Discovery Hub

Can I Reactivate an Old Phone?


January 31, 2019

Do you have an old smartphone or two lying around, just gathering dust? It can be frustrating to have something that was once so expensive sitting in a drawer, providing absolutely no value. But don’t write it off that fast. There are a couple options for making use of that old smartphone: you can trade it in and put its value toward the cost a new device, or you can reactivate it when you’re in need of an inexpensive extra phone. Learn more below.

Find out how to bring your own iPhone to Xfinity Mobile.

When to consider reactivating a phone

Whether you find yourself in a panic after damaging or breaking your brand-new smartphone, or you want an affordable way to add a family member to your wireless plan, reactivating an older smartphone is a good option. While you may not have all the bells and whistles of the latest smartphone model, it may be all you need to get connected. Here’s how to do it:

Find out if your old phone is compatible with your new network

Not all phones work on all networks, so if your old phone was through a different carrier, you’ll need to first make sure it’s compatible. To see if your old phone will work on Xfinity Mobile, go to this device compatibility checker.

Unlock your phone

A phone is typically “locked” to the network you purchase it through when you buy it. While unlocking phones used to be a difficult process, new laws have made it much simpler. Today, as long as you have fully paid for your device, your old wireless carrier is required to “unlock” your phone for you.

Just contact the carrier and follow their process. Make sure you have the IMEI number of your device (usually found under Settings>General>About) and the account number for your old carrier (look here for help locating that information) before getting in touch.

Replace the SIM card

SIM cards make the process of switching carriers much simpler. If your phone has a SIM card, usually all you need to do is order a new one from your new carrier, and simply pop out the old one from your phone, replacing it with the new one. You’ll be up and running with your new wireless carrier in no time.

Activate your “new” old phone

Once you know your old phone will work on your new network, you’ll need to activate it on that network. With Xfinity Mobile, if you have an iPhone 5S or newer you can simply request to have a new SIM Card mailed to you then activate it yourself, at home. You can also go into any Xfinity store and have them walk you through the process.

Before trying to activate your phone it’s a good idea to take the following steps:

  • Upgrade your device to the latest operating system
  • Make sure you have the correct Apple ID and password if you’re activating an iPhone
  • Back up your phone (if you are handing down the phone to another family member, you may want to run a factory reset, so that it’s like new)

Learn more about how Xfinity Mobile can help you find a plan that’s right for your family.

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