I have a Macbook Pro which I have just wiped the disk and reinstalled Catalina on.

I'm trying to enable Find my Mac, but in system preferences, under iCloud, the 'Find my Mac' checkbox is disabled with the message 'Find my mac is already in use'. Clicking on it asks for the login details for an old employee who left about a year ago ('Enter the password for example@example.com to disable find my mac'). We do not have access to his credentials.

I've tried resetting the NVRAM which has not worked (NVRAM is reset successfully but the issue persists).

It is odd to me that it is asking for these credentials after completely wiping the disk and reinstalling the system, especially a year after the employee left and his machine was handed over to someone else. Is there any way that we can resolve this without access to the account's credentials? We usually require devices to have some sort of 'find my...' enabled as part of our security policy, but we can't enable it without disabling the old one first.

  • I would assume that the find my mac details are stored elsewhere than the drive...
    – Solar Mike
    Mar 10, 2021 at 6:55

1 Answer 1


Find My Mac sends the Mac's device ID and other information to Apple's servers and links it to the iCloud account which enabled the service. Once registered, only a correct login with that iCloud account's credentials will disable it. Wiping the disk does not change the serial number and other information which resides on silicon somewhere on the logic board, and not in NVRAM.

If you have invoices or bills of sale which prove your company owns the laptop, you can contact Apple Support and they will (eventually) unlock the laptop.

I work in elementary education, and Apple Education support has a well-honed procedure for disabling iCloud-locked laptops and iPads. Fortunately, all our purchases go through Apple, so they already have a record of our devices, purchase dates, etc.

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