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Fix: The Apple ID cannot be used to unlock this iPhone

iphone cover photo 2

When it comes to safety, Apple is second to none. Even if your device is lost or stolen, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to get it and a 100% chance that no one would be able to access your personal data. However, all that safety can sometimes prevent users from accessing their own devices. In the worst-case scenario, of course. The unlucky ones report that they get the “The Apple id cannot be used to unlock this iPhone” when they try to sign in with their Apple ID. We have a few recommendations on how to deal with this problem.

What does it mean when it says the Apple ID Cannot be used to unlock this iPhone?

Firstly, try multiple times and make sure to wait a bit. There’s a slight chance that Apple’s servers are down momentarily.

If you are completely positive that the AppleID that locks iPhone or iPad is yours, there are two things you can do. The first one is to reset your password and the second one is to remove the Activation Lock.

For the latter, you’ll need your AppleID so, if you are unable to unlock the device, try resetting the password first and only then removing Activation Lock. For this, you can use an alternative iOS device or Mac. Also, you can always use your PC to log into iCloud web-client.

There’s always a slight chance that

Here’s how to reset your AppleID password on a PC:

  1. Navigate to AppleID web-client and click “Forgot AppleID or password?“.
  2. Enter your AppleID and click Continue.
  3. Now, enter your phone number.
  4. Choose one of the options and reset your password.
  5. Sign in to your iPhone with the AppleID and newly-created password.

If that doesn’t help and you still get the “The Apple id cannot be used to unlock this iPhone” prompt, try removing the Activation Lock. This will erase the device

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. On your PC, log into iCloud web-client, here. Connect your iPhone to a Wi-Fi network.
  2. Click Find iPhone.
  3. Click All Devices and select your iPhone.
  4. Then click Erase iPhone. Have in mind that this will erase all content from your device.icloud webclient remove device find my
  5. Now, on the next screen, click Remove from Account.

After this, you can restore your device from iCloud or use iTunes to get back your backup. If the prompt message still appears when trying to sign in with your iCloud account, take the device to Apple Store or contact the seller. Chances are that the device you purchased is locked to another AppleID. And, until they remove it, you won’t be able to use it.

That should do it. Thank you for reading and feel free to share alternative ways we forgot to mention. You can do so in the comments section below.

Picture of Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Aleksandar Ognjanovic

Managing editor at Mobile Internist. @lemmingspain My fascination with mobile technology, particularly Android and iOS, began years ago and continues today. I'm captivated by the constant evolution in the smartphone industry and its impact on our daily lives, always anticipating the next big innovation. That’s the main reason why I found myself writing instructive content on the subject for users who are not as familiar with all the bells and whistles.
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