How to Fix iPhone Activation Errors – Try These Methods

Can't activate your iPhone? Try out these possible solutions to fix the error.

Faced with activation error on your iPhone X? You are not alone to have encountered this annoying issue.

Some iPhone X owners are reportedly facing an activating error on the device. Majority of the users are AT&T and Verizon customers. They see instead long wait times for the activation process, and then it fails with an error message. So, what could be the solution to the problem? The issue could well be a duty to heavy congestion with millions of devices being activated at once.

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Fix iPhone Activation Issues

How to Fix Activation Error on iPhone

What we’ll do is explore all the possibilities of fixing the activation errors on your iPhone and get it up and running. Before we dive head-first, let’s take a look at the various errors that prevent your activation:

  1. Your iPhone could not be activated because the activation server is temporarily unavailable.
  2. The iPhone is not recognized and cannot be activated for service.
  3. iTunes was unable to verify your device.


The first time you see this error, it’s better to wait. The chances are that the servers at Apple are truly busy or buggy which means the activation stuff isn’t going through. You should wait for a few minutes before trying again.

I’d also go as far as to remove the SIM from the tray and then re-inserting it onto the tray and then trying to go through the activation process again.

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Restarting your iPhone is going to be one of the simplest ways to try and fix the error. While it doesn’t instantly guarantee that your activation will go through smoothly, there’s a strong chance of that happening. To restart iPhone X, you need to press and hold the Side button and either volume button until the slider appears. Then, you have to drag the slider to turn your iPhone X completely off.*

When your iPhone turns off, press and hold the Side button again until you see the Apple logo.

Lock/Unlock SIM Status

In case nothing works, you should probably check to see if the problem is with the SIM-card / carrier. If you are trying to activate a different carrier on a locked iPhone (which hasn’t been unlocked yet), you’ll get the activation errors obviously.

In these cases, you’ll have to call the carrier directly and ask them to activate your iPhone+SIM card. Most of the time, the support executive will guide you through the activation process. If you have an iPhone which was on a different carrier (earlier) and now you’re trying to activate a different carrier, you should know that the earlier carrier should’ve unlocked your iPhone.

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Wifi/Network Issues

Maybe it’s the Wifi/network that’s causing the issue? Maybe your network is blocking on a couple of ports. To test this, you should get connected to a different Wi-fi source than the one you are using now.

Via iTunes

This is where it gets a little tricky but useful. If things don’t work still, you should try to activate your iPhone via iTunes. Make sure it’s updated to the latest version.

Simply connect your iPhone to your computer via the USB cable. Turn it off and reboot – which triggers iTunes to open. (if it doesn’t open, manually open iTunes).

Once iTunes detects your iPhone, it might ask you to go through a few steps to activate your iPhone. Although this happens less frequently as most people activate directly on their iPhone, you might be able to fix the issue.

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And in case you’re not able to fix it, then it’s time to roll up the sleeves and restore the device.

Turn off your iPhone and then connect to your computer. Open iTunes and then switch your iPhone on. iTunes will tell you that it has detected an iPhone and would you like to restore your device. Yeah, we do need to restore the iPhone so go through the restore process.

Once restored, try activating the iPhone again.

Talk to Your Carrier/Apple Care

If nothing works, maybe it’s time to call your carrier or contact Apple Care and figure out a solution through the customer support guys.

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Wrapping up

So, which one of these solutions worked for you? Let us know that in the comments below.

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Dhvanesh Adhiya
Dhvanesh Adhiya is our editor-in-chief and reviewer who takes care of He is passionate for wonderful apps that change the way your iPhone interacts in your life.


  1. My iphone keeps showing searching, I removed the SIM but it continues to show searching. it would not install the new update, it shows error. Can you help?

  2. You should start this article with the main reason: Turn off the SIMs PIN code request, ie deactivate SIM security on another phone first, then the activation takes around a second to complete.

  3. I tried all but still i cant fix my phone. I tried to connect with itunes but its says that it cannot connect my phone due to passcode. I cant activate my phone and my ios beta was expired. How can i resolve this issue please help me.

  4. I solved this by connecting the iphone to a macbook. Windows didnt recognize iphone. MAcbook picked it instantly.


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