How to Fix Issues Can’t Activate iPhone after iOS 17/16 Update

Installing iOS 17 beta lets you enjoy the new iOS features in advance, but it could also bring troubles. If you can’t activate iPhone after iOS 17 update, you can find the reason and solutions to solve the problem.


By Dylan / Updated on December 20, 2023

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I can't activate iPhone after iOS 17 update

I Just downloaded the iOS 17 profile and installed it on my iPhone 11, but couldn’t use it now. It says an update is required so how can I fix the unable to activate iPhone 11 issues?

- Question from Apple Community

Features of the latest iOS version like iOS 17, 16, always attracting iPhone users every year. Although it could be controversial because users may encounter some issues like "cellular data not working after iOS 16 update", "can't activate iPhone after iOS update", people still want to have the latest technologies provided by Apple.

So if you receive a message saying "Unable to Activate: An update is required to activate your iPhone", just refer to the following content, we will analyze this issue and provide 4 methods to help you out of this peoblem.

Why you can’t activate iPhone after iOS 17 update?

Technically, this problem is often caused by iOS glitches, insecure network, or SIM card issues.

It is common to see system glitches in the beta, and they could be easily fixed. If the Internet is not secure, iPhone activation will fail at the first step, so stop using public Wi-Fi. SIM card is a must during activating iPhone, so if the card is not installed correctly, you could not activate iPhone.

How to fix "can't activate iPhone after iOS update?

Since you have known the causes of the problem, you can connect iPhone to secure Wi-Fi and then try the following 4 solutions to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

But before we get started, please backup the iPhone in case of any unexpected problem occurs making data loss.

#1 Force restart iPhone

This solution is called iOS glitches killer. It could fix most of the system problems and won’t cause data loss. Select your iPhone model and do a hard reset.

  • iPhone 8 or later: Press the volume+ button and then quickly release. Press the volume- button and then quickly release it. Press the power button for seconds and wait for the Apple logo to appear.

  • iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Press both the power button and volume- button for seconds and wait for the Apple logo to appear.

  • iPhone 6s or earlier: Press both the power button and the Home button for seconds and wait for the Apple logo to appear.

Restart iPhone

#2 Check SIM card status

SIM card is important when you activate iPhone. If you see “activation server cannot be reached”, then you need to check your SIM card. Eject the SIM tray and make sure it’s clean and there is no debris or dust influencing chip contacting.

If you see “iPhone is not activated contact your carrier”, and it keeps saying so after hard reset, you need to contact your carrier to update their service or downgrade iPhone back to previous iOS. If your iPhone is locked and you changed carrier, you need to tell your carrier to unlock the iPhone.

Eject Sim Tray

#3 Activate iPhone in iTunes

If you keep failing to activate iPhone, you could turn to the good iPhone companion, iTunes. It could also be used to activate iPhone and update carrier settings.

Step 1. Download the latest iTunes on a computer and connect iPhone to PC with a lightning cable.

Step 2. Enter your Apple ID and click Continue.

Step 3. If carrier settings update is available, click Download and Update. You could select to Set up as a new iPhone or Restore from iPhone backup, and click Continue. Wait for several minutes, and this iPhone would be activated.

Update Carrier

#4 Recover iPhone

iPhone Recover Mode is often used to rescue iPhone from any bad situations but you need to be prudent before using this method because you will lose everything on iPhone.

Step 1. Download iTunes and connect iPhone to computer with USB cable.

Step 2. Enter Recovery Mode in the same way of force-restarting iPhone in method 1 and you will see the iTunes logo on your iPhone.

iPhone Recovery Mode

Step 3. Select Restore in iTunes and wait for iTunes to repair iOS.

iTunes Repair iPhone Recover Mode

Backup iPhone to always keep data safe

Like we mentioned above, it is wise to backup your iPhone to protect data. Actually, it is always important to put your iPhone data in a safe place to prevent data failure. After all, so many previous pics, videos, vital files stored in our iPhones.

To keep data safe, we suggest backup your iPhone to a PC or external disk with FoneTool. It is a popular iPhone backup tool that would help you save photos, videos, music, contacts, and messages to a computer with a few steps.

  • Free Software: You could export unlimited iPhone data to computer for free with FoneTool.

  • Select Data: You could preview and select iPhone data in FoneTool.

  • Fast Speed: FoneTool is the fastest iPhone backup software.

  • Widely Compatible: FoneTool supports all the iPhones including iPhone 15/14/13/12/11/11 Pro/SE 2022/2020.

Download FoneTool and connect iPhone to the computer with a USB cable.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch FoneTool, c lick Phone Backup Select Selective Backup to select all the five types of iPhone data.

Custom Backup iPhone

Step 2. Click an icon on the home screen to preview and select iPhone data. Click OK to return.

Select iPhone Data

Step 3. Select the storage path and click Start Backup.

Click Start Backup


 If you can’t activate iPhone after the iOS 17 update, you can use the 4 methods in this passage to easily fix the issue. To make iPhone data always safe and sound, you could use FoneTool to backup your iPhone to a Windows computer.

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Dylan · Editor
Dylan is an editor of mobile backup software. He likes to share the latest news about iPhone and iOS, write useful tips, and give solutions to help people solve all kinds of issues.