I've had a secondhand iPhone for three years, using it with my iCloud account. Just now I tried to wipe it with an iTunes restore. The first step was to disable Find My iPhone. Doing so, I received a confirmation email that the phone is now unlocked. To my surprise, upon reset, it went into activation lock mode and asked for the previous owner's login.

The phone is listed in my iCloud Settings. Should I try to track down the previous owner, or will removing it from my own iCloud Settings page free it? (But removing it will also wipe the last evidence that the phone is mine.)

Another way of looking at the question: Can a single phone be listed in several iCloud accounts?

  • Is your iPhone listed under Find My iPhone on iCloud.com? If so I would try to do a DFU reset (support.apple.com/en-us/HT201263) and choose "Restore" instead of "Update" (Described in step 4). If that doesn't help, I would contact the previous owner or contact Apple Care. Find Apple Cares phone number on this page:support.apple.com/en-us/HT201232 – Jules Apr 18 '17 at 12:51
  • @Jules It's not listed now, but that's no surprise since disabling that was a prerequisite. Actually, what set off the issue was restoring an .ipsw file in iTunes, not resetting on the phone itself. I'll edit the question. – Potatoswatter Apr 18 '17 at 13:09
  • @Jules Tried it; no change. – Potatoswatter Apr 18 '17 at 17:05
  • then I suggest to try contacting the previous owner and if that won't help I would contact Apple Care – Jules Apr 18 '17 at 17:07
  • @Jules Thanks, but as for the question, can you confirm that Find My iPhone works this way? Do I expect that it's still listed in his account, under Settings or the Find My iPhone webpage? As for Apple, everything I've read says that they don't provide service without a receipt. – Potatoswatter Apr 18 '17 at 17:10

It seems that the official Apple line on this is that they only provide support if you have the device's original receipt, end of story. They don't want to admit fault for this issue. Worst part is, they should be able to tell when their database has two duplicate Find My iPhone records for the same device.

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