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Forgot Apple ID and Password to Activate iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch

Hi Eric,

What to do if I forgot my Apple ID password and security questions so how can I activate my iPad? I haven’t been on this iPad for a long time. Please help!

Forgot the Apple ID and password is not a good feeling, particularly given how important an Apple account is to Apple devices. Without an Apple ID, it’s difficult to activate an Apple device (iPhone/iPad/iPod/Apple Watch/Mac/Apple TV) after reset. Because the powerful Activation Lock will prevent from you accessing your device.

So, is it possible to bypass the Activation Lock and activate your device without Apple ID password?

Luckily, there are ways to deal with it.

In this free guide, we’ll show you 4 ways to activate an iPhone/iPad when forgetting Apple ID password.

Why Do You Need the Apple ID & Password to Activate an iPhone/iPad?

Start from iOS 7, Apple introduced an iCloud feature called Activation Lock to prevent someone else from using a device if it’s lost or stolen.

icloud activation lock

The Activation Lock will be enabled automatically when Find My is turned on. Every time when you factory reset, turn off Find My, reactivate and use your device, it will require the Apple ID password or passcode to proceed. To avoid this from happening, it’s wise to turn off Find My before taking the above actions.

That’s the reason why you need to offer the Apple ID and password to activate your device. If you can’t offer, you’ll have to use some iCloud bypass tools for that.

Summary of Our Research

Here are the most important conclusions we found when researching how to activate iPhone without Apple ID password:

  • Apple offers multiple ways to recover a forgotten Apple ID or password
  • If you can’t recover the Apple ID or password, then using a reliable iCloud removal service is the best way
  • There are a lot of software that can help you activate your iPhone & iPad when forgetting Apple ID password, but it will jailbreak your device
  • If it’s a second-hand device, just asking the previous owner for help.

Here is the comparison of the above methods:





Our Ratings

Recover Apple ID or Password


Several minutes

You must be able to pass all the security verification (phone, email, security questions, etc.)

You may have already forgotten the security questions or couldn't offer the phone or email.


iCloud Unlock Service

Start from $18.95

Avg. 18 hours

Compatible with all models of devices and all iOS/iPadOS versions.

It will take up to 5 days to activate your iPhone.


iCloud Removal Software

Start from $35.95

Within 1 hour

Work for devices running on iOS 12 - iOS 14.6

It will jailbreak your iPhone which may brick it.


Ask the Previous Owner for Help



All devices can be unlocked as soon as the previous owner is willing to help.

Can't contact the owner or he/she refuses to help.


Let me make things clear:

  • When forgetting the Apple ID password to activate your iPhone or iPad, visit Apple ID account page to recover it.
  • If the above method won’t work, then your best pick is to use an unlocking service such as AppleiPhoneUnlock. It will activate your iPhone or iPad without Apple ID or password. No jailbreak or technology knowledge required.
  • Or you can use a software tool such as Tenorshare 4Mekey to activate your iPhone/iPad, but it will jailbreak your device.
  • For a second-hand device, contacting the previous owner and ask them to remove your device from their iCloud account on iCloud.com.

So, don’t be worried anymore when forgetting the Apple ID password to activate iPhone/iPad.

Forgot Apple ID Password to Activate iPad/iPhone? Here Is What to Do?

1The Official Way – Recover It

I’m going to show you how to recover your Apple ID and password.

Recover Apple ID

Step 1. Visit https://iforgot.apple.com/password/verify/appleid

Step 2. Click on look it up.

find apple id

Step 3. Enter your first name, last name, and email to proceed (repeat this step as needed to find a match if you forgot the above info).

enter info to find apple id

Step 4. If you can’t offer the above info, contact Apple Support to see if there are any other options to recover your Apple ID.

Reset Apple ID Password

Step 1. Visit https://iforgot.apple.com/password/verify/appleid

Step 2. Enter your Apple ID and click on the Continue button.

enter apple id to reset password

Step 3. You may be asked for a phone number, email account, or security questions according to your previous settings. Offer whatever they required to rest your password.

confirm phone number to reset apple id password

Once you get your forgotten Apple ID password back, enter this info into the Activation Lock screen, your iPhone will be activated shortly!

2Using a Service to Activate iPhone without Apple ID Password

An iCloud unlock service can help you permanently bypass the Activation Lock screen and activate your iPhone without entering the Apple ID and password.

Note that not all iCloud unlocking services that can actually work. Due to too many scammers over the Internet, it’s difficult for you to choose a trusted iCloud removal service. Here are the scammers you should keep away from:

  • Unlock-Extra
  • iPhoneApprovedUnlock
  • OfficialIMEIiPhoneUnlock
  • OfficialSIMUnlock

Never using the above services, you’ll get nothing from them but lose your money.

