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How to Activate Your New iPhone

It’s exciting to get your new iPhone, but if you try to use it before activating it, you may be disappointed when it doesn’t work. Activation isn’t as complicated as you might think, and this how-to will show you how to activate your new iPhone in three easy steps.

Now that you’ve gotten your shiny new iPhone, it’s time to get it all set up! Here are some basic tips for activating your device and setting up a few of your favorite apps.

Charge up your new phone

Charging your new phone for several hours before using it for the first time is a good idea. It can take up to 10 hours for your phone to reach full charge, so don’t rush it.

Choose a network

If you’re an AT&T or Verizon customer, your phone will come pre-activated. If you sign up for a new line of service with Sprint, T-Mobile, or US Cellular, you’ll have to select a data plan from a list before you can use your device. But if you're signing up for a new line on AT&T or Verizon (or switching from one carrier to another), then all you have to do is choose whether or not you want a SIM card. The vast majority of people who buy an iPhone online or in stores purchase their phone through their mobile provider.

Link your social media accounts

If you have social media accounts for your brand, don’t forget to link them in order to gain more followers. You should also share your profile on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. You’ll want to ensure that it has all of your contact information such as a website, email address and phone number. This way, if people have any questions they can get in touch with you quickly through these platforms.

Set up fingerprint ID

If you’re an iPhone owner, don’t miss out on setting up a fingerprint ID. Apple said that it has been working on making its products more secure, and by adding a new layer of security with your fingerprint you’ll be ahead of most users who haven’t done so yet. You can do it from home or in a store if you purchased your phone there (they should have all needed materials). To set up Touch ID, head into Settings > Passcode & Fingerprint > Add a Fingerprint. From there, follow the prompts and make sure not to accidentally scan your finger twice—you will want only one match for future use.

Read about features

Apple’s iPhone user guide is a great place to start. You can also read about specific features of your new phone on Apple’s website or by reading other reviews from professional sites like CNET and Engadget. If you have an older model, look at their guides for that device as well; many features are similar and carry over from generation to generation. That said, though it might be tempting, don’t skip reading through Apple’s user guide in full. Many people tend to skip over parts of it, but there are useful tidbits of information (like how much space you need for backing up photos) spread throughout.


Once you have your new phone activated, there’s not much left to do. You can start loading up all of your data and apps on your new phone right away—but if you want to keep your old number, I recommend waiting until you are sure everything is synced and working smoothly. This way, when people try calling or texting you on your old number, they will be greeted with a This number has been disconnected message instead of getting a disconnect error that prevents them from trying again. It’s also smart to wait until after you activate insurance before you go canceling service for your old smartphone. Sometimes carriers will reimburse a portion of unused fees based on how long it took for you to notify them that their device was lost or stolen.

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