My 89 yr old Dad just died. Before I catch static, yes, I have a death certificate. He was somewhat forgetful and would often forget passwords and reset them (and forget those too). I have his phone and I know his iCloud ID but I do not know his phone unlock code nor his iCloud ID. When I try to reset his iCloud ID, it wants to notify his iPhone (which I cant unlock).

Can I:

  1. erase his iPhone -- so it will be unlocked
  2. have iCloud send the password reset to the iPhone
  3. get into his iCloud and then restore the phone?
  • Look at the answers to this question and see if they help. Your options are limited.
    – fsb
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 1:31
  • 1
    Do you have access to the email account he used to setup iCloud? Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 14:26
  • Just want to say sorry for your loss, feel ya. If your problem is unresolved after a while, comment back @owlswipe and I can devote some extra effort.
    – owlswipe
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 2:02
  • My condolences. You can reset the iPhone, then unlock it with the iCloud account. If you cannot gain access to the iCloud account you will have to conjure up the receipt and bring the receipt and death certificate to an Apple Store. With that information, they can unlock the iPhone for you. Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 2:28

3 Answers 3


I guess your objective is to be able to use iPhone again and not recovering anything from the phone. You can follow this guide to erase your phone and remove the passcode.



If you don't have any way to get in to his iCloud:

Reset the iPhone.

If you have the iCloud password:

Unlock the passcode with iCloud.


and sorry for your loss.

My best friend went through this problem a little while back when his husband passed away. You always have the choice of resetting the device, but if you might want to see some of the things on the device as a sort of keepsake, like emails etc... Then you have to call Apple and give proof of the passing, I'm not 100% sure they will do for a Father-Daughter situation, but they got my friend access right away. He did have to send a copy of his marriage license and death certificate via email, but If I understand your question correctly, and Apple still does this, you should be able to gain access by contacting apple or AppleCare (I think they are one in the same under Support. Oh, and ask for a supervisor or manager.

I hope this helps, and again, I am sorry for your loss.

  • This is not correct. Apple is not able to access a device when you don't have the iCloud password. They will tell you there's nothing they can do in this situation.
    – fsb
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 21:52
  • Just to clarify this was a few years back, but, yes they did recover the Apple ID password (which should be the same as iCloud) and gain access to the device. I was present throughout the whole process.
    – user289121
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 22:01
  • iCloud and Apple ID passwords don't have to be the same but they can be. Apple can't recover iCloud passwords so it probably wasn't that.
    – fsb
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 22:04
  • This is not entirely correct. Apple may be able to bypass activation lock, but in no way is it possible for them to retrieve iCloud passwords. They don't store passwords. They store hashes. Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 0:03

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