A lot of used iPhones, iPads and iPod touch devices are being resold every year and technically there’s nothing wrong with that. There are some risks however, especially that the device you’re planning to buy was stolen beyond moral and even legal issues. Which is why you should know how to verify the Activation Lock status on iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
An iOS device with Activation Lock is practically unusable. You will be prompted for the original owner’s Apple ID and until you enter the correct information you won’t be able to use your newly purchased iPhone or iPad.
Technically, the seller should check if Activation Lock is enabled and not trick the buyer into thinking it’s actually a usable device. But sometimes we are tempted by exceptional offers in all sorts of marketplaces (especially online platforms) so it’s a good idea to verify the Activation Lock status on iPhone or another iOS device you want to buy, you have one less thing to worry about.
How to verify the Activation Lock status on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch
If you’d like to perform this verification yourself you don’t need the physical device in your hands but you will need its Serial Number. Alternatively, you can use the IMEI number if the device in question is an iPhone.
You or the seller can get the serial number from Settings -> General -> About.
Then can open the icloud.com/activationlock webpage in the browser of your choice.
Simply follow the instructions and fill in the device’s IMEI or Serial Number in the dedicated field. Also, you will need to enter the captcha code, then press ‘Continue’.
On the next screen, you will be able to see the current Activation Lock status of the device. If the status is “off” it means Activation Lock is disabled for that iOS device which is good. It means a new user can activate it. If the status is “on” it means Activation Lock is enabled and the device will require the Apple ID of the previous owner.