How To Unlock An iCloud Locked iPhone (The Ultimate Guide)

When the iPhone I bought from eBay arrived I tried to set it up but it kept on asking me for the previous owners Apple ID and password, which I didn’t know.

Yep, the device was iCloud locked.

This is when I realized I’d been caught with a well-known scam.

Sellers on eBay sell activation locked devices to unsuspecting buyers knowing they are practically unusable.

I thought I was stuck with a worthless iPhone but before throwing it out I decided to do some research to see if there was a way to do an iCloud unlock on it. 

After a lot of trial and error, I eventually found a solution to unlock it quickly and easily so I could set up and use the iPhone properly


You’ll find my recommendations and conclusions of my research below.


The Apple activation lock is a complex security system that is almost impossible to hack. Here are the conclusions of my research into it:

  • There are some free methods to remove the iCloud lock such as:
    • Getting the original owner to type in his Apple ID and password to the phone and signing out of iCloud, or
    • Unlocking the device remotely via Apple’s website icloud.com if the seller is located miles away, or
    • Asking Apple to remove it
  • However, Apple will not help you remove the iCloud lock without proof you are the owner, such as the original receipt
  • There are many free unlocking services online but all the free ones I tried were scams
  • Most of the paid unlockers are scams that rip you off leaving you hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket
  • The only safe way to iCloud unlock your iPhone is to use one of the recommended services




If you want to remove the iCloud lock on your iPhone and none of the free methods worked for you then your best bet is to use a trusted supplier to unlock your device.

I recommend you contact guruhackz support teams because they are quick and reliable and offer a money-back guarantee

Can you really unlock an iCloud locked iPhone?

Yes, it is possible to unlock the iCloud activation lock

…but be very careful who you use as most companies are scammers.

I am ashamed to tell you that I spent a fortune with different suppliers trying to get the activation lock removed from my iPhone. I had almost given up hope. I believed it would end up as an expensive paperweight or discarded in a drawer.

Eventually, after trying dozens of methods over a couple of months I found a couple of suppliers that actually worked. Yes, they managed to remove the lock for me.

I decided that I needed to write an article so that others wouldn’t have to go through the same frustrating journey as me.

How much does it cost to do an iPhone iCloud unlock (or is it free)?

There are a bunch of websites that claim to do this for free with an activation lock removal tool, PDF, or service.

The free options I tried were confusing. They were inaccurate. All were scams of one type or another. Some were actually dangerous and ended up infecting my computer with a virus.

Don’t make the same mistakes as me – avoid the free iCloud removal tools and services.

Unbelievably, many of the paid options were scams too.

Companies advertised fees of up to $550 USD (£300 GBP) with no service actually provided.

Oddly, the price had no relation to the quality service offered with the best companies charging around $120 USD (£80 GBP).

Some of the paid companies I suggest you avoid include:

  • i-Cloud unlock buddy
  • Unlock instantly
  • iPhone approved unlock
  • iPhone unlock
  • IMEI24
  • AppUnlock
  • iRemove Tools
  • i-Cloud remover

How long will it take to unlock iCloud activation lock?

Some companies will never manage to do it. They will take your money then stop all communication leaving you out of pocket and angry.

This happened to me with several iCloud unlock providers.

However, if you use a good quality service the process to unlock your iPhone works like this:

Step 1: See what model iPhone you have

You need to know the model of the iPhone you want to iCloud unlock. To find out the precise model you can check the Apple website [1].

Step 2: Get the IMEI number from your iPhone

The IMEI serial number [2] identifies your unique iPhone. You need to provide the IMEI code so that they unlock your iPhone.

On these devices, you’ll find the IMEI on the SIM tray.


IMEI. on an iPhone SIM card tray

    • iPhone 11
    • iPhone 11 Pro
    • iPhone 11 Pro Max
    • iPhone XS
    • iPhone XS Max
    • iPhone X
    • iPhone 8
    • iPhone 8 Plus
    • iPhone 7

IMEI. on a SIM card tray

  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPhone 4 (GSM model)
  • iPhone 4s

On these devices, you’ll find the IMEI on the back.

  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s
  • iPhone 5c
  • iPhone 5

Step 3: Pick an iCloud unlocker

You need to careful choose a supplier that will do what they promise. I suggest you pick one I have reviewed.

Step 4: Ask them to unlock iCloud on your iPhone

All of the suppliers I recommend have an easy to use website.

You simply let them know your iPhone IMEI and model, then pay for the service. You will get an order confirmation letting you know the order has been placed.

If you have any questions you can get in touch with them via each companies responsive help desk.

Step 5: iCloud lock is unlocked

Normally less than 3 or 4 days later they will complete the iPhone unlock. Some unlocking services are quicker than others but normally it is done within a week.

The actual speed depends on the supplier you choose.

Once completed you will be able to setup your iPhone properly without being asked for the previous owners Apple ID or password.

Which companies provide a trustworthy iCloud unlock service?

After an extensive search, I had a huge list of companies that claimed to offer unlocking services.

I went through them all one-by-one carefully examining their websites. Most looked impressive and made bold claims. Many had customer testimonials and some had very persuasive videos showing how their methods worked.

It was tough to decide who was a scammer.

I decided to checkout if they had contact details or an ‘about’ page that provided more details on who the owners were. After all if they did a good job they would have nothing to hide.

Many didn’t have this basic information so I decided not to trust them. After all how was I meant to contact them if I had an issue?

If there was a way to contact them I wrote them an email to ask them about there service. If I got no response I removed them from my shortlist. If a company doesn’t respond to pre-sales questions how would they answer any post-sales ones after I had paid? I decide I didn’t want to find out.

If the service included downloadable software or online tool I tried it out to see if it worked. If it didn’t then it was cut from my list.
I then checked each of the remaining candidates in some of the online review sites such as TrustReview to evaluate real customer feedback.

If they were poorly regarded then they were removed from my list.

I then tried out the remaining suppliers by paying them money to unlock locked iPhone.

This resulted in the following shortlist

Best iCloud unlock provider: Guruhackz

Summary box

  • Price: deposit of $80 USD (£50 GBP)
  • Speed: around 2 days
  • Customer Services: Quick and helpful

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