Activation Lock still present after Erase All Content and Settings

Nermal

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Original poster
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Dec 7, 2002
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Hi,

Isn't Erase All Content and Settings supposed to disable Activation Lock? I was just helping someone with a second-hand iPad Mini 1 running 8.3. The new owner had set up his own Apple ID, but we decided to do an Erase All to get rid of all the other stuff that was on there (old photos, apps, etc). I went into Settings and did an Erase All Content and Settings. It asked for the current owner's Apple ID, and everything appeared to go as per normal.

However, during initial setup, it popped up with Activation Lock and wanted the previous owner's Apple ID and password. Shouldn't it ask for that when you do an Erase (instead of the current owner's details)? Part of the reason that I suggested doing a full Erase was to ensure that Activation Lock wouldn't cause trouble in the future - I figured that the erase would fail (due to needing the password) if AL was still active.

Can anyone explain how this happened? Apple's documentation indicates that doing an Erase will ask for the account details of the account that it's Activation Locked to, but that didn't happen. Is this a potential bug in 8.3? Has anyone else run into this issue?
 
Last edited:

chabig

macrumors 603
Sep 6, 2002
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Hi, Isn't Erase All Content and Settings supposed to disable Activation Lock?
It sounds like you need to find the previous owner and get him to fix it for you by following the instructions on the Apple document you linked to. If you can't contact the previous owner, you may be out of luck, but talking to Apple would be a good idea. I didn't follow exactly what you did, but it does sound like it should have worked. How could he have activated the phone if it was still locked to the previous owner?
 
Last edited:

KALLT

macrumors 601
Sep 23, 2008
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I’m confused. You first said this: ‘I went into Settings and did an Erase All Content and Settings. It asked for the current owner's Apple ID, and everything appeared to go as per normal.’ Then you said this: ‘Apple's documentation indicates that doing an Erase will ask for the account details of the account that it's Activation Locked to, but that didn't happen.’

So, did it ask for your iCloud password or not?

Activation lock depends on whether you are signed into iCloud and have enabled Find my iPhone. iCloud alone won’t suffice. If activation lock is not enabled, iOS won’t ask you for the iCloud password when you attempt to erase the device. If activation lock is indeed enabled then you shouldn’t be able to erase the device without entering the iCloud password. Is this what you are referring to?
 

Rodster

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May 15, 2007
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When you do an erase all contents and settings it will ask for the Apple ID and password. Once those conditions are met it begins the erase. In order for the activation lock to get removed from the device. THE DEVICE MUST BE ACTIVELY ONLINE to deactivate it from Apple's servers.

If there was a glitch in the process then it's totally possible the deactivation was not totally completed.

I have done numerous erase and formats and it has successfully deactivated the device online. I even get email confirmation from Apple stating the activation feature has been removed.
 

S.T.A.R.

Suspended
Jul 1, 2012
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Was the device removed from iCloud?

"Contact the previous owner and ask them to follow these steps to remove the device from their account:
1.Sign in to their iCloud account at www.icloud.com/find.
2.Click All Devices to open a list of devices linked to their account, then select the device to be removed. It should show a gray dot or the word “Offline” next to the device name.
3.Click "Remove from Account" to remove the device from their account.

After the device is removed from the previous owner’s account, turn the device off by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button located on the top-right side of the device. Then restart your device and proceed with device setup as you would normally."
 
Last edited by a moderator:

KALLT

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Sep 23, 2008
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When you do an erase all contents and settings it will ask for the Apple ID and password. Once those conditions are met it begins the erase. In order for the activation lock to get removed from the device. THE DEVICE MUST BE ACTIVELY ONLINE to deactivate it from Apple's servers.

If there was a glitch in the process then it's totally possible the deactivation was not totally completed.
A glitch is the likely explanation. However, wouldn’t (or better: shouldn’t) the iPhone refuse to erase itself if it can’t verify the iCloud credentials online and confirm the deactivation of the lock? Another possibility is that the device simply hasn’t been removed yet due to time lag.

Was the device removed from iCloud?

"Contact the previous owner and ask them to follow these steps to remove the device from their account:
1.Sign in to their iCloud account at www.icloud.com/find.
2.Click All Devices to open a list of devices linked to their account, then select the device to be removed. It should show a gray dot or the word “Offline” next to the device name.
3.Click "Remove from Account" to remove the device from their account.

After the device is removed from the previous owner’s account, turn the device off by pressing and holding the Sleep/Wake button located on the top-right side of the device. Then restart your device and proceed with device setup as you would normally."
Erasing the device should also remove it from the associated iCloud account, so this isn’t an obstacle.
 

S.T.A.R.

