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Suspending vs Deactivating Your Mobile Device


Last updated by Isabel M

This article will explain the difference between suspending and deactivating your mobile device, and help you decide which option is right for you.

To suspend or deactivate your device, click the edit icon next to Status in the Details section of your device's settings:


Then select Suspend this device or Deactivate this device from the drop down menu.

Suspending Your Device

Suspending your device essentially means suspending the phone number associated with your device. Here's what happens when you suspend your device/number:

  • your device can no longer send or receive calls or texts and cannot access the the cellular data network
  • your device can still access Wi-Fi networks (if applicable), so any apps that can run on Wi-Fi alone will still work as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection
  • the $6 monthly active line fee still applies since we're holding onto your phone number for you
  • your device settings can't be updated in your Ting account online until your device is unsuspended
  • you can't move your number to another device until your device is unsuspended
  • when you unsuspend your device you'll still have the same phone number as when you suspended it and whatever your settings were before will remain the same
  • you can unsuspend your device anytime from your Ting account
Suspending Your Device


When to suspend:

  • your device is lost or stolen and you want to make sure there's no unauthorized usage
  • you're planning to move the phone number to another device, but not right away
  • you aren't using your device for significant periods of time but you want to maintain the same phone number

When NOT to suspend:

  • your phone is missing but you are still attempting to use a phone location app--the phone needs to be able to access the cellular data network for these apps to work
  • the phone is being used as an emergency device


Deactivating Your Device

Deactivating your device essentially means canceling your phone number. We also call it "expiring" your number and this means the following:

  • your phone number is returned to the pool of numbers available to anyone activating a device
  • you can't port this number out of Ting since it's no longer active and no longer belongs to you

Deactivating your number means you are giving up ownership of that phone number.

While you can reactive a CDMA device with a new number after deactivating, you cannot reactivate a GSM SIM card again; you need to purchase a new SIM card.

Since Ting's new numbers are randomly assigned, if you decide to reactivate a CDMA device, you wouldn't be getting your old number back.

Note, reactivating your device with another number during the same billing period may result in a second active line fee as per our Terms of Service.

Deactivating Your Device


When to deactivate:

  • you absolutely no longer want ownership of the phone number associated with the device and don't care about ever having that phone number again

When NOT to deactivate:

Most of the situations in the "when NOT to deactivate" category are good reasons to suspend your device/phone number, but not to deactivate it.

Suspending Internet Service

Currently we do not offer an option to suspend Internet service.

Have more questions? Submit a request


  • Avatar
    jeffery skipton

    if a deactive my phone will i still be charged 6 dollars?

  • Avatar
    Renny M

    Hi Jeffrey,

    As per our terms of service, you will be billed a flat $6 fee (Active Line Fee) for each device that's active on your account for all or part of your billing period. Once you have deactivated a device, you will not be charged a line fee starting from the next billing cycle. 


  • Avatar
    alberto viana

    i am interested in switching to another sprint reseller but, I would like to keep my number. would suspending the device allow me to activate it on the new service? if yes, how long will i have to wait after suspending the device before I am able to activate it on the new service? also, will I be able to port my number to the new service while it is suspended? thanks.

  • Avatar
    Marg C

    Hi Alberto! Suspending your line won't have an effect on your number transfer, but a suspended phone will still show up as active to another provider. Deactivating the phone will cause the phone number to be lost. The other carrier may be able to move your number over first, which deactivates your phone on Ting, at which point you may detach it from your account and move it to the other provider. That's something you'll want to ask your new provider about, though. 

  • Avatar
    alberto viana

    great. thanks marg!

  • Avatar
    Daniel Santin

    I was recently in a Sprint store inquiring about moving my to service directly through Sprint(I really need the Google Voice integration back) and they said I might have to deactivate the phone with Ting before they can activate on Sprint. So if I deactivate the phone in my Ting account, how long does it actually take for that to take effect?

  • Avatar
    Daniel Santin

    I'll answer my own question. I checked my serial number on Swappa's ESN check, and it said my device was already active somewhere(obviously here on Ting). I deactivated the device in my account, and didn't wait even a minute before checking the serial again on Swappa, and the status has already changed to clear and ready to be activated on another service. Easy stuff on Ting as usual, wish I didn't have to switch. Maybe you guys will get proper Google Voice integration at some point and I can switch back.

  • Avatar
    jamie gassoway

    What happens when your phone is deactivated?//

    Please reply back i would like a answer??

  • Avatar
    Daniel Santin

    When you deativate a device, the cell service to that phone will stop completely, and you will permanently lose the phone number that was associated with that device. If you do not want to lose the number, DO NOT deativate.

