How to Fix Can’t Activate iPhone After iOS Update

Can’t activate iPhone, iPad, iPod touch when updating to iOS 13/12.4/12/11 Update? This guide list several solutions to help you fix this annoying problem. And we will also tell you how to activate iPhone via iTunes or without SIM card.

Joy Taylor Last Updated: Jul. 20, 2020

Updating to the latest iOS 13 or iOS 12.4 version is great, but you may meet some problems during the process, like a message saying could not activate iPhone. Actually, this is a quite common issue and there are a couple of solutions to fix it. At the same time, we will also show you how to activate iPhone via iTunes or without SIM card.

Fix Can’t Activate iPhone After iOS Update

Solution 1. Wait and Retry

If you see “Cannot activate because the activation server is temporarily not available”, then you can wait and try again a few minutes or hours later. There might be too many users waiting for activation, and Apple’s activation server has shut down for the high demand.

Solution 2. Check Your Network Connection

Make sure your iPhone network connection is stable. You can switch from cellular to WLAN and vice versa. Generally, the Wi-Fi network is more reliable. And you can also switch your iPhone to a different Wi-Fi to have a try.

Solution 3. Restart Your iDevice

This simple method can fix many iPhone/iPad/iPod related problems and you can also try it to fix the activation issue. Press and hold the on/off button and Home button until the Apple logo appears. If you are using iPhone X or higher, press and quickly release the Volume up button then press and quickly release the Volume down button, then press and hold the Side button until the Apple logo appears on the screen.

Solution 4. Release the Activation Lock in iCloud

Step 1. Turn off your device to make it offline.

Step 2. Go to and sign in with your Apple ID.

Step 3. Open Find My iPhone > Confirm your password > Select All Devices > Select the device that can’t be activated > Choose Remove from Account.

Step 4. Turn on your device and activate it again.

Solution 5. Unlock SIM Card

Another possible solution to fix can’t active iPhone is to unlock your SIM card. If your iPhone is a new one and you get it from your carrier, contact your carrier and ask them to unlock your iPhone and SIM card. If your iPhone has been unlocked before, bring out your SIM from the iPhone and reinserting. Then try to activate your iPhone once again.

Solution 6. Restore Your Device via iTunes

If all the above methods could not activate your iPhone, then you can restore your iPhone through iTunes. You can follow this guide to make it: How to Restore iPhone iPad via iTunes >

Solution 7. Fix Your Device via AnyFix

Luckily, if you want to make a last-ditch attempt to activate your device, AnyFix – an iOS system repairing tool would be a life-saver for you. AnyFix is a reliable Apple device rescuer that is capable of fixing more than 50 iPhone system problems.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Step 1. Launch AnyFix after installation, then connect your device with the computer via a USB cable.

Step 2. Click “System Repair” column.

How to Repair iOS System Problems

Repair More Than 130 System Issues via AnyFix

Step 3. Click “Start Now” button.

How to Fix iPhone Issues via AnyFix

Fix More Than 50+ iPhone Problems via AnyFix

Step 4. Select a mode you prefer to repair and click the corresponding repair button.

AnyFix standard repair mode

Three Different Repair Modes

Step 5. Wait for the completion of repairing.

Successfully Repair iPhone Can't Activate Problem via AnyFix

Successfully Repair iPhone Activation via AnyFix

How to Activate iPhone via iTunes/without SIM Card

Activate iPhone via iTunes

Step 1. Download and install the latest version of iTunes > Open it.

Step 2. Connect your iPhone/iPad to computer > Select your device and you should see Activate screen on iTunes.

Step 3. Input your Apple ID and password > Click on Continue.

Activate iPhone without SIM Card

Step 1. Turn on your iPhone > Click on the Home button.

Step 2. Tap on Emergency call and make a call to 112/999.

Step 3. Press the power button immediately.

Step 4. Tap on cancel on the pop-up window.

The Bottom Line

With the different issues happening in iOS 13 and iOS 12.4, you may get to know how to solve the iOS 13 common problems. Here, in this guide, the fixes mentioned above may help you solve can’t activate iPhone/iPad/iPod touch problem successfully. If you have other solutions to fix it, please share it in the Comment Section.

After updating to iOS 13/12.4, or earlier iOS versions, if you find your iPhone or iPad perform more and more slowly, then you can go to Speed Up Slow iPhone/iPad after Updating to iOS 13/12 to get some basic tips.

Joy Taylor

Member of iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android related issues.