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How to activate a used iPhone

Updated February 21, 2017

Apple continues to improve its market-leading iPhone smartphone and regularly releases new versions of the device. Therefore, you may have been given or bought an old iPhone. If you have someone's old iPhone, you will have to activate the phone under your name before you can use it.

Go to your mobile network's website and obtain a new SIM card. You will not be able to use a regular mobile phone SIM card because the iPhone uses a specific SIM card.

Insert your new SIM card. Unravel a paperclip and use the pointy end to release the SIM card holder. This bay is on the side or top of the iPhone (depending on the model). Remove the old SIM card if it is still inside and place the new SIM card in the holder. Push the holder back into the iPhone.

Connect your iPhone to your computer using the iPhone USB cable. This should automatically launch iTunes. If it does not, open iTunes.

Click "Continue" when the activation screen appears.

Select your customer status. You will need to choose between an existing customer or a new customer. Click "Continue."

Transfer your mobile number if you are transferring your service from another network. Enter the phone number, account number, post code and password from your existing phone.

Choose a monthly plan and then click "Continue."

Confirm your personal and billing information and click "Continue."

Agree to the terms and conditions and click "Continue." You will be presented with a summary of your choices. Click "Submit" to activate the phone.

Things You'll Need

  • Apple iTunes software
  • iPhone USB cable
  • Paperclip
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About the Author

Art Corvelay is a freelance writer for demand studios who has been writing and editing for five years. He holds a Ph.D. in technical communication and teaches courses in writing and editing at the university level.