Activation Lock is a security feature for devices running iOS 7 and higher that uses Apple's Find My iPhone functionality. This feature makes it difficult for unauthorized persons to use a lost or stolen device.

When Activation Lock is enabled, an end user's Apple ID and password are required to unlock a device even if the device is wiped or factory reset, including through DFU mode. For more information about Activation Lock as an iOS feature, read the Apple Support article Find My iPhone Activation Lock.

Prerequisites

To use the Activation Lock feature, devices must have the following:

  • A valid Apple ID and password assigned
  • Find My iPhone enabled

Activation Lock for Unsupervised vs. Supervised Devices

The extent to which you can manage devices with Activation Lock depends on whether the devices are supervised or unsupervised. The following table outlines the differences:

Unsupervised Supervised
  • End user must enable Find My iPhone setting
  • Administrator can view whether Activation Lock is enabled on a particular device.
  • Administrator must accept a notification when performing a device wipe command, which warns that a device with Activation Lock enabled cannot be reactivated without the original Apple ID and password. *
  • Administrator can enable Activation Lock. This will automatically activate the Find My iPhone setting.
  • Administrator can view whether Activation Lock is enabled on a particular device.
  • Administrator can clear the Activation Lock using one of three methods.
*To learn how to remove a previous owner's Apple ID in order to reactivate a device, read the Apple Support article Turn off Find My iPhone Activation Lock.