Activation Lock for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch

Activation Lock on iOS

Find My includes Activation Lock—a feature that's designed to prevent anyone else from using your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, if it's ever lost or stolen. Activation Lock turns on automatically when you turn on Find My [device].

Activation Lock helps you keep your device secure, even if it's in the wrong hands, and can improve your chances of recovering it. Even if you erase your device remotely, Activation Lock can continue to deter anyone from reactivating your device without your permission. All you need to do is keep Find My [device] turned on, and remember your Apple ID and password.

When you turn on Find My [device] on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Apple, your Apple ID is securely stored on Apple’s activation servers and linked to your device. From that point on, your Apple ID password or device passcode is required before anyone can turn off Find My, erase your device, or reactivate and use your device.

Activation Lock is enabled automatically when you set up Find My.

Find My Device and Activation Lock

If your device is lost or stolen

If you ever misplace your device—whether it’s lost or you think it might have been stolen—you should immediately use Mark As Lost in the Find My app.
When you Mark As Lost, this locks your screen with a passcode and lets you display a custom message with your phone number to help you get it back. You can also remotely erase your device if needed, and your custom message continues to display even after the device is erased.
While Activation Lock works in the background to make it more difficult for someone to use or sell your missing device, Lost Mode clearly indicates to anyone who finds your device that it still belongs to you and can’t be reactivated without your password.

To mark a device as lost, sign in to icloud.com/find. Or use the Find My app:

  1. Open the Find My app.
  2. Tap the Devices tab, then choose a device from the list.
  3. Tap Activate under Mark As Lost and follow the instructions on the screen.

Before you give away your device or bring it in for service

Turn Off Find My iPhone

Make sure that you turn off Find My [device] on your device before you give it away or send it in for repair. Otherwise, your device is locked and anyone that you give the device to can't use it normally and our technicians can't perform service repairs. Just sign out of iCloud and then erase all content and settings. This completely erases your device, removes it from your Apple ID, and turns off Find My.

  1. Tap Settings > [your name].
  2. Scroll down and tap Sign Out. 
  3. Enter your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off.
  4. Go back to Settings.
  5. Tap General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.

If the device does not power on:

  1. Sign in to www.icloud.com/find with your Apple ID.
  2. Select the device that needs to be removed from the account
  3. If the device is offline, click Remove from Account.
  4. If the device is online, click Erase. When the erase is complete, click Remove from Account.