Apple mavens: Please help me unlock this iPad!

My wife was given an iPad (4th generation) and an iPhone 6s, and has been using them for some time with her own Apple ID, different from the one used to set up the devices. But the iPad kept bugging her to enter the password for the linked AppleID, and so I thought I would do a hard reset and link it to her AppleID, instead of the original one. The online research I did on this led me to believe it would be no problem, using iTunes on a PC. (I’d also like to do the same thing for the iPhone, and hoped resetting the iPad would be an easy rehearsal for the iPhone, which is much more critical to her daily needs.)

But when I followed all the instructions, iTunes still insisted that I had to enter the password for the original AppleID. I called Apple, and they said there’s no way around this. At the moment, it seems as though the device is bricked.

But that can’t be the end of the story, can it?

We don’t have that password, and there is no way to get it. Please take that as a given. We legitimately own the devices, they’re not stolen, but the password is irretrievably lost.

Any suggestions?

Well, you guys weren’t much help. Where’s the Dope’s vaunted expertise now, I’d like to know? :smiley:

But never mind. The password was not lost. :smack:

I’ve asked the mods to close the thread.

I’m not an expert on this, but I feel bad no one has replied, so here’s my 2 cents:

I’m not sure where you got your original info to do a hard reset, but that would absolutely not work. If it was that easy, there would be a massive market for stolen iPhones and iPads.

The inability to do this type of a reset is deliberately built into Apple devices to deter theft. I don’t think there is any way around this.

I was recently at our local transit company’s auction for unclaimed “lost” items. I was looking to pick up a used iPhone for my son but they had none. When I asked the guy he said they find “thousands of iPhones each year” but they’re trashed (or recycled back to Apple) because they “brick” without the original owner’s password and Apple ID info and there’s no way around it.

The moral of the story is if you get a used iPhone or iPad, you must get the password and Apple ID info with it. If not, you can use it for a bit, but it will quickly become useless as it needs updates etc.

I’d like to add:
You should ALWAYS sync your iDevice with iTunes. If you don’t do this, and end up locking yourself out (typing the passcode in wrong too many times), it can be impossible to unlock your device - or even wipe it and start over.
If you have it set up in iTunes, though, it “knows” you own the device, and will let you wipe it or restore it.

And, this is speaking from experience…

I don’t know about Apple products, but with Android phones, doing a factory reset through some combination of pressing the physical buttons causes this issue, but if you do a factory reset from within the OS while operating the phone, it goes to a “clean” reset where it acts like a brand new phone so you can set it up anew. You have to have access to the phone in the first place to to that, though.

**Darren **is correct. You can do a factory reset of the device once you have access to the settings - through iOS.

@ Darren - I don’t know Android, but I suspected something like that. They had many android phones at the sale I mentioned, so presumably they were reset somehow.

@Sunny Daze - I understand that, I’ve done a factory reset on an old iPhone but to get access to the settings to do the reset it asks you for the Apple ID password.

After my mom died, I reset her iPad so we could give it to my daughter. The only way I could do that was because I knew her Apple ID & password. It asked me for that before I could do the reset.

You can reset your Apple ID password, that’s very simple, but to do that you must have access to the email account that it’s set up with. I assume commasense doesn’t have that.

IT Guy.

If the device is registered with an Apple ID, the ONLY way to get it unlocked is if you can provide apple with proof of purchase, and that it was registered to you.

When employees leave our company, its mandatory that they unlock their devices, and remove themselves from them, otherwise this Apple ID registration makes them virtually junk. In the cases where this hasn’t happened, its about a month-long process to submit the data showing this – with either Ipads or Iphones – to get the devices unlocked.

It sucks ass, but I understand the security reasoning behind it.

You can get rid of the old Apple ID by using iMyFone LockWiper. That worked for us, but it costs $40.

I assume the old owner is unreachable. They could remove the device from their Apple ID just by logging in to their account.

Thanks for that link. I may still need it.

The story is this: we have not been in touch with the person who gave us these devices for a long time, and had reason to think they would not respond to our requests for help. That’s why I started the thread.

