We have all activated a new phone at least once in our lives, or for others had someone to do it for them. This is a process that cannot be skipped when you buy a new phone. For iPhones, you would need a sim card to activate it. If you have activated an iPad or iPod Touch, you might say that it should be fine without a sim. iPhones are intended to be just like any cellphones out there and not a device like the two mentioned above which we usually run through just Wi-Fi or offline.
You might say that getting or buying a working sim card is easy, but just in case you find yourself in a situation where you’ll need to activate your phone and there’s no spare sim card around, then this article might help you big time. As we all know our iPhones have a different sim size or cut so whether that’s the issue or your provider has not given you an active sim for your new phone, there’s really a bunch of reasons why you might not have a working sim around.
In four different ways, I’ll show you how to activate and iPhone without a sim card.
- Activate iPhone without a Sim Card
A quick disclaimer about this activation method is that it might not work for some newer models, but you are always free to try it out.
When you activate an iPhone for the first time, the phone would check if there is an active sim in its sim slot. If the iPhone detects that there’s nothing in the slot, then it would remain in one screen and you won’t be able to move forward. You can try the steps below to bypass that screen:
- Hold down the power button until the iPhone turns on. Once it boots up and recognizes that there’s no sim card in the slot it would remain on the screen that says “no SIM card installed”. If you see that screen, don’t worry and just follow the next step.
- You might notice that even when you tap the home button it won’t let you bypass the screen. Even if it doesn’t direct you to the home screen, you still have an option to make an emergency call. You can dial a number like 112 press call and hang up right away by pressing the red button. Then the home screen would show up instead of the “no SIM card installed” screen.
- Activate iPhone with an R-Sim or X-Sim
If your provider sim card is not yet available, you can use an R-sim or X-sim that you can buy from retailers. You can follow the steps below:
- Insert the R-sim in the sim card slot
- You can then select a carrier or you can also enter your IMSI code
- Press confirm and restart your device
- Once your iPhone boots up it will start searching for service and you’ll be able to complete the activation
After the steps above you can now use your iPhone, you can choose to stick with the R-sim or X-sim or you can use it temporarily until your provider sim card is available.
- Activate iPhone with iTunes
Apple gives their iPhone users an option to activate their iPhones without a sim card through iTunes.
- Go to the Apple website and download the latest version of iTunes. If you have iTunes already installed it is still best to make sure that you are using the latest version. There could be some complications if your version of iTunes is an older one as this might not work well with your iPhone and computer’s operating systems.
- Connect you iPhone to your PC by using the lightning cable or 40 pin dock connecter included in the box.
- Once you phone is connected, iTunes will detect the iPhone and will show you step by step instructions on your computer. Follow the steps and your iPhone will be activated at the end of the process.
Keep in mind that this method only works for some carriers, you might be asked for your phone number, zip code or last four digits of your SSN to activate your iPhone.
- Activate your iPhone with a Universal Sim Card
A universal sim card or what we call UASIM can unlock iPhones from any carrier. It basically lets your phone think that the original provider sim card is inserted in the sim slot. It is indeed a powerful tool, just follow the steps below to unlock your iPhone with a universal sim card:
- Insert the universal sim card in you iPhone’s sim card slot and turn the phone on.
- You will then be asked for the IMSI code of your original carrier.
- Connect your iPhone to iTunes or the internet.
- Once connected you can complete the activation steps.
When you’re done with the activation you can choose to remove the sim and use your iPhone without it. You can also now put a new sim card since your iPhone is already activated.
Usefulness and Final Thoughts
I would say that having an active sim card is still the easiest way to activate an iPhone. However, things might not always go as planned and knowing that there is always a work around to every problem gives us peace of mind. I myself had encountered this problem before as my sim card was from an android phone and did not fit my new iPhone; I tried to cut it myself and broke it. I had to use my phone for work reasons; I had to search far and wide in the internet for answers. So I really hope that the options I provided above are helpful in some way.