How To Fix “An error occurred during activation” Error

Those who are using iPhone/iPad might have seen “An error occurred during activation” error at least one time. It’s one of the common errors on Apple device if there’s an issue with iMessage or FaceTime activation. Here are other similar errors you might see:

  • Waiting for activation
  • Activation unsuccessful
  • Could not sign in, check your network connection

If you are encountering one of these messages, this post might be useful for you.

How to Troubleshoot iPhone with “An error occurred during activation” Error

Solution 1: Make sure the date and time are correct

Apple services require the correct date and time based on the current user location to work properly. Thus, if your iPhone has incorrect time and date settings, activation and update errors will show up. To make sure your iPhone is set correct date and time, you can manually check and set it to follow your current time zone. Here’s how to do so:

  1. Launch Settings app from the home screen
  2. Tap on General > Date and time.
  3. Toggle the Set Automatically switch on

Solution 2: Connect your iPhone to the internet

When you are trying to activate iMessage and FaceTime on your iPhone, but you’re getting “An error occurred during activation” error, you should make sure it’s not due to the interruption of internet connection.

If you are at home, you should check your Wi-Fi router to connect to the internet. After that, retry the activation process and check what happens. If you are not using a Wi-Fi connection for this procedure, make sure the cellular data on your iPhone is still working fine. In order for activation to activate successfully, stable working internet is necessary on your phone. Texting is also required to activate your phone number to use iMessage and FaceTime. Some carriers can require paying a fee for using their SMS service to turn on iMessage and FaceTime.

Solution 3: Restart iMessage or FaceTime on your iPhone

If the problem still persists at this time, the next thing you should try is to check whether restarting the apps themselves can fix the error. This troubleshooting method has been useful for older iPhones previously, so you can try it here.

To restart iMessage on your iPhone

  1. Launch Settings app from the phone
  2. Tap on Messages and toggle its switch off
  3. Restart your iPhone and then check for the problem.

To restart FaceTime:

  1. Open Settings app from your device
  2. Tap on FaceTime and turn it off
  3. Restart your iPhone and then check if the problem goes away.

Also see: How To Fix iMessages Out Of Order On iPhone

Solution 4: Make sure software is up-to-date

A reason why activation of Apple services fails is due to the outdated iOS version. Updates not just include cosmetic changes, but also come with fix known bugs for your phone. So, you should update your iPhone to the latest iOS version if possible. You can manually check for updates to know if there is an iOS update available right now. To check for an iOS update, follow these steps below:

  • Open Settings app from your home screen
  • Tap on General > Software Update.
  • Install a new update if it’s available.
  • When done, open iMessage or FaceTime again and check for the problem.

Solution 5: Sign out and back in your Apple ID

Another simple trick, but helpful for fixing “An error occurred during activation” is to sign out of your Apple account, restart your iPhone, then log your Apple ID back in. This method has been proven effective in solving errors related to iMessages and FaceTime in the past. You can do it easily and it will just take a few minutes. Here is how to do it:

  1. Launch Settings app on your phone
  2. Tap your Apple account name at the top
  3. Select Name, Phone Numbers, Email.
  4. Tap on Edit and then sign out your current Apple ID.
  5. Restart your iPhone.

After you have logged out your Apple ID and restarted your phone, go to Settings and sign back in your Apple ID. Simply follow sign-in steps after restarting your phone.

You can also do these steps to change your Apple ID. This does not just take advantage of a system reboot, but also it’s helpful:

  1. Launch Settings app on your phone
  2. Tap on Sign in to your device.
  3. Enter your Apple ID and password when asked
  4. If your account is protected with two-factor authentication, just enter the six-digit code you received to complete the sign in.

Solution 6: Get help from your network operator

In many cases, carriers are the main reason to cause iMessage or Facetime errors. To make sure you have everything covered, contact your carrier to let them know about your issue, especially when you have recently changed your number.

There is a chance some conditions are limited on their end, which accidentally prevents iMessage and FaceTime from being activated. In addition, make sure your iPhone can receive SMS normally. If you are not able to send or receive SMS, it’s likely that your phone won’t be able to connect through cellular data as well, which leads to activation problems with Apple.


By contacting with your carrier, you will know whether there’s a carrier-specific update that you can install on your iPhone to activate iMessage and FaceTime. You can only get the answer from them.


Solution 8: Get help from Apple

If the problem is not related to the network side, the high chance is that there are Apple server’s problem. While iMessage and FaceTime almost never have downtimes, they still happen from time to time. But, outages for iMessage and FaceTime will not last too long. They often go away on their own within a few hours. If you feel these services have been out for a long time, you can contact Apple for further assistance.


These are possible solutions to fix “an error occurred during activation” error with iMessages and FaceTime on iPhone. If you have any question, let’s know in the comment below.