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How to Activate a New Cell Phone

Updated on August 29, 2016

Activating a New Cell Phone

Different carriers have different rules about how to activate their service. With some, you simply drop in a new sim card and restart the phone. Others are adamant that they want a company professional to be the one that activates service. Finally, there are many that allow you to either activate your phone on your own via computer, on the phone prompts, or in a store front.

The best way to determine how you will have to activate your cell phone is to do some research. Look at the service provider's website and see if your questions are answered there.

Activate Your Phone By Changing Sim Cards

Some carriers make it very simple for you. You activate your sim card by replacing the current sim card and power cycle the phone.

Most phones that accept sim cards are located in the back of the phone, near the battery. I have seen some newer models that accept the sim card through a port in the side of the phone, where you never have to open the back of the phone to activate it.

If you do have a phone that takes being activated like this, make sure that you have the correct size sim card for the phone. The wrong size sim card will not work. A search on the internet of the make and model of phone that you have will make sure that you get the correct size sim card.


In Store Cell Phone Activation

Some cell phone companies insist on the new cell phone being activated only in an approved store location. If this is the case with your phone, then you will select the phone you want, pay the money for the new phone and wait while a representative from the company calls in and activates your phone.

The representative will call and read the IMEI number, which is generally found under the battery compartment in the back of the phone. They will turn your phone off and on, possibly several times while the computers accept the keyed in information about activating that phone to your number and account.

Depending on the call volume that your carrier is currently experiencing, this method can be as short as ten minutes to as long as over an hour. The longest part of this process is how long the representative is on hold with your carrier.

Always make sure that you can make a call from the phone before you leave the store if you activate your phone via this method.


Manual Activation of a New Cell Phone

Some carriers allow you to go online and activate the phone yourself. You may have to do this from another phone or from a computer. Make sure that you write your IMEI number down somewhere as well as any other numbers that are requested if you are going to use the actual phone to do the activation. You may have to enter this number several times.

The IMEI number, as mentioned above is generally located below where the battery is housed. If your phone has an IMEI number that is written elsewhere, your phone will state where it is displayed at in the User Guide Manual. If you do not have a copy of this book, generally one can be found online.

  • Follow the directions of your carrier for activating the phone yourself.
  • Take your time and read through the instructions.
  • Make sure that the battery is fully charged.


Make Sure Your Cell Phone Works

When activating a new cell phone, here are some tips to make sure that everything is working properly.

  • Make a phone call
  • Receive a phone call
  • Send a text
  • Receive a text
  • Send a photo
  • Receive a photo
  • Open a browser and surf the web

Using the basic features that your cell phone offers while you are activating is a sure fire way to make certain that the phone is working the way it is supposed to work.

Before You Activate Your Cell Phone

  • Backup all of your contacts. I use Google to back all of mine up
  • Save your photos to some other place than your phone
  • Write down the names of apps and games that you want to transfer to your new phone
  • Make sure that you have the correct chargers for your new phone
  • Decide whether you are trading in your old phone, selling it or donating it to a charity



About Me

I really love writing hubs. I hope that this has been helpful to you. The first time I activated a new cell phone, I left all of the contacts in my old phone and then donated it to a charity who wiped the contents of the phone!

I look forward to hearing from you and hope that you will vote my hub up!

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