How to Activate a New iPhone


There’s nothing better than that feeling of unboxing a new iPhone. However, if you are setting up either a used a new iPhone, you’ll need to activate it to get cell service. The good news is that activation is part of the initial phone setup and should only take you a few moments. But you do an activated sim card in order to use it. Nonetheless, sometimes activation can be tricky. That’s why we’ve put together this guide for you on how to activate new Phones quickly and easily. You’ll be able to troubleshoot any problems and work around issues so you can have your iPhone up and running in no time.

How to Activate a New iPhone in a Few Steps

Most of the time, it should be very simple for you to activate an iPhone. If you’ve bought the phone new at an Apple Store, cellular provider, or major retailers, it’s likely you already have a Sim Card installed.

If it is not, however, you’ll have to do insert the SIM card. Power the phone off then eject the SIM card tray.

  1. Place the SIM Card in the tray and insert it back into the phone.
  2. Do note, you must have an activated SIM card from your chosen cell provider. If you’ve bought a locked phone, note you won’t be able to use a Sprint SIM Card in a phone locked to Verizon only. In this case, you’ll need to follow steps on how to unlock your phone instead. 
  3. After this, turn on your phone wait until the Apple logo appears.
  4. Follow the setup process through the instructions provided on-screen.
  5. Apple will prompt you for a connection option—either Wi-Fi or your telecom provider. You can either configure your Wi-Fi network or simply activate over data.
  6. Apple will prompt you to sign in with your Apple ID. This security is Activation Lock used to deter theft. If you’ve bought this phone new, you’ll have no problems signing in. If your iPhone is used, you may need the original owner to sign in so you can finish the setup. You can easily change the Apple ID later. Be sure to disable activation lock if you plan to sell your iPhone.
  7. Depending on your data connection speed and phone model, your phone should be ready to go within a few minutes.

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Finish the Activation Process

To wrap up how to activate a new iPhone, you’ll have a few options.

  • Choose setup as a new device if you want the quickest and easiest option. You’ll have an absolutely clean phone with no data or apps installed.
  • Select restore apps and data from iCloud if you want to transition between devices. Be sure to select your most recent backup to make sure you have everything.
  • If you don’t use iCloud, you can restore apps and data from an iTunes backup. Connect your iPhone to the computer with the USB cable. Then select restore iPhone. Note, this feature may not be accessible on newer phones or iTunes.
  • If you are migrating from Android to Apple, you can use Apple’s Move to iOS app to sync a lot of your old data fairly easily.

What Can’t I activate iPhone?

Sometimes, you may experience activating a new or old iPhone. Here’s what to do if you run into these problems.