5 Ways to Fix “Unable to Activate” on iPhone after Upgrade


Apr 18, 2021 (Updated: Sep 05, 2022) • Filed to: Bypass Activation Lock

11K views, 6 min read


questionUser Problem

I am facing the "Unable to Activate" screen on my iPhone. And I’m stuck because of this activation thing, what should I do to activate my iPhone? Please help!

If you are reading this article, I believe you are probably unable to activate your iPhone as well. Don’t be frustrated. Here we are going to discuss the reason why the issue "Unable to Activate" happens, and 5 best ways to fix it.

fix unable to activate

Why Does "Unable to Activate" Appear on Your iPhone

There are some known reasons why you can't activate your iPhone, and here we made the list, let's check them out.

    triangle The Apple activation server may be unavailable.

    triangle Your network connection such as Wi-Fi or cellular data doesn’t work well.

    triangle The carrier that you are using might not allow you to activate your iPhone, this is more common for iPhone X users.

    triangle Maybe your SIM card is not supported thus unable to be activated.

    triangle There is a possibility that iTunes was unable to verify your iPhone.

    triangle The iPhone is stilllinked to the previous user iCloud account and the activation lock is restricting a suspicious activity.

How to Fix "Unable to Activate" on iPhone

Unable to activate iPhone issue can be resolved by the following solutions recommended by Apple. Before going for the more advanced fixes, do a few basic checks that may help:

  • Restart your device.

  • Make sure you've got a stable network connecton.

  • Check the Apple activation server at here. If an error messages says that the activation server is currently unavailable, please wait for a while and then try again.

1. Take Out the SIM Card and Put It Back In

If you also get an elert saying "No SIM" or "Invalid SIM", this might be the proble.

It is advised to take out the SIM card by the iPhone pin or a paper-pin and put back the tray in iPhone to resolve "unable to activate iPhone" issue. However, you can also enter a new SIM card and see if it works. Some people find it helpful, however, those who do not can read below.

iPhone SIM Card Tray

2. Dual SIM Settings Issue

The latest iPhones such as iPhone XS, XS Max, XR,11 and 12 have dual SIM cards with a nano-SIM and e-SIM. There might be an issue with the carrier of dual SIM or dual SIM settings. So check it and try to resolve it.

Phone dual settings

3. Install Update Package for Your iOS Version and Carrier Settings

If your device doesn't verify or activate with the latest iOS version, then you need to install an update package. Keep in mind that this updated package is different from iOS update that you cannot download from settings. You have to do it by connecting to iTunes and following steps.

Update iPhone carrier settings

4. Contact Apple Support

In case you are unable to activate iPhone by using all the methods mentioned above, you can contact apple support through its official contact support.

Contact apple support

Bypass "Unable to Activate" on iPhone–Easy and Effective

If the phone you are trying to activate is a second-hand iPhone and still has an Activation Lock, then it may still be locked to the previous user. In this case, what should we do? Can I bypass the activation lock without Apple ID or password? The answer is a difinite YES.

WooTechy iSalvor is an iCloud activation lock bypass tool that coems to help if you can't activate your iPhone. It will bypass activation lock on iPhone/iPad/iPod touch. It is efficient and hassle-free, with no technical knowledge required.

wootechy isalvor

75,000,000+ Downloads

Check What iSalvor Can Do for You:

  • Efficiently bypass "Unable to Activate" iPhone screen in few simple steps.

  • Sign in a different Apple ID on the bypassed device.

  • The previous owner can't trace or track your device using his/her iCloud account.

  • Support iPhone 5S to iPhone X running iOS 12.0 to iOS 14.8.

  • Turn off Find My device activation lock without password within minutes.

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Check the video here to learn quickly on how to skip "Unable to Activate" issue on iPhone/iPad:

YouTube Video

Here are four easy steps to fix "unable to activate iPhone" activation issue on iOS devices.

Step 1.  Run WooTechy iSalvor

Install WooTechy iSalvor and download it on iDevice. Press the "Start" button.

bypass iCloud activation lock

Step 2.  Connect Your Apple Device

Link the iPhone to this via a cable.

connect device to computer

Step 3. Jailbreak your iDevice

The last step before “Unable to Activate” issue get solved is to jailbreak your iDevice. The jailbreak solution is available for both the macOS version and the windows version.  There is no jailbreak tool for windows, however, you can click on Jailbreak Tutorial and follow steps.

After completion, click on "Finished Jailbreak" and proceed.

jailbreak ios device

Step 4. Bypass "iPhone Unable to Activate"

On this step, iPhone information will be automatically displayed on the screen.

Confirm device information

In some time, it will resolve the activation issue. Just wait a few seconds to finish.

start to bypasss apple activation lock

Finally, click on “Done”. Then you will no longer see the “Unable to Activate” screen.

apple activation lock bypassed

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Part 4. Unable to Activate: More Questions You Want to Know

In this section of the article, you'll find helpful tips, tricks, and answers on "Unable to Activate".

Q1:  What Does It Mean to Activate Your iPhone?

Activate your iPhone means linking the iPhone with a cellular data connection for the first time and getting it registered in iTunes. After activation, you can use your device such as make calls, download applications, etc. Refer to this Apple Support article to activate your iPhone and do the setups.

Activate Your iPhone

Q2:  What Does It Mean When iPhone Says "Unable to Activate"?

Unable to activate iPhone means that you cannot use the iPhone until you provide details of activations. If a device is not activated, one cannot reach its content such as message, call log, applications, etc.

Q3:  How Do You Fix iPhone Could Not Be Activated Because the Activation Server Cannot be Reached?

You have to try activation from another Wi-Fi or simply restore the iPhone. So, either restart or restore the iPhone can solve this trouble.

Could not activate iphone

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Restart iPhone: Try connecting to another Wi-Fi can help. If this won’t work, try to connect your device to iTunes.

  • Restore iPhone: If your iPhone is not activating, then choose the option "recovery mode and perform a reset". This might help in restoring the device and you can activate without any further issue.

  • "This Apple ID has been locked for security reasons"

Q4: Can You Activate A Deactivated iPhone?

Yes, you can activate a deactivated iPhone by following these steps:

  • Take the iPhone to an authorized dealer and tell him that you want to reactivate iPhone. They will provide you a SIM card.

  • Insert the SIM and then connect it to the computer and then with iTunes.

  • After linking to iTunes, it can take some time to process. iTunes will notify you that this device is not recognized and needs to be reformatted. You can continue and after some steps, iPhone will be activated.


In this informative article, we have discussed the reason why "unable to activate iPhone" issue happens and how to deal with it. There are many solutions given by Apple however, most of them are not guaranteed. We have also discussed the life-saving iDevices activation tool that can resolve any activation problems related to iDevices in minutes. You can try this hassle-free software WooTechy iSalvor to to fix "unable to activate" issue on iPhone after an upgrade. Why not give it a nice try?

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