How to remove or bypass the Activation Lock on Apple devices?


5 mins

Remote companies are awesome in many ways, eg. the talent pool and cost saving, etc. There are a few things that suck (sorry but it is true). Some examples are the burden of handling work devices for remote employees and the Apple Activation lock on Macbook.

Since the launch of Apple T2 security chips and later M1/M2 CPU chips, activation lock has been an ongoing issue for remote companies. When we assign a device to an employee, more often than not, they will log in with their personal iCloud account on the device, and turn on the “Find My” app on the device. When the device is returned to the company, you have to remind the employee to turn off “Find My” on that device. If not, the company has to figure out how to unlock it. There are 2 ways to remove the locks depending on the supervision status of the device:

  1. If the device still has “Find My” on it and the device is NOT supervised, the company has to submit the request to Apple with the original purchase receipt. 
  2. If the device is supervised, 
  • You can clear the activation lock from the MDM vendor you used
  • You can get the bypass code from the MDM vendor you used to bypass the activation lock.

What is supervised mode?

Supervised devices are a type of device that is monitored and controlled by the Apple Business Manager (ABM) or Apple School Manager (ASM) or enrolled by User Approved MDM (UAMDM).

UAMDM and Device Enrollment
  1. If a device is enrolled in an Apple Business Manager (ABM) or Apple School Manager (ASM) , it is automatically supervised.
  2. If a device is manually enrolled in an MDM by the user, it is also supervised. (Enrollment must be completed by users themselves). However, if a device is enrolled by automation, scripts, or screen sharing, it is not supervised.

To enroll a device through Apple Business Manager (ABM) or Apple School Manager (ASM) , you can use one of the methods below:

  1. Apple Configurator iPhone App: Reset the computer to Setup Assistant by wiping disks and reinstalling macOS and use the app to scan a code during the country setup page (the 1st page) of the Setup Assistant.
  2. Automated Device Enrollment (or Device Enrollment Program aka DEP): This is the most recommended way of enrolling in ABM. In our experience, this can save any headaches you might have with Apple devices in the long run.