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How to Remove Activation Lock Without Previous Owner?


Mar 08, 2024 • 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.

Here is a video for you to learn how to remove Activation Lock on iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch:

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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, the 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 12.0 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:

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Dr.Fone - Screen Unlock

Remove Remove Activation Lock without Password in Minutes

  • Remove Apple ID/iCloud Account efficiently.
  • Save your iPhone quickly from the disabled state.
  • Free your sim out of any carrier worldwide.
  • Bypass iCloud activation lock and enjoy all iCloud services.New icon
  • Works for all models of iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Available on: Windows Mac

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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.
  • Step 2. Select “iOS” mode, and click “iCloud Activation Lock Removal” to bypass the iCloud Activation Lock. Then, tap “Start.

drfone remove active lock

  • Step 3. If your iOS device is running iOS/iPadOS 15.0 to 16.3, you can follow this process. However, for iOS/iPadOS 12.0 to 14.8.1, you must first jailbreak your device by following the Jailbreak Guide.

jailbreak on iPhone

  • Step 4. Then, please carefully read the agreement, confirm and tick it before start removing the iCloud activation lock.
confirm bypassing agreement
  • Step 5. Next, follow the on-screen instructions to put your iOS device to enter DFU mode twice. And make sure your USB connection is stable, and you've unlocked the device screen.  When it is done, select Got It! button to continue.
connect iOS devices with PC
  • Step 6. Then, Dr.Fone Screen Unlock will start the unlocking process, just take some minutes to its completion. After a while, it will show the following interface as below when it gets finished.

completed unlocking process

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 as your identity cards. They will remove the Activation Lock from your device if your purchase documents are legit.

There are two ways to ask for Apple support:

  • Offline method: Visit the Apple Store along with the purchase proof.
  • 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 Wi-Fi DNS settings of the device. Follow the steps:

  • Step 1: Set up the iPhone as a new device.
  • Step 2: Connect to a Wi-Fi network on the Wi-Fi 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 decide 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.

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James Davis

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