I recently purchased an iPhone 4S from Craigslist that had been reset when I bought it. When I try to activate the phone with the Apple ID that the previous owner gave me I receive an error saying that the account provided couldn't be used to unlock the device.

I know that it needs to be associated with the correct account but how do I even tell what account the phone was activated with originally?

The only thing I can see on the activate phone screen is the following:

This iPhoneis currently linked to an Apple ID (xxxxx@gmail.com). Sign in with the Apple ID that was used to set up this iPhone.

Is there a way to show or reveal the Apple ID that is associated with the account? At the very least I want to contact the original owner to see if it was stolen from them but I can't even do that. Very frustrating.

  • it is not possible to crack the id. find the seller and have ftf. – Ruskes Jul 4 '14 at 20:26
  • @Buscar웃 So there is no workaround to find the ID? The seller gave me their information and it didn't work. What is ftf? – jmreicha Jul 4 '14 at 20:28
  • @GeorgeGarside I am not trying to bypass the security mechanisms, just want to find a way to retrieve the Apple ID so that I can contact the original owner. – jmreicha Jul 4 '14 at 20:31
  • ftf is face to face – Ruskes Jul 4 '14 at 20:33
  • You do not need they apple id, they might be still using it for other devices. what you need is them to remove the device (your iphone) from they apple account. support.apple.com/kb/ht4627 – Ruskes Jul 4 '14 at 20:55

As a rule of thumb, you should always prevent buying iDevices(iPod, iPhone, and iPad) from Craigslist and eBay, no matter how attractive they look. Even if you had went through eBay, you couldn't raise a dispute since the device isn't physically defective.

Your best bet now is contacting Apple, and I do not think they would give you the Apple ID. Have you tried contacting the person you purchased it from?

  • Yes I have contacted the person I purchased from, I tried activating with their Apple account creds and those didn't work either. I had no idea about these security mechanisms when I bought the phone. Thanks for the response, looks like I may be contacting Apple. – jmreicha Jul 4 '14 at 20:33

You need to talk to the seller.

You do not need they id and password.

They should not give that out anyway.

Ask them to do following:

Removing an associated device or computer from an Apple ID

To remove a device or computer from your Apple ID:

Open iTunes.
Sign in to your Apple ID by choosing Store > Sign In from the iTunes menu.
Choose Store > View My Account from the iTunes menu. 
From the Account Information screen, click Manage Devices.
Click the Remove button next to the device name you would like to unassociate.

Note: Removing a device from your Apple ID does not override the 90-day timer. You must wait 90 days from the day the device was first associated with your Apple ID before it can be associated with another Apple ID.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .