How to Activate iPhone Without SIM Card? [Ultimate Guide]


Jul 24, 2020 (Updated: Jul 18, 2023) • Filed to: Bypass Activation Lock

48K views, 5 min read


Can you activate iPhone without SIM? How to activate iPhone without SIM card? Is it possible to remove activation lock on locked iPhone? Your search ends here! This ultimate guide in 2023 will tell you all the answers! Scroll down to read it!

sim required

Part 1: Can You Activate An iPhone Without A SIM Card?

The good news is, Since the rollout of iOS 12, you can activate your device without a SIM card by only using WiFi.

But unfortunately, many older versions of iOS require you to have a working SIM card in order to activate the device. If that’s your case, don’t panic, you will find out how you can activate an older iPhone without having to purchase a sim plan in this guide.

Another situation where you need a SIM to activate your phone is that your iPhone is bound to a particular network. If you have purchased your phone as a contract or a payment plan, you are usually tied to that network even after your contract period is over. Conversationally, this process is known as "locked to XX network", and in these instances, you can only use SIM cards from that particular network. So you must use a SIM card of that particular carrier in order to get full access to the device.

Part 2: How to Activate iPhone Without SIM for Newer iOS Versions?

If your device is running iOS 12 or a newer version, you are in luck! There are a couple of ways you can get your device activated. Let's go through each option step by step to decide which works best for your situation.

Activate iPhone Without SIM Using WiFi

If you don’t have a SIM card inserted in your iPhone, you can skip the SIM card activation process and use WIFI to connect to the internet for activation. It’s quite simple actually.

Also, the QuickStart function can also help you activate your iPhone quickly if you already have an activated iPhone by your hand.

Here are the steps to activate iPhone using QuickStart or WIFI:

Step 1: Turn on your device and choose your language and region.

Step 2: If you have another device that’s running iOS 11 or later, you can use “Quick Start” to activate your current device without SIM or WiFi. To do that, just tap “Next” when you see the “Quick Start” prompt and follow the step to step guide. Otherwise, tap “Set Up Manually”.

quick start activating

Step 3: Connect to a WiFi network upon prompt, then proceed the activation.

activate iphone with wifi


In the process you may receive the “No SIM Card Installed” message, just tap “OK” and then you can proceed. The message doesn’t interrupt anything as long as you have a WIFI connection.

Activate iPhone Without SIM Using iTunes

If your iOS is not a very old version, you can also use iTunes to activate your iPhone. No SIM card is required for this process as well.

Let’s see how to activate an iPhone without a SIM card with iTunes:

Step 1: Connect your device to Windows or Mac computer.

Step 2: iTunes will automatically launch after detecting your phone. If this is your first time connecting the phone to the PC, you will be greeted with a welcome message.

Step 3: Choose “Set up as new iPhone” to start setting up your device.

Step 4: Then you need to enter your Apple ID and password. Just follow the guide and your device will be activated without SIM in no time.

activate iphone with itunes

Part 3: How to Activate iPhone Without SIM for Older iOS Versions?

The above steps work well only if your device is running iOS 12 or later. But if you are trying to revive an old device that's been stuck in a drawer for the past few years, you will need to upgrade system version first and then activate it with WIFI or iTunes. However, you won’t be able to upgrade the device without activation. That is why you need to put your iPhone into DFU mode first.

DFU mode is basically quite the same with recovery mode, but it automatically upgrades your device to the latest iOS version available. Here’s how to put your iPhone into DFU mode to activate it without a SIM card:

Activate iPhone Without SIM by DFU Mode

Step 1: Launch iTunes on your PC or Mac.

Step 2: Connect the device to your PC from a USB cable.

Step 3: Then you will need to hold your home button and the power button at the same time for ten seconds. It's essential to hold them both down together. Otherwise, you will only power on the device.

Step 4: After ten seconds, you can let go of the power button but do hold on to the home button for another 3 to 5 seconds. You might have to retry this step a few times if you are doing this for the first time.

upgrade ios with dfu mode

Step 5: If you successfully pressed the correct buttons, your device will be booted into DFU mode. If you are presented with an Apple logo instead of a black screen, you need to retry the steps as you haven't been logged in to DFU.

Step 6: Connect your phone to iTunes. Once your iPhone is recognized by the computer, you will be alerted that you need to restore the device. Click “OK” to upgrade the iOS version of your iPhone to the newest available. You can also use “shift + click” (on PC) or “option + click” (on Mac) on the restore button once to start the process.

dfu restore

Step 7: Finally you will have to select a firmware file to downloaded. Once you have upgraded the iOS version to the latest, you can use the method introduced in the last part to activate your iPhone without SIM.


Some old iPhone models cannot be upgraded to new iOS versions which support activation without SIM. In that case, you cannot activate your iPhone by upgrading the iOS version. However you can use an X-SIM or similar tool to simulate a real SIM card for the activation process.

Part 4: How to Remove Activation Lock on iPhone?

In addition to the SIM activation, it is also quite possible that your iPhone has an activation lock. This often happens with second-hand iPhone and iPhone got from eBay or Facebook market place. If your iPhone has iCloud activation lock, don't need to worry too much, it's not a huge challenge as long as you have this activation lock removal - WooTechy iSalvor!

As the most popular iCloud activation lock bypass tool nowadays, WooTechy iSalvor can remove activation lock on almost all iPhones and iPads. What's more surprising is that it can also bypass screen lock and SIM lock on iPhone/iPad. With just a few simple steps, you can easily unlock your device in minutes!

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[Video Tutorial] How to Bypass iCloud Activation Lock on iPhone/iPad?

YouTube Video

How to Bypass Activation Lock with WooTechy iSalvor?

Step 1: Download and install WooTechy iSalvor on your PC. Choose Bypass iCloud Activation Lock Screen option and click on Start. Then connect your iPhone to the PC with a USB cable.

bypass iCloud activation lock

Step 2: If you are using Mac, the software will help jailbreak your device automatically. If you are using Windows, refer to the jailbreak tutorial and follow the instructions.

jailbreak ios device

Step 3: Confirm device information and click Start Bypass to start bypassing the activation lock.

bypassing activation lock

Step 4: Once the process is completed, click Done. Now the activation lock has been bypassed successfully and you can link a new Apple ID to your device!

apple activation lock bypassed


Since the release of iOS 12, you can now activate an iPhone without a SIM card. If you are using an old iPhone, just upgrade system to the latest version with DFU mode, then you can easily activate your iPhone even without SIM.

Finally, you need to identify whether you need to activate your iPhone with SIM card or you need to remove the activation lock on your iPhone. If it's the latter, then don't hesitate to use the professional iCloud activation lock bypass tool WooTechy iSalvor to help you quickly remove iCloud activation lock on your locked iPhone. Just try it!

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