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  • Writer's pictureMackenzie Mosieur

How iPhone Activation Lock Prevents Your Donated Phone from Being Used

Updated: Apr 14, 2020

With new smartphone prices climbing to the $1,000 range, buying a used phone is a great money-saving alternative! These used phones are available often because of generous donation. However, there’s an extra step to be taken before dropping your old Apple product in that recycle box.

The activation lock feature on Apple products is wildly successful at preventing theft and helping you locate your lost device, but on the other hand, it’s interfering with the recycling process of phones that are willingly donated. When these phones are brought to electronic recycling facilities, like the 911 Cell Phone Bank, they are assessed on how they will be used based on condition, but when this lock is present, the phone is deemed practically unusable and is scrapped. This may not seem like a big deal, but it actually has a significant impact on the environment. 416,000 mobile devices are discarded daily, rather than being reused and recycled they go into landfills where they contaminate air, soil, and groundwater. That’s just in the U.S.!

If you are looking to make good use of an old device, be sure to properly clear it beforehand. That way the outcome is favorable and doesn’t contribute to the world’s ever-growing E-Waste problem. If you own an Apple product, all you need to do is sign out of your iCloud first before factory resetting it. You can do this by going to Settings > Apple ID > Sign Out. After that, Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. All done!

It feels good to give, especially when what is given is put to good use! By properly clearing your donated iPhone of the Activation lock, you’re ensuring that it’s being put to the best possible use, and not ending up in a landfill. We thank you for your continuous support in helping us give these phones new life!

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