Bought iphone 5s and it's previous owner removed icloud account on it.

I created my own icloud account and associated with it.

Everything is ok, but when i insert a sim card, it requres me OLD icloud credentials (one which was used by previous owner).

If i enter my own credentials it says : "this account could not be used to activate phone".

If i remove sim, turn phone on, and enter my credentials it works fine.

What could i do ? (rather than contacting old owner who is remote)

I'm not searching for any illegal (ticks or hacks) about bypassing Icloud.

  • @Mark No, i'm not trying to bypass icloud with any tricky way, i just wonder why it requires old icloud credentials after i insert a sim
    – tchelidze
    Nov 6, 2016 at 11:23
  • 2
    Because Activation lock is on and when the phone connects to the internet it notices
    – mmmmmm
    Nov 6, 2016 at 11:24
  • @Mark not to internet, i'm using my icloud account, connect to wifi, using apps, have control panel on icloud.com, everything works, except when i insert a sim. why don't you read a question carefully
    – tchelidze
    Nov 6, 2016 at 11:37
  • 1
    Activation is attempted only with a SIM in discussions.apple.com/thread/4322756?start=0&tstart=0
    – mmmmmm
    Nov 6, 2016 at 12:10
  • The activation @mark mentions is the one when you initially restore an iOS image on to a device. It's unlikely this is happening after wifi has been joined. Possibly a bug, though?
    – bmike
    Nov 6, 2016 at 14:51

1 Answer 1


If you can visit the check page at https://www.icloud.com/activationlock/ and get a clear status from Apple for your serial / IMEI then the seller is correct that they removed the Activation Lock.

That is but one of the "locks" that can cause you grief. The next lock is carrier lock. Some phones that were sold under contract are locked to a specific cellular carrier's SIM cards. You need to get a card for that carrier (it doesn't need to be active) and insert it and then connect to iTunes or WiFi or cellular (with active data service) to complete that unlock. Depending on your location - you may be able to request an unlock if the original purchaser didn't complete their contract. You may also need the original purchaser to interact with the carrier in some cases to request an unlock of this device.

Lastly are SIM locks - it doesn't seem you have this last issue from the descripton of the error. (My guess is the device is locked to a carrier or an iCloud account per above) Please comment here if you get a screen shot or more details on the exact wording of the error you see on screen or in iTunes when you connect the phone to a computer.

  • Thanks, currently my icloud account is associated with this phone, so www.icloud.com/activationlock/ says that 'ActivationLock is ON' . i can access my Icloud account, backup phone, etc. Probably it's carrier lock, but lastly i bought Samsung Tab 4, which was locked to AT&T and i remember that it was requiring 4 digit number, rather than some account.
    – tchelidze
    Nov 6, 2016 at 17:46
  • @tchelidze let's edit your question a bit. Seems several people are confused to which lock you have.
    – bmike
    Nov 6, 2016 at 18:03
  • @tchelidze turn off Settings > iCloud > find my iPhone then the check your serial / IMEI again.
    – Tyson
    Nov 6, 2016 at 18:53

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