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Does a new iPhone need to be Activated before iTunes can restore?
Posted by: GGD
Date: July 11, 2017 07:56PM
A family member is probably going to order a refurb unlocked iPhone from Apple, and the old iPhone is a 4s with a MicroSIM so we'll need to go to the AT&T store to get a NanoSIM and transfer the service to the new iPhone. Not quite as simple as just moving the SIM to the new phone.

So, in preparation for this it would be great if we can backup the old phone and restore it to the new phone before going to the AT&T store, so that the new phone is ready to use immediately. Even better if we can play with the new phone without a SIM after a restore to make sure that we're happy with how everything transferred.

Will iTunes let you do this, or will it require a SIM an / or Activation before it will do a restore?

Any other issues / gotchas to pay attention to?
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Re: Does a new iPhone need to be Activated before iTunes can restore?
Posted by: evilrobot
Date: July 11, 2017 09:55PM
the carrier/activation screen appears before you get to the 'restore from icloud/itunes' backup screen.

try it - nothing really to lose, since you won't have a sim in. you can always do an itunes reset/restore on the new device if you get stuck.
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Re: Does a new iPhone need to be Activated before iTunes can restore?
Posted by: testcase
Date: July 12, 2017 05:38AM
I thought some forum members had used old iPhones as iPods. There would have to be a way to sync to iTunes without being connected to a carrier.
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Re: Does a new iPhone need to be Activated before iTunes can restore?
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: July 12, 2017 06:06AM
That is what I did when my dad got a new phone last month. We got the new phone activated in the store so it would work with the carrier, then took it back to his Mac (a couple of days later, as we bought the phone out of town while on vacation), and restored it from the ground up with his last backup from the old phone.

Worked perfectly, when you get home you just plug into iTunes, select "set up as a new iPhone" and go through the process, selecting the last old phone backup when prompted. Takes a while, but you'll have all your old data and settings when it's finished.
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Re: Does a new iPhone need to be Activated before iTunes can restore?
Posted by: jardster
Date: July 12, 2017 10:15AM
I did this recently and ran into the problem of not being able to restore without a SIM card installed. Luckily, I kept an old SIM that wasn't activated or anything, popped it in for the restore, and then took it out and it works great (this was all to make an old iPhone into an iPod touch).



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Re: Does a new iPhone need to be Activated before iTunes can restore?
Posted by: GGD
Date: July 13, 2017 09:38PM
Quote
jardster
I did this recently and ran into the problem of not being able to restore without a SIM card installed. Luckily, I kept an old SIM that wasn't activated or anything, popped it in for the restore, and then took it out and it works great (this was all to make an old iPhone into an iPod touch).

This is what I was afraid of, needing a SIM, and this is going to be an Unlocked SIM-free refurb iPhone from Apple, so it sounds like I'll need to deal with AT&T first and be committed to the transition since the phone service will have moved, before being able to test out transitioning the phone contents.
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