Activate, Switch or Bring Your Own Device FAQs

Whether it’s a new device you want to activate on your Verizon account, or one you brought over from a previous wireless service provider, we can help step you through the process. Want to swap phones with someone else on your account? We can help you with that, too.

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You'll find the answers here, including:

General Information

  1. How do I activate a device?

    When you order a new device, it will be ready to activate when you power it on. Follow the steps on your device screen to complete activation.

    Prepaid phones: Learn how to activate your prepaid phone in our Prepaid Plans and Service FAQs.

    If you're unable to activate your phone after turning it on, or if you bring your own device, you can activate it online in My Verizon.

    Learn how to activate or swap devices in My Verizon:

    • Activate the device on a new line. Learn how.
    • Activate the device on an existing line. Learn how.
    • Swap numbers between two phones. Learn how.
    • For instructions specific to your device, enter "activate [device name]" (e.g., "activate G3") in the Search field on our website. Some of the first search results should be activation guides for the device title you entered.
    • If you'd like to get a new device, refer to our Add a New Device FAQs.
    • If you have problems activating a device, click the Chat with us button at the bottom right corner of this page to contact one of our representatives.

  2. My device is lost or broken. How do I receive the authorization code to activate a new device on my existing line?

    If there are other phones on your account, you can choose to have the text message code sent to one of them. If there aren't, call Customer Service at (800) 922-0204.

  3. Can I activate a device that was previously used with a different wireless carrier?

    It depends on the device you have. You can check your device eligibility by following the instructions on our Bring Your Own Device page.

  4. Can I get device protection if I bring my own device?

    Virtually all devices compatible with the Verizon network are also eligible for device protection. This includes devices sold by Verizon, devices used with other carriers' networks, and devices purchased direct from the manufacturer. Check device compatibility.

    You can enroll in device protection if your device is:

    • Not lost or stolen
    • Fully functioning, without damage (including cracked screens) and free of defects
    • Activated on a new line of service

    If your device meets all of the above requirements, you can enroll in a device protection option within 30 days of activating your device on a new line, or during an open enrollment period. (Open enrollments aren't guaranteed.)

    Note: At this time, device protection isn't available if you bring your own device to an existing line.

  5. Can I bring a phone number from another wireless carrier to Verizon?

    Yes, you can transfer (or port) a phone number from another wireless carrier or landline service to use on a Verizon standard account or prepaid account.

    Refer to our Port Your Number to Verizon FAQs for more information and steps on transferring your phone number from another carrier.

  6. Can I use a phone that was previously used on a standard plan on prepaid service and vice versa?

    Many devices (including some models of iPhone®) are eligible to transfer between standard accounts and prepaid accounts.

    To see what standard and prepaid plans your phone is eligible for, go to the Bring Your Own Device page. Click I'm With Verizon and follow the instructions.

    If your phone isn't compatible with the plan you wanted, you'll need to purchase a new phone.

  7. How long after I activate a device or switch devices will I be able to use it?

    Typically, you'll be able to use the device within a few minutes. However, in some cases, it may take up to 24 hours.

  8. Why might I need a new SIM card?

    Your SIM card could be missing or damaged. Or, you could be switching from a 3G to 4G device and don't have the SIM card for the 4G device. Another possibility is that you have a SIM card that's not NFC capable. If that's the case, you'll need a new SIM card that has that ability.

    Learn more about 4G LTE SIM cards and options for ordering a SIM card online or getting one at a Verizon Wireless store or Authorized Retailer.

Swap Devices

  1. How do I swap numbers between 2 devices on my account?

    You can swap numbers between 2 devices on your account if you're the Account Owner or Account Manager.

    Learn how to swap phone numbers between devices on your account.

    Watch our How to Swap Phones on Your Account video to learn more.

    Note: Prepaid Family Accounts aren't able to swap numbers at this time.

  2. Can I swap numbers between devices on different Verizon Wireless accounts?

    No, you can't swap numbers with someone on another account while the lines are active. This option is only available for 2 devices on the same account. However, you can switch devices with someone on another account if you both deactivate the devices.

  3. Can I switch to a phone that was used on a different Verizon Wireless account?

    Yes, if the device you want to switch to is no longer active on the account, you can switch to it.

    Note: You won't be able to switch a device that was active on a different account if there's still a balance due on it or fraudulent activity associated with its Device ID.

  4. Can my spouse and I keep our same phone numbers if we swap devices?

    Yes. If you swap devices, you can still keep your same mobile numbers.

  5. Is there a charge for switching between 2 phones on my account?

    There's no charge for switching between two devices on the same account, but if your existing data plan is not compatible with the type of phone you're trying to activate, you might have to purchase additional data for it.

  6. If I swap phones with another one that's activated on my account, will I lose my contacts and media?

    You won't lose any content if you first back up to Verizon Cloud or to your computer through iTunes® or similar software.

    Get 500 GB of Verizon Cloud storage included with Get More Unlimited or Do More Unlimited.

  7. Why isn't my device compatible with my plan?

    If your existing data plan doesn't match the new phone type you're trying to activate, you might have to purchase additional data for it or change plans. Some examples are if you're switching from a 3G to a 4G device or from a basic to a smartphone.

  8. Can I activate a new device online if I have a pending order on my account?

    Yes. However, if you currently have a pending order on your account, you won't be able to activate a new device online until the pending order is completed or you cancel it. Learn more on our Pending Orders Information page.

    An Account Owner or Account Manager can remove a pending order from an account online in My Verizon. Learn more about account access roles.

    Note: If a pending order is removed, then it's canceled and the order will have to be placed again.

    To remove a pending order from your account:

    1. Go to the My Orders page in My Verizon.
    2. Click View pending account changes.
    3. Click Delete next to the pending order you wish to remove.
    4. Click Delete pending account change.

  9. Do I need a new device protection plan?

    You may only need to update your device protection if 1 line has device protection and the other does not, or if both protection plans are incompatible. If you already have a device protection plan on that line, you can choose to either keep what you have or select another.