How to Reactivate and Unlock iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 without Full iTunes Restore

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Got your iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 factory unlocked recently? Normally, it’s recommended that you perform a full iTunes restore. However, there’s a quicker and easier way to activate/unlock it.

As always, Apple had spent a lot of time engineering the iPhone unlock process to make it as simple as possible. The method below shows how easy it is to re-activate and unlock your iPhone without doing a full restore. This is only supported on iOS 5 and iOS 6. It should work with iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 as well. This method is also ideal if you want to keep your untethered jailbreak (currently iOS 5.1.1 or below).

For non-factory unlocked iPhones especially A5-based devices and later, it will prompt you to reactivate whenever a non-official SIM card is inserted. For example, if you have a locked AT&T iPhone 4S, once you insert a T-Mobile SIM card it will prompt you with ‘Activation Required’ message as shown above. However, once you’ve got your AT&T iPhone officially unlocked, all you need to do is the following:

Editor's note: learn more by reading our ebook on starting your own iPhone repair & unlock business

1. Find a place with an active WiFi connection – that’s either your home or your office.

2. Once you’ve got your unlocked confirmation, remove your official SIM card (in this example, your AT&T SIM card) from your iPhone.

3. Insert your non-official SIM card e.g. T-Mobile SIM card. Shortly, you will see an ‘Activation Required‘ message.

4. Connect to your WiFi network and your iPhone’s iOS will do the rest!

That’s it, you should get a mobile signal after that.

Many iPhones sold in the US may require additional activation information such as Billing Zip Code and SSN (last 4-digit) of the person who purchased the iPhone. If you don’t have these you can get them here.

Hope you like this simple and handy tip!

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