How to Fix iPhone Activation Problems

After appearing services that provide IMEI unlock many iPhone users have problems with iPhone activation in iTunes. Also many our visitors wrote us about these issues and I try to find suggestions on how to fix them.

First I wrote a guide to show how to activate iPhone after factory unlock. But there are still many users who complain on activation errors like: “We’re sorry, we are unable to continue with your activation at this time. Please try again later, or contact customer care.”

After exploring this problem I noticed that users began to deal with this problem after the release of the iOS 6.1. You can read the message of unhappy user:

I tried plugging it into iTunes did multiple restores but the same message still appears and won’t let me do anything else. The only way to restore it through iTunes is to put it in recovery mode. I decided to hacktivate my device

This error is usually symptomatic of a phone that was:

  1. Jailbreaking using Evasi0n, Redsn0w, Absinthe and other tools.
  2. Hacked.
  3. Hactivated using Redsn0w or SAMPrefs app from SAM activation exploit or any other tool.
  4. Unlocked using Ultrasn0w, SAM tool or Turbo SIM methods like Gevey SIM.
  5. Downgrading / Updating using Sn0wbreeze or TinyUmbrella or Redsn0w andor other hacking tools.
  6. Refurbished and IMEI # couldn’t be authorized by Apple activation server.
  7. Stolen / Lost / Blacklisted / Barred / Blocked.
  8. Factory unlocked by purchasing IMEI unlocking service but wasn’t activated before the ordering the unlock. So, never buy factory iPhone unlocking services before you can activate your item with original carrier. For example always been hacktivated.

This error caused by Apple has been moving toward very strict Sim activation policy for over a year. Never ever utilize a SIM even if inactive but SIM chip is working. Also never never unlock your iPhone by purchasing permanent unlocking service if you device haven’t been activated before or Apple will block it.

Note: If you are not sure which of the above could cause your issue you can try IMEI Network Checker and see if activation date is available. It will cost you a few cents, but it spare you a lot of headache. However not all of them provide info about Activation policy, some displays only carrier.

Well, here we will try to fix the reasons of these iPhone activation failures using couple of methods below.

fix iphone activation problems after unlock

How to Solve “We’re sorry, we are unable to continue with your activation…” Error

Fix 1 : Device Restoring

Try to restore / upgrade your device to the latest iOS (now it’s iOS 6.1). After restoring setup your iPhone as a New Phone using iTunes. Only then restore iPhone from your backup and pass activation steps with active Sim card inserted.

If this doesn’t work move to Fix #2.

Fix 2: Hosts file reseting

If you have ever used software like TinyUmbrella to save SHSH blobs or to upgrade or downgrade your iOS firmware then your hosts file on your computer is pointing to Cydia (store developed by Saurik) activation server insted of Apple’s oroginal one. So, please, just reset the hosts file on windows, and try to activate your iPhone. This time it should work fine. The location of hosts file for Windows 7 / XP / MacOS / Linux could be found here.

Fix 3: Working SIM

Make sure you put a SIM card into iPhone when activating. Do it with working SIM of the carrier to which your iPhone is locked. Try activation process after some time with working Sim on other computer. Also try to activate over WIFI, assuming you upgrade your device to the latest iOS 6.1.

Fix 4: DFU Mode + clean Restore

Or the last thing you can do is to make a restore on the other computer with active SIM card inserted. Also you can do a clean restore / upgrade putting your iPhone in DFU mode. Use this guide to enter DFU mode and start the process when iTunes will detect your iPhone in a recovery mode.

Fix 5:  Apple Care

This solution may work not for all users unless you have real information about your iPhone. You should call Apple Care and describe your reactivation problem. After they will verify you are the owner of the handsets like S/N, IMEI #, purchase date, owner name etc. If you provide all needed information they will ask to restore your iPhone during 24 hours. This time the activation process should work perfectly.

Fix 6: Paid Activation Services

The biggest problem the only 100% solution for this type of error is paid services which can submit your device’s info into the Apple database. So, next time when you try to activate your iPhone, Apple won’t reject the activation ticket.

Stay tuned with me and I will update this post if there will be something new.

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