So at the start of my most recent job, when setting up my work MacBook they suggested I use my personal Apple ID and password. I went ahead and did this even though I felt uneasy (a mistake, I know). I used iMessage a bit on the work device (as I know a lot of employees did), but then felt uneasy and removed my iCloud account from the work device.

I resigned recently - laptop was shut down immediately. When I look at my devices on my phone or personal Mac, the work laptop does not show up there. It did recently still show up on the "https://www.icloud.com/find/" page but I just removed it.

Now, I have gotten an email from company IT asking me to provide my Apple ID and password so that they can remove Activation Lock. Does this make any sense - why would they still need it give that I've removed my Apple ID from the device?

I should say there were many sketchy things about this company so I obviously do not want to provide this information. They are suggesting that I "reset it to a temporary password that you would feel comfortable giving to me and then change it immediately following our call."

Also, more generally, if they're going to do something sketchy and violate my privacy - what can I do to protect myself? I have changed my Apple ID password since the time when I originally used it to set up the work device.

  • 24
    Removing it from icloud.com/find disables activation lock. You have done everything needed. If they insist, ask them to reset the computer and show that it still requires activation lock to proceed. If it does, you could offer to reset it in-person or have them mail it to you to be reset, but this should not be necessary.
    – Ezekiel
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 1:41
  • 5
    Thanks! Yeah, it's sketchy that this is apparently their standard protocol, to just ask employees to use their personal Apple ID and then ask for their password when they leave.
    – eagle34
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 1:44
  • (I'm a new Apple laptop user and don't get it:) I've read the 3 answers currently here and I don't get it. The owner of an Apple laptop doesn't have a way to completely flatten it and start clean? (I mean, from the employer's point of view: why would he ever want to reissue to some other an employee a laptop used by someone who left the company without completely flattening it first? Who knows what the hell is on it?)
    – davidbak
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 22:19
  • 3
    @davidbak It's an anti-theft measure. Turning on "Find My" locks the device to your iCloud account. If it's stolen, they can't successfully wipe it. support.apple.com/en-us/HT208987
    – ceejayoz
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 1:00
  • 1
    @davidbak The owner can do a complete wipe, but the owner is defined as the person who owns the Apple ID that it’s registered to. Someone else who happens to have physical access to the machine can’t do it.
    – Mike Scott
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 14:15

7 Answers 7


Do NOT share your Apple ID credentials.

It doesn’t matter if you create a temp password, once another party has access to your account, they can easily seize control.

Let them know that under no circumstances will you share that info and as people (supposedly) in IT, they should appreciate your position.

Now, assuming you didn’t completely disassociate your Apple ID from the device, go in personally to remove all credentials, wipe the drive, and reinstall macOS. You may not have disabled disk encryption for example, and this would prevent them from accessing the Mac.

See What to do before you sell, give away, or trade in your Mac from Apple Support for a full checklist of tasks to do prior to transferring ownership of your Mac.

  • Thank you! Yeah, I will not be sharing the credentials. So I no longer have access to the laptop, but while I did I had gone to System Preferences -> Apple ID -> sign out. I think I just used iMessage on there (and signed out of there too). Given that I no longer have access to the laptop, do you think is there anything else I can do to protect myself? I've changed my Apple ID password and passwords for everything (personal email, etc.) that I may have used on that device.
    – eagle34
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 1:36
  • 8
    If anything, it’s so secure they can’t get in and they legitimately need you to remove the boot password which is why I mentioned that you go in personally. You can always ask them to send a photo of whatever lock they claim is blocking them to help verify their claims. As long as you keep your credentials safe, you’ll be good.
    – Allan
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 1:59
  • 3
    worse, if they have access to your apple ID and password they have access to your ApplePay and can now buy pretty much anything they want using your credit card! They can also send email, text messages, etc. etc. in your name using Apple Mail, Messages, and impersonate you using Facetime.
    – jwenting
    Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 10:30
  • 7
    Apple Support can sort it for them if they have proof of purchase. Although, as long as they're willing to cover your expenses, I don't think it would be unreasonable for you to go in and sort it in person. If they won't cover the expenses, tough shit, you don't work for them, it's their problem and they should improve their offboarding procedures Commented Mar 7, 2023 at 22:31
  • 3
    @ScottishTapWater I would agree. The IT departments are morons and if they don't want to pay for their mistakes, then they get to pay even more (replace the device).
    – Nelson
    Commented Mar 8, 2023 at 4:48

It looks like you already have a response from others here but I wanted to add one more thing. I worked with a University that distributed iPads to students and we would have activation lock issues all the time. There is a way to capture activation unlock codes using an MDM but considering the company is asking you for a password, I don't think they thought of even capturing that code.

I will add, Apple can and would remove that activation lock if the company calls Apple Business support and provide receipts showing the company name as the owner of the device with the serial number in the receipt. You have zero reason to even consider giving them your password.


I agree with the other answer—do not share your Apple ID credentials.

That said, I've been in this situation with an existing employee before who was working from home and had accidentally enabled Find My on a company laptop, and while it didn't help to remove the device from Find My via icloud.com, that employee was able to remotely erase the device which solved my problem.

See if you can do that. If you can't, then you may have to visit in person.


If you remove the device from Find My in the iCloud web tool, the next time a person tries to erase or restore it, it should remove the activation lock. You can do this without sharing your credentials.


Makes perfect sense. Sounds like you left “find my Mac” activated, so they can’t do a system wipe/clean install without deactivating find my Mac. To do that they need the username and password that was used to sign in to and set up the Mac.

It is possible for them to get a code from Apple to overide this if that can provide an original bill of sale / receipt that references the serial number of the actual hardware in order to prove outright ownership.

I had this exact same problem when macs were returned from ex staff. In one instance I couldn’t prove the ownership as the original bill of sale (from a third party vendor) didn’t reference the hardware serial number, so was faced with a very expensive Apple brick.

To be fair, both are at fault. The ,company should have guidelines that insist all staff use a company id for the Apple account used for the Mac activation and login (not relying on personal Apple accounts), and they should have issued instructions to you to sign out correctly. Also you should have made the effort to sign out correctly- it only takes a few mins to look up how to do that.

In my case, The ex staff member did provide me with his login details as he trusted me (as I did him), and I signed a waiver to state that wouldn’t abuse his account and would delete all records of the login info. Which I did. All worked out.


IT asking me to provide my Apple ID

I do not know much about Apple but I do about information security. In the sentence, there is "IT" that asks about "your" personal ID. These two things do not go together, so you should simply ignore the request.

No matter what the agreement was, the identifiers are yours and you should just ensure that you do not store company information anymore. You were allowed to do that when employed, but not anymore.

If you do not store such information you are done. If IT requires your help to do their work, then you can engage in highly paid consulting, but this is your decision and it is unrelated to the question.


Check if the sought after result that needs your specific input really is an actual existing command within Activation Lock.

Or leave it all together, not your employer any longer, so not your problem whatsoever. The person that let you go, is the one who had the time to deal with that too, but failed because mixed up priorities. Sad for him/her, but you couldn't be bothered. Don't waste your time on that.

Or refer to this clip ;-)

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