Turns out Apple CAN remove activation lock

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by AppleFan360, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #1
    So I had an interesting situation occur when I was preparing to sell my iPhone 6s.

    When I received my new iPhone 7, I followed the usual procedure to switch from the iPhone 6S to the iPhone 7:

    1. Backup iPhone 6S to iTunes
    2. Turn off find my iPhone (this removes the activation lock)
    3. Place the in Airplane mode and turn the power off.

    After following this procedure, I set the iPhone 6S aside and migrated to the iPhone 7. I do this every year so I'm very diligent and knowledgeable about the process.

    A few days later something weird happened. I turned on the iPhone 6S after being off for 2 days. I plugged it into iTunes to do a full restore and at the same time unlock the phone (after contacting AT&T). After the restore I was greeted with the activation lock screen with a completely different e-mail address associated with the phone. This did not make any sense. The phone was turned off and my screen lock code was still active so nobody would have been able to pick up the phone and get into it. Besides, the phone was in a safe place and nobody even touched it for 2 days.

    I immediately contacted Apple and explained the situation. I provided proof that I purchased the phone from them. They were very nice about it and said they would elevate the ticket up to higher management.

    A few days later they contacted me and said that after reviewing the documentation, they (Apple) removed the activation lock so I was now free to sell the phone.

    I don't really know what happened but my guess is that someone at Apple was messing with activating someone else and "fat fingered" the IMEI. Either that or there was a hack at some point. Who knows.

    I have read numerous times on this forum and other places on the web that Apple is unable to remove the activation lock on any iPhone. Well my friends, this simply is not true. Apple can do it and this is proof.
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    You had a receipt and enough proof. You also knew enough to contact Apple directly. We are hearing your story AFTER the fact.

    Most people asking are newbies whose only post here is to ask about breaking the lock. Either they do not have the correct documentation to petition Apple (otherwise why ask the question here) or they stole the device.

    So they ask here hoping for a bypass because they know they cannot get one through Apple. Without documentation and proof there is none and Apple cannot do this.
     
  3. irod87 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    #3
    I had it removed from a couple of company owned iPads. We the company had purchased them directly from Apple. After confirming and filling out a form of who I was and why we could not remove the lock they removed it within 48hrs. It was so easy after the fact I had wished I had done it sooner.
     
  4. smarks90, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016

    smarks90 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    #4
    I had a similar situation happen to me this year that I've never experienced before in selling each previous iPhone on Craiglist or to family/friends each year since iPhone 3GS.

    turned off FindMyIphone, Erased all content and settings on my 6s plus in anticipation of selling shortly thereafter. I then, just for kicks and giggles, put my AT&T sim back in the phone as I had a moment where I was going to return my 7+ due to horrible battery life (long story for another day). When I did this it showed I had the activation lock on the phone and the AppleID that definitely didn't belong to me. I'd never seen or heard of this AppleID before... Considering I had bought this phone from Apple on launch day 2015, had it replaced by Genius at Apple Store this past June. Once they looked at this they were able to remove the activation lock within about 3 days at which point I received an email stating they had validated my purchase and removed the lock.

    Very weird. I'm glad they were able to resolve but if someone didn't have that paper trail in tact they would be left with a bricked phone and no way to prove to Apple that they hadn't stolen it from Joe-schmoe on the street. lesson learned-continue diligently saving every receipt/email Apple sends me when I buy or have devices swapped out!
     
  5. finetings macrumors newbie

    finetings

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #5
    It is funny because this happened to me about 2 weeks ago. I wanted to give my 6s plus to my sister, did a restore and the activation lock sceeen appeared with someone else iCloud account. Don't know where that came from. I reached out to apple and sent them proof of purchase, the last 4 digits of the credit card I paid with, expiration date etc and in three days it was unlocked. But it happened again after a restore and they unlocked it again. This time I had my sister do a restore from an iCloud backup. Somewhere there was a corrupt backup. I guess this sort of thing happens quite often just don't understand how.
     
  6. smarks90 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    #6
    out of curiosity, I did the same thing you did finetings and sure enough, activation lock is back. ugh!

    I'm glad I haven't sold the phone to my friend yet as I would feel terrible if he went to sell the phone down the road only to discover that it was locked again. That would inevitably cause me to get involved again to have to unlock it...not something that I should have to deal with if I turn off findmyiphone before restoring...

    I sent a follow up to the very nice Senior Apple Care specialist who had assisted me when this first happened last week.... clearly something systemic...
     
  7. finetings macrumors newbie

    finetings

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #7
    --- Post Merged, Oct 4, 2016 ---
    --- Post Merged, Oct 4, 2016 ---
    The iOS senior advisor who has been helping me has been great. I think the issue is probably a corrupt backup from iTunes, so I made my sister do a restore from a back up in iCloud instead and I asked her to turn off the Find my iPhone feature. So far it is working without a any hiccup. It is quite puzzling how this can happen because each year I pay for my phones outright and this is the first time this has happened. I am wondering if I was sold an iPhone that was sold then returned. First time for everything huh! it will work out just be patient.
     
