Starting with iOS 7, deleting an iCloud account or restoring a device requires Find My iPhone to be disabled. Find My iPhone, in turn, requires the user to enter the password for the Apple ID attached to the iCloud account. This system ensures that phone thieves can’t remove the account and avoid being tracked through the Find My iPhone website.

Unfortunately, there’s a pretty easy way to bypass this requirement, as demonstrated in the video above. To do so, you first need to tap both “delete account” and the switch to disable Find My iPhone at the same time in the iCloud settings panel. That’s actually the hardest part of the entire process. When prompted for a password, hold down the power button and shut down the phone.

When you restart the phone, you’ll be able to go into the iCloud settings panel and remove the account without being prompted for your password. After that you can plug the phone into iTunes and restore it with no problem. Not only that, but because Activation Lock requires Find My iPhone to be enabled, that feature won’t kick in after the phone is restored.

In short, whoever has your phone has just bypassed every possible method you had at your disposal to locate it again. The good news? Putting a passcode on your phone (especially with a short timer) prevents anyone from getting into the iCloud settings at all.

Thanks for the tip, Miguel!

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87 Responses to “iOS 7 bug allows anyone to disable Find My iPhone and bypass Activation Lock without a password”

  1. Ryan Good says:

    Have a passcode already, no problem

  2. It doesn’t seems to work on iPhone5 iOS 7.1.

  3. Edas Haha says:

    Hmm it is fake and video doesn’t even load… shame for such website like 9to5mac

  4. shm1ck83 says:

    Im not sure if this story is correct, I can delete my iCloud account with Find My iPhone on without entering my password straight away without doing anything.

    Has anyone from 9to5mac tested this also before this was posted?

  5. airmanchairman says:

    This story is months old and is well known to the Apple community. Amazed that a highly technical blog has just picked up on it. iOS 7.1 defeats this hack.

    • shm1ck83 says:

      In the video it shows that the iPhone is running iOS 7.1

      Even though I don’t think it is a hack, I’m just pointing out the version of iOS

      • airmanchairman says:

        Gotcha, I noticed it myself after a second look at the video. No change then, still have to password protect your iPhone. That handset looked like an iPhone 4 or 4S; will the same trick work on 5 or 5S? I wonder…

    • rogifan says:

      Nah, anything that could make Apple look bad will get posted here these days. I guess that’s their revenge for Apple not giving them anything to talk about in Q1.

  6. I have tried this on my iPhone 5 running iOS 7.1. The part was right as the phone got hanged. But after restart disabling the ‘Find my Phone’ still asks for my password. Not sure if this is consistent across the hardware. iOS 7.1 seems quite buggy to me, I have managed to freeze my phone quite a few times while just using it normally also. Looks like quality check at Apple is not working as we expect.

  7. So if you have a password on your phone they won’t be able to open the phone after the shut it down…

  8. ryscript says:

    This might work but only if the phone is already open or logged-in, so the correct title of this article would be “iOS 7 bug allows logged-in user to disable Find My iPhone and bypass Activation Lock without a password” :)

  9. Why would any responsible site report the exact steps for any thief to read?

  10. Bug does not work on iPhone 5s, tested on my iPhone 5s

  11. Jan Klaassen says:

    I don’t understand how people can be so stupid not to use a password. They carry their phones, tablets and laptops with them, but none of them are protected by a password. They go through the security check at the airport and just put all of their devices on that belt. Anyone could pick up their devices on the other side of the belt while the owner of the products is still taking of his shoes. Unprotected phone, unprotected tablet, unprotected laptop and even the browser logs in automatically to every website, because they are to lazy to enter a password. To be honest I can’t really feel sorry for those people. Just protect your devices with a password.

    For me Apple’s current password protection isn’t even enough. Why only ask for a password to unlock a device? As far as I know (please correct me if I’m wrong) anyone can pick my phone (which I immediately protected with a real password, instead of that stupid 4 character PIN-code, the moment I bought it), hold down the Power button and slide to power off the phone. Then the phone is completely off, so can’t be tracked anymore (am I right?) I expect everyone who steals a phone to do this. If I were to steal a phone (I don’t do those things, but I say “If I were to steal a phone”) I would immediately turn it off or if possible remove the battery. Apple has those great phones, tablets and laptops that have batteries that can’t be removed. That’s perfect, because a thief can’t take out the power source, so power is always available to the device.

    Why does Apple give everyone the ability to power off the device. I don’t want other people to turn off my device. I want to track them and call them and send them messages. It’s my device. Other people don’t have to right to power it off. If someone holds down the power button, don’t show a slider to shut down, but show the keyboard to enter a password to shut down. I’m not only talking about the iPhone, but also the iPad and the Macs. If someone steals my MacBook and opens it, it asks for the password, but there is an option to shut down the MacBook. If they click Shutdown, ask for my password. My girlfriend also has an account on my MacBook. If she wants to shut it down, that’s possible. She opens our MacBook, I’m still logged on, but of course it’s locked. She clicks Shutdown, then it should just show the user accounts (just like the logon screen), she clicks her own user account, enters her password and then it will turn off. I don’t want other people to turn of my phone, tablet, laptop or whatever device. Ask for the password to shut it down.

