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Released in July 2018, the 15" MacBook Pro, model A1990, features a 15.4 inch LED-Backlight display with True Tone technology, TouchID, and up to 6 Core i9 Processor.

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Is it activation lock or could I get it working?

Hello everyone,

I recently purchased a MacBook Pro 15” 2018 model with a broken screen for just $20. However, it came with an unknown Apple ID

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, which has been causing me some trouble. I've been trying different recovery methods to sort things out.

Initially, I attempted to use the reset password assistant, but signing in with my Apple ID didn't yield any results

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. Additionally, the other options prompted me for a password for the encrypted disk

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, which I don't have.

I then tried recovery mode over the internet and used Terminal to try the reset password option, but encountered the same issue

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. It seems that the encrypted disk might be preventing the reset.

I also tried checking the activation lock status through Terminal, but I couldn't find a solution. The system_profiler SPHardwareDataType doesn’t work in the recovery mode terminal. Interestingly, the MacBook now appears in my list of devices under iCloud settings on my iPhone, which has added to my confusion

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I haven't attempted deleting the encrypted disk

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or reinstalling macOS yet, as I'm worried it might activate the activation lock if it's on. Any advice or help would be greatly appreciated.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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After erase there wasn’t activation lock. So now I am signed and it’s working fine.


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If the disk is encrypted, you cannot reset the user password without the password for the disk (which is probably the password for the user account). So catch 22. Either way you're going to need the password or to reset the device.

Certain terminal commands are not available in recovery mode either because it needs to reference files that are stored on the encrypted disk (which is locked), or because certain functions just aren't present in the recovery environment.

In all likelihood this device is in fact iCloud locked and there's not really any getting around it. At this point, the only options are going to be wipe it and hope, or try to get in touch with the original owner for assistance, but depending on the circumstances of this purchase, that may not be an option either.

Sorry I probably wasn't much help, but this is exactly Apple's intention here and would rather tell it like it is in situations like this.

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"Thanks for your response, @flannelist. It's unlikely that I can obtain the previous owner's contact information through the terminal or any other means. However, I'm still confused how could the Mac get in to my iCloud devices.


@kicmer If you logged in your Apple account during the process, which it sounds like you did, that's normal. it just shows in the list since it's a device you logged in on.

Sorry this is such a pain. I know how frustrating this sort of thing can be for sure.


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