Bought Apple Watch, still linked to previous owners phone

ThatiPhoneKid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2017
876
574
i bought an Apple Watch series 1 on eBay, recieved it and it’s still linked to the previous owners phone, how do I remove it from their phone and connect it with mine? Thanks
 

techno-Zen

macrumors 6502a
Apr 27, 2015
789
517
Gilbert, AZ
Unless you can get the owner who has it tied to their Apple ID to remove it from find my iPhone in iCloud/Activation lock you're out of luck my friend.
 

oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
552
304
West Jordan, Utah
Time to a) get in touch with the seller and see if the watch was legitimately theirs, and have them remove the watch as explained above, or b) lacking this, contact E-bay's fraud/Return section, explain that the seller sold you a stolen watch, and get the refund. You have (I think) 60 or 90 days to do this. You can also contact Paypal, but they will tell you to go through E-bay's fraud section. (I've done this, and E-bay is quite good at refunding money for stuff like this)
 

ThatiPhoneKid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2017
876
574
Time to a) get in touch with the seller and see if the watch was legitimately theirs, and have them remove the watch as explained above, or b) lacking this, contact E-bay's fraud/Return section, explain that the seller sold you a stolen watch, and get the refund. You have (I think) 60 or 90 days to do this. You can also contact Paypal, but they will tell you to go through E-bay's fraud section. (I've done this, and E-bay is quite good at refunding money for stuff like this)
Unless you can get the owner who has it tied to their Apple ID to remove it from find my iPhone in iCloud/Activation lock you're out of luck my friend.
Probably stolen. I’d contact the seller, eBay, and PayPal.
You can't.
Already contacted seller before making this thread, just recieved reply from them and they told me they used this watch on an old iPhone they no longer have but I can erase the watch in settings and it should remove there old phone from the watch, should I do this or just contact ebay? Thanks guys for all of your help
 

Significant1

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2014
720
214
Already contacted seller before making this thread, just recieved reply from them and they told me they used this watch on an old iPhone they no longer have but I can erase the watch in settings and it should remove there old phone from the watch, should I do this or just contact ebay? Thanks guys for all of your help
No, they must remove activation lock in their settings. There is no way you can do it and it is worthless otherwise. Last paragraf from https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205009:

If you can't access your iPhone or Apple Watch, or if your Apple Watch isn't paired with your iPhone and you need to turn off Activation Lock:
  1. On a computer, go to iCloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Go to Find My iPhone.
  3. Select All Devices, then click your Apple Watch.
  4. Click Erase Apple Watch. Select Next until the device is erased.
  5. Click
    next to your Apple Watch.
 

bigjnyc

macrumors 603
Apr 10, 2008
6,346
3,430
Already contacted seller before making this thread, just recieved reply from them and they told me they used this watch on an old iPhone they no longer have but I can erase the watch in settings and it should remove there old phone from the watch, should I do this or just contact ebay? Thanks guys for all of your help
Reply to him and tell him he can log in to his iCloud account from any phone or the internet and remove the watch from his account, he does not need that specific phone..

Howeveer I have the feeling he is going to come back with another excuse as this appears to be a stolen watch. I would go ahead and start the proceedings with ebay

and to answer your question, No it cannot be done from settings it can only be done as I described above.
 

laptech

macrumors 6502
Apr 26, 2013
307
392
Earth
Already contacted seller before making this thread, just recieved reply from them and they told me they used this watch on an old iPhone they no longer have but I can erase the watch in settings and it should remove there old phone from the watch, should I do this or just contact ebay? Thanks guys for all of your help
That's a similar type of answer sellers of stolen iphones give 'just set it back to factory default in itunes'
 
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Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,764
14,930
Jacksonville, Florida
Hard to believe that you are having another crisis but the owner will have to remove the lock or issue a refund. I would do everything through eBay's mail system so they have records of you conversation.
 
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techno-Zen

macrumors 6502a
Apr 27, 2015
789
517
Gilbert, AZ
I don't know if there is a way to pair an Apple Watch without it being connected to an Apple ID/Activation lock. If you can go into Settings/General/Reset all and it does pair you're good.

If you get prompted that the Apple Watch is tied to another Apple ID you'll have to have the seller do the above and remove it from their Apple ID/Find my iPhone in their account.

Or you have a display item and it'll never work for you
 
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ThatiPhoneKid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2017
876
574
Hard to believe that you are having another crisis but the owner will have to remove the lock or issue a refund. I would do everything through eBay's mail system so they have records of you conversation.
Why on earth would I make this up, jeez.

Reply to him and tell him he can log in to his iCloud account from any phone or the internet and remove the watch from his account, he does not need that specific phone..

Howeveer I have the feeling he is going to come back with another excuse as this appears to be a stolen watch. I would go ahead and start the proceedings with ebay

and to answer your question, No it cannot be done from settings it can only be done as I described above.
No, they must remove activation lock in their settings. There is no way you can do it and it is worthless otherwise. Last paragraf from https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205009:

If you can't access your iPhone or Apple Watch, or if your Apple Watch isn't paired with your iPhone and you need to turn off Activation Lock:
  1. On a computer, go to iCloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Go to Find My iPhone.
  3. Select All Devices, then click your Apple Watch.
  4. Click Erase Apple Watch. Select Next until the device is erased.
  5. Click
    next to your Apple Watch.
Thanks guys messaged the seller with this information, I’ll get back to you when I have an update
 

ThatiPhoneKid

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 15, 2017
876
574
Got a reply from him, he said doesn’t have access to iCloud account but he didn’t link it to find my iPhone, he said to go to setting and erase and it will be unlinked. Don’t know what to do, should I contact ebay now or try to erase the Apple Watch? Thanks
 

Julien

macrumors G4
Jun 30, 2007
11,152
3,858
Atlanta
Got a reply from him, he said doesn’t have access to iCloud account but he didn’t link it to find my iPhone, he said to go to setting and erase and it will be unlinked. Don’t know what to do, should I contact ebay now or try to erase the Apple Watch? Thanks
You can erase it million times if you want. This is an anti theft protection that makes the watch a "brick". There is nothing you can do that will negate the lockout.

