The craze for the iPhone and the iPad is so much that people won’t hesitate selling you a device that has been stolen. Now, thanks to Apple, you don’t have to worry if the iPhone or iPad that you are picking up from an online seller or from a friend of a friend is a stolen device. Apple’s newly launched tool lets you check whether Apple’s anti theft iOS feature Activation Lock is switched on for any iPhone or iPad, an indicator that the device is probably risky to purchase.
Activation Lock is actually an iOS 7 feature which prevents unauthorized persons from using an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in case it is lost or misplaced. A locked iOS device will only be unlocked by inputting the Apple ID password, which of course only the true owner of the device knows.
Check Activation Lock Status
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Activation Lock Status is part of iCloud services, but you don’t have to use an Apple ID to check the status of your device. One major drawback though is that you can access the service only from a desktop browser. Oddly, Apple’s own browser Safari does not support it, at least as of now.
To check the Activation Lock Status of the iPhone you need to head over to this website and enter the serial number or IMEI of the device. You can find the Serial number or IMEI number by heading over to Settings > General > About section on your device. The site will then let you know if the device has been locked down or not. If iPhone activation status is off, the device is ready to use. If you see a message that the Activation Lock is On, it can mean one of two things.
The device is not authorized for sale or the owner of the device has forgotten to turn if off before selling it. If indeed it is the latter case, and the owner of such a device is known to you, you could always get in touch with him or her and have the lock switched off. In any case, it is better that you check that the device has the Find my iPhone feature fully disabled before you complete the purchase.