How To Activate A Verizon Phone

Whether you lose your old phone, buy an upgrade, or purchase a new phone, it’s easy to active a Verizon phone. You can do it for free using the Verizon Wireless website, your cell phone handset, or pay for a customer service agent to do it for you over the phone or in the store. Whichever method you select, it only takes a matter of minutes to get your Verizon phone activated. Then you can call your friends and tell them all about it.

To activate a Verizon phone, you’ll need:

  • Computer with internet connection (to activate by computer)
  • A My Verizon account (to activate by computer)
  • A Verizon Wireless cell phone
  • Any phone line (to activate by phone)
  • A Verizon Wireless store or kiosk (to activate in person)
  1. If you’re currently a Verizon Wireless customer, back up the contacts on your old phone before you activate your new phone. Use Backup Assistant found in your phone’s media center or under the “Get It Now” menu. This application, which is free if you have a My Verizon account, will automatically transfer the information from your contact list to an online address book. Once your new phone is activated, you can use Backup Assistant to quickly sync this information.
  2. Assemble all the information you’ll need to activate your Verizon phone. Locate the phone’s ESN number, which is found by removing the battery and looking at the label beneath it. The ESN is either an eleven number in decimal format or an eight digit combination of letters and numbers in hexadecimal format. (The phone’s serial number and the FCC ID number should not be confused with the ESN.) If you’ve purchased a new phone from Verizon, you may also need the order number or the location code on the receipt that came with your shipment, along with the account holder’s social security number.  
  3. When you’re ready to activate your Verizon phone, make sure the phone is fully charged. If you have your old phone, turn it off.
  4. You can activate your Verizon phone free of charge by using Log in to your My Verizon account (create one for free, if necessary) and click the “My Services” link.  From the right column of “Account Actions,” click “Activate Phone.” You’ll be taken to a new page where you can run Backup Assistant, if desired, or you can skip to the section below. Enter your phone’s ESN number in the appropriate box, then click "Continue." If you’re prompted to enter your order number or the last four digits of the account holder’s social security number, do so, and click "Continue." When you’ve completed the process, you’ll receive a message that says “ESN Change Successful.” 
  5. To complete the activation of your Verizon phone, dial "*228" on your new phone and hit "Send." Listen to the instructions and press "One" when you are prompted. You may be asked to enter your phone number, your account password, the account holder’s Social Security number, your order number or the location code from your receipt. Enter the information as prompted and stay on the line until you hear that programming is complete. At this point, your Verizon phone has been activated.
  6. You can also active your Verizon phone by telephone. Dial "*611" from your cell phone or dial (800) 922-0204 from a landline. You’ll reach the Verizon Wireless main menu, which will present you with a variety of options. Press "Two" to active a new phone. Press "Three" and follow the instructions as prompted. If you require the support of a customer service agent, a fee may apply.
  7. You can also visit a Verizon Wireless store to activate your Verizon phone. If you purchase your phone in the store, activation will be complimentary. However, if you bring a phone into the store and ask a customer service representative to assist you, there may be a service fee.
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