Also access to iCloud is at iCloud.com so everyone with a computer has access to iCloud.
 
Last edited:

techno-Zen

macrumors 6502a
Apr 27, 2015
789
517
Gilbert, AZ
Got a reply from him, he said doesn’t have access to iCloud account but he didn’t link it to find my iPhone, he said to go to setting and erase and it will be unlinked. Don’t know what to do, should I contact ebay now or try to erase the Apple Watch? Thanks
You're screwed my friend. Contact eBay now
 

dave006

Contributor
Jul 3, 2008
3,358
670
Just West of East
Correct. The other posters are confusing pairing vs iCloud locking of the watch to a customers account. You can just reset and erase all settings from the watch if it is only a "Pairing" / Linked issue.

How to unpair your Apple Watch directly on the smartwatch without the paired iPhone.
  1. Launch the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap on the General setting.
  3. Select Reset.
  4. Tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. Type in your passcode (if enabled).
  6. Tap on Erase All.
Dave
 
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AppleHaterLover

macrumors 68000
Jun 15, 2018
1,978
1,965
Correct. The other posters are confusing pairing vs iCloud locking of the watch to a customers account. You can just reset and erase all settings from the watch if it is only a "Pairing" / Linked issue.

How to unpair your Apple Watch directly on the smartwatch without the paired iPhone.
  1. Launch the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Tap on the General setting.
  3. Select Reset.
  4. Tap on Erase All Content and Settings.
  5. Type in your passcode (if enabled).
  6. Tap on Erase All.
Dave
Yeah, but if it’s still linked to an iCloud account it will not complete the activation process.
 

laptech

macrumors 6502
Apr 26, 2013
307
392
Earth
not overly sure what your worried about. If it is a 'pairing' issue, just follow the reset procedure. If the watch is actually stolen and resetting the watch fails to work (as it should) then you contact ebay fraud department and start the process of getting a refund.

Either way, it's still a win win for you, if it is a pairing issue then you have a working watch, if it is not and everything you try fails to get the watch added to your account / iphone, then it's obvious the seller lied in the sales description, which that alone will get you a refund.
 
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perezr10

macrumors 65816
Jan 12, 2014
1,033
394
Monroe, Louisiana
He’s hoping that you’ll give up and let him keep your money.

I’ll say this for Apple. Their watch activation lock is rock solid. If Donald Trump left his Apple Watch in the Kremlin’s bathroom, even the KGB wouldn’t be able to unlock it.
 

brentc133

macrumors regular
Jan 31, 2012
100
68
Exact same thing recently happened to me but luckily when I contacted the seller it was an honest mistake and they didn’t know how to prepare the watch for resale. They went into their iCloud account and selected the watch and deleted it from their account which deactivated it so I was then able to activate it on my account.
 

Kerry78

macrumors regular
Sep 14, 2016
167
43
Resetting it will not do a thing it’s gonna set up fresh then ask for the last user account details to steady along the activation process!

Just send it back to them and ask for a refund and then check with the sellers on eBay before you bid and buy again easy mistake I guess I’ve had that with a 5c but I got the seller to sort out the problem ;)
 

oeagleo

macrumors 6502a
Feb 5, 2016
552
304
West Jordan, Utah
Resetting it will not do a thing it’s gonna set up fresh then ask for the last user account details to steady along the activation process!

Just send it back to them and ask for a refund and then check with the sellers on eBay before you bid and buy again easy mistake I guess I’ve had that with a 5c but I got the seller to sort out the problem ;)
I would not send it back, but would go through E-bay's fraud system. If you send it back, he may or may not refund the money unless you go through E-bay, and he's still got the watch to sell to someone else. Go straight to E-bay, do not pass GO, but DO collect the $200 (or whatever you paid)
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,709
30,973
Exact same thing recently happened to me but luckily when I contacted the seller it was an honest mistake and they didn’t know how to prepare the watch for resale. They went into their iCloud account and selected the watch and deleted it from their account which deactivated it so I was then able to activate it on my account.
That’s a positive outcome. This actually happens a lot where the previous owner forgets (Or didn’t know) how to remove the device from iCloud. Fortunately, some are responsive and take of the matter rather quickly, once they realize what happened. Most times, it’s an honest mistake.
 

Donnation

macrumors 6502a
Nov 2, 2014
871
853
OP, if the seller can't (or won't) remove the activation lock you can return it. eBay's policies are very much in place to protect the buyer and if you return it they will issue you a refund when the watch arrives back to the seller no questions asked. Just remember to make sure you get a tracking number for the return.

Another thing to look at is the buyers feedback. Does he have a high feedback rating? If yes then this may just be an honest mistake and as someone mentioned above and he should be able to get into his iCloud account and remove the watch. Either way if you can't get it resolved you will get your money back. It might take a few days but you'll eventually be issued a refund by eBay whether the seller wants to or not.
 
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