To remove activation lock on an iPhone in a legitimate manner, you need to ensure that you use the appropriate method. Although there are several ways to do this, not all methods are above board. As an example, some Chinese vendors do a CPU reprogramming to issue a new IMEI number to the device. Very risky if you’re unlucky enough to get caught in their net.
So what are the legitimate ways to do an iCloud unlock?
One way is to reach out to Apple directly through an Apple Store or a Genius Bar. If you have a pre-owned device, you’ll need to carry proof of purchase. They’ll then run a check on the device to see if it has been reported stolen or lost, and if you clear that hurdle, they’ll let you know when and if they can remove the activation lock on the device.
A much quicker way would be to go through an authorized device recycler. One good example is AppleiPhoneUnlock.uk, which has been around for a number of years. The service takes less than 24 hours in most cases, and you don’t have to hand in your phone or anything. Just submit your device model along with the IMEI, and the request will be put in the queue right away.
Be Aware of Fraudulent Websites
There are a lot of websites out there that will take your money and do nothing. They don’t have access to Apple’s databases to unlock iCloud, but they’ll entice you with rapid turnaround times and freebies that you won’t be able to resist. Stay away from such illicit sites. It’ll only cause you grief and trouble in the end.
To make things more confusing, there’s no much clarity around the legality of an activation lock removal. But think about this: carriers regularly sell locked iPhones at private auctions. These are usually purchased in bulk and unlocked so they can be sold as refurbished units. Is it logical to assume that the carrier is committing a crime? Likely not.
Similarly, what if you bought a used iPhone online and then discover that the previous owner didn’t remove their iCloud account from the device? What if you are unable to contact them to get it done? Do you just consider your money as gone down the drain, or would you rather remove the activation lock so you can start using the device normally?
One important thing to remember is that no device can be iCloud-unlocked if it’s been reported as stolen or lost. Since it has now become a legal matter, there aren’t many options to unlock iCloud on such a device. That’s understandable since that’s what the feature was intended to do – disable the device so no person other than the owner can revive it with their Apple ID and password.
Unfortunately, if you’re the owner of a second-hand iPhone and you genuinely can’t contact the seller to unlock the phone, this is the only option open to you. Doing it any other way carries a lot of risks that you can avoid by simply choosing a legitimate service to remove the activation lock. For international devices, use UnlockBase.net, which offers both activation lock removal and carrier lock removal.