Activation Lock is a feature that makes it so that nobody can erase and reuse an iPhone or iPad, unless they have the iCloud password used on that device. In this video, learn how to set up Activation Lock and find out how it works.
- [Instructor] Imagine for a moment that your iPhone or iPad has been stolen and you've exhausted all options you have to recover it. Later in this course there will be lots of information about protecting your data, but in this movie I want to make sure that a thief cannot resell your device, allowing them to profit from the theft. Activation Lock is a system on iPhones and iPads that makes it so that the device cannot be erased and set up for a new user. And the extra benefit is that the more people who use Activation Lock the less iPhones will be a valuable target for theft.
To use Activation Lock, as well as some of the other tools we'll talk about in this course, you will need an iCloud account. An iCloud account is free, though some features of iCloud cost extra money, but in this course we are only looking at the free features. Let's go back to my iPhone and I want to go into Settings, then I want to go to this line near the top with my name on it, that's where we can access some account information, and I want to tap on iCloud. I'm already signed into my iCloud account.
If you do not have an account you should check out iCloud Essential Training to learn how to set up an iCloud account. Now I'm going to skip most of the services listed here and go straight to the Find My iPhone service. On an iPad this is called Find My iPad, the same feature. I'm going to tap on that and I want to make sure this switch near the top is enabled, so that this feature is turned on. And this does two things. First, it gives you tools to locate your device if it's ever lost or stolen.
And we will explore that later in the course. But enabling Find My iPhone also enables Activation Lock. Basically you cannot erase this iPhone unless you turn off the Find My iPhone feature first. And even if somebody connects the iPhone to a computer and tries to use iTunes to set it up for a new user that will not work without the password for the iCloud account. This makes your device virtually useless to somebody trying to reuse or resell your device. But, of course, this makes your passcode for the device and your iCloud password incredibly important.
If somebody has your passcode for the iPhone they might just continue to use your iPhone with all of your data, apps, and accounts still on it and that is a frightening concept by itself. And then if they have your iCloud password as well then they can use that to disable Activation Lock and erase your device and reuse it. So please enable Activation Lock and keep in mind if you ever lose your iCloud password then you cannot disable Activation Lock. So make sure you can remember your password or recover it if you lose it. And then there's something really important that some people forget.
If you ever do decide to sell or give away your used iPhone or iPad you really need to disable Activation Lock or the next person who gets the device will not be able to set it up. So if you do sell an old iOS device make sure you come here to iCloud settings and disable this option for Find My iPhone. When you do that you will need to put in your iCloud password. So I'll do that now, then confirm that I want to turn this off.
With that disabled it is now possible to erase this iPhone. So let's see how that works. For good measure, I want to go ahead and sign out of my iCloud account, so I'll back up once here and back up one more time, here on my accounts page I'll hit the Sign Out button down at the bottom, confirm that I do want to sign out of my iCloud account. And we'll give that a moment. And then, of course, if you are planning to sell the device this is a good time to erase it completely. I consider it absolutely essentially to erase all of my data before passing a device on to somebody else.
So please make sure you are 100% sure that you have all of your data somewhere else, then go here into to Settings, then to General, scroll all the way down to Reset, then hit Erase All Content and Settings. It will prompt you for your passcode to confirm and then you can go through the process to erase your phone. Once it's erased you can set it up fresh for a new user. There is no coming back from this, so make sure you have all of your data somewhere else and you are sure that you're ready to completely erase this device before doing this.
And you can check out this page for more information on Activation Lock and how it works. If you have Activation Lock enabled, along with secure, uncompromised passcodes and passwords, then your device is well protected from being erased and reused by a thief.
- Enabling locks on your device
- Creating strong passwords
- Protecting passwords
- Configuring Touch ID and Face ID
- Locating and disabling a lost device
- Adjusting your privacy settings
- Avoiding scams