Turn on Activation-only Mode in iTunes

If your school or business needs to set up and activate multiple iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch devices, use Activation-only Mode in iTunes.

This article is intended for system administrators of businesses and schools. If you aren't a system administrator, learn more about activation for individual customers.

Activation-only Mode is intended only for businesses and educational institutions that are unable to activate devices over-the-air and must use iTunes. Activation-only Mode disables iTunes from syncing or backing up any device. 

Before following the steps in this article, make sure that you have the latest version of iTunes.

Turn on Activation-only Mode

On a Mac

1. Quit iTunes.

2. Go to Applications > Utilities.

3. Open Terminal and enter:

defaults write com.apple.iTunes StoreActivationMode -integer 1

4. Press Enter.

On a PC

1. Quit iTunes.

2. Open a Command Prompt window.

3. At the command prompt, enter:

"C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt StoreActivationMode 1

4. Press Enter.

iOS 10 and later requires iTunes 12.5 or later running on Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10.

Turn off Activation-only Mode

If iTunes is in Activation-only Mode and you try to sync an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch to your computer, you might see a message that says:

"This [device] is already activated. You may disconnect this [device] now."

To sync and back up, turn off Activation-only Mode.

On a Mac

Open Terminal and enter:

defaults write com.apple.iTunes StoreActivationMode -integer 0

On a PC

Open a Command Prompt window and enter:

"C:\Program Files\iTunes\iTunes.exe" /setPrefInt StoreActivationMode 0

 

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