How To Enable Activation Lock On Your iPhone And iPad [iOS Tips]

Make sure you have this turned on. But how?!

Make sure you have this turned on. But how?!

Activation Lock is a new feature in iOS 7 that allows you to remotely wipe all the data on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch in case it gets lost or stolen. It’s such a great idea that 78 percent of iPhone users have it enabled.

After Activation Lock is enabled remotely, your iPhone will display a message for you with details on how to return it to you. This is a great feature.

When you get the device back, all you need to do is enter your Apple ID (and password!), and your iPhone or iPad will reactivate, give you a fully functional iOS device again without letting anyone else use it in the meantime.

But where the hell do you enable this feature?

Turns out, you only need to make sure Find My iPhone (or Find My iPad) is toggled ON.

Settings Location Services

Head into your Settings app, and tap on Privacy. Next, tap on Location Services. Finally, swipe to the bottom of the Location Services Screen, and tap on Find My iPhone.

Location Find My iPhone

Toggle the feature ON with a tap, and then decide if you want to show that your device is being tracked remotely by setting the Status Bar Icon toggle to ON. You might want to leave it off if you don’t want potential theives to know you’ve got them in your sights.

Now you’re set – your iOS device will have Activation Lock enabled, and you can remotely wipe the device via iCloud.com, setting the message there as well.

Call me!

Call me!

  • dcj001

    “When you get the device back, all you need to do is enter your Apple ID, and your iPhone or iPad will reactivate”

    Wouldn’t I need to enter my password as well?

  • Rob LeFebvre

    “When you get the device back, all you need to do is enter your Apple ID, and your iPhone or iPad will reactivate”

    Wouldn’t I need to enter my password as well?

    Oh, yes, totally. :) Let me clarify that. Thanks!

  • HerbalEd

    “your iPhone will display a message for you with details on how to return it to you”

    What?? How do I return it to myself?

    • observer1959

      When you loose your phone and login to icloud.com on a computer you will see the find my iPhone app. In ther you can see on a map where it is (if it’s on), you can wipe it clean or you can make it play a loud msg and type in a message that will appear on the face of the phone. This message can be anything g like who the phone belongs to and the contact info. It pretty cool
      So what they meant was that if the phone is found by an honest person they would be the one returning it using the info you provide on the phone.

  • YahyaLAm

    Hi everybody, here is the steps to Use Find My iPhone to Locate a Lost or Stolen iPhone
    http://iphonphone.blogspot.com/2013/10/how-to-use-find-my-iphone-to-locate.html

  • Brian Reddington

    I have the iphone 4s with IOS 7.1.2 how do I enable actvation lock on my device I have Find My Iphone enabled as well

    • Hashir

      The activation lock in my iPad was unlocked by providing Apple Care with my proof of purchase (i.e. Receipt), actually my iPad was gifted to me by a relative and he had purchased it on his visit to the United States, now it was almost 3 years from now and he had lost the receipt, as the shopping bag that he had given the iPad in displayed a logo of a shop in the U.S., so I called them and asked them to track down a transaction for a said amount in the period of his visit to the U.S., to confirm the transaction the operator asked for a telephone number (which could aid him to track the transaction) I gave him the telephone number of a relative in the U.S. with whom the said relative stayed, he then came up with the transaction receipt and sent to me via E-Mail, I then forwarded the receipt to Apple Care who unlocked my iPad. The iCloud ID was made by my baby brother who had forgotten the password and the security question for the iCloud ID.

      While conversing with them (Apple Care) on the topic, I came to know that the iCloud Activation Lock could be unlocked through several ways: 1. iCloud Account (ID & Password): 2. Security Question: 3. iCloud Account Associated Credit Card Number (if any) & 4. Proof of Purchase

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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