eSIM technology allows consumers to break free of their dependency on SIM card devices; however, moving an eSIM between devices can be complex.
There are multiple approaches available for moving an eSIM. In this article, we'll go over four approaches that could help transfer it over.
How to Transfer Your eSIM
Dependent upon your carrier and iPhone model, eSIM Carrier Activation or Quick Transfer can allow you to digitally move your plan from your physical SIM onto another eSIM in close proximity and connected via Wi-Fi network. However, to complete this task successfully both devices must be charged with power in close proximity as the process requires internet connectivity for completion.
Once this step has been completed, select Setup Cellular on your new device and follow the prompts. A screen should appear asking if you would like to transfer phone numbers from other nearby iPhones; simply tap one line and complete your setup process. When the cellular plan has been transferred successfully onto your new iPhone SIM, your old SIM will become deactivated and can be removed safely from its slot. Alternatively, sending an SMS from your new iPhone with carrier details to transfer eSIM can take anywhere from 5 minutes to 24 hours until activated on new device.
How to Remove Your eSIM
eSIMs have long had a poor reputation for being difficult to install and remove from phones, but recent iOS changes have made it much simpler than ever to transfer an eSIM from one iPhone to another.
eSIM Quick Transfer can only be used with iPhone XS, XR, or XS Max running iOS 16 or later. Bluetooth connects both phones for this process; any passcode protected iPhone must also have Bluetooth turned on and its settings updated to contain the plan you wish to transfer over.
Once your eSIM transfer has been successfully completed, you will receive a notification on both devices and a code for activating cellular service on them. Please wait at least 24 hours before activating any plans on them. If you need assistance setting up your new device with an eSIM, reach out to your carrier who may provide a QR code that can be scanned on it to setup an eSIM.
How to Erase Your eSIM
The eSIM is an industry-standard digital SIM that enables you to activate a cellular plan without using physical SIM cards. You can transfer or erase them between devices as necessary, and even use more than one number simultaneously with it.
Apple has made this process simpler with iOS 16 by incorporating Bluetooth technology to transfer an eSIM and its phone number when setting up your iPhone. Both devices must be within close proximity and running iOS 16 or later to use this feature.
However, taking these steps does not cancel your cellular plan or subscription; for that you should contact your carrier. Furthermore, erasing an eSIM could delete personal information stored there including contacts, messages and settings; therefore it is wise to only do it when there is a strong reason such as switching carriers or selling off an old iPhone.
How to Confirm Your eSIM
Apple provides iPhone models equipped with an eSIM the ability to complete a Bluetooth transfer from their old to their new device, provided both phones are running iOS 16 or later and support either Carrier Activation or Quick Transfer services from carriers and service providers worldwide.
While this process is generally straightforward, it won't be quite as smooth as swapping physical SIMs between phones. To activate an eSIM on a new device, you'll need to use either your carrier's app or QR code provided by them and follow their instructions to activate it on it. Once done, however, all its benefits can be enjoyed whenever switching is convenient - though please allow up to 24 hours before transferring your eSIM back and forth so it syncs fully with its network.