drfone app drfone app ios

How to Remove Activation Lock Without Previous Owner 2023?


Apr 17, 2023 • Filed to: Remove Screen Lock • Proven solutions

Refurbished iPhones or iPads have been a viable option for more and more people, especially with the major cell phone manufacturer, Apple, offering official purchase channels. However, there are many people who buy used phones through non-acquaintances who trade in their own Apple devices. So, the question arises: How to remove the Find My iPhone activation lock without a previous owner? It has become the focus of people's attention.

The reason can vary, but the recovery process can be exasperating. Fortunately, there are several right approaches and alternatives that can help with the situation. This article will introduce to you some simple and effective tricks to remove the activation lock even if you lose help from previous owners.

Why Apple Devices Get locked by Activation Lock [A Simple Overview] 

In case some users don't know Activation Lock, we are giving a simple introduction to it. According to Apple, “Activation Lock is a feature that’s designed to prevent anyone else from using your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Apple Watch if it’s ever lost or stolen. Activation Lock is enabled automatically when you turn on Find My iPhone. Even if you erase your device remotely, Activation Lock can continue to deter anyone from reactivating your device without your permission. All you need to do is keep Find My iPhone turned on and remember your Apple ID and password.”

icloud activation lock

Admittedly, it has a good side to follow, but it does have drawbacks to specific people. Here are the pros and cons of Activation lock.


  • Locate and play a sound by Find My iPhone on missing Apple devices, like iPhone, iPad, Mac, etc
  • Protect data if a device is stolen


  • Make the first using process more troublesome if you cannot acquire the iCloud login information from the previous owner, after buying a second hand iPhone

To solve this small problem, in this post, we provide you with four effective solutions to help you remove Activation Lock without a previous owner.

Method 1: Remove Activation Lock Without Previous Owner Using Dr.Fone [iOS 9 and up]

Without the credential, or iCloud login information from the previous owner, Dr.Fone - Screen Unlock (iOS) could do a big favor. It applies to both MacBook and Windows, and it is a professional bypass tool for an iCloud activation lock. The following steps will help you to remove the iCloud activation lock.

Dr.Fone will access your iOS devices with a couple of clicks. Follow the video instructions below to remove find my iPhone/ iPad activation lock without a previous owner:

Download for PCDownload for Mac

4,039,074 people have downloaded it

Safe downloadsafe & secure

Step-by-step guide for Windows users

Step 1. Launch and install Dr.Fone on your PC, and select Screen Unlock from its home page.

drfone unlock icloud activation lock

Step 2. Select "Unlock Apple ID" mode, and click "Remove Active Lock" to bypass the iCloud Activation Lock. Then, tap "Get Start".

drfone remove active lock

Step 3. Now, if your device has been jailbroken successfully, please click "Finished jailbreak" to continue the process. But if not, you can directly follow the Jailbreak Guide to jailbreak your device since there is no direct jailbreak tool for the Windows system in the market currently.

jailbreak on iPhone

Step 4. Then, please confirm and tick the agreement before start removing the iCloud activation lock. 

confirm bypassing agreement

Step 5. Next, connect iOS devices with your PC. And make sure your USB connection is stable, and you've unlocked the device screen.  

connect iOS devices with PC

Step 6. Then, please confirm your device information. If there is no problem, click "Start Unlock" to move on.

confirm device information and start unlocking

Step 7. Wait a moment, Screen Unlock is bypassing your activated iCloud. The activation lock will be removed successfully in a few seconds as you can see on the page below. 

completed unlocking process

Note: There will be some problems if you don't follow the correct instructions to jailbreak your iPhone on a Windows computer. And, once the iOS device has been unlocked activation, do not reset or restore the device. Otherwise, it will cause the old iCloud activation lock to reappear.

Step-by-step guide for  Mac users

Step 1. Launch and install Dr.Fone on your Mac, and select Screen Unlock from its home page.

Step 2. Click the "Unlock Apple ID" module to continue".

Step 3. It's as same as the operation process on Windows, if your device has been jailbroken successfully, please click "Finished jailbreak", If not follow the Jailbreak Guide to continue.


