How to tell if an iPad or iPhone has been stolen

iPhones and iPads are costly objects to purchase new from official retailers, and it is comprehensible if you are tempted as friends or even strangers give you a second-hand mannequin at a cut price worth. But is it low cost as a result of it fell from the again of a truck?

In this article, we clarify how to find out if an iPhone or iPad has been stolen.

The purple flags

Is it a suspiciously whole lot? We talk about believable costs for older iPhone fashions in our article on promoting an iPhone.

Do you recognize something about the particular person or company promoting the system? Have you or somebody you recognize handled them earlier than? Research the place mandatory and doable – search for constructive, quite a few evaluations or scores from the vendor.

Check if the system is locked or unlocked – no matter whether or not it was stolen that is value checking when shopping for second hand however, if they have not been in a position to unlock it might be a purple flag.

The above elements ought to provide you with an concept of ​​how far it’s secure to belief the vendor without additional motion. But you must a minimum of guarantee that the system you’re buying has been erased and disconnected from a earlier Apple ID; thanks to Find My iPhone Activation Lock, which we’ll have a look at subsequent, it is unimaginable for a thief to do this stuff until they’ve the password.

Check if it has been erased and is prepared for set up

Find My iPhone Activation Lock is a function that Apple launched in 2013 as a part of the iOS 7 replace, as a part of the Find My iPhone service.

Activation Lock activates mechanically when somebody activates Find My iPhone and cannot be turned off once more without the password for the related Apple ID account. In addition, this additionally implies that the consumer of the system should enter the password to erase or reactivate the system.

So if you purchase a pre-owned iPhone or iPad (or iPod contact or Apple Watch by the way in which, since Activation Lock additionally applies to them), be certain all of this has been deactivated: that it has been erased, and the link to the outdated Apple ID account damaged. If the vendor cannot do that, they do not know the password, which is suspicious; it additionally means you may’t set it up with your personal account.

The manner you do that is to begin the set up course of usually. Turn on the system; if it has been erased, you must see a display that claims “Set up your iPhone” or equal.

If you get the password entry display or residence display (with the earlier proprietor’s app icons) as a substitute, it hasn’t been erased – or it is been erased, however, then they reset it, which is not what you need.

So ask the vendor to clear it for you. They (or you, with permission) ought to go to Settings> General> Reset> Erase All Content and Settings.

Once it is erased, begin the set up course of as regular (see How to set up a new iPhone and How to set up a new iPad). In a number of steps, you can be requested to enter an Apple ID, and that is the important thing: does the final proprietor’s Apple ID seem or is the sector clean?

If the Apple ID retains exhibiting up, tell the earlier proprietor to flip off Find My iPhone. By the way in which, they do not have to do that from the system themselves: they will do that from, however, they’ve to enter their password.

Stolen phone checker

The earlier measures will solely work if the earlier proprietor has turned on Find My iPhone (which we suggest, by the way in which). But if you’re studying this article from the US, the re’s yet 1 more software that you could use to check if the system has been reported as stolen.

Stolen Phone Checker is a free online software that enables you to check 5 gadgets a day, however, solely within the US in the interim. Enter the IMEI, MEID or ESN for the system in query (here is how to find your iPhone’s IMEI quantity; the identical approach additionally works for MEID) and it’ll tell you if it is clear.

We will replace this article once we hear that the service has expanded to the UK.