Q and A: Can I Sell an iPhone that’s iCloud Activation Locked?
What is iCloud Activation Lock?Activation Lock is a security feature that makes it difficult for thieves to use or resell stolen iPhones. When enabled, Activation Lock requires your Apple ID and password to erase your iPhone and reset it to factory settings or to turn off Find My iPhone. Apple has tried to make it impossible to access locked iPhones without the proper credentials.
Can I sell an iPhone that’s Activation Locked?Yes, you can sell your locked iPhone – provided you can find a buyer. Most buyback vendors and carriers require activation lock to be disabled before they release payment. However, you can browse or search for your iPhone on Flipsy to find Trust Verified stores that will buy iCloud activation locked iPhones. You might also be able to find a buyer on the private market, but you likely won’t get top dollar for your iPhone. You also have to wonder why a private buyer would be willing to purchase an iPhone with Activation Lock: are they criminals, or do they simply have a means to disable Activation Lock? If they can unlock your iPhone, can they also access the information stored on it? The last thing you want to do is hand over access to your iCloud account, personal photos, financial information, and other sensitive data. Note that you’ll get more money for your iPhone if you can unlock it first (more on that below).
Aren’t criminals the only ones who try to sell locked iPhones?While criminals do attempt to sell locked iPhones, the Activation Lock feature has significantly reduced the number of iPhone thefts. Moreover, it’s very possible a legitimate iPhone owner could find themselves locked out of their own device. This can happen if you forget your Apple ID or password and are unable to reset them. You might also have a locked phone if it was given to you by someone who lost their passcode or if you received it after a relative passed away.
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How do I unlock my iPhone? What if I forget my Apple ID and/or passcode?You need your Apple ID and password to unlock your iPhone. If you forgot your Apple ID and/or passcode, Apple can help you reset them – provided you can verify your identity. If you are unable to prove your identity or otherwise reset your Apple ID, you might not be able to disable Activation Lock or access your iPhone.
Ready to sell? Many phones are worth $100+. Find the value of your phone.
The good news is buyback stores will buy locked iPhones, so if you still can’t unlock your iPhone you should still be able to sell it.
What are my next steps?The best option is to reset your Apple ID and password, if you can, or search high and low for your recovery key (Owen Williams eventually found his, and that’s the only way he was able to gain access to his device). If all else fails, try iPhone unlocking software to gain access to your iPhone so you can reset it to factory settings. If you still can’t unlock your iPhone, you can sell it for cash to a Flipsy Trust Verified Store.
Related Help> Can you sell an Apple Watch that’s activation locked? > Locked out of your iPad? Here’s how to unlock it > How to unlock or sell a blacklisted phone > How to sell locked phones online > Broken iPhone? Here’s what you can do
Next: Locked Out of Your iPhone 6 Plus? Here’s How to Reset Your Passcode (with Video)