How to Activate the iPhone

By Techwalla Electronics Editor

To use your new iPhone, you first must set up a cellular phone contract with the provider and activate it. The activation process includes transferring information from your computer to your iPhone. Apple provides you with all the materials you need to complete this task from your home computer.

Things You'll Need

  • Credit card
  • Cellular phone service contract
  • USB cable
  • Dock
  • IPhone
  • ITunes application and account

Activate the iPhone for Use

Step 1

Have a cell phone contract already set up for your iPhone before you try to activate it. Information about which carriers are affiliated with the iPhone can be found in your user guide or on the Apple website.

Step 2

Create an iTunes account on your computer if you do not already have one. iTunes is needed to sync, or transfer, information between your home computer and your iPhone.

Step 3

Insert the USB cable that came with your iPhone, plugging it into both your iPhone and computer. Use one of the ports located on the computer rather than the keyboard port. The keyboard port is not powerful enough to sustain the syncing process.

Step 4

Put your iPhone into the dock, the small holder that is included in your iPhone package. The dock is used to let your iPhone stand upright during syncing and while charging the battery.

Step 5

Open the iTunes application if it does not automatically open after connecting the iPhone to your computer.

Step 6

Follow the steps shown on the computer screen in order to activate and sync your iPhone. You may be prompted to choose which features you want to transfer to your iPhone, such as bookmarks, email account information and your music library.

Step 7

Wait for authorization from your service provider. This will come in the form of a text message sent to your iPhone, informing you that your iPhone has been activated and is ready to use.

Step 8

Unplug the USB cord from your iPhone and computer after the activation process and syncing have been completed. The touch screen of the iPhone reads "Sync in progress" while it is working and "iPhone sync is complete" when it is safe to disconnect.

Tips & Warnings

  • It is helpful to familiarize yourself with the accessories included with your iPhone before you start the activation process. Make sure everything you need is included. If you are missing something, contact the Apple store from which you purchased your iPhone.
  • Hackers are widely disseminating information online, explaining how to avoid using the iPhone's required cell phone companies. Remember that this practice is fraudulent. Only activate your iPhone after securing coverage from an approved service provider.