Everything You Should Know About How to Activate A Used iPhone

Last Updated on December 8, 2020 by Jack Robertson


When you have a used iPhone in hand, you can activate the iPhone and make use of it. To activate a used iPhone, we need to begin with resetting the iPhone with associated Apple ID and password. After the reset, we can easily set up the iPhone and use it.

However, when you purchase a secondhand iPhone from somebody, to activate the iPhone can be pretty difficult. Since you don’t have access to the previous owner’s Apple ID and account, you cannot reset the iPhone and set it up as a new one. What’s worse, if you receive an iPhone with an Activation Lock screen, you cannot even get into the iPhone since you cannot enter the related Apple ID and password to unlock it.

Here, depending on the presence or absence of the registered Apple ID and password, you can activate your used iPhone with different methods.

Contents:

  1. Activate a used iPhone when you have the registered Apple ID & Password
  2. Activate a used iPhone when you don’t have the registered Apple ID & Password

Note: Activating your used iPhone will erase all the data on it, you can use FoneTrans to transfer some important data from this iPhone to a computer or another iPhone.

Activate Used iPhone

Activate a used iPhone when you have the registered Apple ID & Password

It’s very easy to activate a used iPhone when you have the Apple ID and password. Now, let’s learn the detailed steps.

Step 1 Reset the iPhone

If you want to see the Hello screen of the iPhone activation, we need to start by resetting the handset.

Take out your iPhone, tap Settings. Then, go to General > Reset, and choose Reset All Settings and Contents. You will need to enter your password of the Apple account to confirm your action.

Step 2 Activate the iPhone

When the reset is complete, power it on and set it up as the instruction goes.

When you finish the setup, you’ve successfully activated the iPhone.

Insert a SIM card when there’s a carrier lock on your iPhone

If there’s a carrier lock on your iPhone, you need to activate the iPhone with a certain Sim card inserted. Otherwise, you cannot activate the iPhone successfully since a notification will pop out, warning that “SIM Required” and “Please insert a SIM card“.

Sim Required Screen iPhone

What is Carrier Lock

A carrier lock is some kind of SIM restriction that your network provider has added on the iPhone since you purchased the iPhone with a contract. With the carrier lock, you cannot insert a SIM card from another carrier but the one you made a deal with.

Moreover, if you unplug the SIM card from the device, the server of the carrier will detect the absence of the SIM card on the iPhone and keep sending your messages reminding you to insert a SIM card.

Sim Not Supported Activating iPhone

How to solve the SIM Required problem

You cannot skip the “SIM Required”, but to insert a SIM card from the same carrier.

If you don’t want to pay for a service plan, you can ask your carrier to unlock the iPhone by calling them. Or you can insert an expired SIM card into the iPhone.

Not sure if there is a carrier lock on your iPhone or not? You can easily check if your iPhone is locked or unlocked.

Activate a used iPhone when you don’t have the registered Apple ID & Password

When you purchase a secondhand iPhone and have no password of the Apple ID, it’s pretty difficult to activate the iPhone due to Find My iPhone and Activation Lock.

Find My iPhone

Find My iPhone is an iOS security layer that enables iPhone users to locate the iPhone and trigger an Activation Lock on it.

Once Find My iPhone is enabled on an iPhone, you must enter the PASSWORD of the Apple account to turn off Find My iPhone and then reset the iPhone. If you don’t have the password, you cannot turn it off and activate your iPhone.

Find My iPhone

Activation Lock

Activation Lock is an iOS anti-theft security layer that is rooted in Find My iPhone.

Once Find My iPhone is enabled on an iPhone, the owner can activate the lock on this iPhone through iCloud. The owner may trigger the Activation Lock as the preparation ahead of selling but eventually forgets to unlock it for you.

This recklessness will make you suffer since the only way to remove the Activation Lock on your iPhone is to enter the ID and password.

Bypass Remove Activation Lock

All in all, you need the registered Apple ID and password. Without that, you cannot turn off Find My iPhone or remove the Activation Lock screen, so you cannot activate your used iPhone.

Here, you can use Tenorshare 4Mekey to activate a used iPhone even though you have no Apple ID and password. You don’t need to enter the password to shut down Find My iPhone or Activation Lock once you apply to the program.

Tenorshare 4Mekey is a professional tool for bypassing Activation Lock as well as Find My iPhone, we can use it to activate a used iPhone due to its special capability.

Once Tenorshare 4Mekey is launched, it will help you jailbreak your iPhone. After the jailbreak, the program will reset the iPhone and you can activate the iPhone just like a new one. The Find My iPhone feature and the Activation Lock will be perfectly blocked. And you can log into your own Apple ID or download apps on this iPhone.

Remove Activation Lock Interface

Now, let’s see how to use it.

Step 1 Download Tenorshare 4Mekey on your computer

Win Download Mac Download Win Download Mac Download
Step 2 Launch the program

Finish installing the program, launch it. Click Start on the interface, then a tip of risk will be listed, you can read it. And if you are OK with the risk, tick I HAVE READ AND AGREED THE AGREEMENT. Click Next to proceed.

Risk Waring By 4Mekey

Step 3 Jailbreak your iPhone

Connect your iPhone to the computer. Make sure you have a stable connection.

Next, you need to jailbreak your device. 4Mekey will list detailed instructions for you to do that, you just need to follow what it displays.

Start To Jailbreak

Step 4 Reset your iPhone / Remove Activation Lock on your iPhone

When the jailbreak is complete, click Start Remove.

After the click, 4Mekey will start to reset the iPhone, nothing will be left. And if there’s an Activation Lock, it will be removed as well.

When the process is successful, click Done to complete.

Activation Lock Removed

Cautions: You are unable to make phone calls, send text messages, and use the cellular data on the iPhone. You cannot use the iCloud as well. But you can still connect the iPhone to a WiFi network and log into your Apple ID on this iPhone.

Now that your iPhone is successfully reset,  you can power it on and activate it. Follow the on-screen instructions, and when you finish activating the iPhone, you can have access to it.


This is everything you need to know about activating a used iPhone. If you encounter the Find My iPhone or Activation Lock feature, try 4Mekey to activate your iPhone without the Apple ID and password. Hopefully, you can successfully activate your iPhone with the instructions above.