Apple just removed iCloud’s Activation Lock status tool

Image: Mashable composite/getty creative

‘Looks like scoring a used iPhone just got a bit more tricky.

Apple’s iCloud Activation Lock toolwhich allowed potential buyers to check if a used iOS device (i.e. iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches and Apple Watches) is tied to an active accountappears to have been removed from iCloud.com. The change was first noticed by MacRumors.

Activation Lock, first introduced with iOS 7 in 2013, is enabled automatically when a user turns on their device’s Find My iPhone feature. It ties an iOS device to a single iCloud account, effectively protecting the phone from being hijacked by someone else. It’s the reason why you have to take a few moments to wipe an iOS device and turn off Find My iPhone when you trade your old iPhone in for a new oneif you didn’t, your old device would still be tied to your account, and useless on the resale market.

The Activation Lock status checking tool was first introduced in 2014 to help buyers on the resale market steer clear of locked (and thus: potentially stolen) devices. By entering the IMEI or Serial Number, buyers would instantly be alerted of a product still tied to an iCloud account, and take the proper steps with the seller to either unlock the device or stop the sale.