iPhone 11/11 Pro(Max) Tips

[Full Guide]How to Fix iPhone 11 Unable to Activate

by Jenefey Aaron   Updated on 2020-06-11 / Update for  iPhone 11

I just got an iPhone 11 Pro and upon first taking it out of the box and going through 2 pages of setup, I am now stuck on the activation page. The screen says Activating your iPhone It may take a few minutes to activate your iPhone. It has been stuck on this page for the past 2 hours."

Apple has released iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, many iPhone lovers have got the latest iPhone. But recently, some have reported that they are unable to activate new iPhone. According to user report: I'm porting an existing number from an iPhone 7. Screen says, "It may take a few minutes to activate your iPhone", but has been 3 hours & still spinning. To be honest, iPhone unable to activate error is a common problem. Hence, this post is going to tell you why your iPhone could not be activated and provide some fixes to the issue.

could not activate iPhone 11

Part 1. Top 7 Ways to Fix iPhone 11 Unable to Activate

iPhone unable to activate error is usually because there is no SIM card or no network. Also, it is possible that there is something problems on iPhone itself. Let's try to use the following 7 ways to solve with the problem.

Way 1. Try to Activate iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max Later (Check System Status First)

Visit the website to check the system status. If the box next to "iOS Device Activation" isn't green, then you can try to activate your iPhone device later. Still fail to activate iPhone 11 the second time? Let's continue to use other methods.

iphone 11 unable to activate with sim card

Way 2. Troubleshoot The Network Connectivity

Your iPhone 11 need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network, a cellular network or iTunes, only in this way can activate and continue setting up your device. It is suggested to connect to a stable Wi-Fi network.

could not activate iPhone 11

Way 3. Remove and Reinsert SIM Card to Your iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max

To activate your iPhone 11, you need to insert a SIM card. Please make sure that the SIM card is installed in your iPhone device.

  • If you receive the error message [No SIM card] or [Invalid SIM card], please re-plug the SIM card, check if the SIM card tray is completely closed and not loose, then restart the iPhone and try to activate again.
  • If you have another available SIM card, insert it to try.

Way 4. Restart Your iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max

The most straightforward and simple way is to restart the iPhone 11 and try to activate it again.

unable to activate iphone 11
  • Long press the Volume up button and Side button together till the shutdown slider appears on the screen.
  • Drag this slider to power off your iPhone 11.
  • After shutdown, press and hold the side button again till you see the Apple logo.

Tips: In iOS 11 or later, you can shut down iPhone by going to Settings > General > Shut Down.

Way 5. Remove Activation Lock Using iCloud

If you are prompted to log in to the Apple ID and password during activation, just do it. If a password prompt appears, it is possible that you have enabled the Activation lock in "Find My" feature. You can remove activation lock via icloud.com.

  • Visit icloud.com > log into your account > click "Find iPhone" > click "All Devices" > select your device and click "Erase iPhone".

    unable to activate an update is required to activate your iphone

Warm Tips: If the iPhone 11 you bought is a second-hand phone and could not activate it, it is possible that the device is still linked to the original owner's account. In that case, please return the device to the seller and ask him to erase all data on iPhone and remove activation lock. If the original owner is not nearby, he can remove the activation lock from the account by logging into icloud.com.

Way 6. Activate iPhone 11 with iTunes

If still could not activate iPhone 11, here's how to activate iPhone through iTunes:

  • Make sure that you install the latest version of iTunes.
  • Check if the computer is connected to internet.
  • Launch iTunes and then connect your iPhone 11 to the computer via a USB cable.
  • Wait for iTunes to detect and activate iPhone 11. If iTunes pop up a windows asking you to choose "Set as new" or "Restore from backup", it means iTunes has activated your iPhone.

    unable to activate an update is required

Way 7. Contact Your Carrier

If iTunes prompts that the SIM card is not compatible,or your iPhone shows "SIM Not Supported" contact your carrier to help you solve the problem.

iphone x unable to activate

Part 2. How to Transfer Data from Old iPhone to New iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max Quickly?

When the problem of failure to activate iPhone 11 is solved, the next thing you might need to do is to transfer data from your old iPhone to the new one in a secure and simple way. Tenorshare iCareFone is such a professional tool to free backup your data (including WhatsApp) on iOS devices and selectively restore backup to device, one-click to transfer any file you want such as contacts, music, photos without restriction. You can download and install this software on your PC or Mac and then follow the below steps to transfer data from your old iPhone to iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max.

First, Backup Old iPhone Data with iCareFone

  • Launch iCareFone and connect your old iPhone with it. You need to unlock your device and agree to "Trust This Computer" if prompted. After connected, select "Backup & Restore" option from the top menu.

    iphone unable to activate - icarefone select a feature
  • Then, you will see that all the file types are ticked by default, you can cancel "select all" if you don't want backup all data, just select the file you need to backup.

    unable to activate iphone - icarefone select file type
  • After selected, just click "Backup" button to proceed and wait for a while. Once backup is completed, you can view the backup data.

    unable to activate face id on this iphone - icarefone

Second, Import Backup to iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max

  • When you get backup done, it is time to transfer old iPhone to new iPhone 11. To start with, disconnect your old iPhone and then connect your new iPhone 11 with Tenorshare iCareFone. Select "Backup & Restore" feature and click "To view or restore previous backup files" at the lower left corner of the interface. The backup files created by iTunes are also displayed.

    i cant activate my iphone - icarefone select file type
  • Select a backup to scan. You can preview the backup by clicking the file name.

    iphone activation server cannot be reached - icarefone scan and preview
  • Select the files you need to restore and choose to "restore your device". Of course, you can choose to "export to computer". (Warm note: Currently, iCareFone only supports to restore contacts, music, photos, videos and bookmarks directly to your devices.)

    cannot activate iphone - icarefone restore to device

Video Guide: How to Transfer Old iPhone to New iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max


In this post, we have concluded 7 ways to fix the iOS issue - could not activate iPhone 11/11 Pro/11 Pro Max. We sincerely hope that we can solve this problem for you. Tenorshare iCareFone is your best helper to transfer old iPhone to new iPhone 11 without iCloud/iTunes. Besides, if your iPhone 11 stuck on "disabled screen" for a long time, it is possible that there is somthing wrong with your iPhone. But don't worry, You can use Tenorshare ReiBoot to repair because it is a professional tool which is capable of fixing various iOS problems, such as iPhone stuck on loading, iPhone recovery mode, black screen,etc. It's well worth trying.

  Updated on 2020-06-11 / Update for  iPhone 11

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