Step 4. Please carefully read the agreement, confirm and tick it before start removing the iCloud activation lock.

screen unlock agreement

Step 5. Check and confirm your device information. If there is no problem, please click "Start Unlock" to continue.

device information confirmation

Step 6. Then, Dr.Fone Screen Unlock will start the unlocking process, just take some minutes to its completion.

icloud activation removal

Step 7. After a while, it will show the following interface as below when it gets finished.

icloud activation removal finished

Method 2: Remove Activation Lock Without Previous Owner by Apple Official Support

This method could be very useful but not that easy because you need to get proof of the purchase from the previous owner first. Once you get the required documents, everything goes simple. Go and contact Apple Support, Apple staff will be able to support you. They will verify the original owner of the phone and then help you unlock the device. In addition to proof of purchase, they may ask for other documents as well like your identity cards. They will remove Activation Lock from your device if your purchase documents are legit.

There are two ways to ask for Apple support:

  1. Offline method - Visit the Apple store along with the purchase proof.
  2. Online method - Call Apple Support or visit its official website for remote assistance in removing the Activation Lock.

Their representatives will provide you with the necessary support and assistance during the process.

Method 3: Remove Activation Lock Without Previous Owner via DNS

Activation locks are difficult to get through, but fortunately, few methods work. DNS method can also help you bypass the activation lock and access your device. The best part is, you don't need the previous owner or proof of purchase.

DNS method is an effective technique to remove find my iPhone activation lock without the previous owner. It works for the operating system running in the older versions. It is a simple technique for a technical person, and it works for both iPhone and iPad. This method utilizes the Wifi DNS settings of the device. Follow the steps:

Step 1: Set up the iPhone as a new device.

Step 2: Connect to a WiFi network on the Wifi settings page. And tap the “i” icon next to your network name.

wifi settings wlan

Step 3: On the next screen, tap on the Configure DNS option.

configure dns

Step 4: Choose the "Manual" option from the page as below.

configure dns manually and add server

Step 5: Tap "+ Add Server", and try one of the following DNS values:

  • USA:
  • South America:
  • Europe:
  • Asia:
  • Australia and Oceania:
  • Other:

Step 6: Your phone will be unlocked.


  • This process can be manually done by devices' Wi-Fi settings.
  • It doesn't need any external device or software.


  • The process might be a little complicated for a non-technical person to operate.
  • The method may not work for the latest versions of the iPhone or iPad.

Method 4: Remove Activation Lock Without Previous Owner via the iCloud Web

If you can not reach the previous owner, but you are still in touch with them, they can still unlock your phone remotely by following a set of instructions. This whole process can be performed remotely with the help of iCloud web. If your previous owner cooperates, they can help with the process.

The process will involve a few steps to remove your iPhone from their account remotely. After this process, you can set your device as a new phone. The activation lock will be permanently gone from your phone.

Here are the step-by-step instructions on removing my iPhone/iPad activation lock without the previous owner using the iCloud web. You can share these steps with the previous owner :

  • Open iCloud website in a browser.
  • Sign in to the existing iCloud account in use with the locked iPhone.
  • Once you are logged in, click on the option that says Find iPhone.

Now you can remotely perform actions on your phone. Further :

  • Click on the drop-down named All Devices and choose your iPhone.
  • Click on Erase iPhone.

Final Words

By now, you are familiar that there are many ways to bypass activation lock. So, If you face a situation with the activation lock, you will have a couple of options to get through the situation. Just choose the correct method and approach according to your circumstances and availability of resources. If you are a seller, you should disable the activation lock before selling your phone. Erasing the device back to factory settings will not put the buyer in any trouble.

To Disable Activation Lock:

Go to settings > Tap your name at the top of the list > Tap iCloud > Tap Find My iPhone > Toggle the "Find My iPhone" > Type your Apple ID password.

To Reset The Device:

Go to settings > General > Reset > Click "erase all settings" >Give confirmation > Wait until the process is complete.

We hope this post will help you figure out the right way to remove the Find My iPhone/ iPad Activation Lock without a previous owner. If you have any questions, please leave us in the comment section below.

screen unlock

James Davis

staff Editor


iCloud Unlock
iCloud Tips
Unlock Apple Account
Home > How-to > Remove Screen Lock > How to Remove Activation Lock Without Previous Owner 2023?