So you purchased a second-hand iOS device and the owner forgot to disable the iCloud Activation Lock. Or maybe you found one and see no reason to return it because, as we know since early childhood, finders keepers. What can you do about it? In short, you can’t do much – not in 2016, not anymore.
Before going to the long answer, let’s first establish what this thing really is:
What is the iCloud Activation Lock?
The iCloud activation lock is a smart tool that enables users to lock a stolen or lost iOS device. It can be found within the Find my iPhone/iPad/iPod App and has been proven as highly secure – with an Apple guarantee, even.
When looking for a used iOS device to buy, you should always check the status of the iCloud activation lock before purchasing to make sure it is disabled by using the official activation lock tool. However, if you are reading this, chances are you did not and ended up with a locked device.
Is There a Reliable iCloud Activation Lock Removal Service or Tool?
Many websites and tools promise free or cheap permanent iCloud activation lock removal – but how true is that, really?
Even though we were pretty sure security flaws in Apple products are unlikely and any weaknesses would get fixed within a day of the solution being published on the internet, we kept our minds open. We took some time to analyze and try out multiple solutions to bypass iCloud activation lock on our 2 iOS 10 devices – it seems our office is dominated by Android enthusiasts. Here’s what we found:
1. Changing the DNS Address
There are plenty of YouTube videos and web pages that promise to unlock iCloud activation lock by changing the DNS address and following a few other steps.
This is the first one we’ve tried out and actually seemed quite promising, until we realized the simple way is not permanent and the “permanent” way does not completely unlock it, only giving you access to 3 Apps: Newsstand, FaceTime, and Phone – which is more than disappointing since iPhone users pay hundreds of dollars for the extra, juicy stuff. From what we gathered, this solution was legit up until about a year ago – but not anymore.
2. Doulci Activator
When we entered the official website, we were taken aback by the awesome design. We thought, “This is it, we found one!”. Well, we kind of did, but also kind of didn’t. After installing a software application that promises a secure connection, connected our device, and edited an address within a .txt file, we found out you need to do this daily for it to work since the address is intercepted by Apple and changed.
But that’s not all, the codes have not been updated in over a year now – which should have disqualified it from the start, if we were attentive enough to research a bit more beforehand (oops!). Bottom line is, it does not work – not even a little bit, like the previous one.
3. Paid iCloud Activation Lock Removal Service
Ok, full disclosure: We did not actually try this one out. Maybe we should have, but every website in this category we visited seemed too shady to input our financial information in. We found fake PayPal badges, too many “please”-s and other hints that point out to them being a scam everywhere.
We also found a few such services on eBay, and the flood of 5-star ratings for most of them actually surprised us – so we decided to investigate further. the average price was $50, but we did find some for $30 or less. We noticed identical reviews posted by the same users for every service we went through – and the dozens of listings with the same name (up until an identical number of exclamation points) should also be noted. In addition, few of the 5-star reviews were actually verified purchases – but every 1-star review was.
The truth is every tool, website or software that promises to unlock iCloud activation lock for free is a scam which thrives thanks to people who decided to give it a go since they have nothing to lose. The only reason why they are popular and flood the first, second, third, and maybe more Google results pages is because people click on them and use them – but never successfully, or not in 2016, anyway.
We are very suspicious about those paid ones, too – $50 for an iCloud Activation Lock Removal Service seems low enough for purchasers to give up and not follow through in court, but high enough to add up to the seller. However, we don’t want to bash all of them – we guess there could be small chances some of them work.
So What Can You do About it?
Unfortunately, the question really is “What should you have done about it?”. The smartest way to bypass iCloud activation lock is to never need it in the first place.
There is no free tool that helps you with iCloud activation lock removal and also enables you to use it normally. If you purchased a used iOS device and want to use every app or install new ones, all you can do is contact the previous owner and ask him or her to disable the iCloud activation lock from their account – and these are not Apple officials typing.