  • Avatar
    William Washington

    This is the type of detail that would have been helpful on the Activation screen for new devices.  It would avoid the problem of deactivating a phone and losing the number before transferring the number to a new phone.  Live and learn...

  • Avatar
    Ting Help

    Hi William, if you lost a number very recently we may be able to recover it for you.  Please give us a call or start an online chat.

  • Avatar
    Tami Dunich

    I am considering suspending my phone for a short period of time. If I do that, what (if any) type of message will someone get if they try to call or text my phone after it being suspended?  Also, when I am ready to 'un'-suspended my phone, is it immediate or does it take a certain amount of time to be able to use the phone and text features?  Thanks!

  • Avatar
    Clay Whitenack

    Hi all.  Do you guys frown upon activating and reactivating the same device several times a year?  I have a deactivated phone I would like to turn into a hotspot certain times through the year, but would prefer to not have to pay the $6 fee every single month, just months that I need to use it.  I understand that I would lose the number each time I deactivated, but since it is only going to be a hotspot I don't care what the number is.

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne


    Since Ting is all about freedom, simplicity, and saving money, i doubt they would care much. Try chatting with Ting support for an official answer, though.

  • Avatar
    John Shea

    My understanding is that Ting's new sim cards for the T-Mobile network can be only be assigned a number once. If a Ting sim card is deactivated, and that number is lost, the sim card becomes useless, correct? Sounds like deactivating a Ting sim is a bad idea if you have any intention of ever using it again. You'd have to buy a new sim card that can accept a new number. Am I right?

  • Avatar
    Bruce Osborne

    I am not sure you can suspend a GSM SIM. 

    You are correct that if you deactivate a Ting GSM SIM, you will need a new SIM.

  • Avatar
    John Doe

    What I would like to f*king know is, how in the f*k can Ting blacklist my ESN, or take it upon themselves to report my device as lost or stolen just because it was last activated on their network and because I had another phone primarily for my day to day stuff, the ting phone got no use. I didn't even realize my billing period ended but now my ESN is blacklisted! Even though my phone was purchased through and from a sprint store on a contract in 2013 and I have since fulfilled any contractual obligations with sprint otherwise Ting couldn't have activated it in the first place!!

  • Avatar
    John Doe

    Oh well, more of a reason to go back to T-Mobile!!! All of these other cellular carriers should just throw in the towel now!!! None of them are close in any single category except for Verizon in regards to coverage and being able to get a good signal in a lot of places others can't, but that's not worth the premium that it costs per month!! I bought a prepaid BYODT-Mobile SIM card at Walmart for $29.88, that price INCLUDED my first $30 toward my account once activated! So for $30 a month I get 100 minutes, unlimited texts, 5GB of 4G LTE data (streaming music or ANYTHING from the siriusxm app DOES NOT count against that data!!!) and even if I run out of 4G (which in 4 months I haven't yet even though Verizon was claiming I was using 8-17 GB per month) I still have unlimited free 3G data!!!! I mean cmon, I never made a call or anything except to set up my voicemail with my ting and they billed me $24!!! What a joke

  • Avatar
    Amalie Ausland-Bjerkely
    Hello, I deactivated my Ting account some days ago, is it possible to activate it again?
  • Avatar
    Taylor Gray

    I am going abroad (outside of the US) for a few months. I am trying to figure out if I need to "suspend" my account, or if that is unnecessary since simply leaving the country means that my GSM number will no longer work abroad anyway. If I suspend my device, do I still have access to voicemail? (I guess that is ultimately what this comes down to!)

    Edited by Taylor Gray
  • Avatar
    Jasmine Mam

    Hi I would like to know if I am still able to cancel or deactivate my tmobile plan even if I am suspended? I am not liking the monthly plan very much. Too overpriced and i would like to cancel it soon. Is that possible? If so, please let me know very soon.

  • Avatar
    Kylie K

    Ting just T-Mo blacklisted my device I JUST GOT!


  • Avatar
    Victor Jimenez

    Why doesn't the SUSPEND option appear any longer? Only DEACTIVATE


     I have two lines and neither has the SUSPEND option

    Edited by Victor Jimenez
  • Avatar
    Mitch Surprenant

    Hey Victor,

    I see you've already reached out to to suspend your service.

    For future reference, you can suspend your line manually by blocking data, messages and minutes from that line, and powering the phone down. As we do not charge extra for suspension versus an activated line, this means we hold on to the phone number for you, and you can turn service back on at any time.

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