• Guides

Troubleshooting iPhone Activation Issues – 8 Ways to fix

January 9, 2024

iPhone not activated: Experiencing the “iPhone not activated” error can be a significant hindrance, especially when you’re eager to use your new device or after a system update. This issue is a common occurrence among iPhone users, and it often pops up during the initial setup or after a software update, leaving many users puzzled.

Fortunately, there are various solutions to tackle the “iPhone not activated” problem. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore eight different methods to help you resolve this issue, ensuring that your iPhone is up and running smoothly. Whether it’s a network-related issue, a problem with your SIM card, or something more technical, these steps are designed to address the root causes of the “iPhone not activated” error.

Check Apple’s System Status

The first step in troubleshooting the “iPhone not activated” error is to check the Apple System Status page. This is a vital step because if there’s an outage or maintenance on Apple’s end affecting the activation server, you will face issues activating your iPhone. By visiting the Apple System Status page, you can quickly determine whether the activation problem is due to a server issue. If the server is indeed down, the only solution is to wait until Apple resolves the problem. Once the servers are back online, the “iPhone not activated” error should no longer appear, and you can proceed with activating your iPhone.

Ensure SIM Card is Properly Inserted

A common culprit behind the “iPhone not activated” message is a SIM card that is not properly inserted or is malfunctioning. If your iPhone is not activated, it’s crucial to check that the SIM card is correctly placed in its tray. A misaligned or damaged SIM card can prevent your iPhone from being activated. To check, power off your iPhone, remove the SIM card tray and inspect the SIM card for any signs of damage or misalignment. If you notice any issues with the SIM card, or if reinserting it doesn’t resolve the “iPhone not activated” error, you may need to replace the SIM card or contact your mobile carrier for further assistance.

Connect to a Reliable Wi-Fi Network

A stable and strong internet connection is essential for activating your iPhone. If you’re encountering the “iPhone not activated” error, make sure you’re connected to a reliable Wi-Fi network. An unstable or weak internet connection can disrupt the activation process. Head over to your iPhone’s Wi-Fi settings, select a robust network, and attempt to activate your iPhone again. This step is often overlooked but can be a simple and effective solution to the “iPhone not activated” problem.

Restart Your iPhone

Sometimes, resolving the “iPhone not activated” error can be as simple as restarting your iPhone. This can help clear any temporary software glitches that may be causing the activation issue. To restart your iPhone, press and hold the power button (or the volume button and the side button on newer models) until the power off slider appears. Slide to power off, wait for a few seconds, then turn your iPhone back on by pressing and holding the power button again. After your iPhone restarts, try activating it again and see if the “iPhone not activated” error persists.

Update Your iPhone via iTunes

If the “iPhone not activated” issue remains unresolved, updating your iPhone using iTunes might be the solution. This method is particularly useful if you’re unable to activate your iPhone directly through the device. Connect your iPhone to a computer and launch iTunes (or Finder if you’re using macOS Catalina or later). Once your iPhone is recognized, select it in iTunes or Finder, and click on ‘Check for Update.’ If there’s an available update, proceed to install it. Updating your iPhone via iTunes can fix underlying software issues that might be causing the “iPhone not activated” message.

Contact Your Carrier

Sometimes, the “iPhone not activated” error could be due to an issue on your carrier’s end. There may be activation locks or account-related problems that are preventing your iPhone from being activated. In such cases, contacting your carrier is a wise step. They can verify if there’s an issue with your account or with the activation process itself. Carriers often have specific tools and systems to diagnose and resolve such issues, which can effectively address the “iPhone not activated” problem.

Restore Your iPhone to Factory Settings

If none of the above methods work, the next step is to consider restoring your iPhone to factory settings. Be aware that this will erase all data on your device, so it’s important to back up your iPhone before proceeding. To restore your iPhone, connect it to a computer and open iTunes or Finder. Select your iPhone and click on the ‘Restore iPhone’ option. This process will return your iPhone to its original state, which can resolve deeper software issues that might be causing the “iPhone not activated” error. After the restoration, you can set up your iPhone as a new device or restore it from a backup.

Visit an Apple Store or Authorized Service Provider

If you’ve tried all the above steps and your iPhone still displays the “iPhone not activated” message, it might be time to seek professional help. Visit an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider for further diagnostics and support. They can offer more specialized troubleshooting, and if necessary, repair any hardware issues that might be causing the “iPhone not activated” error.

Also Read: How to check iPhone registration date in 2024


While the “iPhone not activated” error can be frustrating, there are multiple ways to troubleshoot and resolve the issue. By following these steps, you can identify and fix the problem, ensuring that your iPhone is fully functional and ready for use. Remember, if you’re ever in doubt or unable to resolve the issue yourself, seeking professional assistance from Apple or your carrier is always a recommended course of action.


Why is my iPhone saying not activated?

If activating your iOS device on your computer still doesn’t work, try: Verifying that you are using the most recent version of either macOS or iTunes. Verify that there is an active internet connection on your machine.

What does activated iPhone mean?

The “Emergency Call Screen” (iPhone) or “Connect to iTunes” (iPod touch) is a screen that new or restored devices must go through to access the SpringBoard. This screen is distinct from Recovery Mode and is indicated by a battery icon in the top right corner of the activation screen.