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Bypass “Activation Lock – This iPhone is linked to an Apple ID”

It’s common when you restore your iPhone/iPad and then realizing that don’t remember the Apple ID & password to gain access to the device.

In a situation such as this, you’ll be stuck at the Activation Lock screen – “This iPhone is linked to an Apple ID. Enter the Apple ID and password that were used to set up this iPhone.”

It seems like there’s no way to bypass this issue. In fact, it’s not so difficult to do that after reading this post.

What Does “This iPhone is Linked to an Apple ID” Mean?

Each iPhone/iPad must be linked with an Apple account in order to fully function.

If you purchased a used iPhone/ipad, then it is most likely that the previous owner of the device had linked their own Apple account with it.

Now, when you reset it, you actually triggered the Activation Lock. This lock requires you to input the Apple ID verification that were used in the device before it was reset.

Since you are not the previous owner of the device, you are likely to have difficulty bypassing this error.

Fortunately, there are actually effective solutions available to remove Activation Lock without previous owner. Read on to learn about them.

How to Bypass “This iPhone is Linked to an Apple ID”?

Following are a number of reliable methods to bypass this problem.

Note that these methods can also bypass “This iPad is linked to an Apple ID” issue. And even iPod Touch is covered.

1Use Tenorshare 4MeKey

The first way for “This iPhone is linked to an Apple ID” bypass is to jailbreak via Tenorshare 4MeKey.

It is a popular iCloud bypass tool that has been designed to help iPhone users bypass the Activation Lock and gain access to their device without requiring any Apple ID password.

Here is how to use Tenorshare 4MeKey to unlock your iPhone:

Step 1. Install 4MeKey on your PC and launch it.

Free Download

Upon the software launch, choose the Remove iCloud Activation Lock function. And then use a USB cable to connect your iPhone to your computer.

Step 2. Now, click on Start button, the software will provide instructions to jailbreak your device.

new 4mekey interface

Step 3. After the jailbreak is accomplished, click Start button to confirm your device information and start the iCloud Activation Lock removal process.

new 4mekey confirm device info

Step 4. Wait for the process to complete.

new 4mekey activation lock removed

The iCloud Activation Lock should be removed now and you should be able to use your Apple ID in the device without issues.

Our Experience with Method


  • An easy way to bypass iCloud Activation Lock without IMEI number.
  • Compatible with all iPhones from 5S to X. Most iPad are also supported.
  • The entire process is fairly quick as it only takes about 10 minutes to complete.
  • Free trial version is available so you can use the tool to check device compatibility before buying full version.


  • Certain functions of the device won’t work after using this tool, such as cellular, and phone call.
  • Factory resetting, restarting, or flashing new firmware on the device will cause it be locked again. But you can unlock it again with 4MeKey.
  • It jailbreaks the device which is considered risky.

Try Tenorshare 4Mekey

2Use AppleiPhoneUnlock


AppleiPhoneUnlock is a premium iCloud unlocking service that makes bypassing Activation Lock seem super easy.

It supports all models of iOS devices and it eliminates the hassle of trying to find a reliable unlocking method for your iPhone, installing softwares, checking compatibility, and more.

All you need to do is simply visit the official AppleiPhoneUnlock site, enter the required details, make the payment, and you are done.

Follow these instructions to bypass “This iPhone/iPad is linked to an Apple ID” via AppleiPhoneUnlock:

Step 1. Visit the official site of AppleiPhoneUnlock on your web browser.

Step 2. Input the IMEI number of your iPhone that you wish to unlock. You can find the IMEI number of your device by simply tapping on “i” shown on the Activation Lock screen.

find imei on hello screen

Step 3. Next, click on the “Remove Activation Lock” button.

Step 4. Now you will be required to make the payment for the unlocking service. Complete the payment process, and wait for the unlocking process to finish.

Once the unlocking process is completed, you will be able to use your iPhone with your own Apple ID without any issues.

Our Experience with Method


  • Permanent solution to “This iPhone is linked to an Apple ID” problem.
  • It supports all iPhone and iPad models.
  • This process is 100% safe as it does not jailbreak the device unlike some other methods, e.g. 4MeKey.
  • Unlocking your device with this service won’t affect your warranty.
  • Money back guarantee.


  • This is a premium service with no trial option. So, you will need to make the payment in order to unlock your device with it.
  • Slow unlocking process. In some cases, it can take 1-5 days to complete.

Try AppleiPhoneUnlock

3Ask the Previous Owner for Help

This is a straightforward way to bypass “This iPhone/iPad is linked to an Apple ID”.

It basically involves contacting the previous owner of the Apple device and asking them to remotely disable Activation Lock via their iCloud account.