Suspended
Jul 1, 2012
176
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It prompted you to sign out of both? Seems odd, since the credentials for iCloud and Find my iPhone are identical.
No, it did not prompt me to sign out both. The second part is not signing out, it's removing the device from their account.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

KALLT

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Sep 23, 2008
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No, it did not prompt me to sign out both. The second part is not signing out, it's removing the device from their account.
Same thing in this case. Logging out of iCloud necessarily removes the device from your iCloud account. Apple recommends signing out of iCloud first, but it is not required if you intend to erase your device anyway. In that case it won’t ask you for iCloud password again. What you referred to in your first post is only necessary when you can’t access your device anymore; basically an external method to disconnect device from account.

From Apple:
Go to Settings > General > Reset, then tap Erase All Content and Settings.
  • This will completely erase your device, including any credit or debit cards you added for Apple Pay and any photos, contacts, music, or apps. It will also turn off iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, Game Center, and other services.
 

Nermal

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Original poster
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Dec 7, 2002
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I’m confused. You first said this: ‘I went into Settings and did an Erase All Content and Settings. It asked for the current owner's Apple ID, and everything appeared to go as per normal.’ Then you said this: ‘Apple's documentation indicates that doing an Erase will ask for the account details of the account that it's Activation Locked to, but that didn't happen.’

So, did it ask for your iCloud password or not??
It asked for the new owner's details, not the previous owner's.

When you do an erase all contents and settings it will ask for the Apple ID and password. Once those conditions are met it begins the erase. In order for the activation lock to get removed from the device. THE DEVICE MUST BE ACTIVELY ONLINE to deactivate it from Apple's servers.

If there was a glitch in the process then it's totally possible the deactivation was not totally completed.

I have done numerous erase and formats and it has successfully deactivated the device online. I even get email confirmation from Apple stating the activation feature has been removed.
The device was online. The new owner received a confirmation email saying that something (presumably Activation Lock) had been disabled (he's no longer here so I can't confirm the exact wording).

A glitch is the likely explanation. However, wouldn’t (or better: shouldn’t) the iPhone refuse to erase itself if it can’t verify the iCloud credentials online and confirm the deactivation of the lock? Another possibility is that the device simply hasn’t been removed yet due to time lag.
It may indeed have been a glitch, but it's a good glitch to know about.
 

Dieseldk

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2013
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Denmark
If activation lock was bypassed you can set the phone up with a new account, and the phone will ask for the password to the new account when you erase all content and settings, but it will ask for the old account then you try to activate it because it's still locked to the old account on apples servers.
 

KUguardgrl13

macrumors 68020
May 16, 2013
2,488
119
Kansas, USA
Hi,

Isn't Erase All Content and Settings supposed to disable Activation Lock? I was just someone with a second-hand iPad Mini 1 running 8.3. The new owner had set up his own Apple ID, but we decided to do an Erase All to get rid of all the other stuff that was on there (old photos, apps, etc). I went into Settings and did an Erase All Content and Settings. It asked for the current owner's Apple ID, and everything appeared to go as per normal.

However, during initial setup, it popped up with Activation Lock and wanted the previous owner's Apple ID and password. Shouldn't it ask for that when you do an Erase (instead of the current owner's details)? Part of the reason that I suggested doing a full Erase was to ensure that Activation Lock wouldn't cause trouble in the future - I figured that the erase would fail (due to needing the password) if AL was still active.

Can anyone explain how this happened? Apple's documentation indicates that doing an Erase will ask for the account details of the account that it's Activation Locked to, but that didn't happen. Is this a potential bug in 8.3? Has anyone else run into this issue?
I had a similar situation when I bought a used iPad Mini 1 last year. The previous owner had wiped it for me, but he somehow bypassed activation lock, and I had to walk him through it over Facebook Messenger. I'm not sure how he did it since I haven't been able to replicate it even with wifi turned off (my iPad mini is wifi only)
 

Nermal

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Original poster
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,737
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New Zealand
If activation lock was bypassed you can set the phone up with a new account, and the phone will ask for the password to the new account when you erase all content and settings, but it will ask for the old account then you try to activate it because it's still locked to the old account on apples servers.
Hmm. I'm not sure what you mean by "bypassed" but it does seem that setting up a new account may have been the cause of the problem. Unfortunately I don't know exactly what the new owner did to the account configuration before I got my mitts on the thing.
 

XTheLancerX

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2014
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I actually did a DFU restore to my iPad and before it let me go to the setup screen it said it had to be activated with my iCloud account and password. Why? I have done regular restores before and I don't recall this occurring. Maybe something similar happened to OP.
 

sbailey4

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Dec 5, 2011
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I actually did a DFU restore to my iPad and before it let me go to the setup screen it said it had to be activated with my iCloud account and password. Why? I have done regular restores before and I don't recall this occurring. Maybe something similar happened to OP.
Thats how activation lock works. A user cannot erase, restore, DFU restore without turning off activation lock. Otherwise it would be pretty useless if all a user had to do with a stolen device was restore it (or even DFU it).

