Fix Waiting For Activation FaceTime On iPhone 4S iOS 5 Firmware


Many of our readers are complaining that they need to fix waiting for activation message their iPhone 4S on iOS 5 firmware is showing. This issue is particularly prevalent on the iPhone 4S while some are also reporting the same issues after updating iPhone 4 to iOS 5 firmware. In this guide we will show you how to fix waiting for activation error of FaceTime on iOS 5.

Actually, there are a couple of methods that you can use in order to fix waiting for activation of FaceTime on iPhone 4S. It obviously depends which method will do the job for you. If, we repeat, if these methods don't work for you its likely that the issue resides with Apple's activation servers at that given point in time. In that case, just wait it out and try again after a couple of hours.

Method 1: Do a clean install of iOS 5 on your iPhone 4S.

Yes, for most people this FaceTime waiting for activation problem was resolved after simply doing a clean install of iOS 5 on their iPhone 4S or other supported iPhones for that matter. Follow the steps exactly as mentioned below.

Step 1: Download iOS 5 firmware IPSW for iPhone

Step 2: Connect your iPhone 4S to computer and launch iTunes 10.5.

Step 3: Put your iPhone 4S in DFU mode.

  • Press and hold Power key for 3 seconds
  • Press and hold both Power and Home keys for 10 seconds
  • Release Power key but keep holding Home key until iTunes prompts you that an iPhone has been detected in recovery mode

Once iTunes prompts you, press and hold the Shift key on Windows or the alt key on Mac and click on Restore. Select the iOS 5 firmware IPSW for iPhone 4S that you previously downloaded and click on OK. iTunes will now begin a clean install of iOS 5 on your iPhone 4S.

Step 4: After the installation finishes, don't restore your device from a backup. Set it up as a new device and then try activating FaceTime. It should work. You may restore your device from the backup afterwards.

Method 2: Erase all content and network settings from your device.

This method has particularly proved to be helpful for those who face this error on iPhone 4. It also proved to be helpful for iPhone 4S owners as well.

Step 1: Launch

Step 2: Go to General followed by Reset.

Step 3: Tap on Erase All Content and Settings.

All content and network settings on your iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S will automatically be erased and your device will reboot. The key here is to not restore your iPhone using a backup. If you opt for this method, do keep in mind that you will have to install all apps and data manually after all content and settings have been erased.

Method 3: Manually tweaking the Settings.

If the above mentioned methods have not worked for you, then this is definitely going to work. If this doesn't, then be sure that the issue is with Apple's activation servers and not your device or any of its settings.

Step 1: Turn FaceTime off from the

Step 2: Add your telephone number to your contact list. Add your number in iPhone, not mobile.

Step 3: Go to Settings>Mail, Contacts, Calendar>My Info and change My Info by selecting the contact you created.

Step 4: Make sure your number is being reflected in My Number. Check that by going to Settings>Phone. Turn on Show My Caller ID and International Assist.

Step 5: Go to Settings>Store and login using your Apple ID.

Step 6: Once done, hard reset your iPhone by holding Power and Home button until Apple Logo appears.

Step 7: Connect to WiFi after your iPhone boots up.

Step 8: Now turn on FaceTime and activate by logging in with your Apple ID. After a few seconds, you will be able to use FaceTime.

We've mentioned all the possible methods that can be used to fix waiting for activation of Facetime on iOS 5 firmware iPhone 4S. If you face any difficulties, simply leave a comment down below and we will help you out.

  • Pat

    Tried all of this and not a single tip worked for my iPhone 4S.

    • Flyboycisco92

      just add International and it would do it

  • Jhetzy

    Still having the “phone number” issue on the “Receive at” field. :| i hope they fix it as soon as possible.

  • Jeremy Rose

    I have been trying this for over a week now. The phone number in the Phone settings is correct but the FaceTime and iMessage activation doesn’t succeed as it shows a completely different number. The SIM has the correct number, the iPhone value in my contact information has the correct number and the phone responds to the correct number when dialed or dialed from as caller id. I have had the SIM replaced by the provider and spent hours at the Apple Store and on the phone with their technical support. iMessage and FaceTime work perfectly with my email addresses but the phone number issue remains and nobody seems to be able to figure it out. I’ve tried everything I can think of any everything that has been suggested on all of the forums and by Apple’s people with no luck. At this point, I’m just seriously considering changing my phone number and getting a totally new SIM and seeing if that helps, even with the nightmare of a phone number change.

    • A.S.H

      I’m having the same exact problem as you. Called Applecare and they don’t seem to have any idea what’s going on. The thing with my iPhone is it does activate but whenever I turn off and on my phone again, I have to reactivate it again. ARGH.

      • Bill Ostrowski

        I am having the same problem on my wifes iPhone 4s waiting for activation on face time and i messaging, also the phone number is not showing up on the face time and i messaging activation screen, just the email id. We have been trying to get this problem resolved for over 3 months now. We have been to the apple store on Michigan ave. in Chicago 6 times already. They restored the phone as new so many times I lost count, they also replaced the phone 3 times thinking it might be the phone, the problem still exists. During this time we also were dealing with tier 2 apple phone support. They had us doing the same things as the apple store restore the phone as new on iTunes , reprogram the phone from our carrier, hard resets, turn on face time and i messaging, turn off face time and i messaging etc. etc. After doing everything that they tell you to do, and the problem still exists. they tell you they have to get with the apple engineers and will get back to you.
        Which they never do! And when you email them and ask about the status, they don’t even have the courtesy to reply back. This has been and still is a very disappointing, frustrating, and time consuming experience, with no results as of yet. We would like to get this problem resolved, any help would be appreciated. Also if anybody knows how to get in contact with Tim Cook CEO of Apple I would like to share with him all the documentation and correspondence I have collected on this ordeal. I’m sure he would put an end to this kind of behavior from his support team.

