[Why & How to Fix] iPad Activation Failed [2023 Updated]

Are you frustrated by the “iPad activation failed” error? Luckily, this post will tell you why this happen and offer you corresponding methods to fix this error.

May by May Updated September 5, 2023
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Why is new iPad unable to activate?

Hi everyone, I’m having a little trouble with my iPad. I keep getting this “Unable to Activate” message when I try to set it up. It’s connected to Wi-Fi, and I’m pretty sure I’m entering my Apple ID and password correctly. Has anyone else faced this issue? Any tips or solutions to get my iPad up and running?

- Question from an iPhone user

How to Fix iPad Activation Failed

Some iPad users have received the error message “Your iPad could not be activated because the activation server cannot be reached.” when trying to set it up. Why does this happen? How to get rid of this error message? Thankfully, this post complies with a list of methods to resolve iPad activation errors to ensure you can get back to using your device without any problems.

Why Cannot Activate iPad?

It is very disconcerting and frustrating to meet the “iPad activation failed” error. The truth is that there are multiple potential factors that can trigger an activation error on your iPad. If you find yourself facing such issues, it is recommended that you investigate the following potential causes on your device:

Server Issues: Apple’s activation servers may meet issues that cause the activation to fail, which can be resolved by waiting and retrying later.
Network Problems: A stable internet connection is essential for activation. If your Wi-Fi or cellular network is weak or unstable, it can cause activation to fail.
iTunes Activation: If the iPad is older or you’re trying to activate it without an internet connection, you may need to use iTunes for activation.
iCloud Activation Lock: If the iPad was previously linked to an iCloud account and wasn’t properly signed out, it may be locked with an iCloud Activation Lock.

How to Fix the “iPad Activation Failed” Error

After understanding the reasons behind the “iPad activation failed” error, there are four easy and useful methods you can use to resolve this issue with your iPad. Before that, if your iPad has important data, you’d better create a full iPad backup to prevent data loss.

Method 1: Hard Reset Your iPad

When your “new iPad unable to activate”, the first thing that you should do is to hard reset your iPad to fix this problem. Here is how to do that:

For iPads boasting a Home button: (like the standard iPad)

Simultaneously press and hold the Top button and the Home button > Await your iPad’s shutdown and subsequent reboot > Ultimately, the Apple logo shall grace your screen.

For iPads lacking a Home button: (like the latest iPad Pro, iPad Air, and iPad Mini)

Swiftly press and release the Volume Up button > Quickly press and release the Volume Down button > Hold down the Top button until your iPad initiates a restart.

Hard Reset iPad

Method 2: Check the Network Connection

An unstable Internet connection may significantly affect the iPad activation process. If the network is down, an activation error may occur. Some iPads may restrict web browsing and are prone to errors when connecting to public networks. In this case, consider logging in over a stable Wi-Fi connection and verifying signal strength.

It’s critical to check the power supply, as any interruption can cause network connectivity issues. Ensuring that a reliable backup power source is in place will ensure a constant supply of power, thus keeping the network efficient.

Method 3: Fix “Unable Activate iPad” with iTunes

If you still cannot activate iPad, you have another option to use iTunes to fix the “activation failed iPad” error. However, before proceeding with the fix, it’s crucial to make sure your iTunes software is up to date. After updating iTunes, follow these steps to correct the activation error:

Step 1: First restart your iPad and then connect it to your PC using the USB cable > Launch iTunes and select the iPad icon as soon as it appears in the software.

Step 2: Click the Activate your iPad option in iTunes > When prompted, provide your Apple ID and password, then click the Continue button to begin the activation process.

Click Continue to Activate iPad

After that, you can confirm that iTunes has successfully activated your iPad when it displays options such as Set up as New or Restore from Backup.

Method 4: Clear Activation Lock in iCloud

The activation lock is a major obstacle because it prevents any unauthorized individual from erasing or restoring your iPad without your explicit permission. To activate your iPad with a new account, you must first authorize these actions and possibly disable the lock. Here’s how:

Step 1: Power off your iPad > Navigate to iCloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID and password > Access the Find My iPhone app and reconfirm your passcode.

Step 2: Select the All Devices option and then select the specific iPad that is experiencing activation issues > Then, select Remove from Account.

Remove from Account

Bonus Tip: How to Transfer Your Data to a New iPad Easily

Once you have fixed this “iPad activation failed” error, you may consider a question: How to transfer your data to your new iPad? For those looking for a fast and efficient way to transfer music, photos, and videos to a new iPad, consider using a free and reliable iOS data transfer tool such as FoneTool.

With FoneTool, you can easily transfer the files you need with just a few clicks. Importantly, FoneTool retains the original file size, making it suitable for handling large videos without any hassle. In addition, it also helps you delete duplicate photos on your iPhone/iPad/PC.

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The Bottom Line

That’s all about how to fix the “iPad activation failed” error. Among the four methods, you can choose one of them to solve this problem. If your iPad stores a lot of important data, it’s essential to back up your iPad data in advance. In this case, FoneTool is a good choice for you. With the help of this iPhone data transfer software, you cannot only create a backup of your iPad but also transfer your data from an iPad to a PC, USB drive, or another iPad. Why not try it out? Download and use FoneTool now!

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