What is iCloud Activation?
The iCloud Activation has been introduced in iOS to prevent unauthorized activation of the device. Once the Find My iPhone feature is turned on, the device becomes tied to the Apple ID used currently on the device. This means your device will require you to remember the Apple ID and password in order to activate the device if you ever reset it to factory settings.
This is designed to prevent thieves from using your phone if they steal it, and for that, it’s a good feature. Unfortunately, this feature did very little to combat iPhone stealing. Thieves would still steal the device to sell it for parts. The case, screen, battery, camera module, connectors, etc. All of these can still be sold and turn a profit, not to mention many thieves don’t even know the iCloud lock is a thing, so iCloud didn’t do much to prevent thieves from stealing devices.
There are, however, legitimate reasons why you would want to bypass iCloud Activation, and this guide is only for those cases. Please don’t use the knowledge presented in this article for anything illegal. We’re not condoning stealing devices and activating stolen property.
Legitimate reasons why iCloud activation bypass may be needed
While thieves would want to activate the stolen phones to be able to sell them too, there are legitimate reasons why someone would bypass iCloud and those reasons don’t involve criminal activity.
- You bought the device second-hand and got scammed. Sure, sites like eBay allow you to report the device is locked and you get your money back, but eBay is just one platform. In many countries, websites like Craigslist or other classifieds websites / Facebook groups exist for buying and selling locally. Those do not provide any sort of protection against being scammed with locked devices.
- You bought a device that is not iCloud locked, but it’s SIM locked. You wouldn’t be able to activate an iPhone locked to say Verizon or AT&T that you bought from eBay if you live in Europe and have no such SIM Card. Chances are you don’t have the right SIM card because the carrier doesn’t operate in your country. In that case, the device refuses to activate because you don’t have the right SIM card. Unless you can get a correct SIM card from somewhere, iCloud Bypass is the only solution, even if this has nothing to do with iCloud.
- You forgot your Apple ID or password. It happens, especially if you made a quick throwaway just to get apps and you didn’t know your whole phone will remain tied to that throwaway account. There is, however, a better solution in this case. Go to any Apple Store with the proof of purchase (receipt) and the device, and they will unlock the device for you. This is only practical if you still have the receipt and you have an official Apple Store in your country. Many countries don’t.
How does iCloud Activation Bypass work?
Usually, the application that handles the activation of the device in the foreground is the Setup.app. This application runs when you set the device up for the first time and it allows you to select the language, WiFi network, Siri settings, and input the Apple ID and Password for iCloud activation amongst other things. It’s the infamous “Hello” screen.
In the background, daemons like lockdownd, fairplayd, etc. These check the activation status, issue the necessary requests to the Appl Albert server which handles activation and enable Push Notifications once the device is activated.
Normally iCloud Activation works by issuing a request to albert.apple.com which contains the device info such as the Serial Number, IMEI, model, iOS version, SIM ID, etc. The server returns back a ticket if the device is not locked, or a request for Apple ID and Password if the device is iCloud locked. Once the correct credentials are sent to Apple, the server generates and returns an Activation Ticket (also known as a WildCard Ticket) which then allows the device to continue the Setup.
After activation, lockdownd daemon continues to monitor the activation status periodically and will send you back to the activation screen if something does wrong and the device is deactivated somehow.
iCloud Bypass tools work by either skipping the Setup.app altogether, or by faking a Factory Mode on the device which makes the phone think it’s activated at the factory. These methods are the most common thanks to CheckRa1n jailbreak but have a major drawback. They do not persist after reboot and need to be re-done, and most importantly, SIM card features would not work at all. No calls, no texts via SIM card. In fact, you would have No Service.
WiFi works, you can download apps, use them, connect to the internet, etc. but you will have no cellular coverage.
How to bypass iCloud Activation / FMI on iPhone XS, iPhone 11, iPhone 12 on iOS 15
It’s not currently possible to bypass iCloud on iOS 15 on any device. For iOS 14.8 and lower, it’s possible to bypass iPhone X and older devices.
The following devices can be bypassed on iOS 14.8 and lower:
- iPhone X
- iPhone 8
- iPhone 8 Plus
- iPhone 7
- iPhone 7 Plus
- iPhone SE (2016)
- iPhone 6S / 6S Plus
- iPhone 6 / 6 Plus
- iPhone 5S
The following devices cannot be bypassed at all this moment:
- iPhone XS
- iPhone XR
- iPhone XS Max
- iPhone 11 / 11 Pro
- iPhone 12 (all variants)
- iPhone 13 (all variants)
- iPhone SE (2022)
Anything with an A11 chip or lower can be bypassed, but tethered, with tools based around CheckRa1n. Any devices with an A12 chip or newer cannot currently be bypassed on any iOS version.
iDevice Central DOES NOT ENDORSE OR GUARANTEE ANY OF THE SERVICES PROVIDED BY SIMUNLOCK! While they did prove to us they can provide a real service, your mileage may vary so proceed with caution.
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