Set up cellular data service on your iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular model

If you have an iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular model, you can sign up for a cellular data plan. This helps you stay connected when you're away from a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Use an eSIM

There are multiple ways to activate cellular data on iPad using eSIM. To set up a cellular data plan using an eSIM on your iPad, use eSIM Carrier Activation, transfer your plan from another iPad, join an existing iPhone cellular plan, find a new plan, use a QR code, or use your carrier's iPad app.

Learn more about eSIM on iPad

Learn more about cellular data on iPad

Find out which iPad model you have

In China mainland, activating a cellular data plan with eSIM from a local carrier is only available with iPad models that support eSIM in China mainland. Learn more about using eSIM with your iPad in China mainland.

Use a physical SIM card from your carrier

If your iPad supports it, you can use a physical SIM card from your carrier to activate a cellular data plan1. If you set up a cellular data plan using a physical SIM card at your local carrier, then the SIM card will be activated. Just open the SIM card tray and insert the SIM card from your carrier. If you have a SIM card from your previous iPad that you would like to transfer to your new iPad, remove the SIM card from your previous iPad and insert it into the SIM card tray on your new iPad.

If you can't connect to cellular data, go to Settings > Cellular Data and make sure that cellular data is on.

If you need help transferring a plan, or if you use a corporate or post-paid account, you might need to contact your carrier.2

Change your plan

To change or check the status of your plan, go to Settings > Cellular Data. If you set up your cellular data plan with a carrier, you might need to contact them directly to change your plan.

You can have multiple plans on your iPad by signing up on your iPad with multiple carriers, adding multiple eSIM plans, and inserting a SIM card in the nano-SIM tray. To switch between active plans, go to Settings > Cellular Data and tap the plan you want to use under Cellular Plans.

Deactivate your plan

Some carriers allow you to deactivate your cellular data plan, which is either prepaid or postpaid, on your device. To deactivate a prepaid plan, which is contract free, don't renew it at the end of the month.

Postpaid plans renew monthly. To deactivate a postpaid plan:

  1. Go to Settings > Cellular Data.

  2. Tap the name of your carrier and choose not to renew your plan.

If a message says that the account type isn't supported or if you got a SIM from your carrier and you don't see a Manage Carrier Account button, call your carrier and ask them to deactivate your account.

If you have an iPad with Apple SIM or embedded Apple SIM

As of October 1, 2022, Apple SIM technology is no longer available for activating new cellular data plans on iPad. Contact your carrier for details on how to activate a cellular data plan on iPad.

If you're not sure if your iPad uses Apple SIM, find your iPad model and click the link for its tech specs.

1 iPad Pro (M4) Wi-Fi + Cellular and iPad Air (M2) Wi-Fi + Cellular models purchased worldwide exclusively connect to cellular using eSIM and do not have a physical SIM card.

2 Your iPad is subject to your wireless service provider’s policies, which may include restrictions on transferring a data plan. Contact your carrier for more details. If you aren't sure which carrier to call, go to Settings > Carrier on your iPad or remove the SIM card and check the card for the carrier's name or logo.

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