How do I disable the “Find My iPhone” activation block? Step by step guide

One of the security measures Apple implements on its computers is the Find My iPhone activation block, which works the same for iPod and iPad. This feature locks all files stored on the device once the number of attempts to unlock it is exceeded. This ensures that in case of theft, the user’s information will not fall into the hands of third parties.

At the time, it was a highly applauded feature by users as it gave them the ability to back up their information to the cloud, but the fact that they had to pay to do the latter was not as applauded. That’s why many customers decide to disable “Find my iPhone” and resort to other methods to enable the activation block.

If you are part of this user group and you don’t know how to disable the service, keep reading this article to learn. We will teach you all the methods to disable Search My iPhone and how to apply each one of them. In the end, you will learn everything about this blocking feature so you can decide if it is really a good option to disable it or not.

Steps to disable the “Find my iPhone” option

  • Step 1: Select your mobile device model
  • Step 2: Choose your country (Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia…)
  • Step 3: Select your company (Vodafone, Orange, Yoigo, Movistar…) and press “Release
  • Step 4: Enter your IMEI number (You can find it by dialing *#06# on your phone)
  • Step 5: Click “Unlock Now” and… Done!

Find My iPhone is part of the iCloud service, Apple’s cloud storage platform for users. In general, it is like a sort of Google Drive or Dropbox exclusively for iPhone, iPad, iPod and MacOS users. As any service, it can be perfectly cancelled by the user’s decision. Here we show you the main methods to do it.

From my own iPhone or iPad

The easiest way to disable the service is through the device itself. To do so, simply follow the steps below:

  • Enter the settings menu on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad and touch your user or Apple iD.
  • Once inside your user menu, you must locate and select the iCloud service.
  • Within the service menu, locate the option “Search my iPhone” which must be activated. Touch it and turn it off by unchecking the corresponding switch.
  • You will need to confirm this by entering your Apple ID account password.
  • Once this is done, the Search My iPhone activation block will be turned off. However, it will still belong to the same iCloud account it’s linked to. So if you bought the used phone, you’ll need to deactivate it directly from the service’s website.

 From iCloud

The second option to remove the activation block and unlink the mobile from its former owner is through the official iCloud website. To do so, the steps to follow are the following:

  • Once on the iCloud website, log in with your username and password.
  • Click on your photo in the top right corner of the screen and go to the “iCloud Settings” section.
  • Once there, go to the “Search” section and select “Devices”, which will display a sub-window with a list of all the devices you have linked to that account.
  • Select the device you want to unlink and click the X next to it.
  • Once this is done, you will need to confirm the action by re-entering your iCloud account password and the Find My iPhone service will be disabled for that computer.

This will not only remove the iPhone activation block, but also unlink it from the iCloud account in question. So if someone else can make it theirs in another profile. Similarly, you can link it back to your account at any time.

If I forgot my password

Without the iCloud or Apple ID password it will be impossible to disable the activation lock as this is the only way to confirm that you own the phone. Therefore, if you do not have your password, you will have to reset it with one of the methods that Apple makes available to you.

The easiest way is with two-factor authentication. If you have this feature enabled on your account, follow the steps below:

  • Go to the Apple ID website and select “Forgot your Apple ID?
  • Once this is done, you will be asked for a verification code which will be sent to your mobile.
  • Enter the code and follow the steps in the wizard until you are allowed to set a new password.
  • Once this is done, simply log in with the new password and you’re done.

Two-factor authentication can be done directly from the mobile in case you can access it. To do this you have to do the following:

  • Enter the settings of your device.
  • Make your Apple ID user touch and go to the “Password and Security” section.
  • Once there, select the “Change Password” option.

This will only work if you have iOS operating system version 10.3 or higher. In case you have a version 10.2 or lower the steps to follow are

  • Enter the device settings.
  • Touch your Apple ID and find the iCloud section.
  • Once in the service settings, tap “Forgot your Apple ID or Password?
  • Follow the steps in the wizard and set a new password.

Another way to reset your password is with the security questions. To do this you simply need to perform the following steps:

  • Go to the Apple ID website and select “Forgot your Apple ID?
  • You will then be asked to answer the security questions you set up when you opened your account.
  • After placing the correct answers, indicate that verification will be sent to you by email.
  • Check your inbox and follow the link they sent you.
  • Now you can type in a new password and then log in with it.
  • In case you do not remember the answers to the security questions, you will not be able to apply this method to reset your password. This can only be done with a two-factor authentication.

If you don’t turn on

If your phone does not turn on and therefore you cannot access it, the only way to remove the activation block is to do so from the iCloud interface on your website. To do so, simply follow the steps explained in the second method.

When to disable the “Find My iPhone” activation block

Even if you don’t want to, there are several circumstances that may force you to disable this iCloud service. The most common cases are explained below.

 Operating system damage

If for any reason some data in the operating system is damaged, preventing it from working properly, and you are unable to start the phone, you will need to perform a factory reset and for that you will have to disable Find My iPhone. This is because this is the only way you can reactivate your device when you reinstall the iOS operating system.

 Hardware failure

If any of your phone’s physical components are failing and you can’t turn it on or boot it up, you’ll need to remove the activation lock before taking it to Apple stores or an authorized service technician for repair. Otherwise, the expert will not be able to do his or her job freely and will not be able to reactivate the phone if the iOS system needs to be reinstalled after repairs are made.

 Advantages and disadvantages of having the “Find My iPhone” block activated

Find My iPhone is a good service that seeks to protect its users’ information at all costs. As a security measure it works perfectly, but it is possible that the way it works may cause inconvenience to users. As everything in life, it has its advantages and disadvantages that must be evaluated to decide whether it is worth keeping it active or not.

Advantages

The main advantage for the user is that it is guaranteed that no third party can access the personal information stored on the device in case of theft or loss. In addition, you have the option of making a backup of up to 1GB, which you can expand by paying for the iCloud subscription, to back up your information in case you have to make a factory reset if your phone has a software or hardware failure.

On the other hand, there is the possibility of being able to locate your cell phone via GPS. By entering iCloud and in the Search section, you will be able to know exactly where your device is even if it is turned off. This is extremely useful in case of theft or loss of the terminal.

 Disadvantages

The main disadvantage is the possibility that your phone will be locked for life in case you forget your Apple ID password and cannot recover it. If this were the case, you would have to call the manufacturer directly and there is no guarantee that they would be able to solve the problem, since your user is the only way to verify that the phone is 100% yours.

However, there are more advantages than disadvantages to having this service on your mobile, so it is best to keep it active and to deactivate it with one of the methods we show you only when necessary.

  • Step 1: Select your mobile device model
  • Step 2: Choose your country (Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia…)
  • Step 3: Select your company (Vodafone, Orange, Yoigo, Movistar…) and press “Release
  • Step 4: Enter your IMEI number (You can find it by dialing *#06# on your phone)
  • Step 5: Click “Unlock Now” and… Done!

This post is also available in: Português (Portuguese (Brazil))

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