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I'm purchasing a used 2013 Macbook Air on craigslist and the seller told me he formatted it already and created a dummy account so I can go through settings, etc.. and browse around to ensure all is working.

I want to be sure that I do not get locked out of the Macbook Air. If he formatted and logged out of iCloud, what is the best way to check that I will come out of this purchase safely? Should I log myself into iCloud and turn on 'Find My Mac'?

The reason is it is an old OSX so I need to do some updating afterwards. I don't have experience buying used macbooks so any help is appreciated, thank you.

  • Just reinstall the OS. – Daniel Jan 20 '16 at 20:43
  • Yes, but if I go through set-up and get to the iCloud portion, I don't want to potentially get locked out when I enter the MAC serial. – chronotrigga Jan 20 '16 at 20:44
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Mac do not have hardware activation lock. Read the last paragraph of the "FAQ" for confirmation.

You would want to check for a Firmware Password which might need another question if you don't know what that is, but iCloud cannot prevent you from reinstalling an OS or activating any Mac that has shipped thus far.

Since a bad actor could use the lock function to remotely set a Firmware Password, your step of logging in and signing into your iCloud and successfully activating Find My Mac and locking it would ensure you have exclusive control of that device going forward.

  • Thanks for the response! So just to confirm, if I can sign into iCloud in the dummy account and activate Find My Mac, the firmware password would be nonexistant? How do I go about creating a new firmware password? – chronotrigga Jan 20 '16 at 20:44
  • If you read the second link, a firmware password can be created by you using the normal method or indirectly by sending a lock command. I'd fork a second question asking for assistance understanding the second link if you really get stuck, @chronotrigga – bmike Jan 20 '16 at 20:46

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