    • I use a simple 4 character code, I think it’s more than enough.
      By the way, there are a lot of apps that can disable power off the phone, for example iCaughtU.

    • irockapple says:

      Dude you make no sense at all. Thieves don’t steal your phone just to walk around with them powered off. If they do turn the power off they will eventually turn it back on, and guess what…….find my iphone has a feature for that. It will notify you when the device is turned back on.

      • He does have a point, it’s easy to turn off the phone & if you have the control center enabled on the lock screen, you can activate airplane mode easilly as well. It would be nice if Apple added the ability to request a password or code for both of those features (powering off & airplane mode).

  12. Jared Solace says:

    Another easy fix (if you don’t lock the phone with a password) is to enable restrictions and don’t allow anyone to make changes to your accounts so your iCloud account can’t be deleted and also restrict changes to location services. That way if the phone is on, the thief can’t disable location services and you can track it without enabling lost mode. Some thieves are pretty dumb about that. I worked with the police and recovered my wife’s iPhone since the thief was clueless that it was being tracked.

  13. PMZanetti says:

    It’s a small, very inconsistent bug that is much harder to reproduce in the real world than the video/article alludes to.

    It is also completely negated with a passcode. In short, your device is not secure without a passcode (but you knew that already).

    • rogifan says:

      Shouldn’t be surprised that 9to5Mac would run a story on it. I mean on the day Apple announces WWDC, Mark Gurman tweets how excited he is for Google I/O. Some of the contributors here are worse than the trolls that frequent other tech sites.

  14. “iOS 7 bug allows anyone to disable Find My iPhone and bypass Activation Lock without a password” where “anyone” is someone with physical access to your unlocked phone.

  15. Danny Angel says:

    This is sweet thank you Miguel works perfectly :)

  16. What do you mean use a password with a short timer?

  17. A temporal fix would be:
    Go to Settings>general>restrictions (set a code)>Accounts> DONT ALLOW CHANGES

  18. THE WAIT IS OVER!
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    Bypass iCloud activation on any iDevice running iOS 7+, 100& tested and working.

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  19. The best page for bypass iCloud Activation Screan lock iPhone 4 and iPhone 5. It works for all tipes of iPhones 4 and 5. All you need to do is to follow the steps on the page. You will use your iPhone agen thanks to this softver. Good luck. I recomend visit this page http://bypassicloudactivationlock.blogspot.com/ , and use your iPhone now.

  20. i have iphone 4s .and i cant pass the activation screen. how can i access that settings place to deactivate find my iphone

  21. Activation Lock is enabled automatically when you turn on Find My iPhone in iOS 7, or when you upgrade to iOS 7 from a previous version of iOS that has Find My iPhone already turned on. For more information click here: http://www.hacktivateiphone.com/p/bypass-icloud-activation-lock.html

  22. Reychel Kil says:

    How to Bypass Activation Lock IOS 7 on your iPhone. We want to help you solve that problem, to remove iCloud Activation on your iPhone. Apple has created a protective measure if you lose or if your iPhone is stolen it can be blocked, If your iPhone is blocked when you want to activate it will ask you to enter your email to send code to the rightful owner, but because you aren’t rightful owner you can’t have that information. But now with this software will you solve that problem. This is the hack tool with which activate your iPhone quickly and easily, All you need to do is download the hack tool and install it on your PC. http://bypassicloudactivationios.blogspot.com/2014/04/how-to-bypass-icloud-activation-lock.html

  23. It didn’t worked on my Ipad Mini iOS7.1. I followed all the steps please reply ASAP

  24. Roger Surs says:

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  25. Goce Mitev says:

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  26. I activated my iPhone 5s thanks to this web site: http://bipassactivationlock.blogspot.com/. visited many sites but only here to activate iPhone the tool worked.

  27. Roger Caron says:

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  28. I tried our various site but it didnt worked.
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  29. i personally bypass my iphone 5s which i bought from craigslist not sure about other phone but u can check here http://www.bypassicloud7activation.com/

  30. Just set the phones date ahead by a year this will disable Find iphone, FaceTime and iMessage.

  31. Sherlyn Pan says:

    I bought a second-hand iphone 4 from my frenz but i had reset the information & setting accidently, now i cant contact my frenz as she already not in spore for her Apple Id & password & also cant disable Find My Phone n cant log in to Icloud, now the iphone is locked..
    Is there a way to reset n unlock the iphone???

  32. Goce Mitev says:

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  34. Rondel Rose says:

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