After a recent and unsettling experience of having my iPhone stolen a few weeks ago, I have tried to harden the security settings on my new device. The old device has still not responded to a remote wipe request via Find My iPhone, so I presume that will never happen.

On the new device, I have turned on the "Erase data" setting in the Touch ID & Passcode settings: "Erase all data on this iPhone after 10 failed passcode attempts".

I know that, in the event the erase happens, this will disable the Find My iPhone client on the device, but will it also disable the iCloud Activation Lock? That is, will someone be able to exploit deliberately the erase process to obtain a factory clean iPhone to use and activate as he wishes?

1 Answer 1


Activation lock happens regardless of the content on the device.

You are protected since any wiped phone needs to check in with Apple's activation servers to determine if the device was purchased through DEP or is covered by an existing activation lock.

You don't have to worry about enabling a wipe conflicting with the inability of someone to activate the device down the road - they were designed and implemented to not conflict. Activation Lock works whether you wipe or not and without regard to how the wipe actually gets triggered.

  • Thanks @bmike, it was my suspicion as well. I hope you do not mind if I ask, do you have a reference for this?
    – Calchas
    Sep 23, 2015 at 17:37
  • 2
    @Calchas I've edited in a link. You can test this easily yourself as well if you're skeptical. It just takes 10 minutes to check you have a backup and do the wipe and test. Restoring your backup will likely take longer than 10 minutes, though.
    – bmike
    Sep 23, 2015 at 17:39

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