Setting up a brand new iPhone might look intimidating to first-time users. The same can be said for people leaping an earlier version of iOS – they’re often unsure whether they can do it right. But why feel insecure? Think about it – the use of the iPhone is widespread. It’s almost guaranteed that there are people who have gone through the process successfully with far less knowledge than you. If that didn’t cheer you up, how about this? We’re prepared to guide your hand every step of the way. Did that calm down your anxiety? If so, let’s begin. Here’s how to activate iPhone using iOS 14:
1. Insert your SIM card (Optional)
Why optional? Because there are three situations you can encounter:
- Inserting the SIM card is required. Bought your iPhone independently of a carrier payment plan? After you obtain a SIM card yourself, follow these steps:
- Find the hybrid SIM slot – it’s in the shape of an ellipse on the right side of the iPhone.
- Insert the SIM card ejector tool into a tiny hole nearby.
- The tray will pop out slightly.
- Drag it out and place the SIM card onto it.
- Slide the tray back in.
- Carrier has inserted the SIM card for you. If you purchase the iPhone as part of a subscription plan, they usually insert the SIM card before they send the smartphone to you.
- You are using an embedded SIM card. In this scenario, the SIM chip is soldered onto the motherboard. The chip is programmed when you activate the SIM card with your carrier.
2. Turn on your iPhone
The first step toward activating an iPhone is turning it on. Hold down the Power button (on the right side) for a few seconds. Release it when the screen flashes and the Apple logo appears. You’ll be greeted with the “Hello“ message. Choose your language, and country or region.
3. Use Quick Start (Optional)
This feature allows for quick iPhone activation if you have another iPhone using iOS 11 or later. It will automatically transfer your Apple ID, Touch ID, Face ID, passcodes, and data via Bluetooth/from iCloud/wired, via Lightning to USB cable. To demonstrate the process in-depth, we tapped on Set Up Manually.
4. Connect to a Wi-Fi network or use mobile data
On this screen, you have two options:
- Choose a Wi-Fi Network. Preferred method. Your home Wi-Fi connection at home is stable, faster, and has unlimited bandwidth and data. As an alternative, you can find the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot.
- Use Cellular Connection. Your SIM card must be activated for this to work. Furthermore, depending on the plan you have with the carrier, it might be slower (unless it’s 5G) and data-limited, and end up costing you money.
5. Set up Face ID and/or Touch ID
The first two options aren’t required. However, we strongly recommend picking one or both, since they improve security considerably. Here’s what they mean:
- Face ID. iPhone will use an infrared camera to casts hundreds of invisible dots and make a 3D scan of your face. Afterward, you can unlock your iPhone hands-free, by pointing the front camera toward your face.
- Touch ID. Press one or more of your fingers onto the fingerprint scanner, and it’ll be saved into the database. You can then unlock the iPhone with a touch of a finger.
Tap on Set Up Later in Settings to skip. Configuration of the third option, Setting up a passcode, is mandatory. It will act as a failsafe when you can’t or don’t want to use Face ID or Touch ID. By default, it’s 6-digits long. You can tap on Passcode Options to choose a different length, format, or disable the passcode.
6. Download data and information (Optional)
This is basically Quick Start, but with additional options such as:
- Restore from iCloud Backup.
- Restore from Mac or PC.
- Transfer Directly from iPhone.
- Move Data from Android.
Pick an option accordingly. Based on the device, you can use wired (Lightning to USB cable) or wireless (Wi-Fi, Cellular Data, Bluetooth) connections. We’ll cover the required steps in separate articles. For now, our focus is on users without other devices, so tap on Don’t Transfer Apps & Data.
7. Sign in with your Apple ID
For new Apple users, we’ve created a detailed guide on how to create Apple ID. If you have an old account for Apple services, you can sign in with it instead. Important. If it’s a second-hand phone and the previous owner didn’t disable Activation Lock, he or she will have to sign in with their Apple ID first.
8. Enable automatic updates
We recommend allowing automatic updates on this screen (tap on Continue). Apple will notify you before they install any of them. However, they are downloaded automatically (in the background).
9. Enable Siri, iCloud Keychain, or Apple Pay
None of the three options need to be set up immediately. However, here’s what to expect if you do:
- Siri. Apple’s intelligent personal assistant. You’ll need to speak a few phrases so it gets used to your voice.
- Apple Pay. Apple’s contactless payment system, eliminating the need to carry credit, prepaid, and debit cards or cash.
- iCloud Keychain. This security feature will save, sync, and auto-fill passwords on all devices signed in to the same Apple ID.
10. Set up screen options (Optional)
These are the final steps before you are ready to start using your iPhone. Here’s what’s offered:
- Screen Time. Allows you to see the time your screen was on, and which apps were used. You can also set up time limits for certain apps.
- App Analytics. Allow usage data and crash logs to be shared with iOS developers for improvement.
- True Tone. Let iPhone analyze the ambient around you and alter screen settings accordingly.
- Appearance. Change the look, feel, and size of home icons and wallpaper.
- Display Zoom. Increase the size of on-screen elements.
You’ve done it!
Once you see the “Welcome to iPhone“ message, swipe anywhere, and you’ll see the home screen of an iPhone. Congratulations, that means you completed the iPhone activation process!