Get “This iPhone is linked to an Apple ID” Problem? Fix It Now!

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If you purchased a used (second-hand) iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch that came with an iCloud lock on it, you won’t have access to log into the device. When you tried setting up your newly purchased secondhand iDevice, and you’ll see the following message- “Activate iPhone (or iPad). This iPhone is linked to an Apple ID (d…… Enter the Apple ID and password that were used to set up this iPhone.”

Regardless of the amount you paid to get this phone, you have to deactivate the previous owner’s account (Apple ID) and set up yours on it, before you can be able to use it at all.

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

Contact Previous Owner to Remove Remotely

This iCloud Activation Lock was introduced from iOS 7 and through to subsequent versions as a security measure to protect against unauthorized access to Apple users’ ID and data, especially in cases of theft or loss, thereby making it difficult for someone else other than the owner to use the device. When you see “This iPhone is linked to an Apple ID...” messages, there’s no other way to bypass this lock than to contact the previous owner to remove it, as ONLY he/she can remove it. Let him/her remove the lock remotely in the following steps.

Step 1: Sign into iCloud with their Apple ID.

Step 2: Go to Find iPhone, then select the device.

Step 3: Click on Remove from Account.


What You Should Do before Purchasing a Second Hand iPhone

Before collecting the device from the seller, make sure to check if the Activation Lock is disabled or not. If the lock is on, ask the seller to erase the device (this would also help you to know if it’s a stolen phone). He/she can erase the device by going to Settings>> General>> Reset>> Erase All Content and Settings. The previous owner’s Apple ID may be requested, so ask the owner to enter the details. (If the owner isn’t present physically, you can ask him/her to remove the lock using the steps above.


After these steps are taken, you can then create your own iCloud account and start using your newly purchased device.

If You’re The Previous Owner

In the event that you are the owner of the iPhone/iPad/iPod, there are certain situations that can require you to remove the Find My iPhone Activation Lock. For example, in a case whereby you forget your Apple ID, or your children tampered with your phone and playfully/mistakenly enter a wrong password repeatedly, and as a result, your device gets locked or disabled, and neither you nor they know the ‘new’ password. In such cases, here are some things you can do.

Step 1: Open your Apple ID account page and select Forgot Apple ID or password.

Forgot Apple ID or password

Step 2: Enter your account ID.

Step 3: Select the option you want to use to reset your password-

  • For security questions:  Click on Answer Security questions and then follow the steps.
  • To use email: Choose the Get an email option, and use the email received to reset your password.
  • If you are asked for a Recovery Key, use the Two-factor authentication or two-step verification method instead).


Step 4: Choose Continue.  Your password will reset, and you will be asked to log in with your new password.

Bonus: How to Permanently Erase All Personal Data from Your iPhone

In case you want to completely erase your files from your iDevice, probably you want to sell your phone or gift it out, it is important to clear out all personal data from this device, to avoid privacy leak. One effective and easy way to do this is by using iMyFone Umate Pro. This amazing software provides quick and simple ways to erase data permanently from any iDevice, without any chance of recovery.

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  • Reset iPhone by completely wiping out everything, without any left-over, and in a matter of a few minutes.
  • Protect against privacy leak: Individually select and preview specific data to be deleted/reset.
  • Permanently erase previously deleted files which are still lurking around in the device.
  • Delete temp/junk files and third-party apps fragments in one click.
  • It's recommended by lots of noted media arround the world: MacWorld, iPhoneinCanada, APPKED, etc.

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Steps to Permanently Erase All Personal Data

Note: To permanently erase all data, please make sure Find My iPhone has been disabled.

Step 1:  Launch iMyFone Umate Pro on your PC and connect your iDevice using a USB cord.

Step 2: Select Erase All Data option, then click Erase.

guide erase all data screen

Step 3: Change the security level, here recommend the High Level. Then type "delete" into the box to confirm. Click on Erase Now to erase all data on your device.

erase all data