A Complete Guilde to Security Locks for Smartphones and Tablets

If you own an Apple or Samsung phone, chances are you’re aware that you can take precautions against someone stealing your phone and using it as their own. “Find my iPhone” on Apple devices and “Find my Mobile” on Samsung devices are great features to locate lost or stolen phones, but they could possibly make it difficult when you go to trade in your phone. To make things more problematic, if you have a Samsung phone, your device could possibly be locked to both your Samsung (manufacturer) account and your Google (operating system) account. Most Android phones can be connected to a Google account and this lock is now proving to be the most difficult when you go to sell your device.

When buyback companies, such as MaxBack, receive locked phones, the process can be delayed and sometimes your phone will have to be sent back to you. You don’t want that to happen – you want your money, right? We know this can be confusing, but have no fear, we’re here to help make selling your phone as painless as possible. You wouldn’t sell a house without giving up the keys, would you? Follow the simple directions below and “give up the keys” to your phone.

How to Unlock Apple iPhones and iPads from iCloud

Any iPhones with iOS7 or newer will be locked to your iCloud account unless you turn off “Find my iPhone” prior to shipping your phone. To turn off “Find my iPhone”, simply:

  1. Go to “Settings” on your device.
  2. Select “iCloud” in your “Settings” menu.
  3. Under “Find my iPhone”, select “Turn Off” and enter your iCloud password if prompted.

Don’t worry, if you forgot to turn it off before sending, you can remove your device from your iCloud account remotely from a computer. Follow these easy steps below:

  1. Log in to your iCloud account using your Apple ID and password.
  2. Select “Find my iPhone”.
  3. From the “All Devices” menu, select the device you would like to remove.
  4. Select “Erase (device type)”
  5. Confirm that you want to erase the device from your account.
  6. Select “Next” until you get the “Erase Started” pop-up box.
  7. Select “Remove from Account”.

How to Unlock Apple Watches

An Apple Watch will also be locked unless it is unpaired from your iPhone prior to shipping. To unpair your Watch from your phone:

  1. Keep your Apple Watch and iPhone near by each other as you unpair them.
  2. Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone.
  3. Go to the My Watch tab and tap your watch at the top of the screen.
  4. Tap the info icon Apple iOS info icon next to the watch that you want to unpair.
  5. Tap Unpair Apple Watch.
  6. For Apple Watch Series 4 (GPS + Cellular) or Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular), choose to remove your cellular plan. (You might need to contact your carrier to cancel your cellular subscription.)
  7. Tap again to confirm. You may need to enter your Apple ID password to disable Activation Lock.

If you did not unpair your Watch before sending, you are able to remove it from your iCloud account from a computer. See below:

If your Watch has WatchOS 3.x installed:

  1. Go to http://www.icloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Click the icon for Find My iPhone and wait for it to locate all your devices.
  3. Click the All Devices drop down at the top of the screen, then click on your Apple Watch.
  4. In the small window that pops up, click Erase [Device Name].
  5. You may be asked to enter your Apple ID username and password and/or answer security questions. Enter these and click to proceed with erasing the device.
  6. After the device has been erased, click the Remove From Account button.

If your Apple Watch has WatchOS 2.x installed:

  1. Go to http://www.icloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Click the icon for Settings.
  3. Under My Devices, click your Apple Watch.
  4. Click “X” icon next to your device.
  5. Click Remove to confirm.

How to Unlock Google Accounts on Android Devices

If you have an Android phone or if your Samsung phone is also connected to a Google account, you must remove it prior to sending your phone to be sold or it will be locked to your account. Since your phone cannot be removed from your account remotely, you will actually have to have your phone in hand to enter your username and password to remove it. Any reputable buyback company will not be able to take your username and password for legal reasons, which will result in your phone being sent back to you. Follow the easy steps below to remove your phone from your Google account:

  1. Go to your device Settings.
  2. Click “Accounts & Sync”.
  3. Click on “Your Account”.
  4. Select “Remove Account” button.

How to Unlock Samsung Devices

Any Samsung phones S5 or newer will be locked to your Samsung account unless you erase all content and settings prior to shipping your phone. If you forgot to do so before sending, you can also remove your device from your Samsung account remotely from a computer. Follow these easy steps below:

  1. Visit http://findmymobile.samsung.com and log in with your Samsung Account ID and password.
  2. Click “Wipe my Device”.
  3. Click “Erase Device”.
  4. When the device has been erased, click “Remove from Account”.

Since values can change daily and you want the most for your old device, remember to turn off any passcodes BEFORE you factory-reset your device for the smoothest transaction.

We hope this clears everything up for you, but feel free to leave any questions in the comments below. If you are looking for more assistance with these security locks, the best place to go for information would be to contact Apple, Samsung, or Google, not your carrier. Good luck!

Frequent Searches