Selling your old iPhone running iOS 7? Here’s how to turn off Activation Lock

Activation Lock is a new feature in iOS 7 that ties your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with your Apple ID so that if your phone gets stolen, the thief has to know your login credentials to turn off Find My iPhone or erase the phone to factory state.

While this a great feature for everyone, it can be a bit of a problem if you have Activation Lock turned on when you sell your phone, since the buyer doesn’t know your Apple ID. So here’s how you can turn of Activation Lock, courtesy of the gadget repurchase experts at Gazelle.

  • Open the Settings app on your iPhone and go to the iCloud section
  • Scroll down until you see a Find My iPhone toggle, and turn it off.


  • When you turn it off, iOS will ask you for your iCloud password. After entering, tap “Turn Off” and you should have both Find My iPhone as well as Activation Lock turned off.

Of course, it’s also possible that you forget to turn of Find My iPhone before selling the device, but fortunately, Apple has a way to turn it off even from the iCloud web-interface. So if you’ve already sold the device, these are the steps you should follow:

  • Open “Find my iPhone”, and click on the “Devices” button to get a list of all devices tied to your Apple ID. (Note that it might take some time for iCloud to determine the location of your devices.)
  • Select the device you’ve sold, and click the cross button next to it to untie it from your Apple ID. You should now see a confirmation alert. Click “Remove” to confirm.

Most trade-in companies won’t pay for iPhones with Activation Lock turned-on, since it might be possible that the device is stolen. You can choose any of the two methods above to turn-off Activation Lock, and prepare your iPhone for resale.

Like this post? Share it!

  • Joshua Christie

    lol dfu mode it and dont need it

    • Gautam

      Good luck doing that remotely after you’ve sold the device :)

    • Alan

      Did you even bother to read the article?

    • Kao

      On iOS7, even if you put it in DFU and restore it to a new firmware, you still can’t activate it until you sign in with the apple ID that it’s tied to. In theory, that’s how it works.

    • ranhalt

      I’ve already confirmed that if Activation Lock is working as it should, flashing the ROM through a DFU restore won’t remove it. This is a real issue. Useless people, like children, should be neither seen nor heard.

    • lockedddd

      DFU mode an Activation Locked phone and it’s still will be locked when you restore it.

  • Maria mimskii

    My question is “IS there a way to get rid of the passcode, which is smthg very anoying – every time I swipe the phone it asks for this 4 digit passcode?

    • Joe

      If you go to settings general pass code you can change when it asks for your pass code.

      • Maria mimskii

        Thanx, but I do not want to change in, I want to access the phone without any passcode

        • Yoyo

          Just turn gereral Pass Code off then

          • Maria mimskii


  • Strandled

    My question is “IS” there a way to suddenly not explode once you have already started to as long as you are sincere you don’t want to explode and haven’t ever opted for the all too increasingly sudden chicken surprise?