How To Remove iCloud Activation Lock On Your iPad

What exactly does iCloud Activation Lock means? It is a feature that Apple introduced way back the release of iOS 7 software (To date, iPadOS is already the latest software). The main purpose of this feature is reduction of stealing iOS devices. It practically works on all iOS devices such as the iPhone, iPad and even the iPod Touch. Whenever Find My app is enabled or activated, Activation Lock will automatically be enabled. 

How does it prevents from thieves? Well, it does not necessarily prevent it from being stolen, but instead when stolen, the thief will not be able to use it and make use of it in any way. When enabled, in order to erase all the data and contents of the iPad, the Apple ID username and password needs to be entered. 

Enabling Activation Lock on your iPad can be both positive and negative. Positive in a way that it safeguards your device from theft which is by the way a good and effective way to protect your device. If an activation lock is enabled, it is connected to your iCloud right? So when someone steals your iPad, thieves can not set it up and it would be useless for them not unless Activation Lock is removed. On the negative side, since there are instances wherein you bought a second hand iPad and it will be very difficult for you to use it because of the activation lock enabled or if the previous user forgot to disable Activation Lock. As long as the Activation Lock is enabled on the iPad, you will not be able to use it.

Removing Activation lock is not that simple but not entirely impossible. Read on below to know more about Activation Lock and how to disable iCloud Activation Lock.


Luckily, if you have access to the Apple ID username and password that was used to activate the iPad you will be able to remove and disabled Activation Lock. Access can either mean you are the owner of the iPad or the previous owner who sold you the iPad gave you its username and password. Although it is likely that the previous owner will give their Apple ID details since it can also give you access to their account. You may want to have them disabled Activation Lock first from the previous owner before you decide to purchase it from them. 

OPTION 1: How to remove Activation Lock using iPad

  1. Start up iPad device
  2. When at the Activation Lock screen, Input the Apple ID username and Password that was used originally when activating the iPad.
  3. iPad will continue to boot up and normally start.
  4. When at the home screen of the iPad, tap on sign out iCloud by doing the steps below depending on the software version of your iPad.

For iPad iOS 10.2 and earlier

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on iCloud 
  • Tap on Sign out

For iPad iOS 10.3 and later

  • Go to Settings
  • Tap on your Apple name/Profile at the upper portion
  • Tap on Sign out

5. Enter Apple ID username and Password again.

For iPad iOS 10.2 and earlier

  • Tap on Sign out
  • Then tap on Delete from My iPad

For iPad iOS 10.3 and later

  • Tap on Turn OFF (This will disable Find My app and Activation Lock)

6. Delete or Erase all remaining data and contents as well as settings preferences. Basically, bring iPad back to default:

  1. Go to Settings from the home screen of the iPad
  2. Tap on General
  3. Scroll down from the list of options and tap on Reset
  4. Next, tap on Erase All Content and Settings

7. iPad will now restart.

8. When iPad completely reboots, Activation Lock will no longer appear and you will be able to set up your iPad just like brand new.


Aside from removing the Activation Lock using your iPad, there is also another way to remove it but this time by using iCloud instead. This is applicable to iPad that was bought from another user and Activation Lock was not disabled. If the person who owns the iPad cannot be physically present to remove the Activation lock using his/her original Apple ID username and password, it is possible to disable Activation Lock using iCloud.

Here’s how to remove Activation Lock using iCloud:

  1. The owner just needs to go to iCloud WebPage and sign in their Apple ID username and password. The details that was used originally to set up the iPad. 
  2. Then, click on the FIND MY iPHONE or FIND MY app.
  3. Next, Click on All Devices tab
  4. Select from the list of devices (If there are any linked to that account), and click on the iPad that needs to be unlocked
  5. Click on Erase iPad tab
  6. Finally, click Remove from Account tab. The iPad should have been removed from the iCloud Account and Activation Lock should also have been removed. 
  7. Restart iPad to apply changes

When iPad successfully reboots, Activation lock screen should no longer appear and you may now continue to Set up your iPad according to your own preferences.

There is an information circulating nowadays that Jailbreaking the iPad can remove the Activation Lock and you will be able to use the iPad again. Sad to say, that it is not true. It has been clearly stressed out that Jailbreaking cannot remove the Activation Lock once it has been enabled. 

Also, you might think that whenever an iPad or any iOS device prompts an Activation Lock on the screen are all stolen. That is not always the case as some of these Activation Lock appears because the previous owner of the iPad or iOS device that was bought second hand the owner forgot to sign out from their iCloud account on the device before selling it. 

If worst case scenario wherein Activation Lock cannot be removed if the original Owner can’t or will not help remove it, the best way to do in this situation is to turn to Apple for help. But this does mean that Apple will automatically remove the Activation Lock. You need to present to Apple proofs that the iPad is not stolen. The proofs include:

  1. Receipt of iPad: proof that you legally bought the iPad yourself. 
  2. Proof from previous owner: this is to prove that the iPad was indeed sold to you in good faith by the previous owner. Proofs can either be a conversation between the two of you or any recorded transactions of both parties.

Once the documents have been submitted, Apple will still check to see if indeed the iPad has not been reported to be stolen. If Apple Support is convinced enough that the device is not stolen, it will most likely remove the Activation Lock on your behalf.

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