Reset my iPhone -> Activation Locked to an unknown email. I'm the original owner.

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Topher227, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. Topher227 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    CT
    #1
    I'm the original owner of an iPhone 6s - yes, I have the original box + receipt, etc.

    My phone has been acting up the past few weeks:
    -It's restarted itself almost nightly
    -I would get this weird message when it first turned on: "Enter your iTunes password to restore your purchases" or something. I always cancelled.
    -Unable to join Family Sharing or invite other users to my Homekit group.
    -General slowness, etc.

    So last night, I decided to restore it. I went to turn off Find my iPhone, but found it was already off, which was weird. So, I toggled it On, then back Off - I of course entered my password when prompted, I also received the email in my Gmail account stating that "Find My iPhone has been disabled on Topher's iPhone 6s".

    Backed up to iCloud + Backed up to my local PC and then did the restore. The phone comes up with the activation lock screen asking me to enter an email/password, with the email being J-----[USER=156367]@yahoo.com[/USER]. I have never used yahoo email, always gmail... and my apple ID (or email - or user names) are typically a variation of my username.

    Again, i'm the original owner. I purchased this device directly from Apple, and have the paperwork to prove it. Apple will clearly have this information as well.

    I've set up a Genius Bar appointment as well as scheduled a call with Apple Support. (I've also just learned that my local apple store is open until 6 today - running over there right after this post.)

    ....... has this happened to anyone else? With my brief google/Reddit/MR searches, I found a couple instances where it's happened after selling a device to another person, and the previous owner's info would come up, but that isn't the case here at all.
     
  2. Topher227 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    CT
    #2
    Just to follow up.

    Took that drive over to the Apple Store and was directed to speak with a manager. We reviewed my paperwork and he reset the activation lock. I was in and out of there in 25 minutes. Can't beat that.
     
  3. Farsider macrumors 6502

    Farsider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Location:
    London, UK
    #3
    They (Apple Store staff) disabled Activation Lock for you? Surprising. Apple advertise it can't be done without the original password.
     
  4. jahall05 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    #4
    Yeah, interesting indeed...How exactly did they do this? Kind of makes it seem like they are lying that they cannot reset these things.
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #5
    hmmm... The difference in this case may be that Topher227 was the original/only owner and user, and could prove it.
    And - maybe the contact email/AppleID is known from a previous investigation, and Apple knows what that password was.
    Apple may have a "hot" AppleID list and knows what to do with it.
     
  6. Topher227 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2012
    Location:
    CT
    #6
    Yep - that's why I was extremely concerned as soon as I saw this happen.

    I can remember these specific details/steps:
    -A manager was required, a Genius was unable to assist me. To comment further on the experience, when I walked in the door and spoke with the Genius regarding the situation, she at first gave me a an interesting glance like I had two heads and said "This typically can't be done". After stating that I was the original owner with paperwork, plus the fact that I bought the phone from THAT store, she then suggested I speak further with a manager on the matter.
    -The manager asked for my paperwork (pulled up orig receipt on my Gmail account on one of their Air's). He pulled up the order on his iTouch scanner device to verify it as well (I assume he was checking for photoshop shenanigans? - as he should)
    -He then entered the IMEI of the device on the iTouch (it was at the 'Hello!' screen) and it took him to what seems like it was an 'overall status' screen for my device. On the second row, I saw in red "ACTIVATION LOCK STATUS: Active".
    -He then asked what my apple ID was, or should be... he then clicked that 'ACTIVATION LOCK' button and lifted the device so I couldn't see the next steps. I did see him reading through what was displayed, and entering something a bit later (I assume a password/manager override of some kind?).
    -The manager told me that it would take a minute or two for the override to process and I should join the store's wifi in the meantime - as I was already connected I tried it about 15 seconds later and was able to immediately proceed in the setup process.

    This is very possible, but I have no way to explain how this could even happen in the first place... I have NEVER allowed any other apple user to sign in to their account on my device, let alone activate Find my iPhone on another account! Combine that with the fact that I, before resetting the device, ACTIVATED, then DEACTIVATED Find my iPhone... which required entering my iCloud password........ i'm just at a loss from all directions!!
     
  7. Farsider macrumors 6502

    Farsider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Location:
    London, UK
    #8
    Really interesting stuff. Thanks for sharing.

    Worrying turn of events.
     
  8. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #9
    Apple has never lied about this. It's always been the case that if you can prove the device is yours then Apple can and do help. It's just 99.9% of people out there are pulling a fast one.
     
  9. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #10
    Yep, I can also confirm this; we've had some company-owned phones get activation locked to former staff members. Apple's been able to clear these locks when we've proven ownership.
     
  10. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #11
    Apple can override Activation Lock as a last resort if you can prove that you are the original owner with the receipt etc. Also worrying that OPs phone could be hijacked like that. Think I need to take security a bit more seriously.
     
  11. Farsider macrumors 6502

    Farsider

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2014
    Location:
    London, UK
    #12
    So it looks like if you're the original owner (i.e. bought the phone from new), Apple can help you reset the lock. Great.

    However, if you buy the phone second hand you're relying on a receipt from a 2nd hand phone retail store , eBay Auction Win email etc....which Apple may or may not accept (how can they check the validity?)

    Wonder if this would impact the 2nd hand market for iOS devices?!?!
     
  12. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #13
    I see what you are asking…
    Another way to ask - will that affect the market for non-usable iOS devices? I think not, as there will still be potential buyers who, for one reason or another, don't do their homework. And get taken as a result. That isn't likely to change, unfortunately.
     

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