Use Your Old iPhone as a iPod Touch

Convert Old iPhone to iPod Touch

If you have an old iPhone lying around whose contract is over, or because you bought a newer version, you can continue using it as a iPod touch. Apple has put up a support article which lists out instructions to convert your iPhone to be used as an iPod Touch with Wi-Fi support only.

If you upgrade your iPhone to a newer model or cancel your wireless service account/tariff for your iPhone, it is possible to continue using your older iPhone without an active cellular service (using it with Wi-Fi only).

For older versions of iPhone (1G/2G), you will need to have the original SIM card, without which it would be useless. However, iPhone 3G and 3GS can use any SIM to activate the phone to be used as a iPod Touch.

So don’t throw away or sell that old iPhone yet, you can create a nice little gift for someone who has been longing to get a iPod Touch.

[via TUAW]

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Keith Dsouza

I am the editor-in-chief and owner of Techie Buzz. I love coding and have contributed to several open source projects in the past. You can know more about me and my projects by visiting my Personal Website.I am also a social networking enthusiast and can be found active on twitter, you can follow Keith on twitter @keithdsouza. You can click on my name to visit my Google+ profile.

  • Who would do this , What I did to my iphone is setup google voice to make and receive calls using a wifi connection

    • Ed

      Ruben, Your idea sounds like the one for me. So what is google voice? I searched the iTunes app store and it came up with google mobile but I did not see a google voice. Is there a way to use google to make calls? Tell me more. Do I leave the sims card in even after I cancel my AT&T plan?

    • Dave

      Only problem: Google’s official Google Voice app doesn’t allow you to place a call without using one of their dial-thru numbers: so you dial in your desired number and they’ll connect to it, but you still have to pay air-time charges to place a call to Google (usually a 916 area code) to do so? Huh? So why bother with Google Voice?

      To place and receive FREE calls, look to other alternatives, like either of the paid apps that allow using a call-back number (GVConnect, or GV Mobile +), or Talkatone, which allows you to dial outgoing calls directly with from your Google Voice account (over 3G or wi-fi).

      You can also use VOIP-like apps (like textfree) that give you a free phone number for making/receiving voice calls (as well allowing you to send/receive free texts.

  • Pam

    I sold my ipod touch. i need to know how to "unregester" my name as owner of it and put the new name to the ipod account and ipod touch. anyway you could help me?

  • Amanda

    I just purchased a new Iphone 4 and was going to allow my parents to use my old Iphone 3G as an ipod touch. I put an old sim card with AT&T in and activated it. However, the Iphone will not get wifi connections. Do you have any suggestions?

  • Earle

    What happened to the camera function? disabled?

  • @ Ed
    Its easier ro just install skype which works with wifi and 3G connections so if you have an at&t sim and have a 3G data plan you can simply continue that and use skyupe for all your international calls and sms messages 2 cents a min flat rate to 30 countries for calls and 3 to 10 cents per texts depending on country, and ofcourse all skype to skype calls are free and us calls are2 cents also i believe so u can use it for local calls also and texting, if your contract is up simply leave in tne sim card so the iphone is activated to use as an ipod and use wifi instead of 3G, its faster and u get better quality and skype is free in the appstore

  • Laurna

    Is this something new? I’ve been using my daughter’s old iPhone (first gen) as an iPod, since iPhone/AT&T can’t give me what I’m getting from Sprint. It hasn’t had a SIM card in it all this time, but today I went to restore it and now it wants to be activated.

    • Tori

      Mine says that too. And this is my dad’s old iphone. We are using verizon atm and I cannot use it as an iphone anymore because I tried to restore it!!! Please help

  • Nora

    I used the apple article posted, which advised that if I no longer had the original sim for my iphone 1 to contact AT&T and just get another sim, which I did. The only problem is, when I connect it to my iTunes and attempt to reactivate the phone without service, it forces me to either connect the phone with AT&T or disconnect it. HELP! I just want to use it for an ipod!

  • Dwaggs

    I was given an AT&T disconnected iphone from friend (to replace a itoch i recently lost uggh) but I am having issues making it an itouch. The original SIM is in…but when I follow the Apple direction above, it just leads me to a screen to “activate” w/plan. Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong?

    • Skyler

      Hi, do not panic. When you get to the part where it asks for your zip code and ss# just press cancel. It tells you you will lose the info up to that point. once you cancel it goes back to the iPhone summary where you can update or re sync your phone. Just don’t restore from factory. it will disable the phone. Hope this help.

