Perfectly Good MacBooks From 2020 Are Being Sold for Scrap Because of Activation Lock

Perfectly Good MacBooks From 2020 Are Being Sold for Scrap Because of Activation Lock

#Perfectly #Good #MacBooks #Sold #Scrap #Activation #Lock

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This is entirely on the orgs’ IT departments not doing their job right. Activation Lock as a security feature/theft deterrent is clearly working as intended.


This has been a thing for decades with various notebooks from different manufacturers. BIOS lock out has been a feature of IBM laptops for quite some time. Can be bypassed with a lot of work, but most times the company just scraps them.

I have a few laptops from companies I worked for around here that are basically paper weights now. Can’t even reinstall Windows because external media is locked out without an admin login to a Windows network that no longer exists.


So no different than iPhones and iPads.

You have to have some type of hardware management system for Apple products like intune or Airwatch. Don’t rely on customers to remember the password. FWIW this is also true for a lot of Android devices. I have a ton of both by my desk now because no one actually took the time to think before giving them to employees.


So, it seems to me that their beef should be with the corporations unloading these computers without unlocking them instead of Apple. That is, if these computers were represented as functional computers when sold by the original owners.


This article is misleading. You could just reset the Mac before selling it to anyone. The ones that are being sold for scraps are probably stolen.


Anyone with a activation locked MacBook, there is a trick to get rid of the lock, at least on Monterey and older OS version (source, I work in IT).

You just need to wipe and reinstall MacOS, after the first reboot in the reinstall process, you can shutoff your internet and after the install is finished, continue through setup as normal, selecting no network, instead choosing that the MacBook will be used offline. Then, you will need to edit the hosts file to block the MacBook from connecting to Apples authentication servers. These servers are:,,, and

It’s a shame these MacBooks are getting scrapped, when Apple could intervene or this trick could be done!


I have a MacBook Pro that my employer refused to collect and then locked, late 2018 model I believe. It has a T2 chip. I was able to unlock it with my friend’s MacBook Air and have been using it since 2020 without issue. I just had to keep it offline until I was able to block the MDM URLs in the hosts file.


I worked as a surplus property program manager for a large-ish University in the Midwest USA, and this was common. I could get around most Dell bios passwords through various means, but MacBooks/iMacs were a no-go. Updating IT department end-of-life procedures to include unlocking the machines was the easiest solution to avoid this. Otherwise we stripped drives and sold the chassis for parts.


They are NOT perfectly good. They are activation locked by a negligent user that didn’t remove it from their icloud account.

I work in IT and its a pain in the ass tracking these people down after they’ve left the company to have them remove the machine from their account.


I hate when people say “this is working like it should” when a perfectly functional computer is being destroyed and placed in a landfill. There should be a system that verifies that a machine has been stripped of parts and re-assembled as a refurbished machine or sold in bulk and reported as a donation/tax write off which then allows re-sale as a refurbished item, not tossed in a landfill like all the endless trash we no longer need. If people steal a machine from their place of business and try to re-sell, there is still the option of remote wiping and activation locks, but Apple stores should still accept orphaned machines and stolen/resold machines to return them to their owners or refurb/re-sell rather than outright destroy them. What is the point?


Probably unrelated but I hate when Apple asks for an old password.


This feature is working as intended, and is modeled on legally required IMEI blocking on cell phones (US: Blocks carrier activation for phones reported as stolen). When that requirement hit, the number of phones stolen dropped dramatically.

There are also similar features on many Corporate Windows machines. (EG: Microsoft Endpoint Manager contains a “Autopilot” feature that will grab any workstation (listed there) when it connects to the internet, & lock it to the corporate Endpoint Management system. I occasionally get a machine from repair locked to someone else’s tenant, and have to open a ticket with them to get it released.)


Beside the recycler obviously trying to make profit on selling computer that are given to them to be destroyed, it’s extremely uncomfortable to see so many working computer crushed and not re-used.

I take my plastic shit in one trash, glass in another, other in a third, to help environment yet these companies destroy thousands of working computer because they can’t be bothered to erase their freaking drive ?


> Bumstead told Motherboard that every year Apple makes life a little harder for the second hand market.

Hmmm I wonder why…

> Often the previous owners are corporations or schools who buy and sell the machines in bulk and aren’t interested in helping recyclers or refurbishers unlock them.

Oh so it’s not an Apple issue. An anti-theft measure is working as intended. People are just stupid. It’s very easy to remove the activation lock. It’s just removing it with your Apple ID. Somehow I feel if this wasn’t a feature, there would be backlash at Apple for when people’s devices get stolen and people ask Apple why don’t they have an activation lock.


The walled gardens have added claymores.


I worked at a tech reseller/recycler and the amount of perfectly functional apple products we got and weren’t able to resell because of this was ridiculous. They just get sent to a different company and broken down.

What a waste.


perfectly stolen macbooks are being sold for scrap because of activation lock

fixed it


The better question is why they’re not being filtered through Apple to be unlocked/wiped and factory reset before being sent to the secondary/used market.

If you’re going to bitch about this, bitch to Apple:


Meanwhile chromebooks have a ‘powerwash’ button that wipes everything and does a factory reset.


Original owner can login and wipe.

Incompetent IT cannot. They will learn (or be replaced with those who do).

Also stolen laptops are useless — that’s a good thing.


Macbooks for scrap = Expensive because its the only way to get those replacement parts.


Activation lock… so people are selling their devices without removing it from their iCloud?


Enterprise asset leasing worldwide accounted for almost 850 Billion in 2220 and among those assets… Apple PCs. Judging from these comments, most folks are missing that aspect of this issue. I’ve made my living for almost 20 years in IT financing.


Yep, when I worked in a repair shop attached to a big box store you get some back that are just bricks cause the password can’t be bypassed. Forget your password you better hope apple will take mercy on you. Happens to iPads all the time.


At the library I worked at about 6-7 years ago, there were SOOOOO many kids coming in who were getting scammed by someone in the neighborhood selling blacklisted/activation lock’d iPhones.

I think at one time, the “folk wisdom” was to “just use iTunes and restore it”, but this hasn’t been true in a long long time. So there was always a rash of people who were trying to use a library Mac computer to use iTunes to fruitlessly restore a phone that does nothing to help them.


This chip is hugely useful in reducing theft of Apple devices. What should be happening is people should be forced to factory reset their Apple devices if they want to put them on the resale market.

Enterprise level companies don’t want these devices salvaged. They want them destroyed. Secure Data Destruction. Unless required by law, most big businesses would prefer their hardware be destroyed than risk a data breach.


Last week, I learned about the term “[rent seeking](”


lol dude has his password on a post-it right on the palm rest

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