How to access & erase iPhone if password unknown? (Legit - own the phone)

Username999

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 24, 2020
8
1
I know the question will likely raise eyebrows with people thinking i'm trying to access a phone that isn't mine but if you read on you'll see that's not the case.

The company i work for has a drawer full of iPhones that they are unable to access. I'm not sure whether it's a combination of the PIN to the phone (so for example the 4-digit PIN) is unknown or whether it's the iCloud password is unknown or perhaps both. From what they were telling me i think it's the iCloud password being unknown that is the issue.

These phones were given out to employees who have since left the company and are therefore now sitting in a drawer, unable to be used.

The company own these phones and if during the process of gaining access & erasing the iPhone proof of ownership is needed then that wouldn't be a problem (see, told you this was legit).

Just wondering if anyone could advise how to erase the iPhones so that they can be used again as these iCloud passwords are causing a problem. Thank you.
 

Banglazed

macrumors demi-god
Apr 17, 2017
3,254
3,230
Cupertino, CA
The issue can be either one or both. The problem result from employees who do not erase the device before turning them back in. Hence, it's highly probably these devices are iCloud locked with no workaround unless you reach out to have the users remove it from their Find My. The company should set clear guidelines for returning company-owned phone to prevent it happening in the first place.
 

Username999

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 24, 2020
8
1
So there is literally no way around it whatsoever? Is that a definite?

I only ask as i remember probably about 6-7 years ago now (approx) my brother split from his girlfriend. He was paying the bill, the phone was in his name but she was using it.

Story short he got the phone back but he couldn't access it at all as she wouldn't give him any details whatsoever.

He got in touch with Apple and at some point he was on the phone to someone from Apple in America (we're in the UK). I think he had to provide proof of ownership but in the end he was granted access to the phone and was able to erase and use again.

Which is why i ask - is that a definite (no workaround)? I appreciate things could've changed in the time that has passed since my brother gained access to his phone.
 

Username999

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 24, 2020
8
1
Any takers on the above?

I would imagine that if you can prove ownership then surely there must be a way to get around the iCloud password and erase the phone. Understandable if you can’t prove ownership I suppose but if you can then you should be able to do it somehow?

As I say, I’m sure my brother got around this but it was years ago now and neither of us can remember 100% step-by-step how he did it other than he remembers having to be on the phone to someone from Apple in America to get it sorted.
 

adrianlondon

macrumors 68000
Nov 28, 2013
1,841
1,582
Switzerland
The company own these phones and if during the process of gaining access & erasing the iPhone proof of ownership is needed then that wouldn't be a problem (see, told you this was legit).
With proper proof of ownership, take them to an Apple store and get them unlocked/reset. It's that easy.
 

Username999

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 24, 2020
8
1
Ok thanks for the replies.
I was wondering if there was an online/email/telephone way of doing it as the nearest apple store is an hours drive away, so a 2 hour round trip and that’s banking on decent traffic.

But if going to the store is now the only way then fair enough. Thanks.
 

adrianlondon

macrumors 68000
Nov 28, 2013
1,841
1,582
Switzerland
Ok thanks for the replies.
I was wondering if there was an online/email/telephone way of doing it as the nearest apple store is an hours drive away, so a 2 hour round trip and that’s banking on decent traffic.

But if going to the store is now the only way then fair enough. Thanks.
Assuming your company has an account manager they speak to either at Apple or one of the mobile companies (if the phones came via that route) then see if there's a more efficient way. Also, in future, ensure returned phones are properly unlocked! Lesson already learnt, I suspect :)