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!

How to Reactivate and Unlock iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 without Full iTunes Restore was last modified: July 16th, 2019 by Joe Wang

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