Samsung phones have a feature for this specific scenario. Maintenance Mode creates a temporary user account, allowing a service technician to test all of the functionality of your device without exposing any user data. Given Apple's stated commitment to privacy and security, I'm surprised that there's no equivalent feature.


One of the main reasons I pay for AppleCare is to use the Express Replacement Service[0]. They will overnight a new iPhone to you while you keep the old one, then you can transfer your data to the new one and safely wipe the old one before mailing it back.

This avoids a lot of hassle with the store’s repair team and is the same price as most repairs. (The front glass only repair is slightly cheaper than ERS but wouldn’t you rather get a new phone, battery, etc for slightly more?)

[0] https://support.apple.com/iphone/repair/express-replacement

FWIW, I've had the unofficial repair shops try to insist I needed to tell them my PIN ahead of a screen repair so they could "test everything works."

I'm sure plenty fall for it. All those nudes don't leak themselves.

Doesn't answer your question, but be careful that your distrust doesn't lead you into worse trouble.

I was asked to do this for my MacBook repair and I asked them why. The technician said they had to run their diagnostic tool to make sure everything is in order. But he simply asked me to create a new limited access user rather than give out my password.

Unfortunately this doesn’t help your situation, so I’d recommend taking a full offline backup using iTunes, erasing the phone and restoring your backup once you get the device back.

If the phone is semi-functional, then you should backup and factory reset the device before handing it off to be repaired.
While I agree it’s not best practice to enter your password on a random device, turning off find my is pretty standard for Apple repairs. I think one of the reasons why is that Find My enables activation lock which will prevent them from fully restoring the iPhone if they need to for any reason. Also, if they decide to replace it with a new unit then you need activation lock disabled so the old one can still be usable. With it still enabled, the old iPhone would essentially be bricked for life otherwise since it’s linked to your account.

As far as the Apple support app, I think that Apple does have a legitimate app under that name. However, usually find my is disabled under the find my app, not the Apple support app (unless Apple stores use a custom version with it in there or it’s hidden in the regular app where I can’t find it). It’s also possible the support app just redirected you to the find my app. Either way, if you don’t trust the app, you could just go to a web browser at home and disable it via the web app for find my so they can proceed with the repair. I don’t know if third party repair shops will also make you disable find my, but I know Apple usually asks you to disable find my first

Strange that they didn’t bother create diagnostics software to be in guest user space accessible via some code 9t dongle.
Had the same experience when getting my non-iPhone repaired. They said they need it to verify the new screen works properly. I said, I will not give them my PIN. That apparently removed some warranty that it's working? It's very very weird, but it's probably just to test each area of the screen (can't be done when locked). I just tested it in the store myself.
last time I had an issue they asked me to disable filevault which really freaked me out... I wouldn't trust all of their guidance.
You should delete all your personal data and then leave a mobile in the support store, I won't leave my phone unblocked to anyone.
FYI: you can do that on device you used to type this post. They need you to disable Find My in order to confirm that you're the legit owner of the device. The problem is that diagnosis refuses to start on devices with Find My enabled. Their diagnostic tools work in a pre-boot environment so that they don't have access to any of your data.
I’m pretty sure this has to do with phone theft. When you get your phone stolen, the thieves disassembling your phone is China will send you hundreds of texts asking you to disable find my iPhone. I’m hoping it’s because you can’t even used the pieces for parts if that was enabled.
I think this is related to the way the Apple links different Apple devices? If I change my apple password, or if I have a new device, I need to enter my phone passcode on that new device to properly link them.

Maybe the apple support app uses a similar mechanism to disable find my?

I couldn't schedule a repair at the genius bar and to go in person I could only find apple stores in malls (which I can't stand), going through all that for them to ask me the same shit in person possibly and deny repair is not worth it.

So I just went to a nearby repair guy who only asked for my phone number to update me on the repair status.

At some point you need to trust your vendor or why are you even buying their products in the first place
ifixit.com and replace the screen yourself, its cheaper since you only pay for the replacement screen and its a good learning experience.
I just don't understand the meaning of this, and thus I have a hard time not seeing malice in this.

I manage RMA for consumer electronics, and we don't do any shit like that.

We just have a factory test firmware that is signed by us, that can be booted from a USB storage, boots in RAM (so it doesn't need anything from local storage except first stage bootloader, and we disable secure enclave in first stage boot in that mode).

It's still a bit of a security tradeoff since that gives attacker an extra surface area to execute code on Application Processor, but still nowhere near giving your password to strangers?

You are needlessly paranoid.

It's common to ask for the password and I don't think they'd touch your private files.

After the screen is fixed they'd need to do QA that it works correctly. Some things you just have to trust in life, too much paranoia won't lead you to good places. Trust me, I've been there.