How to Turn an Old iPhone Into an iPod Touch

If you upgraded to the new iPhone 6s recently, you might be wondering what you should do with your old iPhone. Here’s how to turn an old iPhone into an iPod Touch.

Your primary instinct might just be to sell your old iPhone, but you’d be surprised what kind of use you can get out of an old iPhone, even if it doesn’t have a phone plan attached to it. One of the most popular repurposing methods is to use an old iPhone as a glorified iPod Touch.

Read: 5 Best Uses for an Old iPod Touch

However, there a few steps that you need to take first before you can use an old iPhone without a phone plan, and we’ll show you those steps needed so that you can quickly and easily be on your way with a retrofitted iPod Touch.


Get a SIM Card

The first thing you’ll need to do is get a hold of a SIM card, and any SIM card will do — it doesn’t need to be active.

This might be tricky if you no longer have the SIM card that came with the old iPhone, as you’ll need a SIM card that came from a previously-activated iPhone. It can be a SIM card from any iPhone, though, which shouldn’t be hard to find if you have iPhone-toting friends with old SIM cards lying around. If all else fails, you can easily find SIM cards on eBay.

Once you have a SIM card, follow these quick steps:

  1. 2013-11-11 14.19.39Insert the SIM card into your old iPhone.
  2. Connect the old iPhone to your computer and launch iTunes.
  3. iTunes will see it as a new device and will need to activate it.
  4. Once it’s activated, you’re good to go!

You can certainly use an old iPhone without a SIM card, but you’ll get an annoying pop-up message every time you reboot. Plus, without a SIM card, you won’t be able to restore the iPhone if you ever need to.

Don’t worry, though, because even if you have a SIM card in your old iPhone, it won’t have a service plan attached to it, so you won’t be paying a monthly service charge.

Turn Off Cellular & Turn On WiFi

Since your new “iPod Touch” doesn’t have a service plan (which means you can’t make calls or send/receive text messages), you might as well turn off all of the cellular radios in your old iPhone, which can save battery.

However, your device will heavily rely on WiFi, so be sure to turn that on. Here’s how to do both:

  1. Open the Settings app and tap on Cellular.
  2. There will be a toggle at the top to turn off the cellular radio. Tap on the toggle until it turns gray (if it isn’t already).
  3. Go back to the main Settings screen and tap on Wi-Fi.
  4. Tap on the toggle switch at the top next to Wi-Fi to turn it on (if it isn’t already).
  5. Select your home network from the list below and enter in the password if you aren’t already connected.


You don’t necessarily need to turn off the cellular radios, but it helps conserve battery, since your old iPhone won’t constantly be searching for a signal that it’ll never receive.

Download Useful Apps

After you’ve completed the above steps, you can now download any useful apps that you want to use on your new “iPod Touch,” like a music player, video player, podcast app, etc.

I suggest grabbing a handful of games to play, as well as keeping all of your music on the device, and maybe some movies and TV shows to watch while on the go.


You can even just use the device as a dedicated music player to keep in your car, at the office, or in your home gym if you have one. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of carrying around a spare iPhone for music while I go for a walk, just so I won’t accidentally drop or lose my main iPhone.

Keep in mind that an iPod Touch is pretty much just an iPhone without the phone, so the only things you won’t be able to do are make/receive phone calls, send/receive text messages (you can still use iMessage over WiFi), and access the internet without a WiFi connection.

Furthermore, your new “iPod Touch” can also act as a backup phone for whenever your primary device breaks or fails. If that happens, you won’t need to rush out and pick up a loaner. Instead, you’ll already have a backup that you can use that will already have all of your preferred apps and games on it.