How do I check for Activation Lock before purchasing a used device?
When purchasing an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from someone other than Apple or an authorized Apple reseller, it is up to you to ensure that the device has been erased and is no longer linked to the previous owner’s account.
Follow each of these steps to make sure that you can use the device you purchase:
1. Turn the device on and slide to unlock.
If the passcode lock screen or the home screen appears, the device has not been erased. Ask the seller to completely erase the device by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Do not take ownership of any used iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch until it has been erased.
2. Begin the device setup process.
After choosing a language, choosing a country, and connecting to a network, the device will begin activation. If you are asked for the previous owner’s Apple ID and password, the device is still linked to their account. Hand the device back to the seller and ask them to enter their password. If the previous owner is not present, they can remove the device from their account by signing in to icloud.com/find. Do not take ownership of any used iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch until it has been removed from the previous owner’s account.
You will know that a device is ready for you to use when you are asked to “Set up your iPhone”, “Set up your iPad”, or “Set up your iPod” during the device setup process.