhone 6 – 1 day
- 1 x iPhone 6 Plus – 2 days
- 1 x iPhone 6s – 2 days
- 1 x iPhone 6s Plus – 1 day
- 1 x iPad Pro 2018 – 3 days
- 1 x iPad Air – 2 days
When you consider that most iCloud unlock providers take at least a week, this is stellar.
Thirdly, their customer support rocks. I contacted them before, during, and after the service was completed and the most I ever had to wait to hear back was forty-five minutes. And even better than that, when I did contact them, they were polite, helpful, and answered my questions completely.
And finally, they’re the cheapest of the bunch. They might only be $1 cheaper than our #2 recommendation, but we live in a world where every dollar counts and it’s better to have it in your pocket than someone else’s!
Unfortunately, there’s nothing really to write here. I try to make my reviews as unbiased and even-handed as possible and I don’t have anything to add right now. Could their customer support have responded in less than 45 minutes? Sure, they could have, but it wouldn’t have made that much difference. Could they have unlocked all the Apple account locked in less time? Possibly, but it wouldn’t have made that much difference.
Without nit-picking for the sake of it, there’s nothing to really add here.
AppleiPhoneUnlock was the only provider to unlock all 6 accounts and because of that, they’re my #1 choice. And if that wasn’t enough, they have great customer service, the cheapest prices (even if it’s only by $1), and they’re the fastest of the group.
DoctorUnlock – Alternative Bypass iCloud Lock Service 7.5/10
DoctorUnlock is my second choice. Not because they’re a terrible iPhone iCloud Unlock service provider, but simply because they’re not as good as AppleiPhoneUnlock.
DoctorUnlock mostly do what they say they’re going to do. I purchased 12 iCloud unlocks and they managed to unlock 11 of them. 11 out of 12 isn’t bad when you consider that most providers have less than a 50% success rate, but it’s still not 8 out of 8.
The total time it took for the how to unlock iCloud process was longer than advertised (30 days total), but they still delivered. Here’s a breakdown of how long it took to unlock each Apple account locked.
- 1 x iPhone X – 3 days
- 1 x iPhone XS – 2 days
- 1 x iPhone XS Max – 3 days
- 1 x iPhone 8 – 3 days
- 1 x iPhone 7 – 4 days
- 1 x iPhone 7 Plus – 2 days
- 1 x iPhone 6 – 2 day
- 1 x iPhone 6 Plus – 2 days
- 1 x iPhone 6s – 3 days
- 1 x iPhone 6s Plus – 1 day
- 1 x iPad Pro 2018 – 3 days
- 1 x iPad Air – N/A
Their customer support is efficient and will answer your questions, but it might take a few days. And as I said above, they’re only $1 more expensive than AppleiPhoneUnlock.
Firstly, they failed to unlock the Apple account locked. Yes, they gave us a refund straight away, but they still failed to deliver.
Secondly, their unlock times are a slower as well. AppleiPhoneUnlock was unlocking iCloud accounts in 1-2 days, these guys are more like 3-4 days. It’s not a HUGE issue, but it’s still twice as long to wait without a phone you’ve already paid for.
And finally, whilst their customer support responded in a few days, their responses were always curt and specific. There was nothing in the email other than the only information they needed to answer the question. Whilst they technically did their job, it was very cold and clinical.
DoctorUnlock is a solid provider and there’s a better-than-average chance your Apple account locked will now be unlocked, but why take the risk when AppleiPhoneUnlock are more reliable and cheaper?
You can check out their website for unlocking iCloud here: Remove iCloud
Frequently Asked Questions
Which one is the Safest Way to unlock iCloud on iPhone?
You may have purchased a second-hand Apple iPhone from eBay or a shady looking person. You switch on your iPhone and to your horror, what do you find, it has an iCloud lock on the device. If you have purchased a second-hand iPhone from eBay, and it Apple account locked, this could mean two things, you just bought a stolen iPhone, or the seller forgot to wipe his login credentials.
If you have purchased an iPhone from a forgetful one, contact your seller and ask them to unlock it for you by providing the login credentials. Unfortunately, you may run out of luck, and you might have purchased a stolen iPhone. Apple will not help you to unlock a reported stolen iPhone. You can go to iCloud unlocking services on the internet and try your luck. To check if your iPhone was reported stolen, visit stolenphonechecker.org.
Why iCloud account has locked my iPhone?
Not only ios 7 was revamped on the user interface, security measures too where revamped and also how you logged in and out of your iPhone. Apple introduced iCloud Bypass Activation Lock which in short means you will have to enter your Apple id login as well as the iCloud login information even after you format your Apple iPhone a new. This one step to unlock your iPhone after a factory restart has proven the best method to keep your data safe in case your iPhone is stolen.
If your iPhone is iCloud locked, you may have purchased a stolen iPhone. Contact the seller to help you with the iCloud unlock process if you have bought it through a legit seller on the market and can reach the previous owner of the iPhone or contact your seller on eBay to provide you with the login credentials.
Is it possible to unlock an iCloud locked iPhone?
Yes, it is possible to unlock an iCloud iPhone. There are more straightforward ways if the circumstances are in your favour. Like contacting the previous owner of the iPhone from who you have purchased the device, they can provide you with the login credentials, but you will be at the mercy of their hands. If circumstances are not in your favour and you cannot contact the previous owner of the device, or the purchased iPhone is reported stolen, the process would not be smooth.
Still, there are ways and services available on the internet that will help you unlock the iCloud lock on your iPhone. We recommend using AppleiPhoneUnlock. But handing over your device information and money to a website can be risky, but this website worked very well from our testing, if suppose it does not work, they will refund your money.
Is an iCloud unlock legal?
Officially speaking, the only way to unlock iCloud your iPhone is to contact the previous owner of the Apple device. They may or may not help you and can hold you at ransom to give you their login credentials. However, there can be circumstances where it is impossible to get in touch with the previous owner of the iPhone or iPad, in which case, you won’t be able to use the conventional way to iCloud unlock your iPhone.
Under such circumstances, where you risk rendering the expensive iDevice useless without the iCloud Activation unlock code, your only ray of hope may be third-party unlocking service providers. If you pick any of the iPhone iCloud Unlock service providers that we have mentioned in the guide above, you’re guaranteed to get a working iCloud activation code for your iOS device, and all you have to do in return is pay the nominal charges for the service online using their secured payment gateway.
How to Unlock iCloud without Password
The very purpose of creating iCloud was to not only drive users towards the safer, reliable, and profitable cloud storage platform. The additional benefit of iCloud lock activation has been the curbing of blackmarket selling of lost and stolen iPhone, iPad, and other iOS devices. Since Apple locks down your iDevice to the Apple ID and password, this ensures that in the unfortunate event of you losing the device, your content is not compromised. Hence, officially speaking, you cannot unlock iCloud without password.
However, that’s when third-party iCloud activation services come into play, understanding that it might not always be possible for users to get a hold of the Apple ID password. If you have purchased a used iPhone or iPad, and no longer are in contact with the original owner, the only way around the iCloud activation lock is the ability to pay up a small fee for the unlock code from third-party iPhone unlocking service providers that we have mentioned in the guide above.
Having an iPhone with someone else’s Apple account locked sucks. They can effectively hold you ransom and make you pay whatever they wanted to get access to the phone you’ve already paid for. And nobody wants that. If you have your icloud locked, there are many available services and you can beat their scams without having to pay them a cent.
Of the 9 iCloud unlock providers we found and the 3 we tested, the winner was clear: AppleiPhoneUnlock.
They’re the fastest, cheapest, have the more responsive customer support, and were the only provider who successfully completed all 6 iCloud unlocks we sent them.
If you have problems with Android products, find out our more about tricks and ways of solving problems. We tested solutions for Samsung S8 and other popular devices. Technology and social media solutions – only on my blog!
- How to unlock iPhone 8 safely and quickly - May 27, 2020
- iCloud Unlock – How To Easily Remove Activation Lock On Used iPhone ? - February 26, 2020
- How to unlock iPad Disabled & Network Locked - October 3, 2019