  • Sarah

    My cousin traded my daughter his old iPhone for her Propel phone. I’m trying to convert it over to be used as an iPod touch for her, but I’m having problems. I’ve tried contacting APPLE, but I can’t talk to an actual HUMAN. I hooked it up & updated the version on it, (it’s probably 2 years old) but now we can’t get past the iTunes hook up/emergency call on it.
    Can ANYBODY help me?

    • Katie

      I’ve been having the same problem. Please let me know if you’ve found the resolution.

  • Lynsey

    I have the same problem. I received old iphone and want to use it as a ipod touch. But when I turn it on it says connect to itunes and itunes wants me to activate a contract instead of just activating the phone. I don’t want to use it as a phone just a ipod. Anyone have any idea of how to get my it to the home screen instead of emergency call/connect to itunes. I have read about the activation sim cards, does anyone know if those work?
    Thanks for your time!

  • Amazed

    It is a very elaborate process! It seams absurd to ‘activate with AT&T’ a device that does not concern AT&T. How about just take the SIM card out and you have an iPod touch? Why is this not the case? Anyone have any insight? Perhaps it would breach national security?

  • cho

    well i plug the iphone into itunes and it popped up. but the only sim card from a supported carrier maybe used to activate phone. the sim card is in my phone now but not activated.

    • Maia

      I am by no means a techie. We bought our iPhone 3s in July of 2009 and have since upgraded. I switched out the SIM from the original purchase with a previous SIM card, but the Wi-Fi still won’t function. Any tips?

  • Ron

    My wife recently upgraded her 1st gen iPhone to an iPhone 4 and we gave her old phone to our son to use as an iTouch. It worked fine for him for a few weeks and then suddenly popped up with the connect to iTunes screen. It has the original SIM in it and displays her phone# when I move into the activation screen. When we bought her new phone, the AT&T guy said once a 1st gen iPhone is de-activated, there is no way to ever re-activate it. Despite this claim, I’m reluctant to try activating it because my wife is still using that phone# on her new phone and I don’t want to chance de-activating her new phone in the process. Any thoughts on this?

  • this is a brilliant idea seems i don’t have to keep my old iPhone after all.

  • Dave

    I have an old iPhone 3g that I want to give to my niece for Christmas. The thing is that I restored it and now it’s asking for a valid Sim card to activate the phone. Is there any way around that? I now have an iPhone 4 and the Sim card doesn’t fit in the old phone. I’ve look on YouTube for answers but haven’t found one that works. Thanks for your time and response.

  • DaNell

    I have an old iPhone that was given to me and want to use as just an IPod Touch for my kids, it worked for the first week and we were able to download games, etc but now when I open any app, it immediately goes back to the home screen. Any suggestions welcome – anything to help keep them wanting my new iPhone! Thank you.

    • Did u try restoring it on Itunes, It might work. Hope this info helps you, if not u can take it to any at&t store, or best buy and they can help u. Is the device jailbroked?

  • I prefer the feel of the iPhone to the iTouch, anyway. You can actually feel the sucker in your pocket.

  • bang go deh meh reh.

  • Am I missing something? where is the actual info on how to DO this?

    • Just means you can’t make calls lol silly

    • no there is an actual way to reformat the phone and take out the calling ability all together even the call symbol. My friend did it and said the instructions are online somewhere.

  • Jeff Galletta

    Great tip, thanks! Ummm, quick question: where does one get a sim card for an iPhone 3/3G. The two I have that I want to convert to an iPod Touch are not working and are requesting a sim card.


    • keith

      I just recently bought a 4s and had a 3s. I went to the apple store today and they told me to just take the sim card out of the old phone and it will be ready to go. No issues, although the phone icon is still on the main screen.

  • Where is the Sim card access on a 4S?

    • Your dating yourself…Its hiding behind the antennae that you extend…LOL

  • I have a old I phone an I want to use it as a I Pod its like 2nd Version that came out but it says I need a SIm an I don’t have it…

  • Sheila Huber

    Hello – hoping someone can help. I too upgraded my iphone and used the old iphone as ipod for the grandkids. Problems I’m having is that they are still able to get games from app store which is fine, I enter my apple id – but then that game also transfers to my new phone which is exactly what I DON’T want. It takes up all my space. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

    • Tootsie

      Turn off automatic downloading.

  • Bob Mallord

    I have a new iphone 6 in the box that will not be set up as a phone. how do I use it as an ipod?