How to Remove Activation Lock on Mac | Jobs Vox


Right side of 2022 M2 Apple MacBook Air
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

Remove Activation Lock by entering the account password that originally protected the Mac when prompted. You can also turn off the feature in System Preferences or use to remove the device from your account by turning off Activation Lock instead.

Activation Lock first appeared on the iPhone as a way to prevent thieves from stealing Apple devices, and later found its way onto the Mac, Apple Watch, and more. Activation Lock must be removed from a Mac before it is sold, transferred, or purchased second-hand.

What is Activation Lock?

Activation Lock is a security feature that locks your Mac to your Apple ID. The feature works with Apple’s Find My network, and while Find My is enabled on a device, it’s also protected by Activation Lock. If you haven’t manually bypassed Find My, Activation Lock is enabled on your device.

The feature prevents anyone else from using your Mac as long as Activation Lock is turned on. Protection is maintained even after formatting the Mac and reinstalling macOS. If you intend to wipe your macOS partition using your Mac’s recovery mode, you’ll be prompted for Activation Lock when you reinstall the operating system.

To activate a Mac protected by Activation Lock, you must enter the account password for the Apple ID that the Mac is associated with. If you don’t remember your Apple ID password, you can reset it at If you have valid proof of purchase for your device, you can ask Apple to remove the activation lock for you.

Which Mac models use Activation Lock?

All modern Apple Silicon Mac models use Activation Lock, starting with the 2020 MacBook Air (M1), 2021 MacBook Pro (M1 Pro, M1 Max), Mac Studio (M1 Max, M1 Ultra), and MacBook Air 2022 (M2). ). Future models will also have the feature, since Apple now has full control over its system-on-chip design.

Apple M2 SOC Chip Data Information Sheet

The feature is also present on many Apple Silicon models. Any Mac model with a T2 security chip, including MacBook Air and MacBook Pro (2018 or later), Mac mini (2018 or later), Mac Pro (2019 or later), and iMac Pro.

Except for Macs with an Apple Silicon or T2 security chip, Activation Lock requires macOS Catalina or later and two-factor authentication set up on your Apple ID. On Apple Silicon, the security policy must be set to “full security” in recovery mode (the default setting), while T2 chip models require secure boot and “prohibit boot from external media” enabled in recovery mode.

T2 security chip in 2019 Mac mini

Unless you’ve turned off Find My or changed your Mac’s security settings, Activation Lock is likely turned on.

Remove Activation Lock in macOS

If you’ve reinstalled macOS and now see a screen asking you to activate your Mac, simply enter the password associated with the Apple ID listed. If it’s your Mac, it’s probably your Apple ID password.

If you just want to remove Activation Lock in macOS, go to System Preferences > [Your Name] > iCloud > Find My Mac and click the “Disable” button next to the “Find My Mac” option. You must enter your Apple ID password to confirm this.

Turn off Find My Mac in macOS System Preferences

If you’re doing this to transfer your Mac to a new owner, make sure to erase all your data from the Mac first.

Remove Activation Lock using iCloud

You can also remove the activation lock from another device using Find My. This can be on the web at, or on an iPhone or iPad where the Find My app is linked to the same account.

After signing in (or opening the app), find your Mac in the list of devices. On the web, click All Devices at the top of the screen, or use the Devices tab on a mobile device to locate your Mac.

Remove your Mac from your Apple ID with

From here, use the Remove from Account button to remove the Mac from your iCloud account. This will disable Activation Lock and make it so that you can no longer track the location of the device.

Related: How to change Apple ID on iPhone

Ask Apple to remove Activation Lock

You can also use Apple’s Activation Lock support website to “Start an Activation Lock Support Request” if you have proof of purchase. Apple says this must include the serial number (or IMEI/MEID for mobile products) and the device cannot be “managed” (protected by Apple MDM, often used by companies and institutions), and Lost Mode cannot be enabled.

If you go this route, all data on the device will be wiped as part of the process. Apple may not grant your request, so make sure you provide as much information as possible (including detailed proof of purchase information) to increase your chances of success.

Avoid buying a Mac with Activation Lock enabled

Making sure the seller disabled Activation Lock is one of the most important things to check when buying a used Mac. Ideally, the Mac will present itself as a brand new item, reset to factory settings (wiped), greet you with a “Hello” screen, and prompt you to sign in and set it up.

If macOS boots normally and you only see a sign-in prompt, make sure the owner is signed in and either wipe the Mac to factory settings or turn off Activation Lock in System Preferences > [Name] > iCloud > Find My Mac by clicking the Turn Off button and authenticating.

If you’ve already bought a Mac and are having problems with Activation Lock, you can try contacting the previous owner and walk them through the “Remove Activation Lock Using iCloud” section above.

Selling your Mac? Remove the activation lock first

The same advice about removing Activation Lock applies to sellers. When you erase your Mac, Apple should prompt you for a login to remove Activation Lock. You can always make sure Activation Lock is turned off by checking your Find My account either at or in the Find My app on another device. If your Mac is missing, Activation Lock has been successfully disabled.

If you sell your Mac without removing the activation lock, you can always remove it from your account afterwards using Find My online or on another device.

Remove activation lock from other devices

You can remove activation lock from iPhone or iPad in the same way. You can unpair your Apple Watch from the Watch app on your iPhone by tapping the “My Watch” tab, followed by “All Watches,” then tapping the “i” button next to your Apple Watch to reveal “Unpair Apple Watch.” . Options.

Related: How to set up your new Mac

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