Tips & Tricks

How to check if you are buying a stolen iPhone or iPad and what to look for before buying it?

Here we will show you how to check the status of the iPhone via the IMEI number of the device (which you can find in Settings > General > About)

Even in older versions, Apple has added a security option called Activation Lock, which has made it harder for thieves to steal your device because this option can not be deleted or activated after the theft. Such non-functional devices we had a chance to see on various ads where they were sold for defect and for the exploitation of spare parts. By introducing this function and buying used equipment has become risky but now there is a solution for that.

Apple has introduced a new tool on the iCloud website in 2014 that allows us to check the Activation Lock status for some iPhone, iPad, or iPod. All you have to do is go to this link and enter the IMEI or the serial number of the device you want to check after you log in.

If the Activation Lock option is activated, it will be written next to the message that activation of this device will require the Apple ID and the password of the previous owner. This means Activation lock “On”.



Otherwise, you get the green light that this device is ready for use on an ongoing basis, Activation Lock: “Off”. Although the smartest time to check IMEI is checking it live when you are purchasing a device.

We summed it up for you at the end, here are all the steps you need to do when buying a device from someone:

  1. Boot the device and slide to unlock.
  2. If it asks you for the passcode on the lock screen or the Home screen appears without the passcode, the device hasn’t been erased- it still contains previous owners data and files. Ask the seller to completely erase the device in front of you by going to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Do not buy any used iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch until it’s been completely erased.
  3. Begin the device setup process.
  4. After that, you will need to activate this device. After the device restarts, you will need to enter the language, time and other similar basic information. If it asks you to log in to your Apple ID or create a new one, you are good to go.


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