iOS 7 Security: Find My iPhone Toggle Password Protected, Prevents Restores [Update]

During Apple’s preview of iOS 7 at WWDC, security features were emphasized to protect lost and stolen iPhones. Find my iPhone, long known as the saviour for misplaced phones, could be easily turned off in iOS 6, making it effortless for thieves to cease tracking of devices.

In iOS 7, things have changed. Now, in order to turn off Find my iPhone, an Apple ID password is required to toggle the feature off.

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Furthermore, an attempt to restore an iPhone within iTunes is not possible unless Find my iPhone is disabled on the device.

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So if someone steals your phone, there’s no way for them to turn off Find my iPhone or restore your iPhone in iTunes without an Apple ID password.

If you are able to remotely erase your iPhone via Find my iPhone, your Apple ID will be required to activate the phone again.

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Apple notes even after a remote restore, your iPhone will continue to display a message and your phone number on the lock screen.

Given the high number of iPhone and iPad thefts, these new security features in iOS 7 should give users an even better piece of mind if their devices are lost or stolen. Anyone excited for these new security additions?

Update June 17: Our own tests have confirmed restoring an iPhone with DFU mode still requires an Apple ID for signing in (downgrading an iPhone 4 from iOS 7 beta to iOS 6.1.3). Also, attempting to delete an iCloud account within Settings also prompts for an Apple ID password.

activate iphone ios 7

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.

  • speederd

    A way around it is to put the phone in DFU mode and perform a completely restore. A theft usually don’t care about what’s on the phone, they care about the phone itself.

  • wuju

    Great!

  • einsteinbqat

    Can this be bypassed by DFU? If it can, then there is no point because thieves will know about this. DFU mode is not very difficult to accomplish.

  • bauub

    When I first heard about this new security feature, I thought about that DFU mode workaround. I hope apple figures something out that makes it redundant.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    Couldn’t you delete the iCloud account from the device?

  • Dr. AL

    I can confirm that placing an iPhone in DFU mode and restoring an iOS 7 device does not work. I updated an iPhone 4 to iOS 7 used iCloud, then downgraded to iOS 6 via DFU mode and iTunes would not activate till I entered in my Apple ID and password. Since i had this info there were no issues, but a stolen iPhone would still not be able to activate through iTunes and thus would be a brick.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    Thanks for the confirmation Dr. AL.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    No. It still asks for an Apple ID password.

  • Josh

    That’s good news, i remember when my 3gs was stolen at the time, i did a remote wipe and could no longer locate the iphone because the found my iphone credentials was been deleted from the remote wipe, so the thief had a free iphone there’s nothing i could to get it back! With this feature the chances of getting your phone backbis greater!

  • Chrome262

    Wait so if you want to restore your own phone, do you have to deactivate find my phone, or just type in your password? Because that is kind of dumb. What if you restore, then forget to turn on find my iphone again.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    Update: DFU mode restores still require Apple ID to activate (check the update above). The same goes for trying to delete an iCloud account within Settings.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    DFU mode is not a workaround.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    Nope. Check our update.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    Deactivating Find my iPhone will prompt your password. So both.

    If you restore, Find my iPhone is default to OFF until you sign in with your Apple ID, or restore to previous settings. Nothing has really changed from that perspective.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    Actually this workaround does not work. DFU mode does not allow you to bypass this security feature.

  • xxxJDxxx

    Guess the thieves will be busy this summer before everyone upgrades to iOS 7

  • einsteinbqat

    Good! Then this security feature is useful after all.

  • Daniel Tran

    I’ve got trouble now. I want to downgrade from iOS 7 to 6.1.3 in my iPhone 4. I still have my Apple ID password and log in successfully to iCloud. But when I turn off “Find my iPhone”, it prompted to ask password, I key in, then it said WRONG.

    Please help me, what should I do now?

  • Fred

    Turning find my iphone off needs iCloud password while turning off location service , no! So it can be disabled!

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    Are you sure you have the right password??

  • Daniel Tran

    Yes, for sure! I’ve tried slowly many times and checked it very careful to eliminate any human error. When I search for solution, I found that there are many peoples face the same trouble. However I can not find any available suggestion.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    Try logging out of your iCloud account?

  • Daniel Tran

    In my laptop, I’ve log out. But in my iPhone, there has only option to delete iCloud account completely. I’ve tried it, but it still prompt to ask for Apple ID password, then still said that wrong password again!

  • Daniel Tran

    BTW, there has no wifi connection currently. I am not sure it can be whether a reason?

  • Daniel Tran

    Finally I can turn off Find my iPhone now. The reason is Find my iPhone need to have WIFI connection to confirm the password.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Gary

    I actually had the same situation–my phone was in airplane mode.

  • James

    I have an iPod touch 5. What if you restore, and due to pack of wifi, are unable to reactive your iPod? And since you need to go to settings to connect to a network, wouldn’t it render your iPod useless??!!

  • James

    *lack of wifi

  • James

    Furthermore, if you have the iPod touch and you lose it, you can’t really activate activation lock without wifi. If these devices will automatically connect it to wifi hotspots, why would a would be thief carry the device around; to help me find my iPod?

  • James

    Therefore, when I am on the passlock screen and unable to activate the lost mode, the thief could dfu it. Apple should make devices unrestorable without entering your password, with sending a password reset option to your email as backup.

  • Ole Eriksen

    This is actually a real pain for me. I tried out iOS 7 Beta and my phone crashed, when I turned it back on, it froze. So I thought that that was no big deal, I put it in DFU mode and connected to iTunes, but when I try to restore it says that I have to turn off find my iphone. So I log on to iCloud on my mac and remove the phone from my devices list and try again, but guess what! You have to do it in the settings on the device, so if I want to fix the device then it has to work. THE DEVICE NEED TO WORK IF I WANT TO FIX IT! Fuck logic!

  • Testing

    What would happen if you use an older version of iTunes offline to restore any iphone 4 and try to DFU + Restore it? Will that show the same message?