Apparently numerous people are facing difficulty activating their new iPhone X, so if you are experiencing that you aren’t alone.
But, activation issues aren’t limited to the iPhone X. There have been issues with people not being able to activate their iPhone following updating to iOS 11. Although that issue mainly affects iPhone 5S or earlier.
There are lots of other reasons why you may fail to activate your iPhone and we will list them below, as well as offer a number of fixes that should make it possible to activate your iPhone.
Reasons why you can’t activate your iPhone
Activation Lock is set
You may experience activation issues if the iPhone you are using is still tied to someone else iCloud account, with an Activation Lock in place.
Your carrier may be experiencing issues
In the case of the iPhone X activation issues, it seems that these were mostly tied to AT&T and Verizon customers in the US.
The activation server may be unavailable
Apple’s server that checks that your device can be activated could be down or it might be experiencing a high volume of traffic. You can check whether Apple’s server is down here LINK https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/.
Your SIM card might not be supported
The SIM card in your device may not work with the iPhone.
Activation couldn’t be completed
There might be issues with your internet connection or the iPhone itself.
How to iPhone Fix Activation Errors
Check that there is a SIM card in your iPhone
You can’t activate an iPhone without a SIM card. Find out more about that here: How to set up an iPhone without a SIM.
Wait a while
It is possible that the servers at Apple are busy (especially if there is a new iPhone or an update to iOS). Check the status of Apple’s activation server by visiting Apple’s System Status page here. LINK https://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus/
Remove the SIM and re-insert it
It is possible that the SIM is not sitting in the SIM card tray correctly, so reinsert it and see if that makes a difference.
Reset your iPhone
The way you reboot or reset your iPhone depends on the model you have. With older iPhone models you could hold down the Home and the Sleep/Wake buttons together for about 10 seconds. With iPhone 7 and 8 the process is different because the Home button is software. And with the iPhone X the process is different because there is no Home button. Find out how to reboot or reset your iPhone here.
Unlock Activation Lock
The purpose of Activation Lock is to keep your iPhone, and the data on it, safe if your iPhone is stolen. If the phone you are trying to activate has an Activation Lock then it may still be locked to a previous user (perhaps it is a second-hand model). To turn off Activation Lock you will need to enter the previous user’s Apple ID and password, or ask them to log into Find my iPhone and remove that iPhone from their iCloud account. Alternatively, you may be able to call AppleCare or go to an Apple Store and as long as you are able to present proof of ownership and Apple is able to confirm it is your iPhone they may be able to remove the Activation Lock for you.
Check that you don’t have a locked iPhone
If your iPhone is locked to a particular mobile network you may not be able to use a SIM from another network in it. The previous network should unlock your iPhone so you can use it with the new carrier’s SIM card.
Check your WiFi network is working
Try an alternative WiFi network if you can incase Apple’s servers are blocked (If you don’t have a WiFi network, plug your iPhone into your Mac or PC and use iTunes, see next step).
Try activating your iPhone via iTunes
Here are the steps to follow if you wish to try and activate your iPhone via iTunes:
- Make sure iTunes is up to date.
- Turn off your iPhone and plug it into your computer via the USB cable.
- Turn the iPhone on and it should trigger iTunes to open (or open iTunes if it doesn’t).
- Once iTunes detects your iPhone, it should ask you to go through a few steps to activate your iPhone.
- If that doesn’t happen automatically, select your device from the left hand pane and you should see the option to Activate your iPhone.
- Log into your Apple ID and click Continue.
Call your carrier
If none of the points above solve the issue then contact your carrier for advice. And if they can’t solve the problem…
It may be that there is a fault with your iPhone that is stopping you from being able to activate it. Apple should be able to help or replace the iPhone if it is faulty and still under warranty.