I bought an iPad mini (Wifi only) and gave it to my nephew as a gift. He switched on the device and set it up with his apple ID. He did not set up (Find My iPad/iPhone) feature.

After a month of usage, he noticed the device is heating up when connected to the charger. Suddenly, the device display is off, and can not be charged.

When connected to a USB port on a mac, or PC, it does not get detected.

I tried to hold Power button+Home Button for 10 seconds then releasing the Home button, but it did not work.

I tried to put the device in Recovery Mode, DFU mode, but nothing worked. The device does not get detected by Windows or Mac.

I toke the device to the service center I bought it from (Not an Apple Store, we don't have Apple Stores in Saudi Arabia).

At the service center, they have a policy not to service any iOS device if it is locked using Find My iPhone feature from iCloud.

I told them that the feature was never turned on. They checked http://icloud.com/activationlock and entered the serial number, and found out that the device [Activation Lock : ON ]. So they asked me to login to icloud using the apple ID that was used to activate the lock and remove the device from [My Devices] in iCloud.

I logged in to icloud.com using my nephew's apple ID, but could not see the iPad in the list of devices.

I thought maybe the activation lock was done using another apple ID, so I tried mine, my brother's, all of the apple IDs I tried, none of them had this iPad listed among the devices in iCloud.

Now, I can not get service for the device because they think I stole the iPad. Although I have an invoice that proves the purchase.

I know that revealing the apple ID might be considered a breach of security, but if I could just get the first and last letter of the email of Apple ID used to lock the device, then we can reduce our efforts in this hassle.

My question is: how do I know the apple ID that is used to lock the iPad knowing only the serial number of the device?

  • 3
    You cannot find an Apple ID based on a hardware serial number.
    – Rob
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 17:02
  • @Rob so what can I do?
    – Ahmad
    Commented Nov 29, 2014 at 22:29
  • @Rob I was able to find the associated apple ID linked to the serial number. See my answer for details
    – Ahmad
    Commented Dec 2, 2014 at 4:13

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, it is likely that your nephew temporarily used someone else's Apple ID in order to gain access to purchases that the other user had made. My son did this on his device, against my rules. If this happened, then that other person may have initiated the lock. Since you have an invoice, proving ownership and the device is only a month old, I would encourage you to use the 1-year AppleCare that came with your device. Here is the AppleCare contact page for Saudi Arabia.

Please let me know if this information is helpful for you. Did you by chance register your device with Apple, when you made the purchase? If so, then Apple will have a record of that action, as well.

Cheers, Byron

  • Thanks but I have already found the solution. Check my answer
    – Ahmad
    Commented Nov 30, 2014 at 6:29

I finally resolved this issue. Here is what I did to know which account was used to lock my iPad:

1- Go to http://www.apple.com/support/

2- Select the device (in my case: iPad)

3- Clicked on Contact Support

4- Click on [Get Started]

5- Choose the country where you live in (in my case: Saudi Arabia)

6- Then select the problem category (in my case: Battery, Power & Chargin)

7- A list will come up to get more details about the problem. I selected (Unable to Power on)

8- It will optionally ask to send an email to the device (so that you click a button within the email and it will collect diagnostic information and send it to Apple for investigation), since the device is dead, you can skip this option. (click No, Thanks)

9- Depending on the Local time, you will get various options of how you may get technical support. I did these steps at 8:00 AM on Sunday and found four options:

a) Talk to Apple Support Now (toll free number in Saudi Arabia)

b) Call Apple Support Later

c) Chat

d) Take in for Service

What you really want is to CHAT since you will not have to wait too much.

Notice, I did the same steps the night before, and all I could get is option a) and d)... But the toll free number informed me that I was calling out of office hours.

Anyways, once you click (Chat), you will be asked to input the serial number of the device.

Afterwards, you will wait for a minute or so until a human being will be chatting with you.

I explained my whole story to him, and he re-assured me "no to worry".

He asked me a few questions to proof that I purchased the device among which he asked me about my apple id. I answered correctly and then he found out that an iCloud account, which was created at the first run of the iPad, was linked to my apple id. He asked me if I remember creating that icloud account. He provided me only with the icloud account email address, and then it all came back to my mind.

It turned out that the iPad is locked using the icloud account, not my apple id account...

Of course, both accounts had the same full name, and both were linked to the same external email address, and I uploaded him a copy of my invoice and then he gave me this information. No passwords were given needless to say.

I logged in to iCloud using the account he reminded me of, and I was able to remove the device activation lock.

I was so happy with the way it turned out. I was so happy to the limit that I decided to share my experience with the world.

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