We first heard of iCloud in 2011. Since then every year Apple has been adding new functions to make it an almost essential option for all users of Apple products, whether mobile devices or computers. It was Steve Jobs who, months before his death, presented iCloud that would come hand in hand with iOS 5 and allowed us to have the same information on all Apple devices, such as contacts, calendar, cloud documents, Mail.
In the words of Steve Jobs when he introduced iCloud at the 2011 Developer Conference:
Today it is a real and very frustrating problem to keep all your information and content up to date on all your devices. iCloud keeps your important information and content up to date on all your devices. All this happens automatically and without cables, and since it is integrated into our applications you don't even have to think about it, it just works.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is Activation Lock?
- 2 I have forgotten my iCloud password, what can I do?
- 3 How to avoid buying a device locked by iCloud?
- 4 How to turn off iCloud lock on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
- 5 How to unlock an iPhone locked by iCloud with iOS 7
- 6 How to unlock an iPhone locked by iCloud with iOS 8
- 7 How to unlock an iPhone locked by iCloud with iOS 9 / iOS 10 / iOS 11
- 8 Can iCloud lock be removed with jailbreak?
What is Activation Lock?
With the arrival of iOS 7, Apple expanded the functionality of iCloud by adding an option that allowed us to lock our iPhone in case of loss or theft. Apple was forced to implement this functionality to improve user security, but also to try to reduce the theft of this device, which had increased in recent years due to the increasingly expensive price they had and which had made it one of the most desired devices on the black market.
Thanks to the activation lock included from iOS 7, if the device is stolen or we lose it, we can block access to the terminal in addition to finding out at all times where it is, ideal for when we have lost or forgotten it. From the iCloud website we can quickly locate the device, display a message on the screen so that if a Good Samaritan has found it, return it to us, block it, make it emit a sound or erase all its content remotely. Once the device has been locked, it is impossible to make use of it if we do not have the password of the iCloud account to which the terminal is associated, in this way steal an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch it is a useless task as it turns the terminal into a precious paperweight.
Being iOS 7 the first version in which this function was available, the activation lock had a bug that allowed to deactivate the find my iPhone function, so that any user who found or acquired an iPhone with iOS 7.1 could unlock the terminal without having to enter the password of the iCloud account to which it was associated. The guys from Cupertino took very little time to solve this important security flaw and currently the only way to unlock an iPhone locked by iCloud does not exist, at least in theory, because if we search online we can find methods that claim to be able to do so, methods that I explain below.
I have forgotten my iCloud password, what can I do?
Forgetting the password of our iCloud account in which we have all our terminals associated is not the worst thing that cannot happen, since Apple offers us valid alternatives to be able to recover it again. If we do not remember the password of our account, something that can be common thanks to the use of Touch ID that prevents us in most cases from entering our password, we must take a walk to the website https://iforgot.apple.com/password/verify/appleid, a page that Apple makes available to all its users to change the password of their iCloud account.
The problem comes when we don't remember the answers to the key questions we asked when we signed up with Apple. Keep in mind that Apple must ensure 100% that we are the legitimate user of that account so it is always advisable to add questions that we can remember and are not within the reach of the knowledge of our acquaintances.
In these cases we are forced to resort to one of the alternative methods that we can find online if we do not want our iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to become a nice paperweight, since Apple does not offer us any solution in this regard, since it is not our problem that we cannot remember the answers to the key questions that we established at the time of discharge.
How to avoid buying a device locked by iCloud?
When buying a second-hand device, we must take into account various factors that can help us identify whether the device has been stolen or not. First of all, you have to find out If the sale of the device includes the box and the charger, since headphones for hygiene reasons are not usually associated with the transaction. Any terminal that is sold if its box and charger (there are many ads like that) must be completely distrustful of them.
Second, if the terminal is sold together with the original box and charger (important) we must find out the IMEI number or serial number of the device and introduce it in the Apple page that allows us to check the status of the activation lock. This page will inform us if the terminal is associated with an account or if, on the contrary, it has already been released from this block and can be used by anyone else with your Apple ID.
How to turn off iCloud lock on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch
Since the arrival of iOS 7 every time we enter our Apple ID in a terminal the Find My iPhone function is automatically activated, function that allows us to block the device remotely. In addition, the terminal remains associated with our ID, so that, if we lose it or it is stolen, only we will be able to unlock it and continue to use it. Hence, it is never recommended to disable this function. To unlock Find my iPhone we must follow the following steps:
- We head up Settings.
- Within Settings we go to iCloud.
- Within iCloud we find the option Find my iPhone / iPad / iPod touch depending on the terminal we use.
- In the next window we slide the switch to deactivate it. At that time we will have to enter our password to verify that we are the legitimate users of the terminal.
How to unlock an iPhone locked by iCloud with iOS 7
iOS 7 was the arrival of the Find my iPhone function and with it the activation lock, a lock that allows you to unlock this function without having to enter the password. This bug only is available in iOS 7.1 and earlier versions contemplated in iOS 7, since Apple quickly closed this error, ceasing to be compatible with any other version of iOS 7.1.x. In the video below you can see how this little bug works.
As you can see in the video, following a series of steps You can delete the iCloud account and therefore disable the 'Find my iPhone' function, and all this without the need to enter any password.
Of course, so that you do not panic you should know that if you put a lock code in your terminal it will be impossible to deactivate this function.
How this bug works:
- We go to the iCloud configuration, which we will find within the Settings application.
- We try to delete the iCloud account and when it asks us for the password we will turn off our iDevice.
- We turn it on again.
- We unlock the terminal (it is important that it does not have a password).
- We go to the Settings menu, and then we will enter the iCloud settings.
- We will click on delete iCloud account.
- We will confirm the removal of the iCloud settings.
Once these steps have been carried out, you will be able to restore the device without any restriction. Something quite dangerous but that we remember only works when your device does not have a lock password.
How to unlock an iPhone locked by iCloud with iOS 8
Back in iOS 8, a security expert found a serious security bug in the native Mail app, which allows you to clear your iCloud password. This bug was available in iOS 8.3 and was compatible with all devices using that version of iOS. According to this expert, the Mail application has a bug that allows us to insert a remotely downloaded HTML code in an email, adding a code in the form of a tag which exactly clone iCloud login window, the same that appears when Apple requires that we identify ourselves as legitimate users of the device.
This code can be programmed so that runs when you open the email directly to avoid suspicion. This bug does not raise suspicions since iOS has a habit and sometimes for no apparent reason to request our iCloud password, so users do not have to think that it does not correspond to a real request from the system. The only way to check if it is a request that tries to steal our password or if it is real is to press the Home button. If the request is real, iOS will not allow us to leave the screen that asks for the password.
In this video you can see how this bug works that allows you to steal the passwords of the devices on which iOS 8.3 is running.
How to unlock an iPhone locked by iCloud with iOS 9 / iOS 10 / iOS 11
The only way to unlock a device is by knowing the password of the account to which the terminal is associated. There are alternative methods that allow us to unlock the terminal using applications. Specifically, we are talking about the DoulCi application, a free application available for both Mac and Windows. The This software works by creating a dummy server similar to Apple's With which it completely deceives the device and will provide us with a key that we will have to enter in the iCloud login, which will cause all the content to be deleted and we will have to add a new ID.
Can iCloud lock be removed with jailbreak?
Although many are the users who use the jailbreak to install pirated applications on their terminals, something that from Actualidad iPhone we do not support, the jailbreak not only serves for that, but the main utility of many users is to customize their device by adding functions that Apple does not include. Through the jailbreak there is no tool that allows us to remove the iCloud lock or unblock the terminal if it is associated with a specific operator.