There are some key steps that the previous owner of your iPhone will need to perform to ensure that the device is unlocked.

Following are the steps you should ask the previous owner to perform:

Step 1. Visit icloud.com and sign in using the same Apple ID credentials that they used in your iPhone before selling it to you.

Step 2. Next, find and select the Find iPhone option on the website.

icloud find iphone

Step 3. This will display All Devices option. Click it and then select the locked iPhone.

Step 3. Now, select the Remove from Account option and then click on the Remove button to confirm the action.

icloud remove from account

Once this process is completed, your iPhone will be unlocked and you will be able to use the device with the new Apple ID.

Our Experience with Method


  • This is a pretty straightforward method for both you and the previous owner of the device to follow.
  • Everything is done remotely so you won’t even have to physically visit the previous owner to have your iOS device unlocked from iCloud lock.


  • This method only works if you have access to the device’s previous owner.

4Use IMEIDoctor

imeidoctor banner

IMEIDoctor is an iCloud unlock service similar to AppleiPhoneUnlock.

However, the key difference between the two is that IMEIDoctor is specifically made for European users.

Other than that, the two online solutions are basically the same, including their process e.g. users provide IMEI number of the device, make payment, and then the service unlocks their device.

Our Experience with Method


  • Remove Apple ID from an iPhone permanently.
  • Compatible with all models of iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Apple Watch.
  • The pricing of IMEIDoctor is relatively cheaper as compared to most other iPhone unlocking services.


  • iPhone’s IMEI number is required and it must be the same as what’s stored in the iCloud Locked database of Apple.
  • No trial version. You must pay $18.95 to unlock your iPhone via this service.
  • Unlocking process is slow. It can take about 5-10 days.

Try IMEIdoctor

5Find the Apple ID and Reset Password

iPhone Activation Lock screen does not show full email address that is linked with Apple ID.

Because of this, you cannot simply reset the password to bypass the “This iPhone is linked to an Apple ID” issue.

Fortunately, there is a way to find the Apple ID and it requires providing certain relevant information. It has three different phases:

Phase 1: Look Up Your Apple ID

You can use the look up feature on the Apple’s official website to find your Apple ID that is being used on your iPhone. Follow these instructions:

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

Step 2. Next, there will be an option to input Apple ID but you don’t have to enter it. Simply select the look it up option to find your Apple ID.

find apple id

Step 3. Now you will need to provide your email address, first name and last name, then click on the Continue button.

enter info to find apple id

Step 4. Now follow the on-screen instructions on the website and it should help you find your Apple ID.

Phase 2: Reset the Password for Your Apple ID

Now that you know your Apple ID, the next thing you should do is reset the password for it. This step is also performed on Apple’s website.

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

Step 2. Input the Apple ID that you have discovered in Phase 1 and then click on the Continue button.

enter apple id to reset password

Step 3. Next, you may be required to input your phone number.

confirm phone number to reset apple id password

Do that and you will ultimately be able to set up a new password for your Apple ID.

Phase 3: Remove iCloud Lock

This phase is self-explanatory. Simply use the new password of your Apple ID to bypass Activation Lock on your iPhone.

Our Experience with Method


  • Easy, step-by-step method to find Apple ID and password.
  • No software installation or payment required.


  • This method is only useful if the Apple ID used in your iPhone is yours and not its previous owner’s.

Bonus: What to Do Before Purchasing a Used iPhone

To avoid problems like “This iPhone is linked to an Apple ID”, it is recommended that you use the right way to purchase a used iPhone.

It’s pretty simple; all you need to ask the owner of iPhone to erase the device before handing it over to you.

This action is crucial as it will also help you learn whether or not the seller is the actual owner.

Here are the steps for the seller to erase the iPhone:

Step 1. Launch the Settings app > Apple ID > Find My, then turn if off.

turn off find my ios 14

Step 2. Next navigate to General > Reset.

Step 3. Finally, tap on Erase All Content and Settings option. The device will be erased from the iCloud account.

After following these steps, you can register the iPhone that you have just purchased under your own Apple ID and use it as a new device without any issues.

The Bottom Line

This is all about “This iPhone is linked to an Apple ID” bypass/hack.

If you want to get your device unlocked quickly, then Tenorshare 4MeKey is the best choice for you! It will help you regain access to your device within 10 minutes.

AppleiPhoneUnlock and IMEIDoctor are also recommended if you want to get your device unlocked permanently from activation lock. Although this way can take up to several days.

Finally, the situation of you’re the original owner or have access to the previous owner is also covered here.

Just choose your preferred way to regain access to your device!

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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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