Fix: iPhone is not activated, contact your carrier 

Once you insert your SIM card into your new iPhone, it should instantly activate and provide you with various commands for setting up your phone. However, in some instances, you might get an error that your iPhone is not activated and that you should contact your carrier.

If you encounter an activation error, you must understand what this means to solve it effectively. In this case, the activation error states that the device cannot be activated within the cellular network.

You will get this error if you haven’t inserted a SIM card in your phone or if the phone is not compatible with the SIM card that you have inserted. In other cases, the motherboard might have failed, leading to difficulty in identifying the network. Sometimes an iPhone fails to activate when the activation systems at Apple are down.

Why your iPhone won’t activate

If your iPhone fails to activate, there are several steps you can take to identify the problem and find a simple solution for it. Follow these steps to troubleshoot the issue:

1. Check your SIM card

Once you restart your phone, check that your SIM Card is properly inserted and has no dust or debris. Use either an earring, paperclip, or a SIM popper and open the SIM card tray.

Clean the area with a dry cloth and put the card back, ensure it is properly inserted, and restart the phone.

Read Also: How to activate an iPhone without a SIM card

2. Carrier issues

The problem could originate from the carrier. To know whether this is the case, you should answer the following questions:

  • Have you changed your cell phone carrier recently? The issue could be that the new carrier has not properly ported your phone number.
  • Has the original carrier of your phone unlocked the device? This could be the reason for the error.
  • Has your account been suspended, or is another user actively using your phone number? If the answer is yes, you should call your carrier and ensure that your SIM card and IMEI are active.

activate an iPhone

3. Device issues

Another option is to insert your SIM card into a different phone and see if it is the phone that has the issue. If the other device works, then the issue is your phone. You can also do this with a new SIM card on your phone.

4. Apple issues

If you have performed a factory reset, you will likely receive an activation error. You can have issues if you do not know the password to the original iCloud account used for the phone.

iPhone is not activated on Verizon? How to activate

There are alternative options for activating your phone:

1. iTunes

To activate your iPhone via iTunes, do the following;

  • Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable.
  • Reboot the phone (this will open iTunes)
  • After that, the computer will activate the device
  • An alert for “Restore from Backup” or “Set up as New” will appear once the phone is activated.

Read Also: iPhone is stuck on ‘it may take a few minutes to activate’ 

2. Restore

A restore is ideal for updating the phone software if the activation issue stems from a system glitch or outdated software.

  • Please turn off the phone and connect it using a USB cable to the computer.
  • Switch your phone on and open iTunes
  • iTunes will show that it has detected an iPhone, and a pop-up will ask you to restore the device.
  • Follow the instructions to restore the phone.

Still getting the ‘iPhone is not activated. Contact your carrier if this problem continues to occur’ error? If that’s the case, then you need to get in touch with your phone service provider for assistance.