How to Fix iPhone Activation Error: Try These 8 Tips

So you wanted to set up your iOS device but encountered iPhone activation error? We understand how stressful that can be. Moreover, it’s important to tackle the issue with the right solution, and that’s why we’ve lined up eight tips and tricks to fix the activation error on iPhone. Let’s have a look.

Reasons Why iPhone Activation Error Occurs

Before we jump on the solutions, first, let’s understand the root cause of activation error. The issue occurs due to several reasons. And, the following are some of the biggest culprits:

  • The activation server being down
  • Your carrier may be experiencing issues
  • Activation Lock is set
  • SIM card might not be supported
  • Invalid plan with your wireless carrier
  • Activation couldn’t be completed
  • iTunes Couldn’t Verify Your iPhone

Been there, done that, I can tell that the problem could be due to one of the above reasons.

What to Do When iPhone Activation Error?

As you have found the culprits that may be behind this new iPhone activation error, it’s time to cut the chase. Keep in mind, you might have to try out more than one solution to resolve this issue.

#1. Check Apple System Status Page

The first thing you should do before going on to find a quick solution to resolve this activation issue on your iOS device is to check the system status page. Yeah, you heard it right. It will let you quickly find out whether or not Apple’s service is experiencing downtime.

At times, Apple’s server, which plays a vital role in activating an iPhone, goes down due to technical issues. On some occasions, it becomes rather slow owing to a high volume of traffic.

Head over to the Apple Support System Status website to figure out the exact situation. If the box to the left of iOS Device Activation isn’t green, that means Apple’s server is facing some kind of issues. In this case, wait for some time.

#2. Remove the SIM Card and Reinsert It in an iPhone

If you are getting the “SIM card is unsupported error” or “No SIM/Invalid SIM” error, remove the SIM card and reinsert it.

First off, turn off your iPhone. Then, use a SIM ejector tool to remove the SIM card. Then, reinsert the SIM card. Ensure that the SIM tray closes perfectly and isn’t loose.

If you try to use a SIM tray from different iPhone models or other phone manufacturers, the tray may not fit perfectly.

If you still see the “No SIM” or “Invalid SIM” error, try using another SIM card. If you can activate your iPhone using another SIM card, the problem is with your SIM card.

One more thing worth keeping in mind is ensuring that you have an
active plan with your wireless carrier.

Whether you want to replace the SIM card, check for the network, or activation issue, contact your carrier.

#3. Restart Your iPhone

Another pretty easy but effective way to troubleshoot the activation issue on your iOS device is to restart the device. So, if the first tricks haven’t helped you resolve the problem, give this hack a try as well.

On Your iPhone (iPad) With Face ID:

Press and hold both the sleep/wake button and either the volume button. Then, slide to power off. After that, press and hold the sleep/wake button to turn on your device.

Restart iPhone with Face ID

On Your iPhone (iPad) With Touch ID:

Press and hold the sleep/wake button and then slide to power off. After that, hold down the sleep/wake button to turn on your device.

Restart iPhone with Touch ID

Side Note:

  • Just in case you are asked to enter your password while activating the iPhone, enter the password
  • The appearance of the password prompt means the Activation Lock might be enabled in Find My iPhone.

#4. Ensure That the iPhone is Not Locked to a Mobile Network

If your iPhone is locked to a mobile network, you won’t be able to activate it. So whether you are trying to fix Verizon iPhone activation error or looking to get rid of the Sprint activation error, contact your mobile carrier to enquire about it. If it’s still locked, you can follow the usual process to unlock the device. As the process slightly varies for every carrier, take the help of the mobile network’s websites.

Besides, you can also check out our complete guides for a few carriers:

#5. Make Sure the Owner of the iPhone Has Removed Activation Lock

Another important thing worth keeping in mind is making sure the owner (from whom you bought the device) of the iPhone has removed the Activation Lock. For those unfamiliar, Activation Lock is the part of Find My iPhone, which prevents anyone from using your device. Moreover, it not only keeps your device secure but also improves the chances of recovering the device if it’s ever lost/stolen.

Contact the iPhone owner and ask him/her to disable Find My iPhone. As Apple allows users to turn off this theft deterrent feature even from, removing the Activation Lock shouldn’t be a big deal.

Stick Note:

  • Alternatively, you can also call AppleCare or head over to Apple Store to get the Activation Lock removed
  • But keep in mind, you will need to present the proof of ownership of the iPhone

#6. Connect to a Reliable Wi-Fi Network Instead

iOS device activation requires a strong Internet connection. If the network connection is sloppy, there is a high chance that the problem could be due to it. If you are trying to activate the device using a cellular data connection, try a reliable Wi-Fi network instead.

#7. Activate Your iPhone Via iTunes

Are you still struggling to find the solution? Don’t worry as iTunes and Finder have got a decent record of fixing this issue. Ensure that iTunes is updated to the latest version, and your Mac is running the latest iteration of macOS.

  1. To get going, shut down your iPhone. Then, connect the iOS device to your computer. Now, turn on the iPhone and launch iTunes/Finder
  2. Next, select your device. It will appear in the top left of the windows in iTunes. In Finder, you should see it under the Locations section
  3. Next up, a popup asking you to Activate the iPhone will appear. You will need to sign in to your Apple ID and hit Continue

After that, follow the instructions to complete the whole activation process.

#8. Use Recovery Mode to Restore your iPhone

Known as a trusted troubleshooter for fixing stubborn issues like the iPhone stuck on Apple Logo and Bluetooth issues, Recovery Mode is always the way to go when nothing seems to be working. So, we are going to try out this solution as well, given how reliable it’s.

  1. Connect your iPhone to the computer (Mac or Windows PC)
  2. On a Mac with Catalina or later, launch Finder. (On a Mac with Mojave or earlier, or Windows PC, launch iTunes)
    Side Note: Just in case, iTunes is already open, quit it and then relaunch it
  3. Next, put the iPhone into Recovery Mode.
  4. Locate your iPhone on your computer
  5. Click on Restore iPhone. After that, click on Restore/Update as per your need and then let the iTunes/Finder do the job for you

Side Note:

  • If you want to wipe out all the existing data and install the latest version of iOS, go for the Restore option
  • But if you wish to keep all the data intact, choose the Update option

If None of the Tips Come to Your Rescue, Contact Apple Support

What if all the tricks of fixing the activation issue have failed? In this case, do not hesitate to knock the doors of Apple Support without any delay.

Wrapping Up…

So, these are all the means and ways of solving the activation issues on iOS devices. Hopefully, your iPhone is out of the trouble and perfectly set now.

More Troubleshooting Guides to Explore:

Have you succeeded in fixing the activation error on your iPhone? If yes, which one of the above solutions worked for you in solving the problem? Sound off in the comments below.

We may earn commission when you buy the product through links on our site.

Dhvanesh Adhiya
The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.



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