  8. smarks90 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    #8
    I'm confident we'll get it resolved soon. Like you said, never had this issue with any phone before. I'm having the issue just trying to set the phone up as new. after they first unlocked it, I set it up as a new phone and essentially came to the out of the box default set up and home screen. then I did an erase content and settings of this "new" image and had the lock issue. I don't think it's a backup in my case
     
  9. finetings macrumors newbie

    finetings

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Location:
    Florida
    #9
    It is quite troubling to say the least. I bought my iPhone 7 plus from the same Apple Store and I asked the sales rep to double check that the phone was not previously sold. I used the 6s plus for almost a year and I have done a restore before but I am not sure why the last time there was an activation lock with someone else iCloud account. The senior advisor did a remote access of my laptop thinking I was doing something wrong with the restore. as long as you have proof of purchase do not worry about it. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will not happen. You would think that Apple should be able to see whose Apple ID is linked to a particular iPhone and contact that individual if a problem like this is presented. It is a lesson for everyone who will be selling, returning or giving an iPhone to someone, to completely deactivate the phone from your Apple ID before the exchange occurs. But when it is bought from an Apple Store as a brand new device,this should not happen.
     
  10. auero macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    #10
    I'm surprised this is happening to so many people. I've posted in two other threads my story.

    I restored my 6s Plus that I originally owned and was surprised to see Activation Lock with an email that wasn't mine. After hours on the phone with Apple, I went into the store and they unlocked it with proof of purchase. 19 hours later? Locked again. Long story short, they removed the lock and replaced my phone for me, but they couldn't figure out why this was happening.

    There is a difference if your phone is put into LOST mode. From what the senior specialist told me, you can't unlock a phone that was put into LOST mode.
     
  11. rijc99 macrumors 6502a

    rijc99

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2015
    Location:
    FEMA Region 9
    #11
    Yes, but didn't they also say icloud activation lock couldn't be bypassed?
     
  12. nburwell macrumors 68040

    nburwell

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #12
    This exact same scenario happened to me about a month ago. I provided Apple the original sales receipt since I purchased from my local Apple Store. Within a few days, they sent me an email letting me know they removed the activation lock from my 6s.

    I'd still really like to know in both of our situations how a random email address showed up on the activation lock screen.
     
  13. auero macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    #13
    No, I've never heard that before. They can't unlock it if you can't provide proof you purchased it.
     
  14. macfacts macrumors 68000

    macfacts

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Location:
    Cybertron
    #14
    Did you at anytime exchange your iPhone with a Genius? (Did you get an iPhone in a white box)
     
  15. likegadgets, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016

    likegadgets macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #15
    I had the exact same problem. My iPhone 6S Plus.
    I removed from Find my iPhone, erased all content and settings, removed from hardware profile and iCloud account devices.

    A day later - it was activation locked to a different iCloud account

    While Apple support said - very strange, impossible, etc. I went to the store I purchased it from with the receipt, and they removed the activation lock. (This took hours between calling support and going the store)

    The iPhone never left my sight (or home) since I erased it.

    Apple is clearly having an issue they will not admit to.

    Maybe it needs to be posted on Macrumors as a reported issue by several forum members and maybe Apple will pay attention.



     
  16. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #16
    If your suspicion is right, that doesn't mean that Apple can bypass the activation lock. All it means is that they fixed the association between that phone and your account.
     
  17. AppleFan360 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    #17
    No sir. It was never exchanged.
     
  18. NewtonPippin macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2015
    #18
    Happened to my 6S. And I didn't save the receipt... so now I have a bricked phone. I'm absolutely livid.
     
  19. Tsuchiya macrumors 68020

    Tsuchiya

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    #19
    Apple can remove the activation lock as a last resort, providing that the customer can prove without a shadow of a doubt that the phone is theirs.

    They will absolutely not budge if the customer fails to show proof of purchase. Sucks for those who somehow lose their receipts (though retailers should be able to reprint tbh), or buy their phones second hand.

    It's not a solution they normally discuss for obvious reasons.
     
  20. ogs123 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2011
    #20
    "Fat fingering" the IMEI while possible is very unlikely since the last digit is a check digit calculated using the Luhn algorithm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luhn_algorithm
     
  21. kerrikins macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    #21
    They said that it can't be bypassed by the average person, which is correct. They can remove it for you if you provide proof of purchase, meaning that people are still protected from loss or theft.
     
  22. Manacit macrumors member

    Manacit

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #22
    This happened to me as well - went to sell my iPhone 6s at Starbucks today, noticed it was Activation Locked to an account that's not mine (and I've only used it on one). I bought it new at the Apple Store on launch day, and I deactivated it less than 72 hours ago.

    I am livid - it's going to take Apple 24 to 48 hours to get this fixed after almost an hour on the phone? I paid almost $900 for it and it's no more useful than a paperweight right now. I had to conference call in the Grand Central Apple Store to re-send my receipt, then I had to upload it to Apple, and now the customer support team is telling me the only thing I can do is wait.

    This is insane. What if the person I tried to sell to on CL had been less savvy and walked away with an iPhone they couldn't have used? Would have made me look horrible, and it's not like that was my intention.
     
  23. smarks90 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2013
    Location:
    Cleveland, Ohio
    #23
    Welcome to the club...the club nobody wants to be a part of... lol: take a look over here for ongoing conversation (13-14 pages so far)-- http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...wrong-apple-ids.2004550/page-14#post-23703591
     
  24. Newtons Apple macrumors G5

    Newtons Apple

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2014
    Location:
    Jacksonville, Florida
    #24
    Still not seeing how this could happen unless Apple is using the circuit boards from returned phones in their new phones.
     
  25. lordofthereef macrumors G4

    lordofthereef

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #25
    I think we often use "can't" and "won't" interchangeably.
     

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