Buying used or second hand is great for saving money especially with electronic devices. But you may not be familiar with a big issue when buying a used iPhone or iPad.

Since Apple introduced iCloud 7.0, they added a new security feature which makes it nearly impossible to use an iPhone or iPad that has a security lock on it. Apple created this feature to deter thieves from stealing iPhones and iPads.

Here’s how it works. If you have the Find iPhone app activated on your device, no one else can use it. That means if someone finds your iPhone or iPad, they can’t activate it without your iCloud login info. They can’t get into the iPad or use it and it ends up being an expensive paperweight.

Before iCloud 7, you could restore the device to factory settings when you log the device into iTunes. But this option is not possible anymore.

This is a great feature in theory, to prevent people from stealing Apple devices. But there are instances where it sucks.


You bought a used iPhone or iPad that’s locked with this feature.

You have to make sure that the device is unlocked when you buy it from the seller. Otherwise, you won’t be able to use it at all! Apple won’t help you without proof of purchase.

What if the seller stole the device? They won’t be able to help you unlock the device.

A former employee had a company iPad and resigned or were fired and didn’t unlock the device.

Again, the iPad is useless without the iCloud username and password.

You forgot your password and you aren’t near an Apple store or you lost your proof of purchase.

You forgot your password and you lost your receipt? Tough luck!

A family member passed away and you can’t get into their iPad.

Sometimes you want to see what your loved one was doing on their iPad, for sentimental reasons. Without a receipt or password, you can’t get into it.

When it comes to electronics, sometimes it’s better to buy new.

Have you bought a used iPhone or iPad recently? Was it unlocked?

Photo Credit: Tatsuo Yamashita via Flickr