        Bill Ostrowski

        • Gautam

          I bought the iPhone 4s from Canada , carrier unlocked, using it in India, Jaiilbroken on 5.01. 
          I had this problem no FaceTime and iMessage and My phone number would not show up on MY INFO. Did everything but would not work. Showed it to apple in India, NYC and Chicago but no one could fix it. Excuses were that your carrier did not support, works only on at& t and lots others which I have even read here. 
          In the end what worked was METHOD3 with a difference, this time after the reboot got a message that an SMS had to be sent out to activate FaceTime/iMessage, selected OK did rest of the steps and all good.never saw that message earlier!!!
          Now MY INFO shows my number, iMessage works, FaceTime works.

        • jklmaz

          I have had the same issue with an open case with Apple. Latest update from Apples is the problem exists with phone numbers that have 4 consecutive zeros. My number is (XXX) XX0-0008.

    • eric

      I am in the exact same position as you? Has anything change since your last post?

    • Raul Leso

      Your problem can be rectified very easily. The problem here is that your iPhone’s FaceTime & iMessage has been previously activated on the number shown in FaceTime tab. All you have to do is delete all data of previous backups of your iPhone on your Mac/PC. Now do clean restore of your iPhone & set up as new phone. Now you will be able to see your real number under the FaceTime tab..

  • Elindir

    I was hoping the clean install would do the trick for my 3GS but it was just a waste of time.

    I already came across the 3rd tip before running into this post and tried it several times but to no avail.

    People here have reported putting in a different SIM from a different provider did the trick (supposedly activates in seconds). I cannot, however, confirm this as my iPhone is currently SIM-locked for my current provider.

  • blahblah

    None of these methods worked for me.

  • Flyboycisco92

    to Fix Waiting For Activation FaceTime On iPhone 4 iOS 5 on tmobile you just have to add International on your plan and it would active that all

  • jay

    Tried all of this hogwash………nothing. iphone 4s . Last thing I ever buy from apple. 700 smacks and cant even send a text mess……..junk!

  • Shahir_01

    nothing worked this is bs
    hate my iphone

  • Parthiv_13

    No way for first method as its brand new phone. Though Method 2 and Method 3 did not work at all. Having same problem. My SMS/Text messages are not working and Facetime is not working as well..

  • Matt

    Hello, I have the problem that I can’t get iphone to “show” my number under settings -> phone
    I tried to reset, install as new, install from backup

    Not sure what to do now…

  • Parthiv_13

    I hade chat with my service provider. They did something from their side and my text MSG service has started. After that my FaceTime started by itself. So my suggestion is to contact your service provider.

  • Daddepalli

    Third Method worked! after trying this for a couple days to fix it. This is the one thing that worked for my iPhone 4S.. Im so happy! and its still jailbroken

  • Rahman Najifa

    everything but factime works. :(

  • Dino

    I have an iPhone 4 running iOS 5, and I cannot get FaceTime and IMessage to work. When I first upgraded to iOS 5 FaceTime and iMessage worked fine. And I never had any issues under iOS 4.

    I have tried everything here, as well as a few other ideas from other sites, with no success. I have reached the limits of my patience. Meanwhile, Apple doesn’t seem to be acknowledging that users are having this problem. Shame on them.

  • Hamza

    Matt, take out the SIM and insert again. Then try changing the number from unknown.

  • KB

    I don’t have ‘International Assist’ as an option. My region is US. I was so hopeful Method 3 would help but I can’t do that step.

  • Teenage-love98

    Hey, I have an iPhone 4s.
    I have tried step, 2, & 3,
    And nothing. I’ve only had this phone for about 18 weeks, and it’s only been playing up for about 5 days now.
    FaceTime works, and so does everything else. Not a problem, but my iMessage will not activate. It will sit on waiting for activation for about 4 hours, and than say ‘ activation unsecessfull, turn iMessage on and try again.
    I have tried everything. Once I did step 3, I turned iMessage back on and it popped up, a problem occurred while activating iMessage, please try again. And so i did try again, than, boom back to the same thing as before. Any ideas !? D:

  • Ceyork

    fixed mine perfectly. one thng for dummies like me though, gotta hold down the home button and off button about 10 seconds or more. don’t slide the power off red button.

  • baguse ngarso

    tips do not work, there are no contacts in the iphone menu,,,, please help me

  • baguse ngarso

    tips do not work, there are no contacts in the iphone menu,,,, please help me

  • j

    tried all the steps above, but still not working

  • Karin Buchanan

    I keep getting a text message from a international looking number with a Reg message filled with numbers and symbols when I try to activate on IPhone 4s

  • Paulo

    Not working:(

  • jbsmithzar

    if you in South Africa using MTN they have confirmed that they currently unable to support the service and looking into a solution.

  • Carmen

    This worked for me after trying for days trying to fix it! Thank you!