Services & Software

Can't sign out of iCloud on your iPhone, iPad or Mac? This is probably why

There's a confusing reason why you can't click or tap on the sign out button on Apple's phone.

I've used this trick a number of times to sign out of my account. 
Angela Lang/CNET

When you're getting ready to sell or trade in your old iPhone, Mac or iPad, it's a good idea to sign out of your accounts before factory resetting it. Naturally, Apple's iCloud is one such account. But signing out of your iCloud account isn't always a simple process. 

This Apple support page walks you through signing out of iCloud on every Apple device makes it seem like it's a straight-forward process -- open settings or system preferences, navigate to the iCloud account section and tap or click the Sign Out button. 

But what do you do if the button is greyed out? Unclickable? Untappable? The support page doesn't mention it, but here's what I've learned: You need to turn off Screen Time before you can sign out of iCloud. 

Screen Time is a feature built into your Mac, iPhone or iPad that tracks how much time you spend on your devices, or how many notifications you receive, and from which apps, in a given day. And for some reason, it can block you from removing your iCloud account from your device. We've reached out to Apple for more clarification on why that is.

So, if you find yourself staring at a Sign Out button that won't work, here's what you need to do. 


After doing this, you should be good to go. 

Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Disable Screen Time on iPhone or iPad

On your iPhone or iPad, follow these steps. 

1. Open the Settings app. 

2. Tap Screen Time from the list of options. 

3. Scroll to the bottom of the page where you'll find a button labeled Turn Off Screen Time; tap it. 

4. Enter your Screen Time passcode if prompted and then confirm your decision to turn it off. 

With Screen Time disabled, you should be able to go to your iCloud account and the Sign Out button will work. If it still isn't showing up as active, restart your device and it should work then. 


When Screen Time is turned on, this button will be what you need to click to turn it off. 

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Disable Screen Time on a Mac

1. Open System Preferences

2. Click Screen Time

3. Your account should be selected by default, if not use the drop down to select your name. 

4. Click the button labeled Turn Off... and follow the prompts. 

Finally, go back to the iCloud account settings page and the Sign Out button should magically work now. If it still isn't showing up as active, restart your Mac and it should work then. 

It's unclear why Screen Time can prevent you from signing out of iCloud on your iPhone and more, but nonetheless, it's an easy fix. We also have some tips for troubleshooting and fixing other iPhone problems, like poor battery life. If you're just getting started with a new iPhone, here are some settings you should change right away. And, finally, we also have a roundup of tips and tricks we found in iOS 14.

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