If you’re reading this, that means you’re having a big trouble with your iPhone / iPad. If you’re experiencing the screens like the image above, then just keep reading, here is everything you need to know and how to resolve your trouble.
We have been receiving a lot of messages from people having the same problem. In most of cases, they just bought an iPhone / iPad online without knowing the Find My iPhone status. As we all known that Apple removed the Activation Status Checking Tool from their official website, so people just can’t check it before buying iPhone / iPad / AppleWatch. But that won’t happen to MacExpertGuide’s readers, because we already had a post for How to check Find My iPhone status for Free. The reason behind the story why did Apple remove that helpful tool is still unknown. But so far as we know, there are two reasons:
- A Chinese hacker posted a video to Youtube in 2016 showing that he’s bypassing iCloud Activation Lock, somehow he could successfully reset the Serial Number of stolen devices and replace them with Clean Serial Number. One important point in this process is, he needs to know which Serial Number has Find My iPhone status OFF, then he can make a replacement. After just a few days, Apple didn’t confirm anything about this video and immediately removed the Activation Status Check Tool from their website.
- Not sure if this is also a reason but we all can see that if people can’t check Activation Lock status, then it’s very very risky to buy and sell used iPhone. Instead, people will think about just buy a new one, then who earn more money now?
Back to our story, I’m not sure what your case is, maybe you bought an iPhone online and it’s locked to previous iCloud account, or maybe you just forgot the password and can’t recover your iCloud account. Whatever, but you need to deeply understand the problem to make a wise choice because we see a lot of scammers out there claiming that they can bypass iCloud Activation Lock for you.
1. Software – Any kind of Software – Will never work!
This is the important point, please understand that, anyone, any company who offers you to download or buy a software to help you bypass iCloud Activation Lock – are just SCAMMER.
iPhones – iPads – Apple devices, generally won’t work like that. Apple has a very advanced encoding algorithm for their devices. The world have seen how good it is from an FBI case, FBI couldn’t open an iPhone with just “Passcode Lock”. Here we have iCloud Activation Lock (and maybe also passcode lock) and you think some crap scammers on the internet can do it with just a software?
2. How does the Activation Lock work?
A good question, we need to know the reason and understand how does it work, before solving it.
Whenever an iPhone / iPad / AppleWatch turns on for first activation, the first thing it does is asking you to connect to the internet (right?). You literally can’t active your iPhone, no matter how hard you try. I suppose that the iPhone wanna unlock itself for you, it even can’t do that neither. The reason is, the iPhone needs a valid encrypted signal from Apple Activation server to match with its algorithm to get activated. We can imagine this like, the iPhone keeps the lock, and Apple Activation Server has the key – the only key.
The same thing happens to SIM-Lock on iPhone. In SIM-Lock case, only your carrier can unlock your iPhone, they do that by whitelisting your IMEI number from their database, then every time you connect your device to Apple Activation Server, Apple checks your IMEI number from carrier database to see if it’s SIM-Locked, then if it’s whitelisted, Apple will return valid signal and the iPhone can unlock itself with the “key” from Apple’s server.
So now we understand how it works and we now can see how are we going to do that. It’s about to whitelist your IMEI number from Activation Server, or maybe we can fake the encrypted signal (the key) and pass it to the iPhone?
3. Fake DNS Server to bypass iCloud Activation Lock
This is an old method and may only works for iOS 10 and lower. The way is about to create a fake Activation server and let the iPhone connects to it. The iPhone will think that it’s communicating with the real activation server and then from the fake server, we return a valid signal to the iPhone.
It sounds easy and possible, right? But I have to say it again, this is an old method and may not work now a day. Surely Apple fixed it and even if you could successfully bypass the device, you will never be able to connect it to the internet (because the iPhone will re-check with Activation server and it’ll be locked immediately), and what do we call an iPhone which can’t connect to the internet? I call it a brick.
In case you still wanna give a try, here is the guide. If you’re not interested with this, just skip this segment and continue reading at part 4.
Step 1: Change DNS server from your Wifi router to 1 of the following addresses: (If you don’t know how to change your DNS server, Google for it, it’s a bunch of complicated steps so I won’t mention here)
- USA: 220.127.116.11
- Europe: 18.104.22.168
- Asia: 22.214.171.124
- Rest of the world: 126.96.36.199
Step 2: Hard reset your device and connect it to the internet through the modified router above.
Step 3: The router will connect your iPhone to fake Activation Lock server and it’ll be unlocked immediately if success.
If it doesn’t work, keep reading the part 4.
4. Officially whitelist IMEI number from Apple Activation Database
So far, the only way we can see and think about is whitelisting iPhone / iPad IMEI number from Apple Activation database.
What is IMEI number? IMEI number is an identify – unique number for any mobile device with 15 digits. You can find your IMEI number by dialing *#06# from the key pad, or in case the iPhone isn’t actived yet, there’ll be a little “i” icon on the screen, tap it and you’ll get your IMEI number (look at the image below)
The official way to whitelist your IMEI number from Apple Activation database is simple. Just contact Apple for that, they’ll ask you to show them proof of purchase or some other information to prove that you’re the iPhone owner. Then they’ll remove your IMEI number from the Activation Lock database. After that, you can just simply connect the iPhone to the internet and it’ll be unlocked automatically.
In case it doesn’t work? You may lost the invoices, lost all proofs of purchase, then Apple won’t support you to unlock it, they’ll just keep saying sorry for you. In this situation, the only option we have is using 3rd party service. There are some companies offering service to help you remove your IMEI number from Apple Activation database. Obviously it’s not free though, and if you ask me how do they do that, I just can answer “I don’t know bro”. Maybe they talk to Apple by their way or they have relationship with someone working in Apple? I don’t know. But it doesn’t matter, as long as it works.
Below is some suggestions for you:
1. DoctorUnlock.net – Leading iCloud removal service
Last tested was 15 March 2019, we received some good feedbacks from our readers.
2. OfficialiPhoneUnlock.co.uk – A company from UK competing DoctorUnlock
Leave a comment here if you tried and got success.