The proper way to manage a device with iOS 7 and 8 is to sign out of "find my phone". THEN sign out of iCloud (so the device will leave your "devices" tab in iCloud.com). Then you can erase and restore and whatever you want and the device will act as a new one.
 

XTheLancerX

macrumors 68000
Aug 20, 2014
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Thats how activation lock works. A user cannot erase, restore, DFU restore without turning off activation lock. Otherwise it would be pretty useless if all a user had to do with a stolen device was restore it (or even DFU it).

The proper way to manage a device with iOS 7 and 8 is to sign out of "find my phone". THEN sign out of iCloud (so the device will leave your "devices" tab in iCloud.com). Then you can erase and restore and whatever you want and the device will act as a new one.
Yeah that makes sense. I never put my device into activation lock anyway so I was confused. My device, my iCloud account, so no big deal.
 

Dieseldk

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2013
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Denmark
Hmm. I'm not sure what you mean by "bypassed" but it does seem that setting up a new account may have been the cause of the problem. Unfortunately I don't know exactly what the new owner did to the account configuration before I got my mitts on the thing.
Thats how activation lock works. A user cannot erase, restore, DFU restore without turning off activation lock. Otherwise it would be pretty useless if all a user had to do with a stolen device was restore it (or even DFU it).

The proper way to manage a device with iOS 7 and 8 is to sign out of "find my phone". THEN sign out of iCloud (so the device will leave your "devices" tab in iCloud.com). Then you can erase and restore and whatever you want and the device will act as a new one.
Yes you can do a DFU restore with the activation lock on, and after that the phone will ask you to enter you Apple ID and password that's how the lock works.
And because Apple don't use a secure connection to the activation server isn't possible to set up a fake activation server to tell the phone it's not lock to bypass the activation lock and set it up with a new Apple ID, but if you restore the phone again you will still need the Apple ID its locked to to activate no apples server.
 

sbailey4

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Dec 5, 2011
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Yes you can do a DFU restore with the activation lock on, and after that the phone will ask you to enter you Apple ID and password that's how the lock works.
And because Apple don't use a secure connection to the activation server isn't possible to set up a fake activation server to tell the phone it's not lock to bypass the activation lock and set it up with a new Apple ID, but if you restore the phone again you will still need the Apple ID its locked to to activate no apples server.
I am not saying you cant DFU it. I am saying that DFU does not eliminate activation lock. You can DFU restore it all you want but you will never be able to use it until the orig owner deactivates activation lock.

Here is some useful info and More
 

Dieseldk

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2013
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I am not saying you cant DFU it. I am saying that DFU does not eliminate activation lock. You can DFU restore it all you want but you will never be able to use it until the orig owner deactivates activation lock.

Here is some useful info and More
Try a quick google: iCloud activation bypass, and pick a site to use.
Macrumors even had a news article on the hack
http://www.macrumors.com/2014/05/21/hackers-icloud-locking-compromise/

Just because a company says there software is secure it don't have to be ;-)
 

C DM

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Oct 17, 2011
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sbailey4

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Try a quick google: iCloud activation bypass, and pick a site to use.
Macrumors even had a news article on the hack
http://www.macrumors.com/2014/05/21/hackers-icloud-locking-compromise/

Just because a company says there software is secure it don't have to be ;-)
HAHA ok So if you want to bring in pro hackers and a machine configured to hack and use MIM techniques and so on then maybe. However I stand by that a DFU ( in its normal usage) does not remove activation lock. One could also replace the main board in the device and probably be ok too ;)
 

Dieseldk

macrumors member
Sep 22, 2013
52
20
Denmark
HAHA ok So if you want to bring in pro hackers and a machine configured to hack and use MIM techniques and so on then maybe. However I stand by that a DFU ( in its normal usage) does not remove activation lock. One could also replace the main board in the device and probably be ok too ;)
You don't have to do much more than pick a site from the Google search and download some software.
No DFU don't remove the activation lock.
The hack also don't remove the activation lock it bypass it so there fore then you do a erase all and the phone have to activate again it will be locked
 

C DM

macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
48,133
16,775
You don't have to do much more than pick a site from the Google search and download some software.
No DFU don't remove the activation lock.
The hack also don't remove the activation lock it bypass it so there fore then you do a erase all and the phone have to activate again it will be locked
Yeah, just install a bunch of malware and trojans on your computer in the process. It's all on the up and up. :rolleyes:
 

Hayleyhays

macrumors newbie
Jan 21, 2017
1
0
I had to do both.
[doublepost=1484997864][/doublepost]Hi I wondered if u can help me I just recently brought an iPhones and activation lock is enabled I don't know the previous owner as it was from a police auction if I pay £25 I can delete and erase everything will this do anything it is it a waste of money