Question iPhone 6S - Sudden Activation Request w/o Internet

Jul 6, 2023
I have an iPhone 6S which has no way of connecting to the internet – it has no SIM card, no Wifi (I use it as an alarm clock, old photo storage etc.)

Some time ago, it suddenly prompted me with the iPhone activation screen (select Wifi network or connect to iTunes). I can't get past that screen to the usual phone functions/apps.

I read this may be due to a forced iOS update, but I don't know how an offline phone could discover an update since there's been no internet connection for years. Is there a built-in expiry date on the phone?

It's also not a drive failure, since it still remembers and requests for my old pin code whenever I lock the phone.

I've been hesistant to (re-)activate the phone, as a friend encountered something similar where she was forced to connect her old iPhone to iTunes and then immediately got locked-out – once connected, she was prompted for the password to very old and lost iTunes account (which was originally used to activate that phone when first purchased).

Anyway there's no choice, as I need my iPhone 6S now to access an old app, so 2 questions:

1) Is this "sudden activation" screen a common situation? Will I be locked-out if I simply connected to Wifi or iTunes to (re-)activate the phone?

2) Before activating the phone, is there a method to fully back-up in a way that'll be possible to restore even all of the app's saved data? (I've lost one of my logins, but know I'm still logged-in/trusted on this old phone, so can't afford to loss the app's data/session.)



Jun 24, 2023
The sudden activation screen on your offline iPhone 6S is uncommon. Connecting to Wi-Fi or iTunes should not lock you out. Prior to activation, create a backup using iTunes to retain app data, including logins and sessions.
Jul 6, 2023
My main concern now is finding a way to fully back-up the phone in case the re-activation goes bad. I understand I can back-up in iTunes, but feel this would be limited by what data Apple backs-up and restores. So prefer a 3rd party software that can fully image the phone's current state and do an exact 1-1 restoration in case it goes bad. Is there such a software?