The iCloud is Apple’s signature cloud computing service. It stores your data, images, messages, and video.
When you have an iCloud-locked phone, it means that Activation Lock is active.
Activation Lock is an anti-theft feature that ensures only the legitimate owner of an iPhone can access its applications and information.
When you purchase a used iPhone, it may sometimes be iCloud-locked. An iCloud-locked iPhone does not always mean the device is a stolen phone.
So, how can you unlock your iPhone 5? Read to find out!
How To Unlock iCloud-Locked iPhone 5
There are three possible situations with an iCloud-locked iPhone. It is either you are the original user, or you purchased or were gifted a used iPhone. In the latter, you may have physical access to the previous user. On the other hand, the original user may be physically far away.
1. If you are the original owner
On the Activation Lock screen, input your Apple user ID and password. If you cannot remember your account details, use the password recovery feature.
If you have lost the access to your account email, visit a local Apple store to unlock your iPhone 5.
Apple will always demand valid proof of ownership like the original receipt or transaction details if you purchased your iPhone online.
2. If the original owner is close by
If you are not the original user, and the previous user is close by, ask them to unlock the phone by entering their Apple ID and password.
To gain control of the phone, ask the previous user to log out of iCloud and delete their account from the device. You can sign in to your account.
To log out of iCloud, go to Settings, then iCloud>Sign Out. This method applies to iPhones running on iOS 10.2 and below.
For devices running on iOS 10.3 and above, go to Settings. Tap the name and Sign Out. The device would request again for Apple ID, including the password. They should enter it.
The user should tap Sign Out and then, Delete From My iPhone to delete their account from the device. This method applies to devices running on iOS 10.2 and lower.
For devices on iOS 10.3 and above, tap Turn Off.
A Handy Tip: Remember to erase the phone. To do this:
- Go to Settings.
- Go to General.
- Tap Reset.
- Select click Erase All Content and Settings.
You can now input your login details and gain control of the phone.
3. If the original owner is far away
If the original owner is not nearby, you can still unlock the iPhone as long as you can reach them.
Here’s what to do.
Ask the original owner to sign in to icloud.com using their Apple ID. Click or tap Find Phone, then, All Devices. From the list of devices displayed, choose the one you want to unlock. Tap Erase.
They will receive other prompts on the screen. Ask them to complete the account deletion process by following the prompts. The Activation Lock will disappear after you restart the device.
What To Do You When You Cannot Access The Original Account
If you’re unable to reach the previous user, reach out to Apple for help with the phone’s original purchase receipt.
More About The iCloud Lock
The Activation Lock is a security feature on iPhones that prevents unauthorized access to the device.
Without Activation Lock, someone can steal your iPhone, erase your information and sell it. Activation Lock prevents this.
When Activation Lock is activated, it means that the original owner set up Find My iPhone on the device.
Apple servers will store your account and device information when you set up Find My iPhone.
Only the Apple ID and password associated with the Find My iPhone feature can unlock the device.
When you purchase a used iPhone 5, and it is iCloud-locked, it is probably because the original owner forgot to deactivate the Find My iPhone feature before selling it. The only other probable reason is that the phone is a stolen device.
Apple introduced Activation Lock with the iOS 7 release.
The iCloud-locked iPhone 5 Unlocking Methods To Avoid
Some websites proffer radical solutions to unlocking the iCloud-locked iPhone 5. Apple does not recommend these methods as they seek to grant someone unauthorized access to an iPhone 5.
The idea behind Activation Lock is to prevent theft and not to encourage it.
What are some of these methods? Do they work?
The iCloud Bypass:
Some websites suggest you can do an iCloud DNS bypass to get around the Activation Lock feature.
What is an iCloud DNS bypass?
Your device will transmit an activation request to Apple’s servers when rebooting it. If the phone has a Find My iPhone feature turned on, the Activation Lock will pop up and prompt you to log into your Apple account.
An iCloud DNS bypass changes your phone’s activation path. Instead of Apple servers, the activation path will then go through bypass DNS servers to authenticate your phone.
This method appears simple in execution, but there are several problems with it.
This method may not work. If it does, you may be unable to access all features on the device.
An iCloud-lock bypass may work sometimes, but you won’t be able to use your phone without a Wi-Fi connection. Text messages or voice calls will not work over a mobile network.
The iCloud DNS bypass does not work with the newer iOS versions. Your iPhone 5 is upgradable to iOS 10.3.
You will also have to do it every time you reboot the device.
The iCloud unlock apps:
Tons of websites claim to have tools that can deactivate Activation Lock. There are many disadvantages of using these tools.
Many of them are scams. They may work around Activation Lock, but their solutions are sometimes temporary. Activation Lock can pop up again when you restart the device.
Another disadvantage is that these apps can disconnect your iPhone from Apple servers. When this happens, you will be unable to update your iOS. Your privacy will also be at risk. These limitations are not worth it.
Your Apple ID remains the best and most convenient way to unlock your iPhone. If it is a used phone and you cannot contact the original user in any way, do not purchase the phone.
How To Avoid Purchasing A Stolen iPhone
There are several problems with buying a stolen iPhone. Apart from the moral question, using a stolen iPhone is problematic.
Apple devices come with several features that are inaccessible without proper verification. Most apps and settings require user authentication before they can work.
Attempts at an illegal bypass may only work temporarily if they work at all. Sometimes, they cut the phone’s connection from Apple’s servers and put the user’s privacy at risk.
When you buy an iPhone from unofficial resellers like vendors on eBay, you stand a chance of purchasing a stolen phone.
To check the legitimacy of a before purchase, take the following measures.
1. Get the phone’s IMEI
IMEI stands for International Mobile Equipment Identity. Every device has a unique IMEI. Before you buy a used iPhone, ask the seller to give you the IMEI so that you can run it for carrier activation issues or authenticity.
2. Verify the numbers
Verify the IMEI to see if the iPhone is not on any stolen device data bank anywhere. Several companies like AT&T, CTIA, and T-Mobile provide iPhone verification services.
A stolen iPhone will show up on these websites. Sometimes AT&T or T-Mobile will report carrier activation issues, in which case you should not proceed with the transaction.
When buying directly from someone, the best way to confirm is to ask the seller to log out of their Apple account on the device and delete it before you complete the transaction.
What Happens If You Purchased A Stolen iPhone?
Some people try to quickly sell an iPhone before the rightful owner reports the theft.
If you are unlucky to buy a stolen iPhone, keep in mind that there’s little you can do to recover your money.
However, you should report to the police with the device. The authorities can trace the original owner and return it to them.
To avoid these hassles, always confirm the legitimacy of an iPhone before purchase. Patronize only authorized dealers for used iPhones.
An iCloud-locked iPhone 5 is an indication that Activation Lock is active.
Activation Lock is an anti-theft feature that ensures only an iPhone’s legitimate owner can access the device.
You will have to enter the Apple ID and password linked with the device to unlock your iPhone 5.
If you purchased a used phone, reach out to the original user for help in unlocking the device. They can also remotely unlock the device from their iCloud account if they cannot be physically present.
Apple can also help you unlock the device if you reach out to them with a valid purchase receipt.
Avoid methods that try to circumvent Activation Lock without user authentication. They are temporal solutions that limit your access to a lot of features.