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How to activate my phone

Updated on May 9, 2024

You’ll be on your phone in no time. Unlocked or locked, this guide will help you set up your new-to-you phone and connect with your carrier so you can start using it.

1. Get your phone(s)

You’ll need your new-to-you phone and previous phone (if you had one). If you bought a locked phone, make sure your carrier is compatible. If you bought an unlocked phone, don’t worry — it’ll work with all US carriers.

What is an unlocked phone or locked phone?

2. Transfer your data

Turn on your new phone and follow the on-screen prompts to safely transfer your data. We recommend charging it to over 50% battery and ensuring a strong internet connection before starting the setup process.

Learn more about safely transferring your data

3. Find the IMEI

To connect to your carrier, you might need your International Mobile Equipment Identity number (IMEI).

Here’s how to find your phone’s unique IMEI number:

  • For iPhone: go to “Settings” > “General” > “About”

  • For Android: go to “Settings” > “About Device” > “Status”

  • For all phones: dial #06#, then press call, and your IMEI number will appear.

4. Use the carrier's BYOD page

Your carrier’s Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) page will help you check compatibility, connect the carrier to your device, or get a wireless plan (and SIM or eSIM) if you don’t already have one.

AT&T BYOD page | T-Mobile BYOD page | Verizon BYOD page

Boost Mobile | Cricket | Google Fi | Metro | Mint | Spectrum | Straight Talk | Xfinity

Some carriers offer discounts or credits to customers who bring their own devices.

5. Last step - set up service

Set up cellular service with an eSIM or a physical SIM from your carrier. If you already have a wireless plan, you can transfer that as well.


Still need help?

If at any point during your setup your number or service is unable to be transferred or if you successfully setup your phone but service is unreliable, you can call us for help — or your carrier directly.
Schedule a call with a tech expert

Frequently Asked Questions

And all of the answers

What's an IMEI number?

An IMEI number, or International Mobile Equipment Identity, is a unique 15-digit number that identifies a device. Every smartphone has an IMEI number.

Read more.

The listing says my carrier is supported, but my carrier says its incompatible.

Check for yourself by entering your IMEI number in your carrier’s “BYOD” (bring your own device) checker.

Read more.

What’s the difference between a locked and unlocked phone?

Rachel Chou

Written by Rachel ChouContent designer

She reads content, she writes content, she eats content, she drinks content.

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