Users Report Some iPhone 7 and 6s Models Activation Locked With Wrong Apple IDs

activation_lockAn increasing number of iPhone users are experiencing an Activation Lock issue in which the device is linked to an Apple ID email address that does not belong to them, according to crowdsourced information from MacRumors and Twitter.

MacRumors reader Balders, who recently purchased an iPhone 7 Plus, explained in our discussion forums:

Just received my brand new 256GB Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus. Looks immaculate, screen is perfect, machining all fine… Only problem is, it appears someone has already used it as the iPhone is asking for the account used to activate it — o.....@icloud.com. Apple say it needs replacing […] Now got to wait for an expedited replacement iPhone once I've returned this one.

With the wrong Apple ID being displayed, users cannot sign in and are therefore unable to proceed with setting up the iPhone. The issue has primarily affected new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models upon being turned on for the first time, and iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus models upon being restored to default settings, although older models appear to be affected to a lesser extent.

MacRumors user TheKricket said his iPhone 6s suddenly became activation locked:

I purchased an iPhone 6s full-price and outright directly from an Apple Store in September 2015. The phone was unlocked (I switched from T-Mobile to Verizon after I purchased it without issue). I recently purchased an iPhone 7 Plus and after that phone was activated on Verizon's network, the iPhone 6s now indicates that it has an "Activation Lock." It is also linked to some unknown iCloud account (not the account I activated it with or have been using it with for close to a full year).

The discussion topics above and others have received multiple replies from other MacRumors readers experiencing the same issue, while several Twitter users have also shared similar complaints. It is unclear when the Apple ID mixups first began, but user reports have gained traction since at least September.


A number of affected users said Apple was able to remove the Activation Lock on their iPhones upon providing the company with proof of purchase. This process can seemingly be completed at an Apple retail store by scheduling a Genius Bar appointment, or remotely by calling Apple's support team at 1-800-MY-APPLE.

On rarer occasions, however, the Activation Lock screen linked to a wrong Apple ID email address reappears more than once. In these cases, some users report that Apple fully replaced their iPhones.

It remains unclear what is causing the Activation Lock issues. Apple has not publicly commented on the matter.

Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Schwyz Avatar
78 months ago
*starts laughing at the ridiculous story*
*notices iPhone 6s is also affected*
*stops laughing*
*instant straight face*
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WiiDSmoker Avatar
78 months ago
Wouldn't happen if it had a headphone jack
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bubba Satori Avatar
78 months ago
Ye goode olde days.

Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nepalisherpa Avatar
78 months ago
"You're activating it wrong!" :D
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BootsWalking Avatar
78 months ago
I work at Best Buy and I've seen many customers reporting this issue. It even happened to a customer I personally sold an iPhone 6s to, and we called Apple and they said the Apple ID on her iPhone was registered to someone in China :S . My customer had to send a picture of her receipt to have this fixed. I really wanna know whats going on.

BTW, this happened before the iPhone 7 was released! So I dont think this started recently.
I wonder if somehow the IMEI of phones are being spoofed in Asia, like perhaps phones that are stolen in the USA and then imported into Asia. That would explain why the lock reoccurs even after Apple clears it.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jimtonic01 Avatar
78 months ago
maybe related to:
"hackers" are able to remove the activation lock by changing the serial number of the device to an unused one. if apple then uses this number for a legit device...

Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
AirPods Max 2022 Colors

Ten Things AirPods Pro 2 Tell Us About AirPods Max 2

Saturday September 24, 2022 1:00 am PDT by
Upon the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro, the AirPods Max became the oldest current-generation AirPods product still in Apple's lineup. Introducing several new features like Adaptive Transparency and the H2 chip, the second-generation AirPods Pro may provide some of the best indications yet of what to expect from the second-generation AirPods Max. Almost two years later, rumors...
tim cook spring loaded event

Six Major Products to Expect From Apple in 2023

Sunday September 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we're also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more. Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Don't Want the Apple Watch Ultra or Series 8? Amazon Has Record Low Prices on Series 7 Models This Week

Friday September 23, 2022 6:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Ultra are now available to purchase, but if you aren't interested in these updates you can save a lot of money on Series 7 models right now on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Amazon. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. The best deals are on cellular...
iphone 14 pro max deep purple

iPhone 15 'Ultra' Could Replace Pro Max Model Next Year

Sunday September 25, 2022 7:02 am PDT by
Apple is gearing up to possibly replace its "Pro Max" iPhone with an all-new "Ultra" iPhone 15 model next year, reliable Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman said today. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that for the iPhone 15, Apple is planning a revamped design alongside USB-C and a potential name change. Apple could replace its "Pro Max" branding, which it started to use...
AirPods Pro Second Generation 2 Pairing Feature 1

AirPods Pro 2 Engravings Appear in iOS During Pairing and Connecting

Friday September 23, 2022 9:40 am PDT by
Customers who personalize their second-generation AirPods Pro charging case with an engraving will now have that engraving reflected directly on iOS as they pair and connect their AirPods Pro. Apple allows customers to personalize their AirPods Pro charging case with a special engraving that can include select emojis and Memojis. Unlike before, starting with the second-generation AirPods...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...
14 vs 16 inch mbp m2 pro and max feature 1

New 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pros Reportedly Launching Later This Year

Friday September 23, 2022 7:08 am PDT by
Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro models in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to supply chain publication DigiTimes. The report does not mention specific models, but it very likely refers to the next-generation 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros given that the 13-inch model was already updated earlier this year. There has been uncertainty surrounding the timing of new 14-inch and...