If you’re in the market to buy or sell a used iOS device, Apple has just made things a bit easier for you, as they have released a new browser-based Activation Lock Status tool.
Activation Lock is a security feature, built-in to iOS 7 and above, that prevents anyone from erasing or activating an iOS device without first entering the owner’s Apple ID and password. The feature must be disabled before the device is sold or given to a new owner. If the device is not unlocked, the device is rendered unusable.
The feature is turned on by default on any iOS device with iCloud enabled.
Apple has setup a new tool to check the Activation Lock status of any iOS device. By visiting: http://www.iCloud.com/ActivationLock a user can enter the IMEI or serial number of an iOS device to check its status.
If a device is locked, a message informs the user that the user’s Apple ID and password will be required to allow activation for a new user. If Activation Lock is turned off on the device, the user is given a “green light” telling them the device is ready for activation and use by a new user.
It’s not known when Apple first began offering the Activation Lock Status tool online, although it should prove a helpful tool to anyone selling or buying used iOS devices. (Be advised, the tool refuses to load on an iPhone device at this time, so you’ll want to have a computer handy to check any serial numbers.)