To our surprise, they did respond and agree to help. That’s why I asked the mods to close the thread.

But it’s a good thing they didn’t, because we’ve just heard back from the person, and they can’t find the password. :smack: They’re talking to Apple, but there’s a chance they won’t be able to unlock the devices. In which case iMyFone may come in useful.

So the Dope has come through for me, despite the slow start. I guess that, as we age, we can’t expect to have the same quick reflexes we had in our youth.

Thanks to all who offered advice.

Timbits, thanks again and please check your PM.

I recently reset my Apple ID password, and I don’t recall it being necessary to access my email. This is because I had set up security questions to answer. I hadn’t remembered setting them up :o, but after clicking the “i forgot my password” button, “Answer your questions” (or something to that effect) was one of the options. I easily remembered my answers :slight_smile: and reset my password immediately.

Unfortunately, the app **Timbits **recommended doesn’t work for a device in our condition. So we’re back to hoping the person who gave us the iPad can find the purchase documentation to satisfy Apple that he has the right to access the AppleID account in question, and remove the iPad and iPhone from the account. He’s been trying to find it, but it’s not clear he’ll succeed.

If not, the iPad is a brick, and we have to buy a new one. :frowning:

I haven’t done anything to the iPhone, so my wife can continue using it, living with occasional annoying nags related to the inaccessible account, until it’s time to replace it, in the next year or two.

It’s a good thing I used trying to reset the iPad as a rehearsal for doing the same to the phone. She’s been living without the iPad for weeks now, an inconvenience, but not the end of the world. She couldn’t live without her phone, so if I had bricked it, we would have had to buy a new one immediately, even if we thought we could recover the old one. I did actually buy a new iPad as a Plan E, but I haven’t opened it and can return it if Plans C or D succeed.

At the government agency we work at, I support iOS devices (mostly iPhones and a tiny handful of iPads). We have mobile device management in place that restricts what users can do with the phones, and we prevent people from being able to use Apple IDs, for the very reason listed in this thread.

However I have one employee who had an iPhone 8 who was deployed the phone before it was set up on our MDM. She set it up with an Apple ID, then never used it. Later she couldn’t recall her passcode, and when we wiped it, we were unable to set it back up because it was locked with her Apple ID. She did not know her password for the Apple ID and no longer had access to the email account she used to create it. I ended up having to get the device shredded, there was nothing we could do.

By the way, you can easily wipe a phone even if you don’t have the Apple ID credentials, using iTunes and putting the device into recovery mode. The actual procedure varies from device to device. But even wiping the phone won’t help, you still can’t get into it if it’s locked with an Apple ID. Remember that even the FBI was unable to get into an iPhone to recover data in a terrorist case. You’re unlikely to do it at home on a personal device.

Yeah, all the Googling I did before starting in on the iPad referred to the former case, and I didn’t know enough about the Apple ecosystem to realize that our devices fell into the latter category. If I had known, I obviously wouldn’t have started in on the project.

Did the person who gave you them ever sync the devices with their computer? Like beowulff mentioned, you can wipe it from a trusted computer if the person ever did that.

@ commasense

So to fight ignorance, I’m curious what you mean? What was it about your device that made that option not work? In what condition would a device have to be for that software option to work?

Here’s what their website says, and which is their excuse for why they don’t want to give me a full refund:

I was supposed to have understood from this that their app wouldn’t work on our devices, which are linked to an Apple ID (for which we don’t have the password). I did a hard reset on the iPad, and now can’t unlock it to continue the setup process without the password to that Apple ID.

That sucks. Hopefully your friend will figure it out. I go old school for that stuff and keep everything hard copy in a book in my desk.

I’m proud to say I have my passwords and their updates for everything back to my first AOL password in the early 1990’s. :o :smiley:

Well, looking at it philosophically, both devices were gifts, so we’ve gotten “free” use of them for years. If we have to buy replacements, it’s not as though we’re out-of-pocket on the deal. It’s just a shame that a device in decent working condition may now be completely useless.