How to Fix Unable to Activate iPhone 15/14 Issue

Unable to activate iPhone 15? Read this guide to learn why you are experiencing iPhone 15 activation issues and the solutions.


By Lena / Updated on September 15, 2023

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Issues: Unable to Activate iPhone 15

Trying to set up your new iPhone 15, yet getting an Activation Error message saying your iPhone can't be activated.

● “Unable to Activate. An update is required to activate your iPhone.”
● “Unable to Activate. Your iPhone could not be activated because the activation server cannot be reached.”
● Besides, some users stuck on the “It may take a few minutes to activate your iPhone.” screen.

iPhone 15 not activating means that your device cannot be configured for proper use. This is a common problem that happens now and then. You are not alone in this matter. Don’t worry too much because there are some solutions that can help you fix this “unable to activate iPhone 15” problem.

Why You Meet iPhone 15/14 Activation Issues

Knowing the cause of the problem will enable you to know how to solve it. Here are some possible reasons why iPhone 15 unable to activate error occurs.

  • The Internet connection is poor.
  • SIM cards are not inserted properly.
  • Your iPhone is locked to the previous carrier.
  • The activation server may be temporarily unavailable.

How to Fix Unable to Activate iPhone 15/14 Problem

iPhone 15 not activating problem can occur due two one or two main reasons. You can try the following methods in turn to troubleshoot the iPhone 15 activation issues.

Tip 1. Check Apple System Status

First of all, go to check the Apple System Status. It is a support page that shows real-time information related to the services offered. Find iOS Device Activation and check its status.

Apple System Status

If it is not green, it means that there is something wrong with the activation. Just wait for Apple to solve it. If it is green, then server is working normally. Please move to the other solutions.

Tip 2. Check SIM Card

To activate iPhone, the SIM card is indispensable. Otherwise, you will meet the unable to activate iPhone problem. Please make sure the SIM cards are properly inserted into your iPhone. Taking out the SIM card tray, checking if the cards are in place.

Tip 3. Check Internet Connection

Unable to activate iPhone 15 will occur when the Internet is poor. Whether you are using a cellular or Wi-Fi network, make sure the signal strength is strong and reliable. But it is more recommended to use Wi-Fi instead of cellular.

Check Internet

Tip 4. Force Restart Your iPhone

Force restart can help fix some glitches that may cause the iPhone 15 activation issues.

Press and quickly release the volume up button, press and quickly release the volume down button, then press and hold the side button. When the Apple logo appears, release the button.

Tip 5. Activate iPhone with iTunes

If you have a computer at hand, you can let iTunes help you activate your iPhone 15.

  1. Download and install the latest version of iTunes on your computer.
  2. Turn off your iPhone and connect it to computer via USB cable.
  3. Launch iTunes and turn on your iPhone.
  4. When iTunes detects your iPhone, the “Activate your iPhone” window will appear.
  5. Enter your Apple ID and passcode > Click Continue to start the activation.

Activate iPhone with iTunes

When your iPhone has been activated, you will see options like “Set as New” or “Restore from Backup”.

Tip 6. Contact Carrier

What is certain is that your iPhone will not be activated when you try to activate it with a SIM card from a different carrier. You can change a SIM card or contact the carrier and ask them to unlock your iPhone.

Tip 7. Contact Apple

Have tried all methods above, but you are still unable to activate iPhone 15? You can contact Apple support online or take your iPhone to the Apple Store to let the professionals have a check.

Bonus Tip. An Easy Way to Transfer Data to New iPhone 15

After the activation, the next step is to transfer data to iPhone 15.

  • If you are a former Android user, you can move data from Android to iPhone 15 via Move to iOS app.
  • If you are upgrading from an older iPhone, you can set up new iPhone from backup or transfer data directly.

Apple provides a way to help users transfer data as a whole. However, it does not support selective transfer. Besides, media files like songs cannot be transferred. If you want to transfer data in the way you want, professional iPhone data transfer tool is needed. FoneTool is such a tool.

FoneTool supports full transfer and selective transfer to let you transfer the data you need including media files. It supports data transfer between two iPhones & between iPhone and computer.
If you are a former Android user, you can let the tool help you transfer files from computer to iPhone.
If you are upgrading from an iPhone, you can let it help you transfer data from old iPhone to new iPhone.

FoneTool Free Download

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Transfer All Content and Settings

The iPhone to iPhone Transfer tool can help you transfer all content and settings with one click.

1. Open FoneTool > Connect old iPhone and new iPhone 15 to computer via the USB cable.

2. Choose Phone Transfer > Go to iPhone to iPhone and click Start Transfer.

iPhone to iPhone Transfe

3. Confirm the source iPhone and the target iPhone > Enable backup encryption > Click Start Transfer.

Start Transfer

Transfer Specific Data

Selectively transfer photos, videos, music, contacts, messages, etc. It’s a good choice if you want to transfer data from iPhone to iPhone after setup.

1. Open FoneTool and plug in old iPhone.

2. Click Phone Transfer > Go to iPhone to PC and click Start Transfer.

Transfer to Computer

3. Click the plus icon >  Choose the data you need > Click Start Transfer > Select a path to save the data and click Transfer.

Transfer Photos to Computer

4. When the transfer is completed, unplug old iPhone and plug in iPhone 15.

5. Go to PC to iPhone this time> Click anywhere in the box to select the data you want to transfer > Finally, click Start Transfer to add them to new iPhone 15.

Transfer to iPhone

Final Words

Which method helped you solve the “unable to activate iPhone 15” problem? Leave a comment to give us feedback. Or if you have any other ideas, also leave a comment to help other users here!

Lena · Editor
Lena is an editor of FoneTool, she covers backup & restore, and phone data management and so on. She enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She takes most of time with her family when she is not working.