Apple pulls iCloud Activation Lock tool which helped people avoid buying stolen iPhones

“Apple has inexplicably removed the iCloud Activation Lock status page, which used to exist at, but that URL now leads to a 404 error instead,” Benjamin Mayo reports for 9to5Mac. “The utility let anyone type in the IMEI or serial number of an iOS device to find out if Activation Lock had been turned off, handy to verify the authenticity of a seller when buying a used iPhone online.”

“References to the web page have been removed from Apple’s support documentation, indicating this is not a temporary issue and the page has been intentionally pulled from service,” Mayo reports. “This Apple support document used to (see screenshot) recommend people check the Activation Lock status of a used iPhone, iPad or iPod touch before buying it to ensure the product will be ready for you to use. The text was removed on January 24th and the URL stopped working sometime last night.”

Mayo reports, “An alternative way to find out if an iOS device is Activation Locked without having the product in your possession is not given.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Rumor has it that Apple is hard at work on an LG-branded replacement.


Obviously, the tool was being misused. The Loop’s Dave Mark reports of “a video that shows how to unlock an iPad by cloning the iPad drive and changing the serial number to a valid unlocked serial number, one checked/validated using the Apple activation lock tool (about 5:28 into the video).”


  1. Lately Apple’s unexplained behavior is based on closed door issues. One of which could be the reason behind dropping Airport. Rather than break at gag order and open up a back door, they kill the product line.

    Just a theory. But Apple has been fighting for our privacy and all these maneuvers point to better privacy.

  2. So the message I get from MDN’s take is that until recently you COULD be buying a stolen iOS device. Though I wonder if that caused any syncing problems for the device with the same serial number.

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