Can You Use an iPhone Without a SIM Card? [update 2021]

dr Drashco
dr Drashco Mobile Phones

Today I'll show you three simple methods to set up an iPhone to be used without a SIM card.

The best part?

It's so simple; even kids can use it, or anyone who doesn't have a mobile contract.

This tutorial covers all iPhone generations from the 3GS to the XR, XS, 11, 12, and iPhone 13.

See also: How to fix the "sim not provisioned mm#2" message.

Table of Contents

Can You Use and Ipone Without SIM Card?

Can You Use an iPhone Without a SIM Card?

So, Can you use an iPhone without a SIM card?

YES, no problem.
You could use an iPhone without a SIM to watch youtube, read emails, news, ebooks, even send texts. Or hop on a FaceTime, Viber, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Skype call with friends and family.

But the complicated part is activating it and doing the first time setup of the phone. Here is how...

I'll show you some battle-tested methods how to do it.

So the question is:

Can You activate a Phone Without a Sim Card?

Yes, you can activate a phone without a SIM card and even without a WiFi connection. Here is how...

Activate your iPhone using someone else's SIM

We'll start with the easiest workaround.

The best part?

You will only need to use another SIM (that you have borrowed) during the activation process.

*Don't worry; next methods on the list do not require a SIM at all.

This section also answers the following question:

Can You Use Someone else's SIM Card to Activate iPhone?

Sure you can. Here's what you'll need:

  • Access to a WiFi network
  • A SIM removal tool
  • A borrowed SIM card
  • If your iPhone is locked to a carrier, make sure the SIM you borrow is from the same operator network.

Here's how to activate your iPhone, step by step:

  1. After turning it off, remove the SIM from another person's iPhone.
  2. Put the SIM in your iPhone, turn it on.
  3. Go through the usual setup options, including connecting to your WiFi network.
  4. Wait for the iPhone activation.
  5. Remove the SIM and return it to the person who gave it to you to put it back in the phone, turn it on, and continue using it as nothing happened.
  6. You can now use your iPhone on a WiFi network. Remember, you won't be able to make cellular phone calls or use cellular data.

Activate your iPhone using iTunes

The main reason to use the iTunes method is if you have no WiFi access.

What you'll need:

  • A computer running iTunes
  • An unlocked iPhone

Here's how to activate your iPhone using iTunes:

  1. Update iTunes, or download it from Apple's website.
  2. Once iTunes is installed, connect your iPhone to your computer.
  3. You may see a message "There is no SIM card installed in the iPhone you are attempting to activate", which indicates that your iPhone is locked to a particular carrier. In this case, you need to try the previous method by finding a SIM from the same network to borrow.
  4. You should see a message in iTunes explaining what you need to fill in and what to do next until you finally get the prompt that your iPhone is activated.
  5. You can now use your iPhone on a WiFi network; however, you won't be able to make cellular phone calls.

Jailbreak your iPhone

If everything else fails, you can always try to jailbreak your handset.

You probably know this voids the warranty, but if you've got an old carrier-locked iPhone, it might be the only way to get it working again.

If done properly, jailbraking should allow you to activate and unlock your smartphone.

Can You Put a Samsung Sim Card in an iPhone?

The most common question I'm occasionally getting from my family and friends is:

"I have a Samsung at the moment, and I got an iPhone as a birthday present. Can I use the same sim card from my Samsung and put it into an iPhone?"

The answer is: Yes, you can easily put a nano-SIM card from your Samsung into your new iPhone.

Can You Use Your Old SIM card in a New Phone?

So you got a new phone, without a SIM card, and want to use your old SIM?

You will be able to use it, but only if the SIM is stil active and has a plan associated with it. Whether it's a prepaid or postpaid plan, it doesn't really matter, as long as the plan and SIM are active with the mobile operator.

Let me know what worked for you?