How Long Does It Take To Activate iPhone?

Brand New Iphone

Buying your new iPhone is undoubtedly exciting, regardless of whether you’re switching from an Android smartphone or an older iPhone. However, don’t be carried away just yet, as you first need to activate your iPhone to stand enjoying its unique features. And as anxious as you must be, the question of how long it’ll take to activate your iPhone must have come to mind. 

Quick Answer

The process of activating an iPhone should last between 2 to 3 minutes. You’ll need a cellular network, iTunes, or Wi-Fi connectivity for your iPhone’s activation process to be a success. It’s only afterward that you can proceed and start setting up your iPhone’s cellular service and start using it to send texts, make calls and go to social media platforms. 

Please keep reading to learn more about how long it’ll take you to activate your iPhone and the steps to follow. 

How Long Will It Take You To Activate Your iPhone?

Activating your iPhone is straightforward and should only take a few minutes. In most cases, this task will only take 2 to 3 minutes. After that, you can set up your iPhone, which takes between 5 to 10 minutes on average.

Methods To Activate Your iPhone

There are different ways to activate your iPhone, including the following.

Method #1: Using Cellular or Wi-Fi Connection

You’ll need to insert a SIM card into your iPhone to activate your iPhone. If you got your iPhone from a carrier, your iPhone will come with a SIM card already slotted in and activated. You must confirm that the iPhone carrier has activated the SIM card. If the iPhone is carrier-locked, you must use the carrier’s SIM card, or else you can’t activate your iPhone. 

After getting your SIM card, here are the steps to follow when activating your iPhone.

  1. Open the SIM tray and insert the SIM card into your iPhone. 
  2. Switch on your iPhone by pressing the Lock button until you can see an Apple logo on your smartphone’s screen. 
  3. Press the Home button to begin setting up your iPhone. Follow the on-screen instructions and consequently choose a language and region. 
  4. Select the connection option; in this instance, you should activate your iPhone by selecting “Cellular Data”
  5. Make sure to connect your iPhone to the internet and give it time to be activated, which will take a couple of minutes. You may be asked to enter your Apple ID and password before the start of this activation process. 
  6. Finish your iPhone’s setup process. You can do this by either setting it up as a new iPhone or subsequently typing in your Apple ID and choosing your preferred preferences. Alternatively, you can select a backup that can be used for restoring your iPhone.    

Method #2: Using Wi-Fi Connection

You don’t need a SIM card to activate your iPhone; you can also use your Wi-Fi connection. However, the Wi-Fi network must enjoy a stable and high-speed connection, or you might experience an issue during the activation process. 

In addition, you should enter the correct password to access the Wi-Fi network otherwise won’t be connected to the router. With that confirmed, you can follow these steps when using Wi-Fi to activate your iPhone.

  1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Click on “Cellular” and switch off “Cellular Data”
  3. Go to “Wi-Fi”, switch it on, and give your iPhone time to identify the available Wi-Fi network. 
  4. Choose the Wi-Fi network you want to use. 
  5. Start the activation process, which takes a few minutes. A prompt might appear on your iPhone’s screen requesting you to enter your Apple ID and password to start the activation process. 
  6. Complete the setup process, which can be done either by setting it up as a new iPhone and subsequently typing in your Apple ID and selecting your desired preferences. You can also choose a backup to use to restore your iPhone.    

Method #3: Using iTunes

Another alternative way to activate your iPhone without needing a SIM card is by using iTunes, and you can do this by following these steps.

  1. Launch the iTunes app by tapping the Start button and selecting “All Programs”.
  2. Click on “iTunes” to open this software. 
  3. Use your USB or Lightning cable to connect your iPhone and computer. A prompt will appear on your iPhone screen detailing the steps to follow when activating your iPhone. 
  4. Tap the option “Restore from this backup” or “Set up a new iPhone”, which will appear on your iPhone screen; tap “Continue”
  5. A new “Sync with iTunes” screen will appear; select “Get Started”> “Sync”. This will activate your iPhone by synchronizing it with your iTunes library. 
  6. Finish your iPhone’s setup by keying in details such as Apple ID, coming up with a passcode, and creating preferences. 


After ripping open your new iPhone’s box, the next thing to do is activate and set it up to start the many things this smartphone offers. But if you’re curious, you must wonder how long the process of activating your iPhone will take. After all, time is money, and you want to spend every minute productively. 

Luckily, this guide has detailed all this by outlining the duration you’ll spend activating your iPhone and the steps to follow. Thanks to these insights, you’ll now be in an excellent position to understand better how long to expect your iPhone’s activation process to last.  

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