How to check an iPhone's Activation Lock status online

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 2017
Apple scrubbed its iCloud Activation Lock status check tool from its website earlier this year, but a newly discovered workaround promises an alternative online resource for buyers in the market for a secondhand iOS device.




The removal of Apple's iCloud Activation Lock status page in January came as a surprise to many, as the now erstwhile tool was a simple, yet effective method of checking whether a used iPhone, iPad, iPod or Apple Watch was stolen.

Later speculation tied the deactivation to a device hacking method that allowed nefarious users or thieves to reactivate a bricked device. The complex technique involved changing the hardcoded serial number stored on a locked device's flash drive, thereby bypassing Activation Lock.

Since Apple's online checker involved entering an IMEI, the tool served as an ideal source for generating valid serial numbers. It has been theorized that Apple scrapped the online resource to better protect its customer base.

As detailed by UnlockBoot this week, however, owners or potential buyers can still check Activation Lock status by IMEI through Apple's own support pages. Be forewarned: the workaround's success is spotty and it might be completely removed from Apple's website at any time.

First, visit Apple's Support website and select iPhone. Click on a search category related to hardware, for example Battery, Power & Charging or Repairs & Physical Damage, then select a specific problem like Buttons not working.

On the next page, you should see an option to Send in for Repair. If the item is not listed, go back and select a different device problem from the previous screen. Clicking through Send in for Repair will retrieve a page that allows users to Enter your serial number, IMEI, or MEID.

Enter the IMEI of a target device to check its Activation Lock status.

It should be noted that the described method is not always successful. In some cases, Apple's website will direct users to sign in with their Apple ID, which the company normally uses to facilitate service with linked iCloud devices.

The workaround seems to be a carryover from the days when iCloud Activation Lock status was a thing. It remains unclear how long the loophole will remain active in its current form, as Apple appears to be -- slowly -- transitioning the entire Support website to lead directly to users' Apple ID accounts.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    darkvaderdarkvader Posts: 328member
    Apple needs to just put the activation lock tool back.

    The loss of the ability to see if a phone is activation locked is likely to lead to far more thefts than the few cases where someone actually desolders a chip from a phone, rewrites it, and solders it back to beat the activation lock.


    jbdragon
  • Reply 2 of 5
    darkvader said:
    Apple needs to just put the activation lock tool back.

    The loss of the ability to see if a phone is activation locked is likely to lead to far more thefts than the few cases where someone actually desolders a chip from a phone, rewrites it, and solders it back to beat the activation lock.


    Or just don't buy a second hand device without physically checking to see if iCloud is on. If you buy online you're taking a chance anyway. 
    racerhomie3
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Has this already been turned off?

    I just followed the above steps and it asked me to sign in with my Apple ID. I did that, and then nothing but options to pay for my "repair"...
  • Reply 4 of 5
    Has this already been turned off?

    I just followed the above steps and it asked me to sign in with my Apple ID. I did that, and then nothing but options to pay for my "repair"...
    If you signed in, then it authenticated you as the person signed into the site. It didn't turn anything off on your device. 

    If if you did not have iCloud on on your device it would not prompt you to sign in. 
  • Reply 5 of 5
    steve qsteve q Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    but the cons of activation lock isn't friendly as it only showing s***********@hotmail.com to sign in. I really hope apple company can make activation lock as a verify with phone number or email. because no one will always remember their informations/details for every devices that they're using. and then now, I am still pending this problem to be solved.
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