We’ve tested a lot of iCloud unlocking services, only three of them that can actually work for us with a 100% success rate:

  • AppleiPhoneUnlock
  • IMEIdoctor
  • IMEIUnlockSIM

Here are the differences among them:

Delivery Time


Our Review


Within 5 Days (or within 24-hour when FastTrack option enabled)

Start from $39

Best for iPhone


5-7 Days (or within 24-hour when FastTrack option enabled)

Start from $39

Best for iPad


1 – 24 hours

Start from $18.95

Best for Apple Watch

With one of the above services, you won’t be worried anymore when forget the Apple ID password to activate an iPhone.

If you’re confused about how to use these services, read on to find your answer:

Step 1. Find the IMEI number or Serial number of your device from the hello screen.

Step 2. Choose one of the above services. And visit their official website from here:

Step 3. Enter the IMEI number and click on the unlock button.


Step 4. Confirm the order and complete the payment. (If you’re using the AppleiPhoneUnlock or IMEIdoctor, there will be an option called “FastTrack”, which will enable you to get your device activated within 24 hours.)

order appleiphoneunlock iphone 6s unlock

Step 5. Once complete the payment, you need to do nothing but just wait for the team of experts to get your iPhone activated. They will inform you via your email when your device is unlocked and activated.

That’s it! The whole unlocking process won’t jailbreak your device or cause data loss. It’s particularly suitable for those who don’t have much technical knowledge.

Note that an iCloud unlocking service can’t unlock a blacklisted iPhone or iPad. It’s wise to check the iCloud blacklist status with an accurate IMEI checker first before using any services.

If the iCloud status is “Clean” as the following picture shows, you’re risk-free to use an iCloud unlock service.

our iphone 11 imei report

3Using Software to Activate iPad without Apple ID Password

In the past two years, more than one company developed its own iCloud bypass software to remove Activation Lock without password.

However, it’s not a perfect solution as an iCloud unlock service. This kind of software will jailbreak your device first, which will weaken Apple’s security system so that make the iCloud bypass available.

Before using this software, you need to learn the risks:

  • It requires iOS jailbreak which leads to the SIM card function can’t work.
  • It only supports iOS 12 – iOS 14.6
  • If you restart, factory reset, or flash firmware of your device after bypass iCloud, your device will be locked again
  • Your device may be bricked during the jailbreak process

Although it’s not a perfect solution, it will enable you to get into your device as fast as 15 minutes.

Besides, it can also work for a blacklisted iPhone/iPad which can’t be unlocked or activated by an iCloud unlocking service.

If you’re sure this kind of software can satisfy you, then Tenorshare 4MeKey will be your best choice. It’s so far the most powerful iCloud bypass software in the market.

Download 4Mekey

Here is a video to introduce how it works:

Want to learn it further? Read our in-depth review on Tenorshare 4MeKey.

4Ask the Previous Owner for Help

This solution will work for those whose devices are second-hand, and can’t activate their devices without knowing the Apple ID or password.

If the previous owner is willing to help, ask him/her to follow these steps:

Step 1. Visit iCloud.com and log in with their Apple ID and password.

Step 2. Click on Find iPhone on the next screen.

icloud find iphone

Step 3. Choose your device from the device list.

icloud all devices

Step 4. Click on Remove from Account. Enter the Apple ID password if required.

icloud remove from account

That’s it! You need to make sure your device is connected to a Wi-Fi network so that your device can be activated normally.

This solution is simple, but most of the time the previous owners aren’t glad to help. But it’s still a good option to try.

FAQs About Activating iPhone without Apple ID Password

How do I check iCloud activation lock status?

To be honest, there is only one way to check the iCloud lock status – by using an online IMEI checker.

What you should note is that most IMEI checkers are not accurate since their database is outdated, after receiving your IMEI, they will generate an IMEI report from this kind of old database.

The only accurate IMEI checker we found so far is the WipeLock IMEI checker, differing from their competitors, they check your IMEI number manually to make sure the results are 100% accurate.

How long does it take for iPhone to activate?

This whole process may take 2-3 minutes. If you need to restore a backup from iCloud, the process may be longer.


It’s not a problem anymore after reading this guide when you forget the Apple ID password to activate an iPad or iPhone. Try to recover the Apple ID or password first, it if doesn’t work for you, an iCloud unlocking service will be your best choice.

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Eric is an Apple Certified Independent Technician after gaining AppleCare service certifications for both iOS and Mac. He is passionate about helping people to make the most of their iOS devices.

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